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Activities to Teach the Importance of MLK Day

If your children are like mine, they are full of questions. They want to know about everything that they see or hear, and sometimes their inquiries are more difficult to answer simply. My seven-year-old recently asked me why we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I found myself unable to put into words the magnitude of this man’s life and work and what he means to our country.

Because children learn through doing, I decided to come up with a list of activities that would not only engage my kids, but also teach them about an important historical figure. Here are some ideas that will hopefully inspire you to celebrate MLK Day with your kids.

Read a Book

The only time I can get my three and five-year-old to be still is when they are curled up in my lap listening to me read a book. So, sitting down with a book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. might be a great way to keep their attention and instill a little knowledge. I suggest a colorful book like “A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by David A. Adler for younger children, and “Free At Last: The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Angela Bull for older kids.

Do a Craft Together
Letting your kids get messy with construction paper and glue creating this craft from No Time for Flashcards, will not only sharpen motor skills, but will also be a great way to get them thinking about how they would change the world.  

Sing a Song

Children love making and hearing music. So, singing a song about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will help to celebrate the day in a fun way, and help your kids retain important knowledge about his life. This one from First Grade W.O.W. is a great start, especially for younger children.

Go to a Local Event

Not only is it vital to talk about the importance of MLK Day, but it is also important to show children how significant his life’s work was to everyone. Attending a local event, like the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace March, can help your kids get a real sense of how special this man really was. 

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About the Author

Jessa McClure

Jessa McClure

Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects. 

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