Black History Month is an annual celebration of the accomplishments and culture of African Americans, taking place in the United States each February.
This event traces its roots to the early 1920s when educated African Americans began working to reclaim their own history and showcase positive contributions that were missing from mainstream accounts.
This blog post is a collection of 20 engaging Black History Month activities for kids. These activities will help empower young ones to learn about the past and present African-American experience and honor those who have changed our world.
Why Is Black History Month Important?
Black History Month has become a time for recognizing the achievements and progress of persons of African heritage worldwide—from black abolitionists and civil rights activists in history to artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, politicians, and leaders in our modern day.
Celebrating Black History Month means cherishing those who have overcome adversity to make extraordinary breakthroughs on behalf of their own people and for all humanity.
We must never forget what the African-American legacy stands for and continue building bridges to greater equity and inclusion, no matter how difficult the task. Below are some activities that can help your kids honor the contributions of outstanding African Americans to the country and the world:
Fun and Educational Black History Month Activities For Kids
1. Read a Book About a Civil Rights Leader
Reading a book about a civil rights leader is an important way to commemorate Black History Month for kids. It is not only educational but also an enjoyable and engaging activity for kids.
Reading can be used to cover topics such as racism, protests, activism, discrimination, and much more, helping us learn about how far we have come as a society today.
Depending on the audience, some books contain everything from biographies to captivating stories, making such activities fun and informative for all ages.
A great starting point may be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which can be turned into a variety of learning activities in elementary school classrooms or at home with your family.
With so many incredible civil rights leaders throughout history, use Black History Month as an opportunity to introduce your family or students to the inspiring lives and deeds of some of the most impactful people who shaped our history.
2. Make Arts and Crafts Inspired by Historical Figures
Black History Month is the perfect time to get inspired and have some fun with arts and crafts projects.
One great way to honor important historical figures is to create art inspired by them. This can be a fun project for kids and adults alike. It’s also a great way to learn more about the person you’re honoring.
There are tons of different ways you can go about this project. You can make a painting or drawing of your chosen figure or create a sculpture. You can even make a collage using colored construction paper or mixed media pieces to highlight African-American culture. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.
If you’re stuck on ideas, plenty of resources are available online. A quick Google search will turn up tons of results. You can also find inspiration in books or movies about your chosen figure. Once you have some ideas, gather your supplies and get crafting!
3. Put on a Play or Skit About a Historical Event
Doing a play or skit is one of the most effective ways to explore Black History Month for kids. Not only does it allow kids to explore their creative side, but it can also be a powerful way to learn about significant moments in Black History. By writing out dialogue and exploring different characters’ perspectives, participants gain an immersive experience that sticks with them far beyond the duration of the play.
Additionally, presenting the task as a fun activity helps make learning much more enjoyable while highlighting some of the immense accomplishments and challenges faced by people of color throughout our nation’s history.
Participating in a play or skit is always rewarding because kids can see the involvement and enthusiasm of those taking part so clearly. Festivities ultimately bring people together while they gain knowledge and skills through creativity.
4. Cook a Dish Celebrating African-American Cuisine
One of the fun and educational activities for kids during Black History Month is cooking a dish celebrating African-American cuisine with their parents. A great way to start is by looking up recipes online or in cookbooks.
Once you have a dish in mind, make a list of ingredients you’ll need to buy. African-American cuisine is known for its bold flavors, so be sure to include spices like cumin, paprika, and chili powder in your dish. Cooking African-American cuisine is a delicious way to celebrate Black History Month!
Then, kids can follow the recipe or get creative and tweak it by adding their own spin on it. As you are cooking together, talk about the cultural significance of the dish and its ingredients. Kids can learn all about where certain spices originated from and why they’re important to African-American cuisine.
When you’re done cooking, sit down together for a tasty meal and savor the flavors of African Americans enjoyed throughout history.
5. Attend a Black History Month Celebration in Your Community
Participating in a Black History Month celebration is one of the fun and educational ways for kids and their families to honor African-American history, culture, and accomplishments.
Communities across the United States celebrate this important event every year with many different events, activities, and programs. Black History Month events typically offer various interactive activities that all ages can enjoy, such as lectures or panel discussions with speakers from various backgrounds, musical performances from well-known and local artists, poetry slams, art exhibitions, and more.
Attending an event at your local community center is the perfect way for kids to learn about the important contributions made by African Americans throughout the past and connect with other community members who share similar interests.
6. Make a Scrapbook to Document African-American History
Creating a scrapbook is a great activity for kids to learn more about African-American history and make it meaningful. With this project, your kids can document the important moments in African-American history while deepening their knowledge and appreciation of the accomplishments of people of color.
