Schools and many businesses are closed for Martin Luther King Jr Day. This year, we decided to be proactive and discuss the importance of diversity and the history behind Martin Luther King Jr and finished our conversations with a cute diversity craft for kids.
We started our discussion and activity in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day but it is also perfect for introducing black history month in February.
Deciding to Teach About Diversity to Toddlers
It’s 2021 and there is still a lot of hate in this world. We live in a fairly diverse community and have been raising our children to treat others as equals. But I felt it was time to introduce a little history to my 4 and 5-year-old. We are schooling from home anyway so it seemed fitting.
In honor of MLK Jr, we spent the morning learning and discussing the history of slavery, segregation, civil rights, and today’s systemic racism in this country. I want my kids to grow up to understand that things like skin color, race, ethnicity, sex, or sexuality should not be factors for judgment. That these things should not make us any more or less important. And that we should all be treated equally and given the same opportunities for success in this world.
Yes, these are heavy topics. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t teach them to our children or hold off until they are older. A little communication goes a long way, no matter how old they are!
There are ways to introduce these heavy topics in a way that children can comprehend. And it’s a great way to open a discussion.
Teaching Diversity to Young Children
So how can one go about teaching diversity or the importance of Martin Luther King Jr to kids or toddlers?
Telling my kids about Martin Luther King Jr and his role in the Civil Rights movement left them a bit confused. We had to go back and discuss slavery and segregation first. And it had to be simple and not too graphic.
I gave them my explanations and resorted to YouTube educational videos for kids and found very good content!
Here are a few youtube videos we liked:
- Introduction of Slavery Explained for Kids
- History of Slaves in the United States (For Kids)
- Civil Rights: A Kid-Friendly Explainer | BrainPOP
- Systemic Racism Explained -this one is fast and not intended for kids but extremely informational for all.
- Read Aloud – When Martin Luther King Jr Wore Roller Skates
Then we watched a few read-aloud stories (because I forgot to get books at the library) about Martin Luther King Jr and began crafting.
Diversity Craft For Kids
For starters, there’s no better way to show diversity in a craft for kids than to show different kinds of people uniting together.
So traced our hands and grabbed our Colors of the World crayons from Crayola (it’s about time they had skin tones).
Once our hands were all colored in with various skin tones, we grabbed our watercolors and painting paper and painted the earth.
While waiting for them to dry, we cut out the hands (mommy helped). When the paint dried, we cut out the earth and glued the hands in the center, united in a circle. And our beautiful diversity craft for kids was complete!
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My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.
Wonderful craft and I love how Crayola has come out with such a wonderful pack of crayons! As a mother of 3 children with a beautiful array of skin tones, this is much appreciated!
I love how accessible these teachings and crafts are. I too think it’s important to teach about diversity, and having tools like YouTube videos, books and crafts that kids can understand and relate to, is so important.
This is such a great way to teach little ones about diversity. It’s Important for them to know that everyone is equal and special no matter what color they are! Thank you for sharing this wonderful craft!