National KidsDay® is almost upon us. Understanding that many of us cannot afford expensive observances, KidsPeace has put together this list of ways you can celebrate with the children in your lives that will make them happy and result in an great day for the entire family.
Family Scavenger Hunt
On National KidsDay morning, slip note cards under everyone’s pillow to start the scavenger hunt. Direct them where to go for a trail of treats and promises. Hide special goodies and notes around the house (each note provides a clue for the next card or treat). Promise notes can be as simple as “You can stay up late to watch a movie” or “You can decide where we eat tonight.” Save and redeem these promise coupons, spreading the togetherness for months to come.
Down Memory Lane
Relax with the kids and enjoy looking through old childhood photographs of you growing up and the kids as they’ve grown up. Share your favorite memories and activities you enjoyed as a child. Take pictures on National KidsDay and start to organize, with your children, scrapbooks they can share with their kids in years to come.
Healthy Kids Chart
A fun activity that promotes good health. Create a colorful chart to keep track of healthy habits, using poster board and markers. Brainstorm with the kids about what habits should be listed (perhaps eating healthier, eating more vegetables, tooth-brushing, flossing, hair washing, etc.). Along the side of the chart, write the healthy habits. Across the top, write each family member’s name. Draw spaces to check off or apply stickers whenever the healthy habits are followed.
The Big Coupon Reversal
Instead of kids making coupons for parents, adults make a coupon for the kids. Develop a list with the kinds of things your family hasn’t had time for lately. Together, create a coupon booklet. Then kids redeem the coupon any time they want a little extra attention.
National KidsDay Bash
Celebrate National KidsDay with family, friends and neighbors. Send party invitations and ask everyone to bring their kids’ favorite dishes to share. Have the kids create artistic table decorations and colorful placemats. Create a group graffiti board where everyone writes or draws special National KidsDay messages. Host a parent-child talent show or turn on some music and play musical chairs. Mark your calendars for the first Sunday in August and make this an annual, fun-filled event.
Sounds Like …
Play Charades as partners, teaming up at least one adult and one child. The first pair draws a movie title from the hat and leaves the room to plan how they will act out the clue. (You decide how long they get to prepare.) That pair acts out the title while the other team guesses. If the opposite team correctly guesses the clue, they are up next. Be sure to time each pair (allow 90 seconds). At the end of the game, the team with the shortest total time wins!
Get together with other families in the neighborhood to plan a National KidsDay carnival! Have the kids organize games and events such as: bucket toss, face painting, beanbag toss, craft table, funny photo dress-up booth, etc. Play a friendly game of tug or war or parent-child sack races, three-legged and wheelbarrow races or egg-on-spoon race. Remember to partner grown-ups with children and have a terrific day.
Take a Hike
What a wonderful way to share time and nature with our children. Parks are wonderful places to explore with your child. Many have trails marked as to their difficulty. Bring backpacks w/lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, cameras, a compass, maps, insect repellant and sun block. Let your child use the compass to determine your path. See how many birds you can identify. Look for interesting insects to observe. Make sure you aren’t too ambitious in the distance covered so your child does not get too tired.
Have a Picnic
An ordinary lunch can turn into a delightful memory if you pack it up and go to a park or lake or special place to enjoy it with your child. Cut your sandwiches in amusing shapes, include healthy food and have your child prepare one item. Relax and talk with your child. Bring a ball or Frisbee and get some exercise with your child.
Enjoy a Movie Day
Spend the afternoon with your child watching one or two of his favorite movies. Afterwards, review the movies with you child being as positive as possible about the content, acting, theme, music, animation, etc. This is a great activity for a rainy day.
Help out at a local charity or raise funds through a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to her favorite cause. Making volunteerism part of your child’s life is the best way to teach her to help others when she is an adult.
Do something nice for a neighbor
Help a neighbor out by pulling some weeds, sweeping, watering the plants or another act of kindness you and your child can do together. This is another valuable lesson to teach your child while having some special time for the two of you.
Clean up Toys
Take the time to go through your child’s toys together, separating out the ones he no longer plays with to donate to children who are in need. During this time, reminisce about how your child played with his different toys and share your memories of some fun times. Wash up all of the toys, whether they are being kept or donated.
Plan a Menu
Let your child plan a meal for that day. Then go out together and purchase the ingredients and prepare the meal together. While shopping, point out nutritional values of the foods you are buying and suggest healthier substitutes if appropriate.
Attend a Sports Event
What can be more fun than cheering on your favorite team? Find out when games will be played in your neighborhood and attend a baseball, softball or soccer game being played that day. Cheer loudly for friends and classmates and enjoy snacks together while watching.
Have an Arts and Crafts Day
Ask your child what she would like to make and spend part of the day helping her be creative. If it is a sloppy project, do it outside and then clean up with a hose, spraying each other if it is really hot out.
How will you celebrate with your kids? Please email us with some new and creative ideas at KPinfo@kidspeace.org. Just remember, however you celebrate National KidsDay, it is the closeness and fun that your child will remember.