With MLK day here, I’m gearing up for ways to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with my four-year-old son. We’ve talked about Dr. King before, but I think this will be the first year he’ll understand how important Dr. King is to our world and how much good he has done. Over the last year, my son has gotten bits and pieces of what’s going on in our society. With the current images that he’s seen on TV, it’s imperative that I stress the importance of love, have a dialogue about Dr. King, and celebrate this great Black American hero. I’m homeschooling my son this year, so I’m looking forward to doing these activities with him. Hopefully, he’ll remember this for years to come.
Here are four ways we are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
1. Read Books
I’m a believer that books are great learning tools for children, especially when introducing something new. I’ve purchased several easy to read books that help teach about the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
2. I Have A Dream Activity
The “I Have a Dream” address will always be one of history’s most important speeches. It may be too long for some children, so I plan for us to listen to a portion of it together. We will then do an activity to talk about and write down our wishes/dreams for ourselves, our world, and our community. Additionally, we are an interracial family, and we talk a lot about the importance of treating people equally despite how they look. I want to make sure I connect those conversations directly to the powerful words in this speech.
3. Kindness Tree
This something new that I’m trying out with my family. I’ve created a tree with branches out of brown paper that I’ll tape to a wall in our house. Because Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for kindness and was always willing to help others, I want to implement this with our children. Every time I see them doing something kind, I will give them a paper heart to add to the tree. My 1-year-old will also be able to participate in this activity. Although she won’t fully understand, she will enjoy putting hearts upon the tree. It will be a beautiful display just in time for Valentine’s Day.
4. Act of Kindness / Day of Service
Unfortunately, due to COVID, we won’t be able to get out and perform a day of service that I initially had in mind. Instead, we will spend time making artwork and cookies for our neighbors as a way to do something special for someone else. Here are some fun ideas on ways to give back too.
Do you have a favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Share it with your children today!
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