Black History Month activities at home

October is Black History Month in the UK. Let's celebrate and reflect on the impact black people have had on the world.

We've put together some fun activities you can do with your little ones. Each one is connected to Black History Month heroes.

Art comes in many shapes and sizes

'What are those paintings in Brixton station?' you ask.

Since 2018, Art on the Underground has selected artists to create large public artworks for Brixton station.

Joy Labinjo's artwork, 5 More Minutes, is on display until November 2022. The British-Nigerian artist depicts the interior of an imagined hair salon. Growing up, she travelled to Brixton to get her hair done. She experienced the important role that salons play in Brixton's Afro-Caribbean community.

Children pastel colours

Art comes in lots of shapes and sizes. Did you know that American artist, Aaron Douglas, used lots of circles and lines in his paintings? And Alma Woodsey Thomas used lots of dots in her paintings. She was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at New York's Whitney Museum. 

  1. Give your little one pieces of paper. 
  2. Ask them if they can make lots of circles and lines. 
  3. When you go to the park, encourage your little one to paint with sticks and mud. 
  4. Give them buckets with water and brushes to paint walls and fences.

Rap a nursery rhyme

Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr was born in Croydon. Raised by his single Ghanaian mother, he started rapping at his local youth club at the age of 11.

He's now a global star. You'll know him better as Stormzy.

Of course many of the major music genres were created and influenced by Black artists. You'll find inspiration, whether you're a lover of country, rock, funk, jazz, RnB (and the list goes on).

Cocreate brixton wings 2022 boy guitar

  1. Sing some songs with your little one. 
  2. Ask them what they want to sing. 
  3. Make up songs together.

Can you rap a nursery rhyme? It's serious fun.

Aboriginal Australian rapper, Baker Boy, will show you how.

Watch Baker Boy rap Hickory Dickory Dock.

Put on your dancing shoes

Let’s dance.

You don’t have to street dance like Ashley Banjo, do the Charleston like Josephine Baker or the Grande Jete like Carlos Acosta

Watusi dancing march22

Acosta was the youngest ever principal dancer with the English National Ballet. He's now the director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

  1. Put some music on and dance with your little one.
  2. Visit us and take part in our free Zumba Sessions.

Shoot for the stars

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist and presenter of the BBC’s The Sky at Night. She's also the first black woman to win a gold medal in the Physics News Award.

Her love of science all started when she was a child. She used to go to the Science Museum with her sister.

Astronaut space

Feeling inspired? Sing Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! with your little one:

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! We’re going to the moon (gently rock back and forth, point to sky).
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! We’ll get there very soon (repeat actions).
5-4-3-2-1 – BLAST OFF!” (lift baby high into the air!).

Can you sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or make your own rocket from junk?

Whoosh through the air

Lilian Bader was one of the first Black women to join the British armed forces. William Robinson Clarke, a Jamaican World War I airman, was the first black pilot to fly for Britain.

Pilot the skies in an environmentally friendly way. Make paper airplanes with your little one. How will you decorate your plane?

Ask questions like:

"How far can it fly?"
"How high can it fly?"

Introduce language like "high" and "low", "long" and "short", "fast" and "slow".

Get sporty

Arthur Wharton was first black professional footballer, the first official fastest man, a professional cricketer and a rugby player. Not bad, hey?

In 1984, Tessa Sanderson became the first British woman to win a throwing event at the Olympics.

You've probably heard about the achievements of long-distance runners Sir Mo Farah and Eliud Kipchoge?

Flyingseagullschild sports aug21

Kick a ball with your little one at home - or have a race.

Get them talking. Ask questions like:

"How far can you run?"
"How fast can you run?"
"Can you have a running race with your family/friends?"
"How far can you kick a ball?"
"Can you throw it to a friend?"

Try these sporting activities with your little one.

Make your own style

Follow in the footsteps of famous fashionistas:

Tulsehill carnival craft fashion nov21

Design and make your own jewellery and accessories with your little ones.

Look for materials around the house. What will you use?

Ask them questions like:

"What do you want to make?"
"What do you need?"
"Can you use your clothes to create a special outfit?"

More ways to get involved with Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month at our local children's centres. Look out for two great books by Vashti Harrison:

  • Dream Big Little Leader
  • Follow Your Dreams Little One

You can also join any of our Black History Month events, find one near you.

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