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Crafty Mom: An MLK Day craft for kids

Posted January 13, 2011

Note from Sarah, the editor around here: I'm excited to introduce Erin James to our stable of bloggers here at Go Ask Mom. Erin is the mom of three - six-year-old Sage, three-year-old Myley and Alan, who is almost two - and she's crafty. Meaning she likes to do crafts with her kids. In fact, every Monday is Crafty Monday in her house. Her family uses it as a time to reconnect and have fun while making fun, new and sometimes messy projects. So here's Erin ...

When you hear the name Martin Luther King, Jr., more than likely the iconic statement “I have a dream” is what comes to mind. For our craft I went a little further in his speech to my favorite line:

"… little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

I wanted to teach my children the importance of disregarding the differences between people and that race, color, shape and size should not play a part in how you feel about someone. I wanted them to understand that all are equal.

For this craft I decided to make playdough. It is a very simple no cook recipe. I had them mold a world out of the dough and paint their world with two hands overlapping.

For the playdough you will need:

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 cup water

1 TBS oil

I doubled this recipe and it gave me more than enough playdough for three kids.

Mix together first with a spoon and then with your hands, kneading it just as you would pizza dough.

We rolled out the dough and used a pencil to cut out a circle. After removing the extra dough around the circle the kids pressed their hands into the dough so that their fingers overlapped across the world.

We then painted all but the hand prints blue. I let the kids pick any color for the hands, making each one a different color.

You can wait for the play dough to harden before you paint. It takes about 48 hours, or you can paint it first. I painted it first so that the reason and thoughts on this project would still be fresh in the kids minds.

I also let them paint and make whatever they wanted. Myley made a foot which actually fit right in with this project. In his speech King also said: “We cannot walk alone.”

This was a fun way for them to begin to understand and memorize a few key phrases from this important piece of history.

This playdough recipe is so simple and perfect for rainy days. It will last for a few weeks in an air tight container. Add food coloring or natural coloring, such as beet juice, to make fun colors.

Do you have any fun Martin Luther King Day crafts? I’d love to hear about them!

Erin is the Triangle mom of three and blogger on and She'll be sharing crafts a couple of times a month starting today here on Go Ask Mom.


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  • lilypony Jan 14, 2011

    Love it, great idea! In my experience as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, the homemade playdough that you make with either boiling water or the kind you cook will dry faster and smoother than the no-cook variety. So if you want a kid-friendly preparation, by all means use the no-cook. For a project like this it shouldn't matter. If you want to be able to make little "things" with your playdough that dries without cracking, you want the cooked variety. The cooking process stabilizes the gluten and protein. Just search online for one that has ingredients that you have in stock. Some need alum, some need cream of tartar, some need veg oil. You can also add a packet of unsweetened kool-ade to color and scent it.

  • tinabredbury Jan 14, 2011

    This is a great idea. God created us all equal and in his eyes we are all the same. Thank you for sharing. I'll have to do this with my kids. Great blog!!