Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Growing up my parents didn’t spend a lot of time educating us on Black history. What we did learn, we learned in school… Which wasn’t much. And was often uncomfortable. When you’re the only black kid in class and topics like slavery and civil rights are being discussed things get weird.
I don’t want that for my kids. I want them to grow up knowing, understanding and appreciating Black History–Never feeling uncomfortable discussing it with peers, but empowered.

This school year has turned into a subtle year of Black History studies. It’s not like we purposely study it every day (we are actually studying about early pioneers officially but bouncing around thanks to our fascination with the Hamilton musical) but it’s come up a lot.

I knew this year I’d be going to do the MLK march with kids. I’d done them in college, and a couple since, but I wanted to start the tradition with my own children. This year for the first time I brought my kids downtown to the MLK March to the Texas Capitol and we had the time of our lives. I hope this is a tradition we keep for many years to come.

I’m going to back up for a minute to our visit to  Washington D.C. a few months ago, where we say the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and where he gave his infamous speech.

Visiting DC

Washington DC with kids

We visited the new African American History museum in Washington D.C., the MLK Memorial and stood in the spot where he gave his I Have a Dream speech.

washington-dc_0388-copy

Washington DC with kids

Homeschool

Then several of our books about Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks and the Lovings are easily some of our go-tos. Beyond that, last week I randomly picked up an American Girl story on CD from the library. It’s Addy’s story. Lil’ J fell in LOVE with these stories. We’re already on book 5 of 6. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s about a little girl who was born into slavery, and the story of her family escaping and trying to reunite.

It’s opened the doors to a lot of conversations about the history of our country, and some candid yet very casual conversations about skin color and differences. She LOVES Dr. King, and she had his birthday circled on her calendar.

A day after her birthday is our nations birthday and we get fireworks. The day after my birthday is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We get to reflect on how far we’ve come, and how we can help bring even more unity in the world.

MLK March with Kids

In the past we’ve done little crafts and celebrated with “Peace Pie” (a simple dessert tradition we started). This year we added in the kids’ first MLK march to the state capitol building. I packed my son’s balance bike in the car before we left (best decision ever) and they had a blast! We brought canned foods to donate to the Capital Area Food bank. Did you know MLK Day is also now known as a national day of service?

mommy and me mlk

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

We can’t wait to go next year.

Listening and Reading

When we got home we watched the I Have a Dream speech twice and followed along in a beautiful illustrated storybook I picked up at Half Priced Books for $3! I just checked to see if it’s on Amazon but it looks like it’s only available through scholastic.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Talking and Tasting

We put together some snacks and listened/read the speech while they filled their bellies. Afterwards we called Grandma Nan (my grandmother) and talked to her about some of what she remembers from that day. She told us she was in high school and wanted to go hear the speech but her dad wouldn’t let her! Lil’ J could not understand why he didn’t let her go.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Feeling

Before we cut into our third annual Peace Pie after dinner my daughter said we each needed to say something we’re thankful that Dr. King helped bring about.

“That he taught love, not hate,” my sweet daughter said.

She’s getting it.

I hope it’s one of those days they remember for a long time. I know it will be for me.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

And now I photo dump the rest of our day all over you. Forgive me/ enjoy!

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids. Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with kids. MLK March with kids.

 

If you made it this far let me know if you did anything to celebrate, or your plans for next year!

Why I took my kids to an MLK march (and you should too!)


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Andrea says:

It’s so important to teach our children about history. Great job that you took time to take them to the MLK march & great tips on learning more & I adore all your photo’s. This inspires me to try harder with my kids.

Angela says:

I love that you did this with your kids. You gave them such a gift, and so awesome that Grandma Nan got to share her experiences with them. I wish I had taken my 8 year old to a march, and will keep your peace pie in mind for next year.

Bree says:

This is so awesome that you were able to experience this with them. It is so important to teach our kids about diversity and important moments in history! I hope when my daughter gets older I am able to do this with her as well.
Bree recently posted..Baby’s First Walking Shoes: What I RecommendMy Profile

Cristine says:

I encouraged my kids to read more books about historical figures that we don’t always talk about. It’s one of the reasons I like Hidden Figures. Even though those women were treated poorly they had a huge impact on history. We need to uncover more people who have great impact that aren’t a discussed
Cristine recently posted..Love is in the chocolate for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

Paula Atwell says:

I love the way you have shared this heritage with your kids. I know the value of sharing heritage. Your kids are blessed to have a mom that is giving the confidence to feel good in their own skin.
Paula Atwell recently posted..Steampunk Games & Game Accessories for Him, Her or ThemMy Profile

Liz Mays says:

It’s wonderful that you took the kids to this march! The “I Have a Dream” speech is amazing, as are many other MLK speeches and statements!

Keikilani says:

Your pictures are just stunning! I think your children will remember this trip for years to come. There is something so valuable in life experience.
Keikilani recently posted..Lee Stafford ChoPstick Curling Wand Review and GIVEAWAY!!!My Profile

Kristin says:

Love this post. What a wonderful experience for your children. It looks like you had an amazing time in DC and everyone learned a lot!
Kristin recently posted..Family Travel: Goldfield Ghost TownMy Profile

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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