Navigating at-home learning in the middle of a pandemic can be challenging for parents, especially if you are trying to help supplement your child’s online schooling with fun and informative projects.
This Black History Month, try incorporating some of the activities below into your family’s remote education routine.
Play 'red light green light'
The classic playground game is a great way to introduce your kids to Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the three-position traffic signal. The inventor was a pillar of his community and co-founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, which eventually merged with the NAACP. He also invented a smoke hood that is the predecessor of modern-day gas masks.
Read a book by a Black author together
You can learn about and celebrate Black culture together by reading a book by a Black author. Talk to your kids about what topics they’re interested in, like science fiction or poetry or sports, and find a book together. Not sure where to start? Consider a Coretta Scott King Book Award winner. According to the American Library Association, the awards “are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.”
Attend a virtual concert
In-person concerts aren’t doable or available for most people due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there are still virtual events that you can attend. The Chicago Children’s Choir is putting together a concert that explores how the power of Black music has been the cultural key in both preserving African traditions in America and in helping millions persevere in the face of racial injustice. Stream it on February 25th at 7 PM Central, find out more here.
Kids of all ages can enjoy playing mancala, an African counting game that involves strategic thinking and math skills! One of the oldest known games to still be widely played today, historians believe the game existed in Ancient Egypt and we have records of it being played as far back as the 7th century. If you don’t have a board, no worries – you can create your own using an ice cube tray or an empty egg carton and dry beans or pebbles.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture, like all Smithsonian Museums, has paused its public events and programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they still have many virtual events that anyone can join via Zoom. Every week they host an event called “Joyful Fridays” with craft activities for kids. Registered attendees will receive a list of supplies so they can follow along from home.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of our nation’s most well-known civil rights activists. His powerful speeches have motivated generations, and you can introduce your children to his teachings. Share a quote that speaks to you, and ask your kids how they think those lessons can be applied to life today.