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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Smith

Best Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth With Your Kids

Juneteenth is right around the corner. If you haven’t had the chance to celebrate this national holiday with your kids before, now is the time to learn more about this historic day and get your whole family involved. I’ll be talking about the importance of Juneteenth, its history, and some simple but effective ways you can celebrate this holiday in a kid-friendly way! Keep reading to find out what you need to know about Juneteenth in 2023.

What is Juneteenth and Why is it Important?

Juneteenth is celebrated on the 19th of June each year. Many people aren’t aware of this holiday, but it has been observed as far back as 1866. On this day, we celebrate the liberation and freedom of the final enslaved people of this country.

Even after the emancipation act, slaves were held in some states. It wasn’t until June 19th, 1865 that the last slaves were freed from bondage, and slavery was made illegal in all fifty states. As a parent, I know this can be a difficult topic to navigate. I think it’s important to have these kinds of conversations with our kids early on, so they learn how to be compassionate, empathetic, and knowledgeable as they get older. I’ll be going over some activities and tips in the next section of this post that should help with your Juneteenth celebration this year!

6 Tips For Celebrating Juneteenth With Your Kids:

1. Read Books About Juneteenth

It isn’t always easy figuring out how to explain complex issues like slavery with your kids, especially if they are younger and don’t know anything about this topic. That’s why getting books about Juneteenth can be helpful. There are tons of great kid-friendly books that are perfect for this national holiday.

I suggest borrowing these from your local library or ordering them online before the 19th comes around. You can also buy them from local stores and support local businesses. This post I found online has some great book suggestions for kids on Juneteenth.

2. Order From and Visit Black Owned Businesses

Another way you can show your support for Juneteenth is by supporting black-owned businesses in your local community. Finding an effective way to celebrate the emancipation and freedom of the black community can be difficult. However, when you support people in your area this can go a long way and help elevate black voices!

I suggest ordering clothes, books, and other items from black businesses throughout June. You can also visit these shops and restaurants in person on the 19th with your kids in tow!

3. Cook a Meal to Celebrate and Bring Your Community Together

Cooking is a must during any holiday in my family! On Juneteenth, you can spread your pride for this holiday even more by having a cookout with your family and friends or having a nice meal with your kids. Many people cook red foods on the 19th as this is said to symbolize freedom and resilience.

So, definitely try to make foods that incorporate this color. You can also look up traditional Juneteenth recipes online. I found this blog to get you started with your celebration this year! Foods to include might be red velvet cake, watermelon juice, African fish rolls, and other tasty but simple dishes and snacks.

4. Go to a Local Event in Your Area

Depending on where you live, there might be Juneteenth events going on in your local area. If you find any of these events, definitely take your kids along. You want to make sure that these are kid-friendly celebrations, of course.

However, this could be a great learning experience for kids and your whole family. They can also meet other kids their age and get involved with the community. I suggest looking at Facebook for these kinds of events if you don’t know where to start.

5. Do Arts and Crafts With Your Kids

Arts and crafts can be a ton of fun for kids on Juneteenth! You can even have your kids invite their friends and have them make crafts in a group. This can be an extra special way to educate others and make your kids feel important as they teach their friends about this holiday. If you need craft ideas, do a quick search for Juneteenth crafts online.

Many families make their crafts with the image of the Juneteenth African flag. Parents can find an image of this flag online, as well. I also suggest doing research on traditional African crafts to make this activity a little more traditional.

6. Watch Kid Friendly Videos and Movies

Finally, if your kids are not big on books (like mine are sometimes lol), you can introduce them to kid-friendly Juneteenth videos. There is tons of great educational material on the internet and on Youtube specifically. Of course, you’ll want to screen anything you show your kids, but this can be another effective way to teach kids about Juneteenth.

I also recommend watching movies that relate to Juneteenth. It can be harder to find kid-friendly movies surrounding this topic, but they are out there. Here are a few movies you can find on Netflix and watch with your whole family!

Final Thoughts on Celebrating Juneteenth With Your Kids

Celebrating this holiday is a great way for families to learn about acceptance, equality, and freedom. Juneteenth was only recently made into a federal holiday by President Biden. Considering this, I think it’s important that we celebrate this day with people in our community.

While it's true that we should teach our families about this day, I think it is even more crucial to spread the word and let people know about Juneteenth! So, don’t be shy on the 19th. Post online about your own celebration, and feel free to share this post with family and friends!

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