This year Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on January 17th. His birthday, January 15th, is a date we honor the steadfast devotion of this man to create a world where people were judged by character and not color. But it goes so beyond the cursory study that if given in the civics lesson in school. Today, I’m linking with Erika and Andrea to share some of my favorite arts, crafts, and books that we use to celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with my family.
Fun Arts and Crafts with Your Littles
One thing my littles enjoy doing is a great art and craft, especially my girls. Since hands-on creativity reinforces a lot of what we discuss, I like to use crafts that will capture their attention and drive home the point. Some of these Internet (Pinterest and fellow blogger) finds are absolute faves.
“I Have a Dream” Friendship Flower. I found this beautiful idea on Lucky Learning by Molly Lynch. She’s a first-grade teacher who also creates tools for other teachers to use in their classroom. I absolutely love the friendship flower because of the vibrant colors, ease in prep, and the message of harmony and friendship.
“I Have a Dream” Clouds. This is one that has been done before in our family, but is always an enjoyable craft for the younger ones. We discuss Rev. Dr. King and the contributions that he made to the world. After we discuss, I ask the kids what dreams they have for the world. Then, we take precut strips of rainbow-colored paper and add to the white cloud. For my girls who are all things rainbows and unicorns, it’s always a hit. For my little guy, it’s sticky glue and safety scissors. He’s in heaven! Check out Lucky Little Learners’ owner and teacher Angie Olson here.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Egg Lesson on Equality. This is an awesome lesson and a definite fave! I’ve seen if multiple times, but am sharing Ashley’s post from One Sharp Bunch. Ashley is a kindergarten teacher who shared the egg post and linked it to an original post from Mrs. Jump’s Class. The concept is beyond simple. You take one white egg and one brown egg. The eggs look different on the outside but look the same on the inside when cracked.
“Happy Birthday Cake” Craft for Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. I love this craft. I found it while viewing Coffee and Carpool. Owner Nicole is a former elementary school teacher and mom who shares some really cool and intentional lessons for parents and lovers of family everwhere. Her craft involves a cake and candles downloadable that lets crafters celebrate Dr. King’s birthday while giving birthday wishes in the forms of the candles. I think the littles would love this and I may even incorporate a small birthday cake to drive home the celebration point as well.
Books about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I Am Brave: A Little Book About Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?: A Who Was? Board Book (Who Was? Board Books) by Lisbeth Kaiser
Good Night Martin Luther King, Jr. by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper
Holly Celebrates MLK Day by Kimberly Kendall-Drucker
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King, III
Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story by Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Thou, Dear God”: Prayers That Opens Hearts and Spirits (King Legacy) by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Honorable Mention-Disney Documentary
Selma, Lord, Selma. I’ve actually seen this one and loved Journee Smollett in it. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time. This movie gave an interesting perspective of a child’s thoughts of the time and interactions of the Civil Rights Movement.
So, there you are! Some of my favorite ways to celebrate and teach the littles about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I hope you enjoy them.