Each February is Black History Month. It’s a good thing for our country and future to celebrate our diversity from a young age. This month educators make sure the contributions of black people survive time and tide by highlighting them in history lessons. Teachers use Black History Month to introduce concepts of diversity and inclusion to kids who are beginning to grasp differences in themselves and their friends.
While our little ones may still need to grasp the concept of race fully, it’s never too early to start building a foundation of diversity and inclusion. Studies show that children typically only form their views on race after early childhood, and often, these ideas come from the adults around them. If you’d like to start the conversation with your child to steer them towards understanding Black history and themselves, here are our humble suggestions.
The heroes of black history are heroes for all children. They teach us about standing up for ourselves. At ages three through five, kids are not yet able to grasp the enormity of the injustice of slavery or even the struggle of the Civil Rights movement.
There are plenty of heroes in Black History for kids to admire. Activists like Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and John Lewis contributed to freedom. President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris have made history in U.S. politics. In science, there are innovators like George Washington Carver, Vivien Thomas, Mathematician Katherine Johnson, and chemist Marie Maynard Daly. In sports, Muhammad Ali proved to be much more than just a superb athlete, taking a difficult stand for his beliefs. There are even heroes of the Old West, such as lawman Bass Reeves.
We’ve compiled a list of books featuring black characters and stories to expose your little ones to different cultures and perspectives. The books on this list are a great way to introduce your child to some important stories they may never have heard, all featuring characters who are black. Whether you’re looking for significant history or just want something fun to read together, we’ve got you covered.
- “One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia” by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon: this brilliant book talks about a Gambian woman who sees a problem and decides to be the solution. This book is an excellent story of what one person can do with their time and energy to improve their community and the world around them. Grade Level: Kindergarten to 3rd Grade.
- “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats: Join Peter as he explores a snow-covered neighborhood filled with joyful discoveries and a lovable main character.
- “Sulwe” by actress Lupita Nyong’o (writer) and Vashti Harrison (Illustrator): Dive into the magical story of young Sulwe as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and self-love. Reading Age: 1 – 5 (per customers)
- “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison: Introduce your child to trailblazing black women who made significant contributions to history in an engaging and accessible way. Reading Age: 4 – 9 years (per customers)
- “All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold: Explore the beauty of diversity as children from all walks of life come together and celebrate their unique identities. Reading Age: 2 – 6 years (per customers)
- “The Colors of Us” by Karen Katz: Take a colorful journey with Lena as she discovers the many shades of skin colors and embraces the beauty of diversity. Reading Age: 2 – 5 years (per customers)
- “Hair Love” by written by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison: Follow along as young Zuri and her father celebrate natural hair and the bond between a parent and child. Reading age: 2 – 7 years (per customers)
- “A is for Activist” written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara: Learn the alphabet while exploring activism, justice, and inclusivity themes in this empowering book. Reading Age: 1-3 years (per customers)
- “Mae Among the Stars” written by Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington: Join aspiring astronaut Mae Jemison as she perseveres and achieves her dream of reaching for the stars. Reading Age: 2 – 6 years (per customers)
These books are beautifully illustrated and provide important messages of acceptance, diversity, and the celebration of Black history. Enjoy snuggling up with your little ones, and let these stories educate, inspire, and spark meaningful conversations. Consider embarking on a tradition of learning about different cultures and histories during this important month. Explore books, movies, and activities that showcase the incredible contributions of African Americans to our society. Let’s instill a love of learning and respect for all people in our Creekside kids from a young age. Thanks for entrusting your children’s early learning experiences with us – we love being part of such a caring and community-oriented group!
At Creekside Kids, we believe in playful learning, safety, and community. Share your skiing adventure stories with us in the comments below – we can’t wait to hear about your little one’s first skiing triumphs! If you’d like to discuss a place at Creekside Kids for your kids, we invite you to click this embedded link to schedule an appointment. Let’s get to know each other! Like us on Facebook to follow our stories for news and updates. We’re located at 1201 W Cheyenne Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, and we can be reached at (719) 635-9111. Our new hours of operation are 6:45 a.m. until 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.