Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Activities for Celebrating with Your Kids

by Katy Abel

Martin Luther King Jr. Day occurs each January. Find activities for celebrating the life and accomplishments of this great civil rights leader.

Celebrate at home

Martin Luther King Jr gives a speechKeep the Dream Alive

"He wanted all the brown kids and white kids to like each other."
"He wanted everybody to sit on the bus wherever they want."
"He had a dream and it was so big and then he died."

In honor of the gifts Dr. King gave our nation, try these five creative ways to help children celebrate his vision of hope and sense of humanity.

Create a Multicultural Banquet!

One of Martin Luther King's greatest achievements was his ability to help Americans appreciate diversity. Celebrate his birthday with an eclectic holiday dinner featuring cuisine from different countries or geographical regions. Serve Puerto Rican rice-and-beans, Boston clam chowder, a Chinese stir-fry, and a peach pie from Dr. King's native Atlanta. The variations on this theme are endless, and the dinner doesn't need to be time-consuming. You can achieve almost the same effect by stopping for takeout from Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, and your local pizza parlor (Italian or Greek).

Decorate with Many Colors

What's a birthday party without decorations? Here's a great MLK Day activity to do with younger children: Make the classic paper chains using black, white, red, yellow, and brown construction paper to represent the various skin tones found across our nation. Show kids the symbolism behind the craft: "Each link represents a hand, and our chain reminds us that Dr. King joined hands with people of all colors when he marched for freedom." A variation on this theme: Children can trace their own hands, then color them in using different skin-tone shaded crayons.

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