Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -- Freedom Walk

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Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great civil rights leader. We honor his fight for equal rights on the third Monday in January. Nonviolent protests were important to Dr. King, especially his Freedom Walk and March on Washington. As you celebrate Martin Luther King Day and discuss his accomplishments, do these activities with your children to help them understand the importance of his work.

What you’ll need:
*Roll of white paper or craft paper

*Discuss with your children some of the laws that separated white people and African-Americans. Explain to them that as children, they were not allowed to play together. African-Americans had to sit in the back of the bus, use different restrooms, schools, and restaurants, which were often not up to the same standards as those for white people.

Activity #1: Differences Walk
*Take a walk in your neighborhood. Discuss how African-Americans were segregated because they looked different. Find two trees, two houses, two dogs, two cars side-by-side. Discuss how they look different. Now talk about how they are actually more similar than they are different. Remind your children that people are the same.

Activity #2: Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes
*Talk about the saying “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” What does it mean? Try to understand what it must have been like to be treated differently.
*Have your kids put on adult shoes and walk around the house. How does it feel different?

Activity #3: Footprints A (younger kids)
*Roll out a 3 or 4 foot section of white paper or craft paper.
*Paint the bottom of each child’s foot and have them walk all over the paper.
*After you’ve cleaned up and the paper is dry, talk about how hundreds of thousands of feet marched on Washington and listened to Dr. King’s famous “Dream” speech. (See the link below to listen or read the speech.)

Activity #4: Footprints B (older kids)
*Trace your child’s foot on a piece of paper. Inside the footprint, have them write words the describe Martin Luther King, Jr.
*Talk about how different our world would be today if we were still segregated.
*What if Dr. King was still alive today? Would he be happy with the changes? What might he say about an African-American president?

*Send us a picture of your kids honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and we may post it to our site!

Suggested Resources:
*Dream Journal from
*Click here to listen or read Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
* Martin Luther King, Jr’s Life Timeline slideshow for kids by kids

This activity can be found in the Holidays section of our site.