Educate young toddlers about Black History Month, celebrated in February, through engaging and interesting activities. Learning about history and diversity can be exciting for youngsters, setting them up for years of understanding and acceptance of others. Through reading books, art activities and listening to famous speeches, toddlers can begin to learn more about the contributions of African-Americans throughout history.
Toddlers enjoy a good story, so share an interesting book that shares what life is like growing up in an African-American community with "Tar Beach" by Faith Ringgold. Children can listen while looking at the colorful illustrations also by Ringgold. After reading the story, discuss with children how their lives are similar or different from Cassie and her family.
I Have a Dream
Introduce toddlers to Martin Luther King, Jr. through listening to his famous speech from the March on Washington. Children can listen to the part where King explains his dream for the future and wish for everyone to live together in peace. Discuss with children how Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great speaker and hoped to inspire and educate others through his speeches. Toddlers can draw a picture about something they care deeply about and then give an inspirational speech explaining their picture.
Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States and also the first African-American president. Share with toddlers pictures of Barack Obama and discuss his life and family. Teach toddlers about the role of the president along with what types of jobs the president fulfills day to day. Discuss how the life of the president is different from the jobs other adults have. Children can color pictures of Barack Obama and practice writing the number “44” on their paper when finished.
Inventing Peanut Butter
George Washington Carver was a famous black inventor who discovered how to make peanut butter. Carver was born in 1864, a time when African-Americans were not readily accepted as scientists. Discuss with toddlers how they think peanut butter is made and how Carver came up with the idea of creating peanut butter. Make peanut butter with children by blending roasted peanuts, oil, salt and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Taste-test the peanut butter and brainstorm other ideas for inventions.