Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated each year on the third Monday in January. The holiday is observed as a day of remembrance for Dr. King's good works. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and one of the most influential leaders in the American civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Dr. King's message of racial equality was not always well accepted by all Americans. Even so, he preached to his followers to embrace nonviolence and to use peaceful demonstration as a way to make positive change. His most famous speech repeated the line, "I have a dream!"

In this article you'll find ideas for activities for kids that help to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. These fun games and craft projects are simple ways to keep Dr. King's dream alive. Check out the following pages for some great suggestions.

Freedom March Game

Create your own board game as you learn important facts about Dr. King's life.

Paper Peace Doves

Doves symbolize peace. Now you can make your own doves out of paper. Let peace fly!

'I Have a Dream' Scroll

Dr. King had a dream. Share your own dreams for the future on this easy-to-make scroll.

Martin Luther King Jr. had many doors closed to him in his life, but he helped open many others. Walk along on his "Freedom March" as you play a board game in the next section.

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Freedom March Game

A great activity for Martin Luther King Jr. Day is playing the Freedom March Game. Learn the facts of Dr. King's life as you create and then play the game.

Use research books, including the encyclopedia, or the Internet to learn facts about Dr. King and his life. Gather your friends for a fun game that will help you understand more about Martin Luther King Jr.

What You'll Need:

Research materials

Long pieces of poster board



One die


Tape long pieces of poster board together, and draw a winding road with 15 to 20 squares on it. Mark the first square with the word "Start" and information about Dr. King's birthplace and birth date. The rest of the squares should have either "Open Door" or "Closed Door" written in them. The last square is marked "Freedom."

The Open Door squares should also be marked with different successes that Dr. King enjoyed in his fight for freedom, such as "Supreme Court declared segregation on buses unconstitutional."

The Closed Doors should be marked with setbacks, such as "Dr. King's home bombed."

When all the squares are marked, you are ready to play. Use the buttons to mark your place on the board.

Take turns tossing the die and moving your buttons the number of squares shown on the die. If you land on an "Open Door," you stay there. If you land on a Closed Door, you must go back to Start. The first person to reach "Freedom" wins the game.

Dr. King was a peaceful man, and peace is often symbolized by doves. Find out how you can create your own peace doves. Read about it on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Paper Peace Doves

Paper Peace Plane Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activity
Paper Peace Plane Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activity

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, make a flock of paper peace doves! This activity will help your friends and family remember the importance of peace.

What You'll Need:

White paper


Black marker

Fold an 8x11-inch piece of white paper in half lengthwise. Draw the side-view of a dove with its wing raised in the air. Make sure the belly of the dove is on the crease of the folded paper. Cut off the extra paper around the outline of the dove and its wing. Fold each wing down to make an airplane shape.

You can write a peaceful message or quote from Martin Luther King Jr. inside the dove, such as "I Have a Dream." Then, let peace fly!

Dr. King is most famous for his "I Have a Dream" speech. Working toward a dream is important for all of us. Learn how to create your own dream scroll on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

''I Have a Dream'' Scroll

'I Have a Dream' Scroll Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activity
'I Have a Dream' Scroll Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activity

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a great time to create an "I Have a Dream" scroll. Dr. King had a dream for his country and its people. In this activity, you can personalize his message by making your own list of dreams. What are your dreams for the future?

What You'll Need:

Drawing paper

Markers or colored pencils

Two 9-inch wooden dowels

Transparent tape

Use markers or colored pencils to write your dreams on a piece of drawing paper. Some of your dreams may be serious and some may be silly. Draw a picture to illustrate each dream you write down. For example, if one of your dreams is for clean air, water, and earth, then draw the world.

After you have written down your dreams, display them on a scroll by taping a wooden dowel to the top and bottom edge of the paper.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see: