What is the first step to teaching preschoolers about MLK, great man that he was?
Keep scrolling for free worksheets (including a “Dr. King and Me” foldable book),books, and activities to engage your little ones!
After experiencing racism as a young boy, Dr. King devoted his entire life to seeking equality for others.
The Civil Rights leader was filled with hope for the future, particularly for children.
MLK Day is a great time to introduce your preschooler to the man who cared about the world they are now growing up in.
The principles that Dr. King stood and fought for can be quite complex, especially for preschool aged children.
Introduce them to simple concepts such as the beauty of diversity, being inclusive (or even, simply, nice) to others, and non-violence.
Also, remember that Dr. King was actually a real man.
We often romanticize him, but focusing on how he was hurt when he was a boy and relating it to present day experiences will help preschoolers to comprehend a lot more about Dr. King.
Want a few MLK printables to round out your lessons for the preschoolers in your life?
Click here to download five free Dr. King worksheets.
Preschool Activities for MLK Day
1. Create a collage.
Look through magazines together and find pictures of children of all nationalities.
Help your preschooler cut the pictures out, and create a multicultural collage.
Alternately, you could create a collage that illustrates some of the principles that Dr. King believed in, such as love and peace.
2. Complete the Dr. King and Me booklet.
Help preschoolers relate to Dr. King as a boy by completing this simple Dr. King and Me booklet.
Just print it out and fold it in fours.
Have your young learner draw pictures that relate to each fact about Dr. King.
3. Make a family differences chart.
Create a simple chart that has the names of each of your family members on the top.
Label the sides with Hair Color, Eye Color, Favorite Food, and other categories.
Fill in the chart with information from the entire family.
Compare the differences and similarities, and discuss how the differences don’t make you love each other any less…it just makes you that much cooler of a family!
4. Learn a new song.
Teach your preschooler the lyrics to the song, “We Shall Overcome”.
Talk about the word “overcome”.
Discuss how Dr. King was working to help others overcome being mistreated.
Change the lyrics with your preschooler to reflect something that is important to them (i.e. “I’ll be a good friend, I’ll be a good friend, I’ll be a good friend each day…”)
5. Make an “I Have A Dream” Pillow.
This little pillow is opens up some interesting conversations about Dr. King’s beliefs.
Although I’m typically not a worksheet person, this word search can be a good introduction to new vocabulary, and a conversation starter.
Books for Preschoolers about MLK, Jr.
The best way to teach little kids about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is through books. Here are two great introductory books to get you started.
by Johnny Ray Moore, illustrated by Amy Wummer
This board book is a great introduction to Dr. King for young children.
Using simple language, it gives an account of Dr. King’s life.
by David A. Adler, illustrated by Robert Casilla
The best part about this book is that preschoolers get a glimpse into the boy who eventually became Dr. King.
They will see that he had been left out, and had his feelings hurt, but that he channeled that pain into making sure no other children had to experience it.
Be prepared for deep conversations with this book.
Teaching preschoolers about MLK is a way to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, and all he did to bring us together.
Whether you make MLK Day a day of service, a day of learning, or a day of love, take a moment to thank Dr. King for the work that he did back then so that our children could thrive now.