Activities to Celebrate and Learn About Black History Month

In 1976 President Gerald Ford formally recognized February as Black History Month. In doing so, he urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Today, many students learn about the countless accomplishments of African Americans throughout American history. Children learn about George Washington Carver’s inventions, Harriet Tubman’s heroism and humanitarianism, Jackie Robinson’s athleticism and bravery and Colin Powell’s and Barack Obama’s becoming the first African Americans to hold the offices of Secretary of State and President, respectively.

Black History

Children at our Sylvan Hills Child Development Center did some great work with their parents. Classroom F researched about famous African Americans and created some awesome presentations about what they learned. Classroom N learned about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and presented what they learned to each other.

How can you help young children learn and celebrate Black History Month? Here are some ideas:

  1. Gayle’s Preschool Rainbow has a long list of great ideas from center activities to books and dramatic play.
  2. Preschool Plan It offers more activity ideas including math and science.
  3. DLTK’s Growing Together provides craft ideas including coloring pages.
  4. Education.com has timelines, math worksheets and arts and crafts related to Black History Month.
  5. Field trips: Georgia offers a great variety of places to go to learn more about African American figures that have made a huge difference in history.
    1. Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta
    2. Blackness in Latin America at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta
    3. The King Center in Atlanta 
    4. The First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Athens
    5. Albany Civil Rights Institute in Albany
    6. Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum in Savannah
    7. Sapelo Island near Savannah

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What have you done to celebrate Black History Month?

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Kids can volunteer, too!

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’ – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday, January 16, we will celebrate the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King. An excellent way to do this is to come together to serve your neighborhoods and communities. Oftentimes these events are for people over 18 years old, but there are many kid-friendly activities everyone can do. We encourage you to gather your family members and participate in the MLK Day of Service. If that’s not possible, any of these ideas can be done year round.

  1. Help a neighbor in need – Winter is the season of joy, snow and sicknesses. See if you and your family can help a family who is feeling under the weather. Your children can walk their dog, collect their mail or rake leaves. deed-clipart-chores-kids-can-do
  2. Organize a board game day at your local senior center – Your children can collect board games and some friends to visit a local assisted living facility or nursing home. Both seniors and your children will enjoy an afternoon of cards or Battleship together. GAMES
  3. Pick up litter – Find a safe spot – perhaps your neighborhood, school or park – to beautify. Children will learn the importance of a litter-free environment while enjoying the outdoors.download
  4. Make a no-sew blanket – Blankets bring more than just warmth to those in need. A no-sew blanket is a great way for your child to help her community members in need. sewing-clip-art-as5807
  5. Plant a garden – Okay, this one may be more suited for the Spring, but you can start planning now! Planting a garden will show your children where food comes from, the basics of food science and the importance of sharing the bounty with the community members who do not have enough to eat.  Garden
  6. Make cards for senior citizens, military service members or children in foster care – Everyone enjoys a card! Spend a cold afternoon making holiday (valentines, birthday, Christmas) cards for those who need them the most. children arts and craft
  7. Keep the air clean – promote bike-riding and carpooling at your school to reduce traffic and air pollution. kids-riding-bikes-clipart-MiLLzXd9T
  8. Welcome kit – your children and their friends can create a welcome kit to new students at their school. It can include favorite restaurants and fun things to do. Group1[1]
  9. Collect items for local nonprofits – Community nonprofits are always accepting donations. Pick your favorite organization (ESNG, anyone?) and collect canned food, diapers, socks, toys, books…canned-food-drive-posters-21241533_BG1
  10. Raise money for local nonprofits – There are many ways your children can collect money for your favorite community organization: pet wash, lemonade stand, garage sale…il_340x270.461348538_lwe7

All of us at Easter Seals North Georgia hope you have a great MLK Day and are able to take the opportunity to help your community become better!

Have you and your family done any of these activities? Do you have any ideas to add?