How to celebrate Parent's Day as a teacher with children of your own this summer holiday

Being a teacher is not a job, it's a way of life. That is why it's so hard to stop thinking about school when you're on holiday. It can also be why you can't help but act as a teacher towards your own children (if you have them).

The habit of being a teacher to your kids might be useful at times, however, your children probably already have their own teachers at school. What they really need this holiday is a loving parent.

Parent's day is a perfect date to decide to turn the teacher habit around and get back to being a warm-hearted mom or dad.

What is Parent's Day?

Parent's day was established in 1994 in the United States, to "recognize, uplift and support the role of parents in rearing children" (National Parents' Day Council website). It is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July every year. Parent's Day is similar to Mother's Day and Father's Day but it is it's own distinct holiday.

Parent's Day is all about family bonding, about doing exciting and inspiring activities together. Here are several ideas of things to do with your kids that won't agitate your inner teacher and prompt him/her into action.

Get creative together

Conceptualise the project so that it is simple, intuitive and make it so that you are all participating equally - you want to avoid getting into your teacher's role again by doing something complicated and instructing others what to do.

Some ideas to try: hand and feet painting, splatter painting, making colorful, simple beads out of polymer clay and then making necklaces or other jewelry.

Get active together

Active family bonding is a symbol of Parent's Day. Physical activity will get your joy hormones going, and that promises a fun day out. Go on a family biking tour, or play a fun family frisbee game - the choice is yours. It is better to go with cooperative rather than harshly competitive games and sports.

Go camping or on a picnic

Picnics are always a joy. They're not too difficult to organize and promise relaxed family leisure time. Camping is also an option if you're feeling up to it and you're sufficiently equipped. Campfire talks always promote attachment between fellow campers, and it might be just what you need to tell family stories or help your quiet teenager open up.

If you're already on holiday, pick a special location to visit. Picnics and camping might also be an option when you're away, but just visiting a unique locality you all like might be exciting enough.

Organize a cook-off

If Parent's Day catches you at home, you can organize a cooking competition. Find one or a few recipes for a simple dessert, such as cupcakes – something really easy to make and easy to experiment with. In the end, give special acknowledgments to each competitor - for example, the prettiest, the most creative and tastiest cake. This way the sweet taste of this Parent's Day might be long remembered.

Five ways to celebrate Mother’s Day in the classroom

Mother's Day is one of the most heartwarming holidays you can celebrate with your students in the classroom. Kids are usually very clear about how much they love their moms... well, at least until they hit puberty!  Use the children's natural openness for expressing emotions towards their loved ones to get creative on occasion of the Mother's Day.

Idea #1: Lineage of moms

Before you dive into creativity, talk to your students about family lineages from their mother's side. The point of this exercise is to explain that mothers also have mothers - our grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and all their female ancestors, that are directly responsible for why we exist today. Also, give credit to other mothering figures, such as aunts or other cousins, or significant people such as teachers and nannies. Describe mothering as a superpower that all women have inside of them. And perhaps not just women - tell them that even dads can awaken the same superpower within them because the source of that power is - love. 

Talking about motherhood in this way will be inclusive of the kids who unfortunately have lost their moms or those who do not have moms in their lives for one reason or another. If you approach the issue in this inclusive manner from the very start, these children won't feel like an exception if they choose to make the card for their grandmother, aunt or their dad. You can also encourage other children to make an additional card if they would like that.

Idea #2: Sing about mothers 

There are many beautiful songs about mothers. Make a list of up to three songs and learn to sing them in class. If you have students who are native speakers of some other language, ask them if they know songs about moms in their mother tongue. They could translate parts of the songs and then teach the other children some fragments of the original. That way you get extra cross-cultural fun while acknowledging that mothers are equally admired all over the world.

Idea #3: Write a poem for moms

After getting inspiration from all of the songs, use them to write an original poem or poems for Mother's Day. While writing poems is often regarded as a solitary activity, you can make it a joint effort. That way you can explore the basics of poem writing with your students. Note that this might not be practical if your class is too big. In that case, resort to individual writing, but keep it very short so that you can help everybody who might need assistance. 

Idea #4: Make cards

Cards are an unavoidable part of any mothers day, and that's exactly the way it should be - they are ideal, unpretentious, and easy to make gifts. Additionally, you can talk about the symbolism of colors - why are the Mother's Day cards pink or red? If you've already written poems, the kids can write them or put them in their cards.

Idea #5: Celebrating the day itself

Many schools and educational institutions organize celebrations for Mother's Day. The event can sum up all the other activities you've explored. It is a perfect opportunity to present your poem and sing the songs you've learned.

Decorate the classroom with flowers and help children prepare simple snacks for their moms - as their mothers and mother-figures do for them every day. That way you will complete the circle of care and love, which is the essence of the Mother's Day and being a mom.

Looking for low prep options this Mother's DayWhy not check out my Owl Always Love You Craftivity, my I "A-Door" You Craftivity, or my You Are "Purr-Fect" Craftivity. 


How to have fun with the Easter Bunny in your classroom

For children, the bunnies and the vividly-coloured eggs are the centrepieces of Easter celebrations and Easter-related activities. The younger they are, the more captivating the Easter Bunny is.

Naturally, a charismatic bunny is an excellent character to incorporate into Easter-related classroom activities. Let's explore some of them.

Bunny cardboard and paper masks

The typical bunny facial and bodily features make it a perfect model for making masks and costumes since the basic bunny outlines can be simplified and adapted without losing the basic composition. That makes the bunny mask crafting suitable for any age. There is an almost endless amount of resources and inspirational tutorials for bunny masks online. To be mindful of our environment aim to use repurposed materials.

Bunny egg basket

Customize an egg basket by adding bunny features - the head, the feat, and the tail, for example. Take a few baskets and divide students into an equal number of groups. Each will work on their own basket, practising motoric skills and teamwork. At the end, you will all enjoy the diversity of Easter creations.

Handprint bunny Easter card

You can help your students make easy, personalised Easter gift cards featuring a hand-printed bunny on the front. It is easy to print a bunny by hand. Paint the palm and the fingers with white or another watercolour. The child should press the painted hand onto paper so that fingers will form the bunny's ears as nearly as possible. Facial features of the bunny can also be painted by dipping the fingers in paint, but can also be drawn or glued. Handprint holiday cards are popular with parents since they incorporate the child's handprint, which is always a precious memory.

Marshmallow Easter bunny

When you think about it, the cylindrical shape and the smooth white surface of a marshmallow make it a perfect material for forming a chubby white Easter bunny. There are several ways to go about it, but each will result in a sweet bunny treat.

Make a trip to a petting zoo or a farm

If the circumstances will allow and there is a petting zoo or a children's farm reasonably near your school or kindergarten, why not go out and meet Mr. Bunny in person?

Petting farms are a great way for children to bond with animals - science proves that contact with tame animals reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure, and also facilitates the development of empathy in children. Farms are also a great way to hear where our food - such as Easter eggs - actually come from. And since it is springtime, you can count that the farm will be at it's best - with lots of cute animal offspring running around.

Whatever you happen to pick, it is certain that bunny crafts and activities will bring a lot of joy and smiles into your classroom.

Looking for a low prep options this Easter? Why not check out my Easter Craft Activity or my Easter Challenges?