The best part is they can make their scrapbook as detailed and creative as they want.
They can include pictures, newspaper articles, historical quotes, and other elements that speak to African-American experiences. If they’re really inspired, they can improvise with mementos from your family’s experience with black culture and history.
They can also base the scrapbook’s contents on stories about influential African Americans shared by family members or mentors.
As your kids work on the project, add notes stating why each item was included and how it affected your life. Once finished, the scrapbook will be a precious reminder of African-American history that can be shared with friends and family.
7. Participate in Discussions About Black History Month
Participating in discussions about Black History Month is one of the most fun and educational ways for kids to engage with this important month, as it provides an opportunity to learn more and have thoughtful conversations.
Numerous topics can be covered during these discussions, such as notable figures in black history, moments of progress or adversity in the fight for civil rights, and how current black voices continue to pave the way for equality today.
Listening to different perspectives about these complex issues can broaden kids’ understanding and help them envision achievable solutions for lasting change. Participating in these meaningful conversations is a powerful and empowering way to commemorate Black History Month throughout the year.
8. Write a Letter of Gratitude to African-American Leaders
One of the fun and educational activities for Black History Month is to write a letter of gratitude to African-American leaders. Not only is this a great way to learn more about the accomplishments of black Americans, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to express your kids’ appreciation for their contributions.
Have your kids choose one or more African-American leaders you’d like to thank, and then write a letter expressing gratitude. You can be as specific or general as you like, but be sure to include what they admire about the person or people they’re thanking.
This is a great activity for kids and adults alike, and it’s a wonderful way to show your support for black history and culture.
9. Attend a Film Screening
Attending a movie screening is a great way to celebrate Black History Month and increase your kids’ understanding of the African American experience. Not only are films an enjoyable form of entertainment, but they also allow us to learn about different perspectives from our own and widen our view of the world.
From historical pieces detailing past events and struggles for equality to more present-day films about current issues and champions of progress, there is something for everyone.
Through film screenings, kids can gain insight into the lives of African Americans in times past, better understand contradictions and complexities that still exist in modern society, and be inspired by stories of hope and resilience.
So if you’re looking for captivating content that will give your kids a look into the culture’s history while also providing an entertaining escape, then film screenings available this month are definitely worth checking out.
10. Create a Digital Collage
One of the best ways for kids to learn about Black History Month is to create a digital collage. This is an easy and creative activity with educational benefits. Kids can use their favorite resources like photos, artwork, and music to pay tribute to important figures in Black History.
It’s a great way for them to explore leaders in civil rights, exemplary scientists and inventors, celebrated authors, groundbreaking athletes and artists, and powerful politicians through researching what these individuals have accomplished and putting together a visually interesting project that highlights their achievements.
A collage can help children learn about the different contributions within the black community not just once each year, but all year long.
11. Watch Educational Videos
Watching educational videos is a fantastic way to bring the history of African Americans to life. With videos from prominent black historians, interviews of accomplished leaders, music performances from African-American artists, or even cartoons featuring inspiring African-American characters, kids can learn about African Americans’ incredible accomplishments and contributions throughout history.
Additionally, allowing kids to watch these videos helps showcase powerful stories through live-action visuals that they may not typically find in textbooks. This helps engage children in exploring different cultures, provides historical context tailored to their interests and habits, and celebrates the success of African Americans, which is key to instilling their identities as they grow.
12. Write a Poem and Read It Out Loud
Writing and reading poetry is a fantastic way to learn more about African Americans during Black History Month. It can be an opportunity for young minds and hearts to explore important topics, such as cultural pride, social justice, creativity, and courage. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
Writing a poem might be intimidating for some, so you can start by highlighting specific themes or feelings you already know about. Allow yourself to explore them in new ways throughout your writing journey. When it’s done, take some time to enjoy exploring your thoughts through the power of words.
13. Make a Timeline
Making a timeline is an effective and entertaining way to learn about the history of civil rights in the United States.
Not only is it enjoyable for kids to illustrate their own version of the path that our country has taken on topics such as social justice and African-American accomplishments, but parents also have the opportunity to give insight into times that might otherwise be forgotten.
Making a timeline with your children enables you to discuss important battles won, including those still being fought today. Kids will gain an understanding of how far we’ve come as a nation and learn valuable lessons about strength, perseverance, and hope.
14. Create a Black History Month Quiz
What better way to engage kids in learning about the important contributions of African Americans, both historically and in modern times, than creating a Black History Month quiz? It can be adapted for any age group.
