5 Black History activity ideas for toddlers

5 black history activity ideas for toddlers

October is Black History Month.

Here are some ideas to try out with your toddler this month. Even if it is a bit early to do ‘big things’, it’s nice to get into the habit of making October special.

So read on if you are looking for easy Black History activity ideas for toddlers that you can do today:

1. Time travel day

time travel day

This one is especially great if your little one loves pretend play.

Depending on how elaborate you like to make your pretend play you can give this one loads of preparation or not much.

You will need to arm yourself with some prior knowledge of who you wish to study. Or what place. Find out as much as you can, and really place yourself in that time frame.

A lot of important things will have occurred. But what was life like back in those days? How did people dress? What was an average day for a kid then? We recently did a pretend play about what life was like for my grandparents based on what they had told me growing up.
I was fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time in the rural areas so I could get a sense of what their day would have been like. We dressed in body wrappers and headscarves, ‘woke up early’ and went to till the land. We swept the house with my ‘mutsvairo’ — a traditional sweeper from Zimbabwe.

We also made pretend dinner on an open fire before having to go to bed very early because there was no TV or electricity.
The kids loved it! Not only was it a chance to play grownup which they love, but it was also an opportunity to talk about what kids did for entertainment back in the day. We also spoke about customs of the time, and manners when greeting people and doing everyday activities.

2. Songs from the era

songs from the era

Kids love music. And if you know any songs from the era you want to teach them about then sing these songs to them. If you don’t know any you can start to look around with them.

We particularly love the mbira instrument so the song Chemutengure has particularly significant meaning for me. You can hear one version of it here:

Another firm favourite for me is Muti Mukuru

The great thing about listening to music in this way is that you can start to explain why it sounds different to modern music. You can sing along or see if you can add some instruments of your own or even create a song like it.

3. Museum visit or exhibition

british museum day

If you are fortunate enough that something is going on local to you then make a point to go there. Nothing beats seeing exhibitions in person. With kids this age though please do check in advance the suitability of imagery or exhibitions on display.
My awareness radar has changed settings radically since having kids. Even things like prison or imprisonment images or depictions of battle are very triggering. So for now my two under 5 year olds are staying away from these kinds of exhibitions.
Once they are older and they start to learn about such things at school we will do a trip to places like Liverpool Slavery Museum. But that’s a bit into the future.

4. Talk to a friend from the place of interest

talk to a friend

This is a great way to connect with a friend or family member. I have asked my little ones to ask their grandmother about what life was like when she was growing up. Not only is this a silly easy exercise because as far as they are concerned she has always been grandmother age, but they very quickly start to draw parallels with their own lives.
There were no play parks?
You had to walk pretty much everywhere?
Questions like these start to open up kids to the possibility that the world is bigger and more diverse than they have ever imagined. It helps them to realise that even though we have shared experiences the people they meet are also refreshingly different.

5. Learn the language (if only for a little while)

learn a language

I will be the first to admit it. I am a Youtube junkie. Much of my learning now is done through video, and Youtube is such a wealth of new information and possibility.

So it was only natural that when we decided that we would be offering language education for kids we would be using Youtube to host our videos.

We teach the Shona language to kids under the age of seven. Shona is a Bantu language that is spoken in many parts of Zimbabwe in Africa. You can also find tonnes of other language learning courses online. We just offer a free one for kids.

So if you are learning about a particular people you can also add in the simple words from their language to make your learning come alive.

If you are looking to add Shona to your Black History activities you can find Sarura Kids on:

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sarurakids

Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/sarurakids

Personal Site: www.sarurakids.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sarurakids

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/220103402773883

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3ASarura+Kids&s=relevancerank&text=Sarura+Kids&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1

We hope you have fun exploring together with your little one this month and learning about the world together.

Self-employed mom to 2 wonderful kids Ano and Vongai. Super juggler and general SuperWoman in a maxi dress. My family is my everything.

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