• Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam

Invitation to Explore the Black History of Farming

In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth setting a small world play to explore farming can be great way to celebrate the innovators who changed the way we farm and shaped our agricultural landscape.

Before inviting a child to explore the small world play, you can teach them about those who played major roles in making what agriculture is today. Whether it is showing images of these individuals, reading books like The Abcs of Black History, or opening simply having a conversation, this lays the foundation of how important history is. We can also hope this will inspire children to value the food they eat, brining equity and civility to farming, and continue to honor those that changed our history.

Here are just a few of those that changed the farming: Henry Blair, American inventor who designed + patented corn & cotton planters. George Washington Carver, a soil scientist who pioneered crop rotation. Karen Washington, owner of Rise & Root Farm and cofounder of Black Urban Growers. Booker T. Whatley, encouraged farmers to create clientele membership clubs, selling memberships in exchange for fresh produce to provide steady cash flow. John W. Boyd Jr., fourth-generation farmer from Virginia as well as one of America's most effective defenders of civil rights.

To set this small world play you can place loose parts, farm animal figurines and people, food in a PlayTray. Small world play is simply when children explore figurines, loose parts, and sensory materials that reenact scenes from nature, books, fairytales, or a subject matter of interest. Small worlds are great for many areas of development, including language, imaginary play, and sensory play.


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