25 Anti-Racism Activities for Kids

INSIDE: You will find 20 anti-racism activities for kids that you can do at home to help start the conversation of race and racism.

Talking to your young child about race and racism is hard but it’s important. Why? It’s important so that future generations of children can grow up in a world free of racial bias and anti-black racism.

Now I am not an expert of racial injustice but I am an expert on fun and easy learning activities for kids. So I went through Pinterest and asked many of my kids’ activity blogger colleagues to send me their best all-about-me activities.

The result is this list of creative and easy to do activities that can be used to help you start the conversation about race and racism. It is through conversations like these that we can all start to truly raise anti-racist kids.

When to start talking about race

The short answer is now. You can start the conversation about race as young as 2 or 3 years old. Studies have shown that babies as young as 6 months can observe race-based differences and children as young as 2 years old can internalize racial bias according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is why it is important to read books at an early age (6 months) with racially diverse characters doing a variety of activities.

With preschool aged children a great way to start the discussion on race in a positive manner is through books, TV shows as well as the activities set out below.

What to say about race and racism

The conversation about race need not be complicated with young children. You can start by talking about what melanin is and skin is (largest organ in our body) and highlight that the essential differences between different skin colours are the same as different coloured eyes.

Additional, you can talk about how amazing it is that our world has so many colours in it and just like a rainbow each colour’s beauty can and should be appreciated and admired.

Don’t make talking about race a one time thing

Activities, conversations and books aren’t the only ways to create an anti-racist home. Ultimately it’s our actions that will speak the loudest. We all know our children learn most by seeing as well as doing. We need to model the anti-racist values, behaviours and attitudes we want our children to uphold.

How to use these activities

Most of these activities aren’t specifically designed to teach anti-racism. For them to be effective you can use them as a tool to help get the conversation about race and racism with your little one started. Here are some things you can do before, during or after the activities:

  1. Read a book with a Black or Brown lead character.
  2. Talk about the physical differences and similarity between the characters and your child in a positive manner. Talk about thing like skin, hair and eye colour.
  3. If the activity is to create a self portrait, have your child create a portrait of themselves as well as one of the characters in the book or TV show that has a different skin colour as them.

Anti-racism activities for kids

  1. All About Me Self-Portrait Collage (Fantastic Fun & Learning)
  2. The Colors of Me Art Activity (Teaching With Haley)
  3. Skin Tone Sensory Play – Mama’s Happy Hive
  4. My Body Colour Sorting (Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten)
  5. Diversity Craft (Fun with Mama)
  6. Mix and Match Puzzles – Free Printable (Kids Activity Blog)
  7. Family values printable for kids #BlackLivesMatter (Kiddie Charts)
  8. All About Me Sensory Self-Portrait (Fantastic Fun & Learning)
  9. Crazy Faces Loose Parts Play (Pickle Bums) – Try and cut out facial parts from people with different races. Use skin toned coloured paper to create the faces.
  10. Diversity Art Project (Teaching Special Thinkers)
  11. Multicultural Children Art (Free Printable) (Hello Wonderful)
  12. Multicultural faces printables play dough play mats (Nurture Store)
  13. Celebrating Differences with Self Portraits (Classroom Freebies)
  14. Cheerios Self Portraits (The Chaos and The Clutter) – A fun way to create a self portrait and a portrait of someone of another race.
  15. Exploring Hair (Carrots Are Orange)
  16. M&M Experiment (Crayons Freckles)
  17. School Uniforms Around the World: Printable Dress-Up Paper Dolls (Adventure in a Box)
  18. People Play Dough Mats – Free Printable (Pickle Bums) – These play dough mats are of an entire person.
  19. Rainbow Wooden People (Mama.Papa.Bubba)
View this post on Instagram

DIY WOODEN RAINBOW PEOPLE✨ If you’ve been here a while, you might remember these little wooden people! 🌈⁣ ⁣ When I originally shared them, I had painted their bodies rainbow colours and had left their heads unpainted to show the natural wood colour. 🌲⁣ ⁣ Well, a couple of you lovely people commented saying that they’d look amazing with the heads painted in all different skin tones and while I wholeheartedly agreed, I a) was happy to have completed the project decently well and b) really liked the combo of bright colours and natural wood, so I left them. 😏 ⁣ ⁣ What I realize now is that it was a missed opportunity. A missed opportunity to add more racial diversity to my kids’ toys AND to showcase diversity here. 🤦‍♀️ ⁣ ⁣ So I fixed them up and am resharing them the way I should have shared them in the first place! Aren’t they incredible now?! 😍😍 ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Here’s how to make them:⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 1️⃣ Purchase a set of wooden peg people. You can find these in craft stores, on Etsy, and on Amazon. (I have the exact set we used linked in my Amazon shop.) ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 2️⃣ Using acrylic paint, paint the bodies in bright rainbow colours and the heads in a range of skin tones. (I made sure to mix the skin tones and the rainbow colours so that all of the pink people, for example, wouldn’t have the exact same skin tone. This will allow kids to sort by colour in two different ways.) ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 3️⃣ Optional: Seal the painted dolls with spray sealant or something like Mod Podge if you want to too. (I didn’t do this and ours have held up great.)⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Once dry, they’re ready to be enjoyed! Use them for open-ended play, sorting and grouping, patterning, counting, or anything else you and your little one can dream up. ✨ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ All of the details, including the exact peg doll set I used, are saved in my Highlights. ❤️

