9 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth with your Kids

Juneteenth family - Kids on the Wise

Juneteenth is a time for celebration, reflection, reclamation and education with the whole family. Even though the concept of freedom and hard history can be challenging for children, there are simple but impactful ways to honor Juneteenth and its legacy. 

The earlier Juneteenth celebrations involved communities of Black Americans coming together to share food, dance, song and often prayer in acknowledgment of freedom. We can recreate much of this today. 

Love this list of Juneteenth activities? Subscribe via E-mail to stay updated on the latest posts. Also, follow Kids on the Wise  on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more amazing content. Thank you for your support!

 

1  Grab some Juneteenth books as you count down the days

Your family can spend time reading and enjoying Juneteenth books that help remember the significance of the day. 

We have collected a nice collection of books for children on the subject to read, learn and grow.

If you have teens, check out these chapter books:

2  Have a conversation

Nothing is more important than to communicate. It gives the opportunity to express from within, exchange ideas and to inspire each other. 

Ask your kids question after reading a book on Juneteenth. What do you think about this true story? How are you feeling? What questions do you have? What did freedom mean to us back then and now?

You can also move into a more philosophical direction. Looking at Juneteenth as a reminder that liberation is always coming — even if there’s a delay in its arrival. Ask your children about things in their life, they were anticipating and how it felt when the day finally came.

 

3 Folktales and storytelling to connect with the ancestors

Listen to African American folk tales. A list can be found here.

Listening to traditional songs and songs from the civil right movement can also add more understanding to, especially in black music month. Play and enjoy these songs and chants of freedom:

  • Wade in the water
  • We shall overcome
  • Swing Lo Sweet chariot
  • Lift every voice and sing
  • Say it loud - James Brown

4  Attend a celebration near you

Nationwide, various locales hold festivals and parades to celebrate Juneteenth. They can feature crafts, performances, games for kids, vendors and food. Visiting a local Juneteenth event is a great opportunity to meet other families and build relationships. Check to see what events are planned in your area. (Our family will be at the Grassrootz bookstore and community hub downtown Phoenix, AZ :-) )

If there's nothing happening locally, you can use ideas from other places to plan your own family event:

 

5  Get together and have a family feast

Just like any holiday, Juneteenth is also about being together and enjoying good food. Make sure to incorporate the aesthetic and flavors of freedom through treats like symbolic red foods and drinks like hibiscus tea, watermelon and strawberry crisp. It represents the sacrifice from our ancestors and is inspired by popular staples across the diaspora. Invite your child to the grocery store to go shopping for the cookout. They can count all the items on the list to purchase or weigh fruits or vegetables on the scale in the store. At home, let your child help with the decorations and food preparing.

Need some recipe inspiration? Look here.

6 Support the community

In preparation for or on the actual holiday head over with your kids to your favorite Black-owned businesses and fill your cart. Every purchase keeps the community strong and shows your kids what black self sustainability means.

If there aren’t any near you, a quick search on Google or Amazon provides a list of products from Black business owners.

7  Arts and crafts that add to the celebration

Let their creativity run free! Kids of every age love arts and crafts and watch as their inner vision is coming to life. You can make any craft using the symbolic colors Red, Black and Green, the pan-african colors Red, Yellow and Green or the colors of the Juneteenth flag White, Red and Blue.

Draw a picture, make a sign, write a haiku or write in a journal to tell about what positive changes you would like to see in the world and what you and others can do to help.

Freedom is the ability to make choices. Explore the concept of freedom in an artistic way. Let your kids chose the medium, the motif and the materials while explaining the meaning of being free.

A wonderful collection of ideas for Juneteenth you can find on our Pinterest board "Juneteenth with Kids". 

Kids on the Wise Juneteenth arts and crafts

8 Engage and educate with activity sheets and videos

As Juneteenth is approaching, download activity pages, coloring pages and other materials to engage your youngsters. For homeschool parents there are also many online resources to incorporate a Juneteenth lesson with fun activities to learn and to grow.

To get more inspiration on how to guide children to celebrate Juneteenth, check out this book:

 

Another great way to educate and to connect with the spirit of Juneteenth is to watch educational and fun videos on Youtube. There you can find kids appropriate documentaries, songs and cartoons all about Freedom day.

 

 

9 Take a virtual tour of the National Museum of African American History Culture

Join the museum’s Juneteenth celebration and embrace the rich history of Freedom Day each week.

 

More Juneteenth resources made for kids:

  • Understanding & Celebrating Juneteenth: Help kids learn about Juneteenth — and its related topics like slavery and freedom — with this kid-friendly guide, developed by the early childhood education team at the NMAAHC. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published