National Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Activities and Crafts for Kids

Here are some fun Martin Luther King, Jr. activities for kids you can do on MLK Day! Free printables, crafts, educational activities, and more for National Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

National Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is the is a time to celebrate the life and legacy of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of equality, justice, and unity continues to inspire people of all ages.

As parents, educators, and caregivers, it’s essential to educate our children about the significance of this day and instill in them the values that Dr. King stood for. Engaging kids in meaningful activities can help them understand the importance of diversity, empathy, and peaceful change.

National Martin Luther King, Jr. Activities for Kids

Here are some simple ideas you can do to celebrate National Martin Luther King, Jr. with your children.

Storytelling Sessions

Storytelling is a powerful way to introduce children to the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Gather children around and read age-appropriate books about his life, such as “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Doreen Rappaport.

Our kids also really love “Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?” by Bonnie Bader. Scroll to the bottom of the post for a list with more books for kids about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Encourage discussions about the challenges Dr. King faced and the impact of his actions on the civil rights movement. Kids can also create their narratives depicting scenes from his life, fostering creativity and critical thinking.

You may also enjoy reading these 35 Books to Teach Kids About Racism and Diversity with children, or these 27 Books for Adults to Learn About Race and Diversity with your older kids.

Peaceful Protest Posters

Art and creativity can be used to express ideas and advocate for change. Have kids design colorful posters with messages of peace, equality, and unity—inspired by Dr. King’s quotes and speeches.

Encourage them to think about the values they hold dear and how they can contribute positively to society, just like Dr. King did during his time.

Unity Chain of Hands

Teach kids the importance of unity and diversity by engaging them in a craft activity.

Cut out hand shapes from different colored paper and have each child decorate their hand with a unique message or drawing symbolizing unity and friendship.

Connect the hands together to form a unity chain, reminding them that together, we are stronger and more resilient.

For a free tutorial on how to turn the paper hands into a wreath, scroll to the bottom of this post!

“I Have a Dream” Speech Reenactment

Expose children to the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. Show them videos or audio recordings of the speech and discuss its historical significance.

Then, encourage kids to write their version of the “I Have a Dream” speech, expressing their hopes and aspirations for a better world.

They can take turns delivering their speeches, fostering public speaking skills and empowering them to speak out for positive change.

Community Service Projects

Dr. King’s legacy of service to others is a crucial aspect to emphasize on this day.

Organize community service projects suitable for children, such as picking up litter in a local park, creating care packages for the less fortunate, or visiting elderly residents at a nursing home.

Engaging in community service fosters empathy, compassion, and a sense of responsibility towards others.

Civil Rights Movement Timeline

Help kids gain a deeper understanding of history by creating a civil rights movement timeline. Use pictures, illustrations, and brief descriptions of key events, including Dr. King’s significant contributions.

This visual representation will aid in connecting historical events to the present day and highlight the progress made while acknowledging the work that still needs to be done.

Diversity Celebration

Organize a diversity celebration where children can learn about various cultures, traditions, and customs.

Encourage them to dress in traditional clothing from different countries and participate in activities like dancing, singing, or trying out traditional cuisines.

Emphasize that diversity enriches our lives and should be celebrated and respected.

National Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not just a day off from school; it’s an opportunity to educate and inspire the next generation about the importance of justice, equality, and unity.

By engaging children in meaningful activities that celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy, we equip them with valuable lessons about empathy, understanding, and the power of peaceful change.

These activities empower children to be advocates for positive change in their communities and beyond.

As we commemorate this day, let us remember Dr. King’s dream and work together to create a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

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