Racism has no place in our world. Black lives matter.
Children are keen observers of the world. Children feel the division, anger, and frustration in our country. It’s hard to know what to say to calm their fears and help them process the scary things they see, especially when we have questions and so much to learn ourselves.
The Children’s Museum of South Dakota was built on a philosophy that promotes learning for children of all ages and abilities, embracing and welcoming all. As we have fostered play and community within our walls, we also aim to be a resource for children and families beyond our physical location.
Below, please find a list of age-appropriate resources to help start conversations in your household and to better understand the racial realities of the world. These resources offer ways to learn and to be an agent for change in our world.
Through play, we can learn about our differences and celebrate our commonalities.
Play helps, too!
Please also know that play helps, too. Play helps children process feelings, it reduces anxiety, and it brings people together. Through play, we can learn about our differences and celebrate our commonalities. Through play, we can learn how to communicate and experience the world.
While we all navigate these heavy days with big work ahead, know that taking space to be together is important work, too.
Talking About Race: A web portal brought to us by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Amerian History and Culture with free educational resources and tools to help educators, caregivers, and individuals talk about race and racism.
Embrace Race: This organization was founded in early 2016 by two parents (one Black, the other multiracial Black/White) who set out to create the community and gather the resources they needed (need!) to meet the challenges they face raising children in a world where race matters.
Social Justice Books: A project of Teaching for Change, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world.
Talking to Children About Racial Bias via the American Academy of Pediatrics: Includes information on how parents can confront their own racial bias. (Also in Spanish.)
Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma, and Race in a World of Nonstop News: A conversation brought to you by Common Sense, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology.
Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup: A list of resources for parents, caregivers, and educators including a roundup of books for children.
Talking Race With Young Children: A conversation with NPR and Sesame Workshop including tips on how to facilitate conversations about race, racism, diversity, and inclusion, even with very young children.
CNN/Sesame Street Racism Town Hall (for children and adults): A town hall about racism that gave children a voice to ask important questions and to explore the current moment the nation is living through.
An Activity Book For African American Families: Helping Children Cope with Crisis, National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Dealing with tough feelings
Elmo and JR Martinez talk about feelings: A video for PreK-1 talking about exercises for dealing with strong emotions.
Injustice and Anger: Understanding your emotions: A podcast for kids and curious adults by Brains On! that talks about how anger can be a useful emotion and can be used to push for change.