Did you know 28%of Americans know nothing about the holiday, Juneteenth?
On June 19th, Black Americans gather together to honor the official ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth (short for June 19th), was the day that federal troops marched into Galveston, Texas to let the enslaved peoples know that they were now free. On June 17th, 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday.
Holidays are a great way to spread historical knowledge, as well as ensure inclusivity. Finding educational and fun activities for your students can be difficult, so here’s a curated list of Juneteenth activities for all of your students to enjoy!
1) Have a Story Time
Story time is always a fun time in the classroom, but Juneteenth can be an emotionally heavy holiday to speak about with children. Nonetheless, there are a few children’s books that are appropriate and explain the holiday in a way for daycare aged children to understand. Here are a few books, by Black authors who explain the history of the holiday so well:
Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper
What is Juneteenth by Kirsti Jewel
Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Story of Juneteenth by Dorena Williams
2) Make a Pan-African Button Flag
Arts and crafts are an educational and fun way to get your students engaged with a holiday. They are also great for motor skills! The button flag is a fun and easy craft to do and you only need a few materials.
Thick popsicle sticks
Different colored buttons (the Pan-African Flag is red, black, and green)
Juneteenth button flag
3) Eat Red-Colored Snacks
In many West African cultures, the color red is a symbol of strength, spirituality, life, and death. For Juneteenth celebrations, red food and drinks are a significant way to acknowledge the holiday, as well as the history of enslavement. Some red food and drinks that you all can snack on are red velvet cupcakes, strawberries, watermelon, and fruit punch.
Idea for red-colored snack
4) Decorate the Classroom for the Month of June
The official color scheme for Juneteenth is red, black, and green. Decorating the classroom prior to the holiday or for the month of June could be a fun class activity that encourages teamwork!
Children raising their hands
5) Create a Juneteenth-Themed Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are a simple way to celebrate holidays with younger children. They promote motor skills and offer children the opportunity to learn through tactile play, while engaging their senses. As long as the theme matches the colors for Juneteenth, your students will be able to learn and have fun at the same time!
Child playing in sensory bin
Promote Inclusivity and Diversity in Your Centers
As a childcare provider it is important to celebrate holidays to educate and encourage inclusivity within the classroom. You can enjoy learning about Juneteenth by doing one or all of these activities.
Asyah Jiron is a marketing intern with professional experience in field marketing, content, and advertising. She attends the University of North Texas and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a Marketing concentration. Asyah is passionate about growing her marketing knowledge and always tackles any new challenge thrown her way.