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June 18, 2024

Juneteenth at Home: Activities and Lessons on Equality for Young Learners

Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This guide shares ways to discuss Juneteenth with your kids at home.

Juneteenth red paint 1 1

Juneteenth, a celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States, is a significant but complex holiday to discuss with your little ones. This holiday is a fantastic opportunity for parents to engage their kids in fun and meaningful lessons about breaking the cycle of oppression. At Tierra Encantada, we feel teaching little ones about diversity and equity is the first step in creating a brighter, more inclusive future! 

We’re sharing tips on how to talk to children about Juneteenth, plus recommendations for fun family activities to celebrate!

Understanding Juneteenth: 

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates a significant event in American history. On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and announced the end of slavery. This announcement came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which legally freed enslaved people in Confederate states. Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and highlights the resilience and struggle for freedom and equality. This holiday serves as a reminder of the injustices of the past and encourages reflection on the ongoing fight for social justice and civil rights. 

In 2021, Juneteenth became an official federal holiday in the United States, marking a significant step toward recognizing the importance of this holiday nationwide. Today, Juneteenth is celebrated with get-togethers, parades, and community celebrations that honor the contributions and sacrifices of those who have paved the way for a more inclusive society. 

Teaching Preschoolers about Juneteenth: 

Teaching children about Juneteenth is a wonderful way to help them understand and appreciate the importance of diversity and equality from a young age. In these early years, children begin to form their identities and attitudes toward others. They absorb messages from their surroundings about who they are and who others are, which shapes their understanding of society as a whole.

Check out this Juneteenth – All About the Holiday video from PBS Kids, or read more about Understanding and Celebrating Juneteenth from NMAAHC Kids.

Below are some ways to celebrate while educating your children about the history of Juneteenth:

Juneteenth Educational Resources made for Kids: 


Gracie’s Corner Original “Juneteenth Song”  

Sesame Street: Let’s Celebrate Juneteenth Song


Let’s Celebrate Juneteenth – Tonya Abari

The Juneteenth Story –  Alliah L. Agostini

All Different Now – Angela Johnson   

Juneteenth For Mazie – Floyd Cooper 

Activities to Celebrate Juneteenth

Activities are a great way to introduce Juneteenth to even your youngest learners! Crafts, cooking, and community events are all great options to celebrate Juneteenth.

Cooking Together:  Involve your children in making simple recipes inspired by typical Juneteenth celebratory dishes! Explain the historical significance of these dishes and enjoy a delicious meal together to celebrate Juneteenth!

Coloring Pages and Crafts: Provide Juneteenth-themed coloring pages and craft activities. Kids can create freedom flags using red, white, and blue paper or make bracelets using beads in these colors. These hands-on activities celebrate the day’s importance while allowing for creativity.

Exploring Community Opportunities: Take advantage of local resources by visiting libraries, and museums, or attending parades celebrating Juneteenth. Explore exhibits and events that highlight the history of Juneteenth, providing a hands-on learning experience for your children.

Happy Juneteenth to all our Tierra Encantada families! 

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