Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Activity For Kids

how would you change the worldKids are full of great ideas some we can put into play immediately some need extra nurturing. With MLK Day next Monday we’ve been talking a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy. My son is old enough to understand segregation and the civil rights movement but with my 3 year old I am focusing more on how everyone can help and make a difference. Before we sat down to create this craft we talked about the world and how there are so many wonderful things in it but that the world also needs help. I encouraged each of them to think about what matters most to their hearts. I added on how real change comes with passion and passion is about more than thinking something is important, it’s about feeling in your heart that something must be done and acting on it. Dr. King’s life can teach so many lessons and the lesson that one person can make a difference is what this is all about.

Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of paper per child, blue and green paint, red glitter glue, a pencil, marker, and scissors. mlk day craft

Start by painting your world. I prefer to have them paint on a sheet of paper and cut later because they will fill more of the paper that way without any ” Are you sure you are done?” interruptions. This helps them paint at their own speed. My daughter went for it while my son was trying to make specific continents and oceans. Let dry.teaching kids to change the world

Next have them trace their hands. PLEASE let them do this if they are eager. My daughter was sure she could do it and she did first with a big circle and then between her fingers. This whole activity is about empowering them to make a difference and we need to start small by empowering them to do things themselves. earth craft for kids

Have them write how they will change the world. I had my daughter dictate to me but drawing a picture would work too. My son wrote his own. Praise them for their suggestions and ask what made them think of the causes or actions that they chose. Don’t leave it there though ask them how they are going to try to make a difference with actions too. how children plan to change the world

My daughter did ask me to cut it out though, her brother who has always struggled with tricky cutting like this did his all by himself.mlk craft for kids I am loving all this independence ! how kids can change the world craftWhile they did this I cut the paintings into circles. how kids can help change the world lesson for preschool
Glue the hand on to the world.mlk day craft for kids

Add a glitter heart. My daughter asked me to make the heart and she filled it in. mlk changed the world and so can you lesson for kids

Let dry. We hung ours up on our fridge as a reminder to do something towards these goals. I am encouraging sharing toys at home and school for my daughter and we are donating some supplies ( kinda toys) to a local shelter soon. For my son I am encouraging what he came up with which was picking up litter, using less water , and re-using paper around the house. how kids can change the world

Little steps but they add up!

Who was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ?

Read This !

“My Brother Martin : A Sister Remembers. Growing Up With Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ” by Christine King Farris. Teaching preschoolers about history is tricky, but you can do it, you just have to break it down and give them bits they can relate to. This book does a fantastic job, while reading it I always have to hold in tears, it is just such a unique look at the childhood of a man who’s dreams changed the world. What I love about this book is that the majority of it is about his childhood and children can relate so much more easily to him as a child growing up then simply as this great man on the podium. Kids always love learning that he played pranks on people just like they like to do. The author explains prejudice and segregation in a straightforward and simple way so that children can understand and reflect on how it feels to be treated like that. The book doesn’t ignore the great accomplishments and wonderful man the little boy became but does a wonderful job making Dr. King into a hero your child can feel something in common with , and in return become more interested about.

Dream Big !

I have done this with classes as young as 3, most toddlers have a hard time understanding what a dream is but if you think your child will “get” it , go for it!

  1. Gather your materials. All you need is a child, some hopes and dreams , a piece of paper and pencil.
  2. Have your child write , or dictate to you what they want to change in the world. Resist the temptation to correct or edit them, let them dream even if it’s not as altruistic as you hoped or something you know to be impossible. Dreams can be impossible and preschoolers are pretty self centered so just let them dream!
  3. Have them write out ways they can make their dream come true.
  4. When they are done seal it up and put it somewhere safe until next year, when you open it and write another, then seal them both up. Before you know it you will have years and years of dreams.