Celebrating Diversity Through Watercolors
I feel blessed to be a part of a built-in diversity center. See, my mom is black and my dad is white. I’ve got it literally in my DNA to appreciate diversity. Add to that fact that it would be almost nearly impossible to find someone with the same mix of African American of unknown origins and Swedish American, and you’ve got the added diversity of my husband and children.
And I love every bit of it.
So when MLK Jr. Day rolls around, while I don’t feel super compelled to make sure my kids know about diversity (they know!), I do think it’s nice to have a moment to celebrate the diversity in our own family and those around the world.
To do that today, I used a few props. First, I started by reading them the book, Global Babies. It’s a really simple board book, but it has all sorts of children from all over the world in it. We talked about how the babies all had different shades of skin but how God made them all and they were all beautiful.
Then I broke out the watercolors. I was inspired by this post, which is way more detailed and excellent. I highly recommend checking it out. But since my guys are younger, I tailored the activity a bit.
I used a regular set of Crayola watercolors for this little craft.
First, I asked them what colors we might use to paint someone’s skin color.
They chose brown and white. I added that yellow, orange, red, and black. We colored in some faces that I had drawn on some watercolor paper. Aside from the brown, they agreed that they had never seen anyone those other colors. (I might add that our white is totally not white anymore, hence the blue face!)
So then I talked about how we can mix the colors to get other shades. A little brown and a little red, or a little orange with a touch of black, or even brown with lots of water. I drew and filled more faces with our new color combinations. The boys enjoyed seeing how the colors blended to get new colors.
Then I let them try on their own. They got a little creative with the green and purple, but overall, I think they did a really nice job getting a variety of skin colors on their faces.
Sebastian was also quite impressed how much adding some water changed the color of the skin.
All in all, it was a nice short, but fun activity that explored a fun art concept (color mixing) and cultural concept (color mixing!).
Want more ideas for celebrating and teaching about MLK Jr. Day? Check out these past posts: