No matter their age, all children collect clues from their experiences to make sense of the world, so early, honest, and age-appropriate conversations really matter. In this video, Elmo and his new friends Wes and Elijah talk about why people have different skin (and fur!) colors.
As you watch, you might jot down:
- how Elijah describes skin color (“We all have something called melanin in our bodies. People who have more melanin have darker skin than people with less melanin.”).
- what you might say in your own conversations
After you watch, you might want to:
- place your hands side-by-side and describe your skin color. How is your skin different from Elijah’s, Wes’s, and Elmo’s?
- emphasize that we are all different and those differences can help us stand strong like the tree
Just like Elijah did with Elmo, you can support children’s natural curiosity to ask questions by answering them, even the most difficult ones (and it’s okay to say you want to think about their question for a while). Let them know that it’s good to notice skin color and to talk about race. The idea is to make differences normal… and good!