Celebrating Diversity with our children is so important in today’s World.  Black History Month is a great opportunity to explore diversity and teach our children (and maybe ourselves) something new.


If your kids are in school, chances are their teachers have worked really hard to incorporate lessons, books and activities to highlight diversity this month.  I am always so impressed with the creative, thought-provoking and hands-on activities teachers incorporate into programming for youth!  


The link between STEM and reading is very apparent in early childhood learning and something that in our opinion, parents and teachers can’t focus enough on.  Trust me - as a mom of two little energetic boys, I get the overwhelming anxiety that comes with creating activities to do at home with your kids.  That’s why I love posts that have EASY and educational activities that parents can read in 2 minutes, understand the concept, typically already have the items at home and can most importantly have fun doing them with their kids and feel like they are contributing to their educational journey.


Here are a few books that stood out to us this February and are related in so many ways to STEM programs for schools and Black History Month. 



Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

Written + Illustrated by By: Christy Hale

Reading Level: Grades 1-2


One of the first toys a child is given is building blocks.  Why do you think that is?  Building sparks creativity and thinking in so many ways.  The amount of engineering toys for kids that are out there now testifies to this.  


“Children’s fascination with objects in their environment begins at an early age. As they play, they move, haul, stack, balance, and combine items they encounter in numerous and imaginative ways. As they discover their abilities to build, children also become fascinated with actual buildings, a natural outgrowth of their curiosity about anything huge and complex around them.” - LeeandLow.com


This book not only celebrates building, it explores poetry and shapes to really promote creative thinking and imagination with kids. 






Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

by Joann Deak (Author), Sarah Ponce (Illustrator)


What do people think about this book? Well here are just a few awards it has received:


  • The Mom's Choice Gold Award
  • The Moonbeam Gold Award for Non-Fiction Picture Book
  • The Pewter Gold Ink Award for Distinguished Printing
  • The Parent's Choice Silver Award for Interior Design, Children's/Young Adult
  • The Nautilus Silver Award for Children's Non-Fiction
  • The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Winner for Interior Design, Children's/Young Adult
  •  Next Generation Indie Award Finalist for Children's/Juvenile Nonfiction

 

So I would say it's a hit!  Not only does it teach children that being brave and trying new things will help your brain grow, but it teaches them that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process.  It empowers children to think for themselves and promotes diversity by showing that we are all different and our brains like that!

 

Trying and failing is one of the ways we teach kids to have grit and perseverance.  The programming for youth in today’s schools incorporates trying and failing in a variety of ways.  This book helps kids understand why that is important and should be something they embrace.

 

Dr. Deak does such a wonderful job of introducing children to the anatomy of their brain in a fun and engaging way.   

 

We chose these two books to share with you, not only because they celebrate diversity but because they do it in a way that is engaging and connected to how we know our kids learn best. Creating hands-on learning experiences is the foundation of Operation Wonder and we are thrilled to use Christy Hale and Dr. Deak's innovative stories as a way to bring this to life.


Want some other creative, hands-on and fun ways to teach your kids a new skill or topic?  Follow us on Instagram where we are always posting new ideas or events to attend in Chicago. 



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