Home / Group Activities / How Children Get the Most from Celebrations

How Children Get the Most from Celebrations

How does your classroom mark holidays? Which do you celebrate in class? How do you decide? There are as many perspectives on holidays in the Montessori classroom as there are teachers! As a community, we’ve come up with so many unique and creative ways to address “special days.” Yet classroom holidays are still generating a debate or two…

To celebrate or not to celebrate… That is the question!

Our greater culture focuses deeply on special occasions; often the marketplace inappropriately targets children. Commercial holidays are promoted several months in advance. Children are overwhelmed with mostly unavoidable input during these heightened times. Our communities are saturated. At such times, commercial holidays can become emotionally charged for the whole community.

The “all or nothing” approach we tend to take in order to maintain peace in our school communities is not the only path. We Montessori teachers have the skills to tailor a celebration plan to fit our individual communities based on what is most meaningful to our children.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I am personally a fan of the minimal approach. That isn’t to say that we never had celebrations in my classroom. Quite the opposite! However, our “holidays” were usually organic, springing from the children themselves. A self-chosen celebration tends to spur the children’s creativity and act as a springboard into greater research and passion about their work.

So how does a thoughtful teacher create a celebration that equally focuses on the children, respects cultural and community concerns, and maintains a normal classroom routine all at the same time?

Try letting go of commercial holidays entirely!

Thinking in terms of celebrating occasions instead can help reduce the political, cultural, and gift-giving pressures associated with commercial holidays. “Occasions” are simple markers of time — they can offer an inspiring interdisciplinary experience and opportunity for study in our classrooms. Simple, non-disruptive celebrations can illuminate history for our children, as well as the calendar, seasons, rituals, science, and community time.

By consciously choosing to mark events and ideas that are not already addressed by the popular culture, we are helping, not hindering, children in their development. And, children will not pine for a pumpkin-carving craft this fall if they’ve chosen instead to celebrate Elephant Appreciation Day (September 22), World Animal Day (October 4), or Honey Bee Day (October 14)!

As Montessorians, we are sensitive to the needs of every child, including those who need to be recognized and those who are uncertain of their differences. We can give children the freedom to follow their own interests and joys, and to develop themselves without external pressure.

I believe our Montessori classrooms can be a powerful antidote to the inundating and overwhelming stimuli of commercial holidays. We can maintain our calm, consistent, and peaceful environments during these seasons and give children a way to celebrate meaningfully the rest of the year.

5 Quick Tips for Classroom Celebrations

  1. Let children brainstorm “the parts of” a holiday and then develop a celebration for an occasion of their own choosing.
  2. Focus on something particularly meaningful to your class and community; this is a wonderful way to reflect children’s interests and to honor diversity. Use the ideas below as a springboard for creating a celebration calendar unique to your classroom.
  3. The cultural area of the classroom is a good place to start. Nearly every country has a “Day of The Child.” There might be famous people from a continent or country with birthdays to recognize. Celebrate these days as part of your cultural work with people of the world.
  4. Incorporate celebrations into all areas of the curriculum. For example, most animals have their own day – yes, there is a World Penguin Day! Celebrating animal days makes a great connection with biomes, ecology, or animal classification. Plan relevant activities, such as reading books related to the occasion to a small group of interested children.
  5. Elementary children might make an historic timeline related to a place, concept, or person. Children could host a related school-wide event if it allows the children to continue on their individual paths without distraction and if it suits your community. Again, let the children lead.

Teacher-Tested Celebration Themes All Year

  • Geography: a date specific to a continent, country, county, or city
  • Children’s Days: find dates and info for 64 countries on Wikipedia
  • Peace: peacemakers’ birthdays, anniversaries, peace events
  • Political occasions: country, state/province, county, or neighborhood
  • Ecological: Earth Day, Earth Hour, or local community campaigns
  • Animal Days: local wildlife, farm animals, pets, exotic or endangered
  • Timeline of Life: digest into a year; see how things develop on a relative scale
  • Science: invention dates, inventor birthdays, scientific discovery dates, timeline of a specific science concept
  • Space Exploration: who, what, when, where, how, why?
  • Birthdays: the children’s, athletes, artists, musicians, writers
  • Movements: civil rights, peace, child health
  • International/World Events
  • Seasons: life cycles, solstices, equinoxes, record-setting weather
  • Nature: one biome per month, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes
  • Explorers/Discoveries: birthdays, expeditions, regions explored
  • Olympics
  • Music: instrument timeline, composer birthdays, new styles of music
  • Children’s Rights
  • Your school’s anniversary

Check Also

The Benefits of Cooperation and Teamwork

Was your child eliminated from the spelling bee and came home in tears? Have you …

34 comments

  1. After study a number of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I truly like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site record and will probably be checking back soon. Pls check out my site as properly and let me know what you think.

  2. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  3. of course like your web site however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the reality nevertheless I will surely come again again.

  4. I keep listening to the news broadcast lecture about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?

  5. Very good written information. It will be supportive to anybody who usess it, as well as yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – looking forward to more posts.

  6. I’m impressed, I must say. Really not often do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my seek for something referring to this.

  7. As a Newbie, I am always browsing online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  8. Wow, awesome blog format! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog glance easy. The full glance of your site is magnificent, let alone the content!

  9. Thank you for any other informative web site. Where else may just I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal approach? I’ve a venture that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the look out for such information.

  10. Thanks, I have recently been searching for information approximately this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have found out till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure about the supply?

  11. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I do know it was my choice to learn, but I truly thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix if you happen to werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

  12. great post.Never knew this, regards for letting me know.

  13. What is Sugar Defender? Is it safe for blood sugar? The inventor of Sugar Defender, a natural supplement that supports glucose levels, is Tom Green.

  14. I have been browsing on-line more than 3 hours as of late, but I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the internet will probably be much more helpful than ever before.

  15. Spot on with this write-up, I really think this website wants much more consideration. I’ll in all probability be again to read far more, thanks for that info.

  16. Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to give something again and aid others like you aided me.

  17. Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thank you

  18. Hi there, I found your blog via Google while looking for a related topic, your website came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  19. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

  20. Hello, you used to write fantastic, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  21. What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help different customers like its helped me. Good job.

  22. What Is Sumatra Slim Belly Tonic? Sumatra Slim Belly Tonic is a natural formula that supports healthy weight loss.

  23. Perfect work you have done, this internet site is really cool with great information.

  24. Sweet site, super layout, very clean and employ friendly.

  25. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your website is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect web-site.

  26. You are my intake, I have few blogs and infrequently run out from to brand.

  27. I dugg some of you post as I cogitated they were very beneficial extremely helpful

  28. It’s really a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  30. My spouse and i have been quite contented that Louis could finish up his studies through your precious recommendations he received from your own web site. It is now and again perplexing to simply always be handing out tricks which often most people may have been trying to sell. Therefore we realize we need the blog owner to thank for that. All the explanations you made, the simple web site menu, the friendships you can aid to engender – it’s got mostly fantastic, and it is assisting our son and our family understand the matter is awesome, and that’s highly pressing. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  31. Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far. However, what about the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

  32. As I website owner I believe the subject material here is very great, thanks for your efforts.

  33. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Appreciate it

  34. Good day! I simply wish to give a huge thumbs up for the good data you’ve got right here on this post. I will likely be coming again to your weblog for more soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *