March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, signifying the third copy of the 21st chromosome. We all strive to raise kids with empathy and embrace everyone’s differences.
World Down Syndrome Day is a Sunday this year, perfect to encourage your kids about how to start the conversation among their friends about the special kids in their school. Here are some ways to celebrate the day with your family.
Rock your socks.
We want them to understand what it is like to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. How about putting themselves in someone else’s socks? Have everyone in your family pull out their most colorful socks — mismatching spunky socks are in!
Read a book.
Add books featuring characters with Down syndrome to your family’s home library. Some of our favorite books include Kelly and the Great Pinewood Derby, A Friend Like Anian, This Is Ella and What’s Inside You Is Inside Me, Too: My Chromosomes Make Me Unique.
Color this activity sheet.
Help explain Down syndrome to kids with a hands-on activity. This free coloring sheet uses butterflies and their antennas represent the number of each chromosome. Can you find the butterfly with the extra antenna?
Support a local business.
Check to see if there are any local businesses in your area that hire individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For example, The Hearts and Flour Bakery Shop located in the Greenhouse Inn Restaurant (6300 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago) sells a variety of baked goods.
Most importantly, we need to learn to accept others and show kindness to everyone. Empower your kids to be a friend to kids with Down syndrome in the neighborhood or say a kind word when they encounter adults working in their community.
Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.
This article was featured in Chicago Parent’s March/April 2021 magazine.