All children must have access to multicultural education. Unfortunately, the United States’ educational system has failed to teach an inclusive history. We at Bevy and Dave are working to close this gap in childhood education through the creation of culturally diverse educational toys. Despite all the amazing work we have done and will continue to do in the future, we recognize that the education of every identity goes far beyond the educational toys we create. It is because of this that we encourage our community to utilize and share information found in outside resources.
We have compiled a list of three different resources that you and your child can use to access a more diverse education. Through these resources, your child will not only be educated but also inspired and encouraged to become young leaders. This is far from a comprehensive list of resources, but it is an excellent starting point as you and your child launch into a new year of education and growth.
The Benefits of Learning Through Play
One of our favorite resources is The Genius of Play. This free website not only gives children access to a wide array of educational games for children of all ages but also resources for parents to learn why play is so important and how it benefits children’s emotional and physical growth. Through this website, children will not only enjoy themselves through play but will also benefit from the experience. Play allows children to become the best versions of themselves and to begin creating their own identity.
The Genius of Play is also an amazing resource when looking for other ways for your children to play beyond the computer screen. The website has a list of their most recommended toys that range in subject from outdoor play to dinosaur fun to toys that help children develop their cognitive skills. The Genius of Play, not only gives you access to ways in which to play but also scientific studies that explain the importance of play for children. Their expert panel gives a compelling insight into the current issue of play in the United States. The Genius of Play is a multifaceted website that is worth reviewing if you are looking for a change in the way your child learns and plays.
Representation in Books Encourages Children to Read More
The second resource that we encourage our community to utilize is books. We can all agree that getting children to read can be hard at times. However, books prove to be more engaging when the reader is reading about people with similar identities to their own. Unfortunately, bookshelves in school classrooms are often inclusive of only a few identities. To help close this gap in your child's education, Bevy and Dave offers this Huffington Post article that lists 24 examples of books written by black authors or about black figures and culture.
The story from the Huffington Post article that we found most compelling is “Baby Flo: Florence Mills Lights Up the Stage”. This picture book is an inspiring tale of Harlem Renaissance figure, Florence Mills who from a young age became known for her singing, dancing, and comedy abilities. This story, and every other on the list, will teach your child through example that they are capable of being whoever they want to be. They will learn that no dream is too big and no accomplishment is out of reach. With just a simple Google search, you too are open to a world of books for children of all ages that can teach them about all cultures and identities.
Movies as a Platform to Learn About Role Models
The third resource that will help any child in their educational journey is movies. We must be watchful of the media children consume, but movies can be an excellent way to teach your child stories that they aren’t learning in their classroom. The movie, Garrett’s Gift, is an inspirational look at the history of the inventor of the traffic light, Garrett Morgan. Garrett's Gift, told by Queen Latifah, will guide children through Morgan's upbringings, his unique ways of seeing the world, and how it eventually brought him to create the traffic light. This movie is just one of many films and pieces of media that gives a glimpse into the lives of successful black role models.
As we come upon Black History Month, we urge our community to use February as a starting point in creating good habits in educating your children through play and about Black history. Whether your child reads for thirty minutes every day, watches a different movie every week about inspirational black leaders, or plays with one of Bevy and Dave’s multicultural educational toys, there are always ways to continue your child's education. We hope that the energy you bring into Black History Month will launch your child into a year of growth and learning.
Written by Sarah Sylvan