Are you looking to celebrate Black History Month with kids and teens? We created a list of twenty-eight ideas, one for each day of February, that recognize the heritage, accomplishments, and culture of African Americans in the United States. Enjoy and share these crafts, stories, books and recipes with friends and family.

  1. Learn about LOCAL BLACK HISTORY! Since we are based in South Jersey, visit spots where Harriet Tubman hid slaves in Greenwich or in Lawnside, the Peter Mott House, which was owned by a free black business man who hid slaves and helped them along the Underground Railroad. It now stands as a historic site and museum. Read more here.
  2. Make a Martin Luther King Jr. timeline.
  3. Play the African counting game Mancala. Use a large egg carton (cut off the lid) and tape an extra cup (cut from another carton) to each end.
  4. See James Karales’s photographs of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches.
  5.  A Black History Internet scavenger hunt. There is a list for every grade level, k-12. Find them here.
  6. Read a book about black history! Here is a great book list that includes age appropriate books for pre-k to teens. My son who is 8 years old, loves the Follow the Drinking Gourd.
  7. To follow up with the “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, watch and listen to the song here. According to American folklore, this song was a “musical” map which led fugitive slaves north to freedom.
  8. Read “A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth” by poet Maya Angelou. Then, watch a video about her inspiration for this profound piece on youth and education.
  9. In Africa, sesame seeds bring good luck. Make a delicious batch of sesame cookies with this recipe.
  10. Traffic Light Craft! Learn about inventor Garrett Morgan, who invented the traffic light, gas mask, and more!
  11. Teach your kids about Nelson Mandela, his imprisonment, and the battle to end apartheid in South Africa.
  12. Bake sweet potato biscuits, a traditional soul food treat, with this delicious recipe.
  13. View artist Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, which depicts the migration of slaves from the South to the North in search of a better life.
  14. Write a letter. Ask  children to choose a friend or relative to write a letter to about Black History. Have them include a purpose for the special occasion, contributions of two or more leaders and the most interesting piece of information learned about Black History.
  15. Make and serve peanut soup, which is a pan-African and African-American favorite.
  16. Explore CNN’s Black in America 2, which continues CNN’s investigation of the most challenging issues facing African-Americans. Soledad O’Brien reports on people who are using ground-breaking solutions to transform the black experience.
  17. Learn about Kwanzaa. Beginning December 26 and lasting for seven days, Kwanzaa is a celebration of community, family and culture, established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African roots and heritage.
  18. George Washington Carver was a prominent African-American scientist and inventor. Carver is best known for the many uses he devised for the peanut, including peanut butter! Make homemade peanut butter!
  19. Read the story of Rosa Parks and how she changed the rules.
  20. View and learn more about African American Scientist and Inventors.
  21. Teach your kids the songs of the civil rights movement, such as “This Little Light of Mine” and “Oh, Freedom.” Discuss how the lyrics reflect the defiant and hopeful spirit of the time.
  22. View an interactive timeline chronicling “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” and other historical events, such as the ratification of the 14th Amendment.
  23. Hand print peace wreath craft, fun and easy craft for the little ones. Don’t forget to hang on a door in your house, reminding everyone that love comes in all different colors!
  24. Teach about the importance of journalism as well as its limitations by exploring a variety of clippings from the freedom rides of 1961 to the reporting on Malcolm X’s assassination.
  25. Show your family Paul Robeson’s home, the Lincoln Memorial, and other historic places of the civil rights movement with this interactive road trip.
  26. Read excerpts from President Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope (or his Audacity of Hope speech) and discuss the importance of the election of our country’s first black president.
  27. Make your own Kente Cloth. Kente is ceremonial African clothing created by hand weaving strips of cloth on a loom and sewing them together to create larger pieces of cloth. It’s native to Ghana, but kente is also considered to be a pan-African tradition. Your child can make her own brightly-patterned kente cloth out of paper and colorful markers.
  28. For older students, share excerpts from Push, a novel by Sapphire, and clips from the film Precious. Host a discussion about the culture Precious grows up in, and how she overcomes adversity with education.
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