Throughout the year, it can be challenging to find fun and culturally relevant activities for your family without breaking the bank (or breaking a sweat). But don’t worry. I’m here to provide you with a head start on how to keep your children entertained while improving their cultural knowledge. Said another way, I’ve got your back.
After several years of parenting two children at completely different learning levels, and through many lessons of trial and error, I’ve learned how to keep the whole group happy on any family outing. The good news? A lot of FREE and FUN things to do are available to families that could be replicated through the year. It just takes a little bit of research and coordination of activities to find them. My favorite activity tips are all indoors, so when summer rolls around, there’s no need to worry about getting caught in the heat. You and your family can enjoy air-freshened activities to keep everyone cool. Here are a few of my top activities:
Museums: Most cities have museums that showcase our African culture via art, exhibits, and interactive activities. These are on the top of my go-to list during the summer months. Adults in the family can experience the latest exhibition, while the kids get to deepen their knowledge of our culture through hands-on, story-telling activities. And when it comes to cost, this learning experience is typically free of charge to youngsters, as most museums offer free admission for children under 12. Looking to find a museum in your area? Use a National Museum directory to find your local museum. My local favorite is MOADSF.
Mommy & Me Cooking Class: Cooking classes are a great way to introduce your children to the world of nutrition, self-support, and typically includes lessons on culinary techniques, kitchen language and tools, science, and even math. Cooking is also a great way to teach your children about the significance of soul food, while also showing the creative genius of our ancestors. Our culture is historically rich when it comes to culinary art, so why not teach our children about it! I took a few of these classes with my daughter, and my experience was truly eye-opening. Watching her mull-over the innovation and pure magic that our ancestors displayed brought her a new appreciation for her grandma and great-grandma’s cooking.
The Library: Want to keep your children soaring during these summer months? Every year, my local library helps me reinforce what my children learned throughout the previous year while giving us a head start on the new school year. Some library programs integrate curriculum that teaches my children about Black history and culture, with lessons that typically get ignored at public schools. I recently started supplementing my 10-year-olds library reading with the Because of Them We Can boxes. The boxes are great complements to what the library can offer. They are great for gifting and can even be used for a mini-book exchange program.