It’s February and that means that Black History Month is finally here! The 2024 theme is: African Americans and the Arts. We’ve compiled some family-friendly ways to celebrate this year so you can explore new places and learn new things with your little ones. We will be updating this page throughout the month as we learn about more events. If you know of something that should be on this page, let us know.

The information below is divided into two sections: Things to Do and Articles of Interest.

 

Things to do!

Throughout February“The Many Colors of Us!” Children’s Exhibit at the DuSable Black History Museum & Education Center – “The Many Colors of Us!,” is an exhibit designed to help children learn and celebrate racial and ethnic diversity. Play and hands-on activities are designed for ages 3 to 10, and the exhibit includes activities such as “The Multicultural Food Court” and “The Self Portrait Gallery” which give children the opportunity to engage in fun cognitive, affect and emotional learning. The DuSable Museum has lots more great Black History Month programming!

2/4 Public Reception to Celebrate the Opening of the Oak Park Library’s Annual Black History Museum – The Julian Legacy Museum in the Main Library Idea Box highlights the academic achievements, professional contributions, humanitarian endeavors, and family life of Drs. Percy L. Julian and Anna Johnson Julian. This exhibit is open for specific hours and days from Sunday, February 4 through Monday, March 4. Idea Box open hours: 2-4 pm Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays in February. Public reception: Sunday, February 4, from 1-4 pm in the Main Library Veterans Room. Details here.

2/17Celebrate Black Voices Children’s Author Fair at the Forest Park Public Library – The Forest Park Public Library has programming scheduled throughout the month for adults and children alike! The Black Voices Children’s Author Fair is an opportunity to meet and network with local children’s authors, enjoy some live music and participate in drawings for free books. The Collaboration will be there, too, so come say, “hi”! Designed for kids and their families.

2/18 + 2/19 Black History Month Family Free Days at the American Writers Museum – Enjoy free admission to the museum and a variety of activities for the whole family. To see the full schedule of events, which include tours, bingo, storytime, and crafts. Visit their event page for details.

2/21 PlayLab PlayDate: Black History Month Storytime at the Field Museum – For this week’s PlayLab PlayDate, families with 2-6 year olds are invited to a free, drop-in storytime session in honor of Black History Month. Hang out in the PlayLab for this interactive readaloud and corresponding craft activities. PlayLab PlayDates are free to museum guests, don’t require pre-registration, and take place on IL Resident Free Days!

2/24Black History Month Family Events at the Chicago History Museum – Events include storytimes, Chicago’s Black History Heroes Scavenger Hunt and more. Included with the price of general admission.

Articles of Interest

Zero to ThreeCelebrating Black History Month – From books to practitioners to pioneers in the field of early childhood, this is a dive into Black History from an early childhood perspective.

PBS KidsCelebrating Black Leaders – Watch videos about Black leaders throughout history, and then ask your child to draw a picture or write a journal entry to help show what they learned. Read books celebrating Black culture — picture books show the joys and challenges that kids of all races, ethnicities, and cultures can relate to as they learn and grow. You can also explore Black history through art.

National Museum of African American History & Culture Dolls Hold Significance and Break Cultural and Racial Barriers – A fascinating look at the power of cultural representation in children’s toys and the movement to create dolls for Black children that looked like them.

Exchange Press Centering Blackness in Early Education – For Nadiyah Taylor, centering Blackness means that she can claim what is rightfully hers, with joy and acceptance.

MotherlyBlack Mothering in America – Centering the experience of Black mothers in America, to highlight the Black maternal health crisis as well as Black maternal strength and resilience. 

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