5 Memorable and Inspiring Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr Day with Young Children

January is finally here. A fresh start greets us and invites us to an exciting year of new possibilities and change. At the beginning of each year, or at the end of the previous, we think of all the things we want to change or improve about ourselves or our personal lives. Many of these changes can be cosmetic or health-related, but how often do we consider the well-being of our hearts and minds? Thankfully, January has something to be truly treasured in store for us, Martin Luther King Jr Day.

When is Martin Luther King Jr Day?

Martin Luther King Jr Day is celebrated every third Monday of January to honor the life and legacy of the civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day was established in the United States in 1983 and is the only U.S. federal holiday dedicated to honoring an individual. It is a day of remembrance, reflection, and celebration of the life and work of Dr. King to advance civil rights and social justice.

5 Meaningful Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Young Children

During the month of January, Americans observe Martin Luther King Jr Day by hosting family get-togethers, church gatherings, and community events. Martin Luther King Jr Day is typically appreciated as the first 3-day weekend after Christmas, but it is so much more than that.

Banks close their busy doors, the Post Office stops posting, and public schools grant their students a day off from academics in observance of this holiday, but if you want to enlighten your family about the purpose of Martin Luther King Jr Day, perhaps this new year of fresh changes and opportunities could be, well, the perfect opportunity to educate them.

What is Martin Luther King Jr Day?

5 Meaningful Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Young Children

Martin Luther King Jr Day is an important day of remembrance for people all across the United States, and a great opportunity to look back and reflect on the incredible accomplishments of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. For young children, it’s especially important to honor the legacy of this great leader and teach them the history behind the holiday. But it can be challenging to find meaningful ways to observe the day with young children, especially if they are not able to attend a parade or visit a museum.

In this blog post, we will look at five memorable and inspiring ways to observe Martin Luther King Jr Day with your young children. These creative ideas will help them understand the significance of this special day and the power of Dr. King’s message. From thoughtful activities to powerful stories, we will explore different ways to educate your children while also honoring the legacy of Dr. King. So if you’re looking for amazing and creative ways to celebrate and remember the legacy of Dr. King’s message with your young children, then keep reading! We’re sure you’ll find something that works for your family.

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5 Meaningful Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr Day

5 Meaningful Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Young Children

Daily Mom has created a list of ways to Observe Martin Luther King Jr Day with your family. Keep reading to get some inspiration and insight into the life of the man who helped pave the way to a healed and unified nation.

  1. White People: Start Building Bridges.
    If you are a member of a biological family that marks “White/Caucasian” on forms, then building bridges is the best way to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day. Find a local African American Community and see what events have been organized for the community. These events are intended to create loving bridges between people who exist in invisible boundaries, and this is the best way to help your children to see that any boundaries that exist between people of color and White/Caucasian people are the ones that are created in the minds of fearful people.
  2. Serve A Multi-Cultural Meal.
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day honors the memory and legacy of a man who led a movement toward unity of all peoples. Introduce yourself and your children to dishes served within different communities. There are so many resources on the internet that you can use to prepare these dishes, and this is a great way to get your children involved in the preparation process, too!
  3. Listen To the “I Have A Dream” Speech.
    On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr gave the famous “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The symbolism of an African American man speaking to a crowd of thousands in our Nation’s Capital speaks volumes to the power of human persuasion but is also connected to the struggle of Black Americans in the history of our nation, having taken place at the memorial of the man largely credited to ending slavery in the United States. There are excellent online resources for children to experience this speech, and discuss the impact that it had on our nation at such a tumultuous time.
  4. Find An Amazing Book.
    Reading engages a child’s mind in ways that are vital to a child’s proper brain development. Find a book that encourages children to stand up for those who are being oppressed! One book we love is “Enough! 20 Protestors Who Changed America” by Emily Easton. We are sure it will empower your children to stand up for those who can’t while simultaneously building an excellent educational foundation.
  5. Participating in Service Projects.
    Martin Luther King Jr Day is an important day to remember and learn from the legacy of the civil rights leader. As such, it’s a great opportunity to do something more than simply learn about his contributions; by participating in service projects with young children, you can truly honor his legacy while teaching them valuable lessons on justice, equality, and acceptance. There are many service projects available to choose from. You could volunteer at a local nonprofit, work on a community clean-up project, or help out at a food pantry.

    By participating in service projects, your children will not only learn the importance of giving back, but they will also gain valuable first-hand knowledge of how the world works and how their actions can make a difference. When it comes to involving young children in service projects, it’s important to make sure that the projects are age-appropriate and don’t require too much effort. For example, if you’re volunteering at a food pantry, you could have your children help sort and bag food, listen to stories from people in need, or just chat with them. This helps your children develop empathy and understand the importance of helping their community.
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Teaching about Inclusivity and Acceptance

5 Meaningful Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Young Children

Martin Luther King Jr. was a champion for inclusivity and acceptance. Teaching young children about these fundamental values is essential. It allows them to develop a sense of social consciousness and understand how to be an empathetic citizen.

