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Martin Luther King’s birthday is today, January 15. Because our country loves to give us weekends off, it won’t be celebrated until the third Monday of the month, which just happens to be this coming Monday, January 19. Most, though not all, of our grandchildren will be off that Monday. I thought it would be fun to make a list of educational activities to do with them in case you spend time with them sometime in the next week or so. I know their school will probably do a project or two, but I enjoy doing these crafts with my grandchildren as well. I know many of you also share that joy with me. In addition, it’s good for them to do these kinds of activities in their home or our home as well as at school in order to reinforce the positive messages being taught.
Activity Village has several cute crafts including a set of 6 paper dolls of three different ethnic backgrounds. They are a fun way to help teach little ones about Martin Luther King’s beliefs, and what he stood for, including his statement, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” A fun song to sing with these would be Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World. The words and music to this can be found at http://budurl.com/MLKsong – Please note, the music begins with an introduction, before it plays the music for the verse. To find the crafts, go to http://budurl.com/MLKpaperdolls
The Holiday Zone has several creative crafts for kids of all ages. My favorite was the first one. Making a collage of black and white papers, then discussing how boring it would have been to have made it all white or all black. Variety makes everything so much nicer and more interesting!
ChildFun had several excellent projects and songs about Dr. King set to familiar tunes. I have to admit, I had a tough time singing the one set to Old McDonald, but I did fine with all the rest. Lots of fun but lots of good learning as well. http://www.childfun.com/index.php/holidays/winter-holidays/martin-luther-king-jr-day/359-martin-luther-king-jr-crafts-and-activities.html
Easy Fun School has links to a variety of crafts and projects including a crossword puzzle, a timeline, and a word search puzzle. http://budurl.com/MLKpuzzles
Whatever craft(s) you end up doing, here are some great Bible verses to add to them. I like to use these and discuss the fact that Martin Luther King was a Christian who believed in seeking change peacefully. He strove to set an excellent example of what James said: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” James 3:17
I also remind them that we are all descended from Adam and Eve; we are all descended from Noah and his wife; and as brothers and sisters in Christ we are all Abraham’s descendants as Paul pointed out: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:26-29
Hopefully you and your grandkids will find a project or two here to have fun with. While you’re having fun, enjoy teaching, impressing, and guiding them to a richer knowledge of their country’s heritage and their own spiritual heritage.