February is Black History Month, a month set aside to celebrate the accomplishments and culture of African Americans. Get a head start by planning history lessons, creative activities, and music and movement activities in your daycare center that celebrate the history of blacks in America.
Here are a few simple ideas in a variety of categories.
Books to Share
The ABC’s of Black History: A Children’s Guide by Craig Thompson [Beckham Publications Group, 2005]
Harriet Tubman and Black History Month by Polly Carter and J. Brian Pinkney [Silver Burdett PR, 1996]
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringold [Aladdin, 2003].
The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore and Amy Wummer [Ideal Publications, 2002]
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles and George Ford [Scholastic, 2004]
Arts and Crafts
George Washington Carver is best known for inventing peanut agricultural science. A fun craft which celebrates this invention is growing peanuts. Gather raw peanuts (available at most health food stores), zip loc bags, paper towels, and water. Let each child put a couple of raw peanuts in a baggie along with a damp paper towel. Seal or zip the baggie and observe daily how peanuts grow. Remember to check with parents for allergies before attempting activities with peanuts!
A unity wreath symbolizes cultural unity. Children can cut out construction paper hands in skin tone colors (red, yellow and brown and white) to represent diverse “skin tones”. Children can then glue the hands to a wreath made of a heavy weight paper plate with the center cut out.
Music, Movement, and Gross Motor Skills
Garret Augustus Morgan is credited with inventing the traffic light. This action rhyme, courtesy of Gayle’s Preschool Rainbow, is a great way for children to symbolically honor Morgan.
Stop at the corner (both hands raised)
Wait for the light.
Look to the left (turn head to one side)
Look to the right (turn head to other side)
If nothing is coming
Then start and walk (pick up legs as if walking)
Go straight across the street
Be careful and don’t talk (Place finger at lips).
Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s. This song celebrates his accomplishments.
Jackie Robinson was his name
Playing baseball was his game.
First black man on a major league team
In 1947 he fulfilled his dream.
Jackie Robinson was his name,
He made it to the Hall of Fame.
Black History Month Resources
For further ideas for planning activities in your child day care center for Black History Month, try:
- African American Awareness by Evia L. Davis [Good Year Books, 1998]
- Crafts That Celebrate Black History by Kathy Ross [Millbrook Press, 2002]
- Black Books Galore’s Guide to Great African American Children’s Books by Donna Rand, Toni Trent Parker, and Sheila Foster[Jossey-Bass, 1998]
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