I guess it comes as no surprise to most of you that I love holidays. I can’t help it! Some of my happiest memories as a child and as a teacher are centered around holidays. Holidays give us something to look forward to and are an excuse to put a little fun in our lives. I’m really not a bad person because I like to celebrate.
On the other hand, there is a growing movement toward eliminating all holidays from schools. I certainly understand why and I respect that decision. Those people are no more party poopers than I am a pagan.
But you creative teachers have found a wonderful way to celebrate and have fun while avoiding the traditional trappings! For example, one teacher told me that they do a “friendship celebration” instead of Valentine’s Day. Each child brings a fruit and they make a fruit salad they can enjoy together.
Last week in Texas several teachers shared these ideas:
Nursery Rhyme Parade (Carly Kettler, Erika Ahumada, & Jennifer Ruiz)
To culminate a nursery rhyme unit, the children dress up like nursery rhyme characters on Halloween and parade throughout the school in their costumes. Afterwards they have nursery rhyme themed stations with hands-on activities.
“Spider Cookie” – Children create spiders from Oreo cookies with licorice legs and red hots for eyes.
“Humpty Dumpty” – Children balance plastic eggs on spoons and walk.
“Baa Baa Black Sheep” – Children do finger painting.
Cowboys and Cowgirls (Anne Alff)
After studying about Texas in October, the children dress up like cowboys and cowgirls. They have a rodeo, chili, queso and chips, etc.
P.S. I can’t help it, but I’ve got one more Halloween idea! Let children squirt glue on a sheet of wax paper. Add some wiggly eyes. Dry overnight. Punch a hole, insert string, and you’ve got a necklace. These don’t have to be ghosts, you know. They could be monsters or aliens or anything else you would like them to be. So if you ever see a holiday activity on my site, you just go ahead and borrow it, adapt it, or steal it and make it work for you!