Start by reading books with your children that show inclusivity and acceptance. Look for stories that feature characters from diverse cultural backgrounds or those with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. Talk with your children about the various ways in which people are different. Discuss how each difference is also an opportunity to learn, grow, and appreciate one another.

You can also teach your children about inclusivity and acceptance through activities. For example, introduce the concept of “peer pressure” and have them role-play different scenarios with you. Explain the positive and negative aspects of peer pressure and discuss how it can lead to unkind treatment of their peers. Talk about the power of kindness and understanding among their classmates and how it can foster a more inclusive environment.

Finally, encourage your children to live like Martin Luther King Jr. did by participating in peaceful protests and engaging in service projects. Show them how they can make a difference in the world by taking small steps such as signing petitions or joining a volunteer group.

By teaching your child to live like Martin Luther King Jr., you can help build a more inclusive and accepting society. Show your children that differences are what make us unique and celebrate the beauty of diversity.

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Conversation-Starters on Martin Luther King Jr’s Life & Legacy

  1. What legacy did Martin Luther King Jr. leave behind?
    • Martin Luther King Jr. left behind an unmatched legacy of non-violent civil disobedience and passionate advocacy for social justice, equality, and human rights. He is remembered as a leader in the African-American civil rights movement, delivering powerful speeches that inspired generations. His leadership and messages of peace and hope continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration and motivation today.
  2. What are some of the most famous speeches given by Martin Luther King Jr.?
    • “I Have a Dream” (August 28, 1963)
    • “The Other America” (April 14, 1968)
    • “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” (April 3, 1968)
    • “Loving Your Enemies” (November 17, 1957)
    • “Commitment to the Struggle” (May 17, 1957)
    • “Let Us Walk the Walk of Freedom Now” (January 31, 1956)
  3. What was the purpose of the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr.?
    • The purpose of the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. was to fight for racial equality and civil rights for African Americans. The movement sought to end segregation, discrimination, and racism against African Americans in the United States, and to secure their constitutional rights as citizens. The movement also aimed to address economic and social justice issues such as poverty, education, and access to healthcare.
  4. How did Martin Luther King Jr. inspire people to take action?
    • Martin Luther King Jr. inspired people to take action through his powerful speeches and peaceful protests. He used non-violent protest to promote civil rights and stand up against injustice. He advocated for equal rights and inspired people with his words of hope and courage. He spoke out against racial discrimination and encouraged people to take a stand for what they believe in. He also highlighted the importance of education, self-improvement, and mutual respect between different races and cultures. His legacy continues to this day, inspiring people around the world to take action for justice and equality.
  5. What social injustices did Martin Luther King Jr. speak out against?
    • Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against racism and segregation, economic inequality, police brutality, and the Vietnam War. He also spoke out for the rights of women, workers’ rights, and civil rights in general.
  6. What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of hope?
    • Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of hope was one of equality and justice for all, regardless of race. He believed that all people should be treated equally and should have access to the same rights and opportunities regardless of the color of their skin. He encouraged people to come together to fight for justice and to not give up in the face of adversity. He also encouraged people to love each other despite their differences and to practice tolerance and acceptance of all people. In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, he said: “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
  7. How has Martin Luther King Jr. inspired progressive change in society?
    • Martin Luther King Jr. has been an inspiring and influential figure in the civil rights movement and a catalyst for progressive change in American society. He spoke out against racial injustice and inequality, dedicated his life to fighting for civil rights, and helped bring about sweeping reforms that have transformed our country. His dream of equality, justice, and peace has inspired generations of activists to stand up and fight for what is right. He has also served as an example of how peaceful protests can lead to meaningful social change. By leading peaceful protests and inspiring people to come together, he showed the power of non-violent activism and that progress can be achieved through collective action. His legacy has helped to bring about real, tangible change in our society such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today, his legacy lives on in the form of countless civil rights organizations and activists who are still working to bring about an end to injustice and inequality.

Martin Luther King Jr Day is an important holiday to observe, especially with young children, as it is a great opportunity to introduce them to his legacy and what he stood for. Taking the time to talk to them about MLK and his impact on civil rights can leave a lasting impression that will stay with them as they grow older. By engaging them in meaningful conversations, watching inspiring documentaries, and hosting an event or meal to honor his life, young children can gain an appreciation for MLK and become more socially aware. Doing these activities to honor MLK Jr Day also encourages young children to take action in their community and be active citizens.

The work of Martin Luther King Jr is nowhere near complete. Every day we are bombarded with more news about racial tensions in our own country. If we raise our children to be aware of these tensions and the importance of building healthy and caring relationships with those we consider “different” than us, we are building a stronger foundation for our country and its citizens. There is really no better way to spend a 3-day weekend.

Check out this article on New Year’s Intentions For You And Your Kids.



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5 Meaningful Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Young Children



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Rachel Powell
Rachel Powell
Rachel is a born-and-raised Floridian wife and working mama to a little girl and a boy. Working full time as a director of worship at a church allows her to express her creativity while raising her children in faith. In her free time, she enjoys wine & cooking with her band director husband, making music with the family, and being outdoors with her entire clan, including the two dogs and the cat.