Black History Month for Kids

Are you looking for resources to teach Black History Month to kids? This is an important topic and one that all kids should learn. My middle school history teacher used to explain learning history like this. The world is a big long movie and you have walked in mid-way. You have tons of questions; who is that, why did that happen, how come they did that? Learning about history will help answer all those questions so that you are less confused and can start to enjoy the movie.

With that said, teaching history seems daunting at times, especially someone else’s history when it is complicated and unjust. I definitely question, who am I to write a Black History Month post and will I do the topic justice? But when it comes to parenting and teaching we do the best we can. With that said I want to share the resources I have found and/or created so that you can navigate teaching Black History Month for preschoolers too. 

Black History Month Activities for Kids

handprints cut from various skin tone colors of construction paper glued in the shape of a heart

Diverse Handprint Heart

  • Use skin tone construction paper to trace your child’s hand 
  • Cut out their hand in a variety of skin tones, you will need about 20-30 hands
  • On a piece of butcher paper into the shape of a heart
  • Glue the hands on the heart so that the cover the entire heart and form the heart shape.

Notes: This is a great activity to do as a class project as well. Each child would only need to cut out 1-2 hands. 

*This activity was featured on Parents. Be sure to check out their article on How to Celebrate Black History Month with Kids

two kids holding framed artwork. Artwork is their handprint in various shades of brown

Shades of Brown Handprint By Addie

Head over to @TwoLittleTaylors to get to know Addie and her sweet family. I have linked her handprint craft here for you to get all of the details.

collage of Martin Luther King Jr Book, writing paper, I have a Dream pennant, and a paper plate peace sign craft

Peace Sign Paper Plate by Melody

Melody from @MelodyintheMaking created this beautiful paper plate peace sign. She added in a new to me book about Martin Luther King Jr. as well as writing prompt and a I Have A Dream pennant for a little extra fun and flair.

 

You could paint the paper plate using various shades of brown as well if you are looking to focus more on skin tone.

Diverse Heart with Peace Sign

  • Cut a heart out of large construction paper or butcher paper
  • Mix up various shades of brown paint. I do this by mixing brown and white.
    • Some times I add more brown than white, some times I add more white than brown, some time I go 50/50. I also Add a little orange with white and a tiny drop of brown for a more fair complexion. 
  • Paint the heart using the various shades of skin color. 
  • Use black to add a peace sign when you are done with the browns.  

Note: You can also do a tape resist type of painting by adding tape in the shape of a peace sign on the heart. Then paint. When the paint is dry the tape is removed and the peace sign is revealed.   

Diversity Eggs

If you have both brown and white eggs at home you can very easily put together this simple experiment where kids can see that the color on the outside doesn’t determine what is on the inside.

  • Grab 2 eggs; 1 white and 1 brown.
  • Examine the eggs and talk about what you see. Be sure to draw comparisons to people. Different color shells and different color skin.
  • Make predictions about whether the two eggs will be different on the inside.
  • Crack the two eggs on at a time on two separate plates. (Perfereably white so you can really see the details.)
  • Examine the eggs and talk about what you notice. Even though they looked different on the outside, on the inside they are the same.

Note: You can even take this a step further and cook the eggs separately to see if they taste different.  

African American Leaders Easy Readers – Simply Kinder

I bought this set on TPT to read to my daughter (kindergarten). They were very simple texts that introduce four historical leaders; Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, and Barack Obama. These are great intro texts that pair well with more detailed texts that you can find on my black reading lists

Martin Luther King Jr. Brochure – Sailing Into Second 

I used this brochure with my preschooler and kindergartener. We read the short text about Martin Luther King Jr. and then answered the questions on the brochure. The questions were appropriate for preschoolers all the way up to 4th or 5th graders as they were broad and open ended.

I recommend this activity with a more detailed text, especially for older kids.