Black History Month activities for kids - Crafts & games | Sawyer Blog (2024)

Celebrating Black history and culture does not need to be reserved for just Black History Month. Instead, spend time with your family exploring the vast expanse of Black experiences through activities, crafts, games, movies, books, and songs.

You can find a wide variety of Black History Month activities for kids on Sawyer, where educators like Dancewave and Richmond Art Center have classes that immerse students in the cultural richness and significance of Black history. Then, if you are looking to continue the education and fun at home, check out these Black History Month activities for kids of all ages!

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  • Black History Month crafts
  • Black History Month games for kids

Black History Month activities for kids

No matter your race and no matter the month, exploring Black history and culture with your child is important to their growth and development. Having open dialogues and conversations about race can help your child as they interact with peers and adults in their lives. Likewise, discovering Black History Month resources for kids that can be utilized all year long is a great way to ensure diverse classes, books, movies, and lessons are included in your child’s education.

To keep the learning interesting and hands- on, check out these at-home Black History Month activities!

Cook a meal inspired by Black culture

The way to a child’s brain is through their stomach…or something like that! Beyond the many benefits of cooking with kids like increased communication, math skills, and coordination, learning about, creating, and then eating a meal inspired by Black or African culture is a great way for you and your child to interact with this knowledge and remember it.

Find an authentic cookbook or online recipe list and go through it with your child to find something that would appeal to both of you. Then, learn about the history of the dish, go to the store to buy the right ingredients, and work together to cook. As the smells gather around, your child will create strong memories about the food, history, and culture.

Here are some authentic cookbooks and websites you can explore with your child:

Celebrate Black inventors by inventing something new

Did you know peanut butter, traffic lights, refrigerated trucks, automatic elevator doors, microphones, and potato chips were all created by Black inventors? With your child, go through some of these great inventors and talk about how they might have come up with these new ideas. You can explore Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s book What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors, one of the best books for toddlers and children, for inspiration.

Once you’ve learned the history, it is time to start inventing! Depending on your child’s age, work together or let them work on their own to create something new. You can provide materials like string, old CDs, paper, pencils, and more or you can just have them sketch and write about their idea. You might have the next George Washington Carver (inventor of peanut butter) on your hands!

Reenact a Black history story

Together with your child, read stories about Black history and talk about how they make you both feel. Try to include a variety of stories so your child can get a fuller picture of both the injustices and joys experienced. In our list of Black History Month resources for kids, we’ve outlined books that cover the underground railroad, segregation, jazz, Black leaders, and more.

Once you have gone through these stories and talked them through, ask your child to pick a scene, write a script, and act it out. If you can, join them in the process or even do one yourself so that your child sees that you are involved and interested, too! Bring in the family and let everyone learn and enjoy.

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Black History Month crafts

Show your joy with these Black History Month crafts that can be done by all members of the family. There are craft projects for toddlers, which can help them with coordination, motor skills, and creativity. But, crafts are not just for little ones! Older children can enjoy crafting with their friends and family, especially if the crafts come with lessons and opportunities to explore Black culture and stories.

Basquiat crowns

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a visual artist in Brooklyn born to Puerto Rican and Haitian immigrant parents. He had no formal art training, but he made art everywhere he went. He’s most well known for mixing words, colors, and symbols, like crowns, in his art. Plus, the city of New York was his canvas!

With your child, cut a crown out of paper and then decorate it in the most Basquiat way possible. Use color, bold lines, and graffiti influences to make your crowns really shine in honor of this brilliant Black artist.

Dream clouds

Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech with your child and then talk about what it means to have dreams of social justice and change. Then, draw and cut out clouds and have your child fill in their dreams in each cloud. If they are younger, have them draw their dreams in the clouds. Talk with them about what they want to see when they are older and how you can all work together to make their dreams come true.

Black history “quilt”

Quilts have a storied past in the African American community. Quilt patterns created by enslaved people actually held secret messages that helped others escape the bonds of captivity in the Southern states before and during the American Civil War according to the Smithsonian.

To do this activity with your child, you do not need to actually sew a quilt. Instead, go through the different patterns and histories. Split a piece of paper into squares and let your child “create a quilt” with patterns, images, and colors to tell whatever story they would like. Keep the conversation open and help them learn about the significance of this art project.

Black Panther crafts

Agreat way to connect children to history is by teaching them through their interests. If your child loves superheroes, introduce or re-introduce them to the Black Panther and explain the historical significance of this character. Then, work with them to create their own Black Panther arts and crafts. Use our list of superhero activities for kids as inspiration.

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Black History Month games for kids

These Black History Month games for kids will help them gain valuable knowledge about Black history and culture while having fun! Just make sure that you take the time to explain to your child why this game celebrates Black joy and brilliance.

Red light, green light

The classic children’s game red light, green light celebrates the invention of the traffic light by Garrett Morgan. In this game, one child (or adult) stands with their back turned and calls out, “red light, green light, 1 2 3!” While they speak, the other children move towards them, but they need to freeze when they hear 3. Once the speaker finishes, they spin around and try to catch any of the other players who are still moving.

Telephone

Most people know that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. However, they might not know that Granville Tailer Woods was the first African American mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War and he held over 60 patents for telephone-related inventions. In the game telephone, children sit in a circle. One child whispers a word or phrase into the ear of the child to their left and then that child whispers what they hear. It continues like this until returning to the original child, but the word is always very different from what started!

Black History Month trivia

If you have an older child, you can set up Black History Month trivia to help them remember and interact with the stories they have learned. When children play games while learning, they retain more information and enjoy the lessons more. You can create your own trivia game mimicking game shows like “Jeopardy!”, “Wheel of Fortune”, and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” or you can use downloadable games like this Black History Month trivia game.

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Hopefully this list of Black History Month activities for kids can help you and your family explore Black culture, brilliance, and history in February and every month after. Knowledge of Black history helps children and adults live anti-racist lives. If you are looking for more online and in-person activities for children of all ages, check out what our wonderful educators are offering on Sawyer.

Black History Month activities for kids - Crafts & games | Sawyer Blog (2024)
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