Dr. Martin Luther King Day gives parents and teachers an opportunity to teach children about important moments in black history. This year, MLK Day will be even more special. As we honor Dr. King, we will also be celebrating and watching President Barack Obama, the first African-American President in American history, give his second presidential inauguration speech. As President Obama takes the oath of office, he will do so using Martin Luther King’s bible. What a tribute to Dr. King’s legacy and his life’s work.
It’s important for our children to know that leaders like Dr. King and Rosa Parks, among many others, made President Obama’s inauguration possible. With that said, it’s important for us as parents to reflect upon Dr. King’s legacy with our children. Doing so doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. It can be a fun family activity that incorporates play, reading, or active learning.
Four Simple Ways to Honor Dr. King Day With Your Children
- Start with reading an age appropriate book about Dr. King. We have the book, Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and love it. It has great, big, photos and does a great job in portraying the philosophy and teachings of Dr. King in an appropriate way for young children. For younger children you may want to consider a Picture Book Martin Luther King, Jr.
- In addition to reading, you may want to watch a brief video about Dr. King’s life. We found this short video about Dr. King and His Dream and love it. It is just the right length for children.
- Consider doing a community service project with your children. You can clean up a playground or visit an assisted living facility to spend time with the elderly. Some of these activities may require additional planning but it will be well worth the time.
- Read portions of Dr. King’s I Have A Dream speech then practice public speaking skills. First listen to the speech, then reread key passages with your children. Speaking Dr. King’s words is empowering for adults and children. It’s a great way to capture the spirit of the day.
How will you celebrate Dr. King’s legacy with your children this year?
Image credit: Flickr/Ron Cogswell