Quizzes for younger children can focus on certain key figures, such as Harriet Tubman or Martin Luther King Jr., while older students might answer questions about civil rights leaders who shaped the country’s socio-political landscape.
Parents and teachers can also use the quiz to discuss implicit bias, representation in media, and current civil rights topics.
Understanding Black History not only fosters an appreciation of diversity but gives us all insight into our shared history as human beings. That’s why developing a fun and educational Black History Month quiz is a great way to get everyone involved.
15. Visit Museums
Visiting a museum during Black History Month is an excellent way for kids to learn about the many accomplishments of African Americans throughout history.
Not only does it offer a fun day trip, but it also helps children understand and appreciate the struggles black individuals have gone through to achieve their aspirations.
Kids can study authentic artifacts and explore the stories of people such as Harriet Tubman or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which can serve as powerful sources of inspiration.
Museum visits allow kids to participate in activities like scavenger hunts that drive home important facts and figures, helping them develop a greater understanding of their place in history and why Black History Month matters.
16. Research and Report on a Famous African American
Another activity that children can engage in is researching and reporting on a famous African American. This exercise educates children about important figures from African American history and allows them to develop their research skills.
When selecting who to research, kids should think outside the box—there are countless figures from all walks of life, from athletes to musicians to activists, who could make for an interesting report.
By researching and reporting on a famous African American, kids can also gain an appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of those who have gone before them, helping ensure that their stories will never be forgotten.
17. Make a Visual Presentation
Making a visual presentation during Black History Month is an excellent way for kids to explore and learn about the many accomplishments of people of African descent. Not only is it an educational tool that can help reinforce black excellence, but can also be a great deal of fun.
Kids can research important innovators, uncover lesser-known historical figures, investigate African-American achievements in industries such as sports or even music, and make correlations on how those stories fit into today’s world.
Visual presentations can be assembled on paper or digitally with slides or videos, depending on what works best for the individual child or group. Simply gathering the facts and creating beautiful artwork around them will keep kids excited and engaged while learning invaluable history lessons simultaneously.
18. Retell Historical Events
One of the best ways to help kids understand Black History Month is by retelling historical events. Doing so will not only teach them about important figures and moments in African-American history, but it also will help them develop their creative writing skills.
Kids can be encouraged to look into famous figures such as Rosa Parks or Malcolm X and explore the significant events in their lives, or can be asked to research little-known stories from African-American history. Retelling these tales via creative writing pieces, plays, or even songs is an excellent way for kids not only to learn but also to have a fun time doing so!
Retelling important historical moments helps kids appreciate African Americans’ struggles and successes and develop a better understanding of their own place in history.
19. Host a Movie Night
Movie night is always a great way to have fun with family or friends, and it’s even more special when it’s part of a Black History Month celebration. Kids can get together to watch and discuss films that celebrate African-American culture and history.
These movies can range from documentaries to biopics or even historical dramas, each providing valuable insight into the struggles and triumphs of people of African descent throughout history. Movies such as Soul and The Princess and the Frog are excellent options to consider.
Hosting a movie night can be an enjoyable way for kids to learn about Black History Month in a relaxed setting. It’s also an excellent opportunity for families or friends to bond over important conversations about race and equality, which will surely leave everyone feeling enlightened.
20. Attend a Parade Celebrating Black History
Attending or watching a parade celebrating Black History Month is an excellent way for kids to learn and celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans in style.
There are typically numerous parades held around the country during this special month, from small local parades to massive citywide events. Parading down the streets with friends and family while celebrating African-American culture will surely be an exciting and memorable experience for kids.
During the parade, kids can see floats, marching bands, and other creative displays that honor historical figures and celebrate black excellence. They may also get to meet some of the prominent people in their local communities, making it a truly unique experience for kids of all ages
Black History Month is a great time to celebrate African-American culture, achievements, and progress. There are many wonderful ways for kids to participate in the festivities—from researching historical figures to attending parades that honor African-American legacy.
These activities will not only provide kids with an appreciation for the struggles and successes of African Americans throughout history but will also enable them to grow and learn in a fun and interactive way.
No matter your chosen activities, your kids will surely have a wonderful time learning about and celebrating Black History Month!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to celebrate Black History Month?
What are some books that celebrate Black History Month?
What activities can kids do to celebrate Black History Month?
Activities honoring African-American achievements and contributions will provide kids with an appreciation for the struggles and successes of African Americans throughout history and allow them to grow and learn in a fun and interactive way. Black History Month activities for kids need not be limited to traditional learning methods.