What is Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

On the 4th of April, 1968, in the city of Memphis, Tennessee, one of America’s strongest voices of reason fell silent. On this day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the man who had relentlessly dedicated his life to the cause of civil rights and racial equality in society, was assassinated by James Earl Ray. Today we celebrate his accomplishments on creating an equal and more unified society.

Ideas for Observing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Home

This year, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is being celebrated on the 21st of January. Don’t let it be just another holiday dotting your calendar. If you are planning to spend the day at home, here are a few ideas to observe MLK day with the kids.

Introduce King to Your Kids

This is the perfect time to introduce kids to King and his legacy. It isn’t enough for the future generations to know when Martin Luther King Jr. day is celebrated. Knowing why it is celebrated is equally, if not more, important. The internet is indeed a great source of learning but books remain one of the best tools that can be highly beneficial for everyone. While many books have been written on Martin Luther King, Jr, get something age appropriate for your kids to help them understand better. My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Christine King Farris and My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold are the only two books written specifically keeping a younger audience in mind On the day of the holiday, sit with your kids and take turns reading a great book on the cultural achievements of this historic day. Encourage questions and discussions.

Also see our MLK-themed worksheets and activities on a range of different subjects to get your kids to know all about King and have fun at the same time.

Documentary Session

A documentary is usually very likely to be well-received by children, even if they are not yet at the age to read and derive pleasure out of it. Your neighborhood video library should be able to rent one to you, just remember these videos are in high demand this time of year and you should plan accordingly. There are quite a few options available – for example, An Amazing Grace featuring the real King as well as his close friend, Jesse Jackson. MLK was known for his oratory skills and his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech can be inspirational for young and adult listeners alike.

Imbibe and Volunteer

On MLKJ Day, practice what King preaches, and make it a habit to start doing things for the community. Pave the way for your young ones to follow by contributing your bit towards society and people. King is considered one of the staunchest supporters of non-violence in the world and on MLKJ Day this year, make it a point to teach your kids to embrace non-violence, racial tolerance, equality, and the other values that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for.

Play Games

Just because King stood up and fought for serious issues, it doesn’t mean you can’t add games to your MLKJ Day celebrations and make it a fun affair. Divide family and friends into groups and organize a quiz at home. The level of difficulty can vary on the children’s age and everyone’s overall knowledge of MLKJ Day, with each round getting more difficult. Keep the age of your kids in mind before going ahead with this fun activity. Games are great ways of helping kids learn, so introduce trivia based games for your kids and make MLKJ Day a big success this year!

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