Celebrating MLK day with Kids

January 15, 2021

Here’s a roundup of our favorite books, movies, and games to help make celebrating the Martin Luther King Day holiday with kids more meaningful. (and fun!)

Our plans for celebrating MLK Day

More so than ever before, I think celebrating and teaching the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day is super important. Here’s how we’re planning to celebrate this year and educate our kids about the leadership and service of Martin Luther King Jr. From books and movies to a Minecraft March keep reading to find out the 3 ways we plan to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and emphasize making the world a more just and fair place for all.

1. BOOKS

Here are our favorite books we like to reach for to learn about one of the greatest leaders and civil rights activists of all time.

I am Martin Luther King Jr. – Preschool (for my 4 year old Nora)

This fun picture biography by historian Brad Meltzer gives kids the inspiring message that we can all be heroes. With simple text and cartoon-style illustrations, I Am Martin Luther King Jr. makes King’s life accessible to the youngest readers. 

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr. – Elementary School (for my 8 year old Ollie)

With short chapters and a bunch of illustrations, Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr. explores King’s life and explains the historical context in an accessible way for elementary school kids (grades 3 and up).

2. Shows + Movies

Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum

Based on the best selling Ordinary People Change the World books, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum follows a boy named Xavier, his sister Yadina and their best friend Brad (oh yes, that Brad). Every episode, they encounter a problem (like being bullied), then go to their secret museum and go back in time to meet a hero like Rosa Parks, who teaches them how to deal with bullies. You’ll see why kids across the country are singing the theme song!

This came as a recommendation from an Instagram follower and it’s such a great series for starting a dialogue with kids about gender equality and people of color.

Remember The Titans

I’ve found that it’s best if I can find entertainment that aligns with my kids interests and also teaches valuable lessons rooted in things like civil rights and examples of positive leadership. This movie is a PERFECT choice for my 8 year old sports loving Ollie.

3. Games

Minecraft meets MLK

Minecraft is making their Good Trouble world available as a free demo from January 14 to February 28. This immersive experience is based on the life and teachings of Civil Rights leader and US Congressman John Lewis. It invites learners on a journey through historic and present-day social movements around the world, from the Victorian Suffragettes and the struggle for Indian independence to Malala’s Yousafzai’s fight for women’s education in Afghanistan, and more!

Kids can meet the activists of the US Civil Rights Movement as they march, ride, sit, and stand to act as catalysts for Good Trouble, racial justice, and equality. They’ll visit famous moments in the history of the movement with destinations that include the confrontation with police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-Ins, and Rosa Parks’ protest against public segregation.