Liven up a dull summer day with a celebration! You can design an entire learning theme around a holiday or commemorative day and keep the kids occupied for hours dreaming up parties, competitions, or other projects. Where to get ideas for the fun? Well, you can either pick a favorite holiday and celebrate it just like you do when the real date rolls around, or you can check out some of the really goofy events days that pepper our calendar and discover a new way to learn.
- Christmas: Yes, I said Christmas. Pull out some of the favorite decorations, make a few presents for loved ones, get out the Christmas books and bake some Christmas cookies. Christmas is such a beloved holiday in so many households that it’s a shame to limit it to one day each year. If you’d like to add some educational fun to your summer celebration, try having the kids retell their favorite stories, make a memory book of family Christmases, write a story about what happened the year that Christmas didn’t happen or was really moved to summer, or turn their favorite Christmas story into a play. You don’t *really* have to get the decorations out of the attic, though. Many kids will love making paper Christmas chains, stringing popcorn (you can put it out for the birds), making newspaper wrapping paper, and baking with the Christmas recipes.
- Halloween: Another family favorite that many will enjoy celebrating for an extra day. Design a “haunted house,” make costumes out of household stuff like toilet paper and foil, make a scarecrow from stuffing old clothing, write a Halloween story or two, read a few scary stories, and create a few Halloween kitchen treats. Don’t do Halloween at your house? Try having an out-of-time Harvest Festival or Fall Festival instead!
- Thanksgiving: It’s a great excuse to review the history lessons that go with the holiday and learn more about the first settlers in the United States as well as Native Americans. Make a museum that shows the world what the kids understand about the holiday and the history. Put on a play or write a story about it. Make up a story about people who settle on a whole new planet and have a Thanksgiving of their own. Plan a Thanksgiving dinner and use newspaper advertisements to calculate the cost for the family. Do some cooking and make a few Thanksgiving traditional treats or try Thanksgiving foods that you don’t normally serve at your house.
- Valentine’s Day: Lots of crafty activities will come to mind for this out-of-time celebration. You can also use this as an excuse to create remembrances for far away loved ones or volunteer to brighten people’s days in nursing homes or local hospitals by making tray favors or cards. Research the history of Valentine’s Day and find out how the holiday got its start, and learn about Cupid and other mythical beings from our shared cultural past.
- Check out Bizarre and Fun Holidays to discover the goofy holidays coming up this month and every month. Every day is a celebration, and the site gives you many, many more ideas to make the learning fun each and every day!
Remember that I love to hear from YOU! Leave me a comment or a question and I’ll get right back to you. Looking for an idea or help with a particular learning issue? Just let me know!