Martin Luther King Jr. Day Daycare Activities

by Carla on January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010 is Martin Luther King, Jr. day. This federal holiday commemorates the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of the civil rights movement, and is celebrated every year on the third Monday of January.

While young children in a child care center may or may not be able to grasp the concepts of civil rights, slavery, and racism, preschool teachers and daycare providers can share crafts and books that teach peace and unity.

Peace and Unity Arts and Crafts

Unity Hand Shake Craft

Allow children to cut out construction paper hands in two different skin tones (for example, red, yellow, brown or white). Next let them cut out rectangles the size of cuffs and glue them to the wrists of the hands. Arrange the two hands into a handshake formation and secure them with a brass fastener.

Dream Collage

Gather the children and discuss the concepts of hopes and dreams. Next, prompt each child to discuss their hopes and dreams for the future. Each child can talk about what they would personally like to have, be, or do when they grow up. Next give each child a piece of square construction paper and let them draw whatever their dream happens to be. From these pictures create a dream collage.

Story Time

Storytelling and reading to young children is a simple ways to introduce them about the lives of historical figures.

The following board books are recommended to explain concepts such as equality and peace:

  • The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore and Amy Wummer (Illustrator) [Ideals Publications, 2002].
  • A Picture Book of martin Luther King, Jr. by David A. Adler and Robert Casilla (Illustrator) [Holiday House, 1990].
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Ready-to-Read. Level 1) by Margaret McNamara and Mike Gorton (Illustrator)  [Aladdin, 2007].
  • What is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? by Margaret Friskey. [Children’s Press, 1990]
  • Young Martin Luther King, Jr. (First Start Bibliographies) by Joanne Mattern [Troll Communications, 2002]

Martin Luther King Jr Day Songs

1.To The Tune Of “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands

“Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream (3times)
He had the whole world in his dream.

He had me and you, in his dream
He had me and you, in his dream
He had me and you, in his dream
He had the whole world in his dream”.

2. To the tune of “Bingo”

“There was a man who had a dream

His name was Mar-tin Lu-ther King

Mar-tin Lu-ther King, Mar-tin Lu-ther King, Mar-tin Lu-ther King

His name was Mar-tin Lu-ther King

Doctor King, he had a dream

He wanted peace for everyone

P-E-A-C-E, P-E-A-C-E, P-E-A-C-E

His name was Mar-tin Lu-ther King”.

For children ages 3-5, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activities do not need to include a complicated historical explanation. Strive to convey the concepts of harmony, and cooperation in your daycare center.

About Carla

Carla Snuggs has written 88 post in this blog.

Carla is a freelance writer from Southern California. She has a B.A. in early childhood education and a Master of Library and Information Science degree specializing in public librarianship and youth services.

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