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:
- Read a book with a Black or Brown lead character.
- 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.
- 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
- All About Me Self-Portrait Collage (Fantastic Fun & Learning)
- The Colors of Me Art Activity (Teaching With Haley)
- Skin Tone Sensory Play – Mama’s Happy Hive
- My Body Colour Sorting (Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten)
- Diversity Craft (Fun with Mama)
- Mix and Match Puzzles – Free Printable (Kids Activity Blog)
- Family values printable for kids #BlackLivesMatter (Kiddie Charts)
- All About Me Sensory Self-Portrait (Fantastic Fun & Learning)
- 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.
- Diversity Art Project (Teaching Special Thinkers)
- Multicultural Children Art (Free Printable) (Hello Wonderful)
- Multicultural faces printables play dough play mats (Nurture Store)
- Celebrating Differences with Self Portraits (Classroom Freebies)
- Cheerios Self Portraits (The Chaos and The Clutter) – A fun way to create a self portrait and a portrait of someone of another race.
- Exploring Hair (Carrots Are Orange)
- M&M Experiment (Crayons Freckles)
- School Uniforms Around the World: Printable Dress-Up Paper Dolls (Adventure in a Box)
- People Play Dough Mats – Free Printable (Pickle Bums) – These play dough mats are of an entire person.
- Rainbow Wooden People (Mama.Papa.Bubba)
20. Colors of Us Craft (Polished Play House)
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.
- Talking to kids about race – National Geographic
- Your Age-by-Age Guide to Talking About Race – Parents
- How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race – NPR
Want to diversify your instagram feed?
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.