Kindergarten teacher gently explaining racism to her students is a must-see for all kids
via The TuTu teacher / Instagram

Racism is a difficult subject to discuss among adults and it can be just as challenging when talking about it with children. It's important for parents or teachers to talk about it in a way that's age-appropriate and to address any strong emotions that are caused by the discussion.

Talking about about race with kids can be difficult, but avoiding the conversation helps perpetuate racism.

"Because institutional racism is so ingrained and so automatic and so accepted, without enough people wanting to enact true, long-lasting change, institutional racism ends up becoming our personal bias. But we still must be held accountable for our actions," Sarah Gaither, assistant professor psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, told CNN Health.


Over the past few weeks, the topic of race in America has come to the forefront of the national conversation after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Abrey and Breonna Taylor. While these deaths have caused unbelievable grief anger, they present parents and educators with a teachable moment.

Vera Ahiyya, who's known affectionately as the "TuTu Teacher," is a Kindergarten teacher in Brooklyn, New York, who created a great video explaining the issue of race in America for her students.

Ahiyya does such a great job at talking about a subject at a level that children can understand it's being viewed and shared by people outside of her classroom.

Let's Talk About Race www.youtube.com

"You may have noticed, or heard your family talk about what's happening on the news … Beyond just the COVID virus, which is spreading, we also are combating a different kind of disease," she begins the clip.

"It's something that happens with the way that people think," she adds. "Some people have the belief that people with black or brown skin should not have the same rights or privileges as people with white skin. This is called racism, and racism has happened in the United States for over 400 years. That's a very long time, and by now, you would think that something so terrible would be gone. But it's not that easy. Racism is everywhere and it is our job to stop it."

She then gives her students tips on how to handle racism when they see it in the world to stop it from spreading.

"One way to stop racism is to call it out when you see it," Ahiyya continues. "That means, if you see someone being treated differently because of the color of their skin, you have the voice, you make the choice, to say 'This is wrong.'"

via Tim Dennell / Flickr

"You can decide whether to say something, or walk away," she advises. "But your choice can impact the lives of a lot of people."

She then shows how people are fighting racism today by protesting in the streets.

"So, right now, what's happening is a lot of people are making the choice to say 'that's wrong, racism is wrong' and they are talking specifically about racism towards black people," Ahiyya says.

Ahiyya ends her comments by empowering children to fight back against racism.

"You can do it by writing letters to show your support," Ahiyya tells them. "You can do it by speaking up when you see something that is very wrong. You can ask questions to your family and friends about how you can do more to help. There's so many ways to help."

She concludes the video reading "Let's Talk About Race" by Julius Lester.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Photo by Tod Perry

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