ACTIVITIES THAT FOCUS ON HONORING DIVERSITY AND ACKNOWLEDGE/VALUE DIFFERENCES
- Story time is an excellent opportunity to introduce early concepts of diversity. Make a conscious effort to include toys/pictures/books/films in your home that feature diverse characters and diverse experiences. Examples that are offered as read-alouds online might be Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena, Eyes That Kiss In The Corners by Joanna Ho, Under My Hijab by Hena Khan, or the Oscar Winning Short Film Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry.
- Diversify your bookshelf by specifically seeking out media created by people of color. Consider these Coretta Scott King Award Winners, or these selections from Inclusive Storytime and The Conscious Kid.
- Introduce sing-along songs with multicultural themes and lyrics in different languages.
- Enjoy bilingual read-alouds online, like Hello Ocean/Hola Mar by Pam Munoz Ryan.
- Learn how to talk to kids about race and racism from our friends at Sesame Street. They have a wonderful collection of information about racial justice that you can find HERE.
- Talk about fairness and equity in age appropriate ways. Find books in which a character is treated unfairly. Every time something’s unjust, ask, “Is that fair?” Tell them to point it out when a character experiences something unjust. Then question whether it’s ever okay to treat a person the way a character’s being treated. If they find ways to actively call out bias on the page, they will presumably stand up to bias and injustice in life.
- Celebrating differences and similarities is antiracist. Reading thematically similar books with characters of different races will help them see that regardless of appearances, we all have shared experiences that present the same questions. You can also discuss differences and similarities in a simple and open way with children using books like We're Different, We're The Same.
- From The Start: A Parent’s Guide to Talking About Racial Bias, suggests using pop-culture as a launch pad to teach open-mindedness and curiosity, particularly when the entertainment features characters outside the child’s racial demographic. For example, if your non-Hispanic child has become obsessed with the film Coco, introduce them to stories about the history of Dia de Los Muertos and other Mexican customs. If your kid is suddenly obsessed with superheroes like Black Panther, introduce them to stories that include African folklore.
- Watch The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. Draw a picture about what makes you unique and special.
- Watch All Are Welcome Here by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman. Talk about how everyone is different, special, important, unique and welcome. Draw a picture or create art using multicultural paint, paper, and crayons.
- Talking with kids about racism can be tough. Here are some book suggestions to help get them thinking about it: Today's Parent, PBS Kids, and Embrace Race.
- Here's three links to helpful resources for parents/caregivers: from NPR Talking Race With Young Children, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture Talking About Race, and from Zero To Three Racism and Violence: Using Your Power As A Parent to Support Children Aged Two To Five.
Early Childhood Partners programs are funded by the Massachusetts Coordinated Family & Community Engagement (CFCE) grant awarded to Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) serving Hamilton, Wenham, Manchester, and Essex. All educational and non-academic programs, activities and employment opportunities at Hamilton-Wenham RSD are offered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, age and/or, disability, and any other class or characteristic
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