As my daughter gets older, she falls more in love with holidays.  “What holiday is in January?” she asked me last month, and I immediately knew that we were going to dive into Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

As a homeschooling mom, my main goal {above and beyond academic success} is to teach my children the importance of being kind to others.

When I thought about how much could be learned through Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I got super excited and wanted to come up with something engaging and meaningful!


Quick Background Info:

Martin Luther King, Jr.  was an activist who is best remembered for his nonviolent approach to civil rights.  Martin Luther King Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January.  It is a stark reminder of how far our country has come in terms of acceptance, and how far we have to go.


What We Did:

Our peg doll activity was accompanied by the book, Martin Luther King Jr. Day ,that gives kids a simple and interesting look at what Martin Luther King, Jr. really stood for.  This book is not a biography of Martin’s life, but it does give great insight for young learners.

After reading the book, we talked about Martin’s goal in life and how he really wanted for people to be kind and accepting of each other regardless of differences.

To create the image of diversity I took out the peg dolls and the kids painted them to their hearts’ content.



Our peg doll activity included:

Wooden peg dolls

Washable paint

Skinny paintbrushes

Ice cube trays or egg cartons


What The Painting Looked Like:

I intervened upon request, but for the most part, my kids went for it.  They mixed paint, sloshed it on and had a ton of fun during their painting party.


In order to get the whole wooden peg doll painted, we placed them in ice cube trays so they wouldn’t have to be held the whole time.  This allowed for the pegs to be touched minimally and was a great drying place for them as well.

Egg cartons would work just as well.



Got a preschooler?  This activity was fun for my 3-year-old also!




This painting experiment showed my children that we are all created with our own beauty and no matter the differences between us, we can always find something to appreciate about one another.

Grab the “I Have a Dream” journal sheet in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop!