The Best Black History Activities for Little Kids, Tweens, and Teens

Promote learning all year long with these age-appropriate, fun, and engaging activities that celebrate the rich cultural contributions of Black people to American society.

Black joy

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Learning about Black history doesn't have to be a difficult task. In fact, there are many fun and interesting ways to celebrate Black history with your younger children, tweens, and teenagers all year long—not just in February during Black History month.

"One of the biggest benefits of teaching the next generation Black history is that they will know that Black history is American history," says Latasha Hyatt, director of community programming at the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum in Dothan, Alabama. "You cannot have one without the other. Black Americans' contributions to art, history, science, and more keep America's heart beating. The contributions of Black people have been the sustaining force in this country since the beginning, and every child needs to know that."

Latasha Hyatt, George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum Director of Community Programming

Black Americans' contributions to art, history, science, and more keep America's heart beating.

— Latasha Hyatt, George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum Director of Community Programming

Indeed, teaching Black history to children and teens needs to be a lifestyle, and not just something to focus on one month out of the year. "When we're talking about American history, we often only see that history through one lens, and we're conditioned to forget the lens of who Black people really are, and where they came from," says Flavia Zuñiga-West, an art educator and the founder of Adding Voices, a platform and conference for art educators of the global majority who identify as being Black, brown, or Indigenous. "There are so many stories that haven't been told. So, when thinking about Black history or Black artists, it's important to understand that they are sharing perspectives."

Parents, especially white parents who want to raise anti-racist and anti-biased children, need to be able to have what Rudine Sims Bishop, Ph.D. calls "mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors." In other words, teachings should help children learn how to see themselves and how to see others. For Black children, the mirror lets them "see themselves beautifully reflected in art and books, and this provides a 'window' for a white child to see their friends, their classmates, and their lives beautifully depicted," says Zuñiga-West. "It also shows children that the lives of Black people are not just trauma. Their lives are filled with joy, beauty, and family, and that understanding is a foundation to connect to one another. This is the 'sliding door' that we enter in and out of each other's lives through, making connections and building community."

Perception shapes reality, and parents and guardians should be deliberate and enthusiastic about teaching Black history. In doing so, it will make learning as a family so much more enjoyable. Keep reading for some educational and fun Black history activities for younger kids, tweens, and teens.

Black History Activities for Younger Kids

Here are some examples of Black history activities that can be appreciated by families of younger children all year long.

Listen to kid-friendly podcasts.

Whether you listen to them in the car or at home, podcasts can keep younger learners immersed in cultural stories that feature aspects of Black history. Some podcast examples are Noodle Loaf, Adventures of Cairo, and African Folktakes With Miss Jo Jo.

Watch TV shows with Black representation.

Representation definitely matters, and some TV shows showcase diverse ethnic and cultural representation for younger viewers. Examples include Karma's World, Ada Twist Scientist, Gabby's Dollhouse, Alma's Way, and Motown Magic.

Find educational content online. offers a "Celebrate Black Leaders" educational series with an online list of craft ideas, activities, and curriculum for young children ages 2-8 years old.

Sing songs about Black history.

Songs can help kids digest information. Sesame Street and Songs For Teaching have fun singing videos that showcase Black history. Your little one can also check out the Kidz Bop Black History Month playlist that highlights inspirational Black musicians and entertainers.

Read educational books.

We rounded up some inspirational books about Black history here. You can also get a fun subscription from the Because of Them We Can Box, where you can choose books that explore Black history and beyond. Finally, consider starting a book club of your own!

Participate in a cultural experience.

Treat your child to a live cultural experience in their hometown or nearby community. As an alternative, take them to a historically Black restaurant like Sylvia's in Harlem, New York, or Nana's Kitchen in Dallas, Texas, to experience traditional "soul food."

Enroll in a cooking class.

For the little foodies and future chefs, visit Eboneats and research fun cooking classes to take, either in person or online, with your child. You can also look up recipes and recreate them in your own kitchen.

Black History Activities for Tweens

Most tweens love their newfound independence, making their own decisions, and expressing their personalities. Knowing this, "cultural events and museums are a great way to engage both tweens and teens, because they like to talk and they want to be heard," says Hyatt. Keep reading for more tween-focused Black history activities.

Watch informative YouTube videos.

Scholastic's YouTube channel offers a diverse range of Black history videos—such as "Can Kids Change the World?" and "How Kids Changed the World"—that are age-appropriate for tweens. The videos might prompt them to discuss topics like the civil rights movement.

Play a tween-appropriate podcast.

In your tween's downtime, have them listen to podcasts like Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, which discusses history-making Black women like Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walker, and Ruby Bridges. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Visit Black historical landmarks and museums.

Unlike younger kids, tweens might appreciate these important historical sites, which can be found all around the country. Some examples include The African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City; The George Washington Carver Museum in Tuskegee, Alabama; The Carver Museum in Dothan, Alabama; and the Harry T. Moore Museum in Mims, Florida, to name a few.

Attend a local art exhibit that showcases Black history.

One example is the "Visual Art and the American Experience" exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. According to the museum's website, it's "the only permanent art exhibition on the Smithsonian Mall dedicated to illustrating the critical role American artists of African descent played in shaping the history of American art."

Zuñiga-West also talks about the importance of art for young people. "As a mother, I think cultivating love and joy is so important for every child, especially when teaching children to learn their history as well as the history of others," she says. "But for Black people, that 'Black joy' is a form of resistance, and we can use art and art making as a way to do that with our children. Art is a beautiful way of showing Black children, and children in general, that Black people are beautiful, and that our stories and the stories of our families move us forward and liberate us as well."

Learn about Black culture through television.

Like younger kids, tweens can also watch TV shows to learn Black history and culture. Some entertaining options include Black-ish, Mixed-ish, A Different World, and Colin in Black & White.

Black History Activities for Teenagers

Teenagers have many opportunities for learning more about Black history. Check out a few inspiring ideas below.

Take online classes.

Since they're busy with school schedules and extracurricular activities, online courses can help supplement the Black history curriculum for teens. For example, MasterClass offers a Black history-themed course called "Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love," which is a 52-lesson class that examines race in America. Additionally, Outschool has several online courses that go beyond the typical Black history offerings, with classes like "Black History from a Decolonized Perspective" and "In Their Own Words: African American Speeches that Made History."

Check out exhibits virtually.

Online virtual exhibits, like the National Museum of African American History and Culture's Searchable Museum, are a great tool for teenagers to further their online Black history studies all year long.

Tour a HBCU.

Is your child heading to college soon? Consider touring historically Black colleges and universities like Spelman College, Tuskegee University, Morehouse College, Howard University, and more. HBCU college tours can provide teenagers from all backgrounds with an opportunity to see the rich cultures, marching bands, stepping shows, and traditions that families may not have the privilege of experiencing at other institutions of learning.

Visit a research institution.

With your teen, you can visit a research institution like the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, one of the world's leading cultural institutions devoted to researching African Americans, the African Diaspora, and African experiences. Another worthwhile place to visit is the National Memorial For Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

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