INSIDE: Colour the heart sticky wall is a fun and easy to set up learning and anti-racism activity. Practice letters while learning and discussing the different and beautiful shades of all people.
This is a great activity to do for Valentine’s Day which is also during February – Black History Month. It can be modified to meet any learning need. You can let your little one work their letters, numbers or shapes. It can even be modified for older kids to work on simple math problems or sight words!
Not Talking About Race Does Harm
The notion that children are colorblind is something that research has disprove. But its something you may have already noticed with your child. Children naturally want to sort and categorize their world. We encourage it when it comes to objects but shut it down when they apply similar ideas to people. Instead of shutting this down, starting talking about race before they start to make these associations.
At the start of this activity as you pull out the skin tone construction paper point out that they are similar to the different skin tones of people. Identify yours and your child’s skin tone and try to think of people that are different skin tones.
Talk about the facts of skin colour
Skin colour comes from melanin, the sun, and where your ancestors are from. Tell them that skin color does not determine what someone is or can be.
Discuss the different colours in positive ways and talk about other positive attributes of the people you identified with the different skin tones.
Everyone has a skin colour
And remember that everyone has a skin colour not just those with darker skin.
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Putting Up Your Sticky Wall
Contact paper has one side that is very very sticky, so unrolling it and taping it to a wall can be a little tricky. Here’s how I do it:
Stick the sticky wall up on the wall using small rolled up pieces of tape in the four corners. Make sure the paper backing side is facing out.
Peel the paper backing off to expose one small corner of the sticky paper. Continue peeling the paper backing off until one side is exposed. Tape that side down fully using Painter’s tape. This will ensure that it doesn’t fall down as your child is playing.
Slowing peel back the remaining paper backing and tape down the other side.
Step 4 (optional)
Remove the small rolled up pieces of tape from underneath the sticky wall. These rolled up pieces were just there to help you get the sticky wall set up and can be removed once your sticky wall fully up. But if you don’t mind them there you don’t have to remove them.
Colour the Heart Sticky Wall
Once your sticky wall is up, use a permanent marker to draw a large heart. Then divide your heart into small squares and rectangles. Make them larger for toddlers and preschoolers and smaller for older kids. Inside each section write the learning goal. For intance, the letters or numbers you want your little one to work on. I wanted to work on letter sounds and upper and lower case letter recognition so I used letters. I only had 4 skin tone colors so I only used 4 letters. Next, I wrote the lower case letters on the sticky wall.
Take your skin tone construction paper and cut the paper into squares and rectangles. If you don’t have skin tone construction paper you can use Valentine’s colours or you can create your own by colouring white paper with skin tone markers or crayons.
Next, I created a key using the letters you wrote on the sticky wall. On the key, I glued a square of each skin tone colour and wrote beside it a different letter corresponding to a letter on the wall. On the key I wrote the capital letters.
Time to Colour Your Heart Sticky Wall
Invite your child to identify a letter and then find the correct colour to put on that square using the key. I placed a few colours on the heart before my toddler started. As he identified the letters I asked him what sounds they made and if he could think of a word that started with that sound.
Looking for more Anti-Racism Activities? Check out these fun ideas:
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- Contact paper
- Masking Tape
- Skin Tone Construction Paper
- Black Sharpie