"Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education."

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Engage in an exciting art exploration and discuss the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with your children using this activity to introduce the day's theme:


  • Very large sheets of newsprint (at least 24" x 24"); one per child
  • Tempera paint in various colors
  • Paper towels

What to Do:

  1. Place paper towels in shallow containers. Pour paint of one color into each container.
  2. On large sheets of paper, lightly draw a large circle as a guide to help younger children.
  3. Let each child pick one color of paint to use.
  4. Have the first child begin by placing her hand in the chosen color of paint and then making a hand print on the paper.
  5. The next child picks a color, and repeats the above procedure.
  6. Repeat so each child in the class has a turn, forming a circle of hand prints.
  7. If necessary to complete the circle shape, children may add additional hand prints.
  8. When paint is dry, names may be added alongside the hand prints.

More to Do:

Talk about sharing toys, taking turns, and peaceful problem-solving, emphasizing the importance of discussion and cooperation. Discuss prejudice.

Related Books:


This activity was taken from The GIANT Encyclopedia of Theme Activities for Children 2 to 5 and originally provided by Sally Lipke from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The GIANT Encyclopedia of Theme Activities for Children 2 to 5 is packed with more than 600 activities, created by teachers and selected from a nationwide competition.

For more Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activity ideas, check out our Pinterest board!