March is National Women’s History Month, and it is an excellent opportunity to celebrate important women with your children by reading, engaging in fun activities, and learning about family history.
Numerous books teach about important women in our Nation’s history. Here is a short list of ten books that my family particularly enjoyed:
1. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli
2. Rad American Women AZ: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries by Kate Schatz
3. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky (See also Women in Art and Women in Sports)
4. A Is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen
5. Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter
6. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
7. Here Come the Girl Scouts by Shana Corey
8. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
9. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst
10. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman
While recognizing and learning about famous women who empower and inspire us for their courage, strength, and perseverance, I was constantly reminded of women in my life and close to our family who represent the same values but do not receive the recognition.
One way to do this is to teach about young girls and women in the community that have done something extraordinary. You can cut out newspaper clippings and magazines and make a poster board for the week or month to feature specific examples. Or just sit down with your kids and talk about them. I think this is especially important given all the negativity that is expressed in the news and media. It is good to highlight positive examples.
Furthermore, I think about women in my family and close family friends who have exhibited extraordinary leadership, kindness, and present an overall excellent example to the younger generations. It is a great opportunity to create a family tree or a family scrapbook with photographs and history, especially to represent those who are no longer with us. It is an excellent way to bring their memory alive for kids who may not have had the chance to meet them in person.
Here are some other activities:
1. Compliment self-portrait: Either have the child draw their own self-portrait or trace the outline of their body on a large piece of paper. They can decorate it and fill in details about their appearance as they wish. Pass around the traced figure and have everyone in the room write a simple compliment about that person.
2. Personal mission statement: Make a list of goals and individual strengths. The use of art to express these goals and strengths can also be helpful (i.e., drawings, magazine clippings, etc.)
3. Art collage project: Use art to express positive thoughts and what the child likes about himself or herself.
4. Thank you note to a woman who inspires you: This is a good way to honor and recognize important women in your child’s life or someone they admire: a quick note to say thank you and give a compliment.
5. Random acts of kindness: Make a list of random acts to brighten someone’s day.
Take time to reflect and read about inspirational women in history, as well as girls and women from our everyday lives who do extraordinary things. It is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your children.
How do you and your family celebrate National Women’s History Month?