Martin Luther King Jr. Handprint Unity Wreath Craft For Kids
Make this Handprint Unity Wreath Craft with your kids to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and introduce conversations about racism, equality, fairness, and achieving your dreams.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is such an inspiring figure in American History… and honestly, it is really so important to talk to kids about hard concept like racism, equality, the civil rights movement, and having dreams.
Sometimes it is really hard to start these difficult conversations with younger kids… either because they can’t understand the nuances of such a complex issue. Or, because the conversations themselves are really hard.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the perfect time to start the conversation (if you aren’t already talking about racial equality) or reinforce the concepts embodied by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy.
This Handprint Unity Wreath craft for kids is a great activity to do with your kids.. especially younger kids, to introduce these topics and really dig into Dr. King’s legacy and how it impacts us now.
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What you will need:
- Cardstock or construction paper in various shades of skin tones
- Glue dots or glue
- White dinner-size paper plate
- Hole punch
How to make the handprint unity wreath craft
Trace each child’s hand on the scrapbook paper and cut apart. Use different skin color tones to represent the different colors of skin people have. An alternative is you could make this a ‘colors of the rainbow’ wreath to represent the entire world or other types of diversity.
From the paper plate, remove the center circle to create the wreath shape. Use scissors for this but don’t cut too much out of the middle. Leave some of the middle of the plate uncut so you have more area for attaching the hands.
Attach the handprints to the paper plate wreath using glue dots. Layer the hands so that there is a diverse array of the different skin colors.
Punch holes through the hands in the center of the plate. You don’t need to punch a hole in every hand, just the ones in the center of the plate.
Lace ribbon through the holes and finish with a bow.
Ways you can talk about racial equality and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy with your kids
- Talk with your kids about why it’s important to treat all people equally.
- What is kindness and respect? How can we treat all people with kindness and respect?
- Introduce the concept of racism to your kids. Talk about how different people have different skin colors and why it’s not kind, respectful, or fair to treat someone differently because they look different than you do. For younger kids it might be easier to introduce the concept of racism by talking about the concept of fair vs. unfair.
- What is diversity? Can you think of ways people can be different? Discuss why diversity makes us stronger and better as a community.
- What are your dreams? What do you hope for the future? Talk with your kids about dreams for the future.
Essential Martin Luther King Jr. quotes to discuss with your kids
If you want to have a continuing conversation with your kids about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, a great activity would be to pick one quote a day and weave that quote into your daily conversations at dinnertime, bedtime, or other activities you are doing.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”
“I have decided to stick with love. . . . Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Beethoven composed music. … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
“If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.”
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
“But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
“The time is always right to do right.”
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”
“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”
Martin Luther King Jr. Books, videos, and other resources
These are all great books for kids that talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s life and legacy.
If you want to continue the conversation to talk about the greater Civil Right Movement with your kids, here are some great boks to get you started.
Great books and resources if you want to have a deeper conversation about racism with your kids.
YouTube Videos you can watch about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy
An abridged version of the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’
The full version of the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ but audio only:
Historical Context of the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
The life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (animated)