As children grow, they learn from caregivers and teachers, explore big emotions, interact with other children, share space with new friends, and, soon enough, begin to recognize the similarities and differences between themselves and the world around them.
By encouraging children to share their thoughts and feelings about who they are, we can build their conviction, grow their empathy, and teach them how to connect with others by understanding how their identities intersect.
Understanding how we embody and personify the cumulation of experiences and identity markers that define us is an ever changing work in progress. Teaching children to reflect on their personal identity regularly will help them navigate relationships and help caregivers to more deeply understand their behaviors, emotions, and motivations.
Before beginning the activity extension below, try reading I Wish You Knew by Jack Azua Kramer. This picture book explores the big emotions and experiences children hold with them as they navigate the classroom and celebrates the power of connection and empathy.
Have the child draw or write the visible parts of their identity on the outside of the bag. This can be anything from their physical appearance to the roles they fill.
On the inside, have them place cards with parts of their identity that are only visible when you get to know them or when they choose to share that piece of themselves with another person. Encourage your child to think about things like hidden talents, deep truths, or commonly misunderstood characteristics.
This activity reminds children, youth and caregivers that only some parts of ourselves are visible to others and that we should be careful when making assumptions about others based on what we perceive. For more classroom and caregiver-led activities around identity, race, and bias, check out Start Here, Start Now by Liz Kleinrock.
October 4 is recognized across the globe as a day to honor and celebrate the many animal species who share our planet. Find time this month to engage with the animal world, whether it be through reading, snuggling a pet, or taking in the natural world. Lucky for us, we are surrounded by natural landscapes to explore!
Every year on October 31, people of all ages dress up in costume, eat candy, and carve pumpkins to celebrate the very old tradition of Halloween. While this holiday is often associated with scary movies and spooky ghosts, it is also a beautiful time of year and a great chance to celebrate fall!
Try out our Leaf Art activity from Play to Learn for a fall-themed family activity that will get you in the Halloween spirit. And for more natural fall crafts, try apple stamping or corn painting!
The month of October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States and brings awareness to the significant role Filipinos have played in American history. Attend a cultural event or read a thematic children’s book to acknowledge this observance!