A post shared by Jen | Mama.Papa.Bubba. (@mamapapabubba) on

20. Colors of Us Craft (Polished Play House)

21. Matching Hearts (Happily Ever Mom)

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HEART COLLAGE🤎👉 I see your color AND I see your heart. 🤎 Pardon me while I get a little less sarcastic and a little more focused on joining in the conversation about race today. 😘 . One of the things that I learned as a former preschool (at an NAEYC accredited site) is that hands on activities are a wonderful catalyst for conversations with our kids. Those conversations are where the magic of change happens. 🌟 Which is why I also left our list of beautiful children’s books that talk about race & diversity in my bio @happilyevermom. Books spark wonderful conversations too. 🤎🤎🤎 . HOW TO: I used our skin toned markers from @crayola to color in some hearts and cut out smaller hearts. Andy used a glue stick and matched the smaller hearts to the bigger hearts. **Edited to add: please know that wherever your child puts the hearts is just fine. They don’t have to “match.”✌️ . 👉We talked about shades of color and how the hearts were like shades of skin color. How some of the hearts were similar shades of brown while others were clearly different. But how all of the shades of color are beautiful. . This activity was simple, but oh-so powerful because it continues to open up the door of conversation within our house. And, that is my hope for you and for your house. That you can feel empowered rather than overwhelmed as you open up conversations within your own home. . May we see each other’s color AND see each other’s hearts.🤎 You’ve got this, friend. 😘😘😘

A post shared by Katie ~ Happily Ever Mom (@happilyevermom) on

22. Julie Morstad Inspired People Art (Mama.Papa.Bubba)

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JULIE MORSTAD INSPIRED PEOPLE ART ✨ This week’s art project… Painting and drawing a collection of people @juliemorstad-style. ❤️⁣ ⁣ Have you seen Julie’s work before? She’s a Vancouver-based author and illustrator and we love, love, love both her art and her gorgeous book, Today (swipe through to see a few sneak peeks). ⁣ ⁣ After doing an online @collagecollage class that used @juliemorstad’s book, Today, as inspiration for frozen treat art earlier this week, we decided to do another piece inspired by the book – only this time with people as a focus. 🧒🏽👧🏼👩🏿👦🏾⁣ ⁣ The pages of Today are filled with beautiful illustrations of children, but we loved the style of the page dedicated to hairstyles with all of the little faces lined up and decided to do our art in the same way. ⁣ ⁣ To create them, we mixed up some acrylic paint in different skin tones, and the kids painted different face shapes all over their pages before letting them dry. Afterwards, they went in with black permanent marker and added hair, facial features, and accessories with the goal of making each child look special and unique. 🥰⁣ ⁣ Sam took it a step further and created stories for many of his kids while creating them, which I just thought was so sweet… Some love trucks and are thinking about them, some are with their Papas, some are crying giant tears because they’re feeling sad, some are feeling really surprised by something they’ve seen, and some are feeling tired, and some have had a bad haircut. 😅⁣

A post shared by Jen | Mama.Papa.Bubba. (@mamapapabubba) on

23. Skin Tone Rainbow Rice by Antiracisttoddler

24. Skin Tone Pom Pom Drop by Antiracisttoddler

25. Circle of Friends Activity by Antiracisttoddler

26. Kim’s Knotless Brain Threading by Creative_Mama_Che

27. Curl Love Tray by Creative_Mama_Che

Want to learn more ways to create an anti-racist home?

Check out these great resources for more ways to talk to kids about race and racism.

Want to diversify your instagram feed?

Representation on your instagram matters! Check out these posts for amazing and diverse parenting and kids activity instagram accounts to follow:

Also check out this free guide about Talking About Diversity With Your Kids from Dr. Siggie, a PhD and Child Development Specialist.

Have an activity you think should be on this list? Drop me a message in the comments leaving your name and a link to the activity on Instagram, Facebook or in your blog.

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