Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Theme Day Ideas-Page 1

July 12, 2011 00:14 by Barbara Shelby

 

ABOUT THEMES FOR A DAY... This page has ideas for • Animal Day, • Backward Day, • Bonza Bottler Day, • Book Day, • Chocolate Day, • Corny Corn Day, • Friendship Day, and • Healthy Heart Day.

See page 2 for • Milk Day, • Say Something Nice Day, • Super Hero Day, • What I Want to be Day, • Veggies and Fruit Day, • Puzzle Day and • First Day of Winter (Start a new tradition with Winter!) If you can't have a 'First day of Winter Day'--celebrate winter in January with special activities! 

New short themes will be added through out the year...

NOTE: The above ideas have been gathered from about the site and are great to use as "A Theme for a Day"!  In addition to the following two pages of shorter themes--- Kid Activities has a great many themes that have been fully developed with loads of ideas and activities. Any of the long themes--can also be used for a 'Theme Day'. Just pick and choose a a few  activities from the great many choices.

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THE FULL THEME PAGES ARE:

Animals,    Apples,    Birds,    Cherries,    Circus/Carnival,    Colonial,    Countries Around the World (ChinaFranceMexicoMulti-Cultural,  USA/ Patriotic/Red, White & Blue,    Dr, Seuss,    Earth Green,    Egg Theme,    Faces & Names,   Farm/Harvest,    Flowers,    Frogs,    Gardening,    Insects/Creepy Crawlies,    Leaves,    Mad ScienceOcean/Under the Sea,   Olympics,    Pasta,    Pigs & Chickens,    Popcorn,    Pumpkins,    Purple People Eater,    Purple Color/Purplicious,    Rain & Clouds,    Rainbows,    Reindeer,    Sand,    Snowflakes,   Snowman,    Stones & Rocks,    Sunflowers,    Teddy Bears (and other Bears),    Water Fun,   Westerm/Frontier/Ranch,   Worms    (These are also listed on the left side 'category list' under 'Themes') Also be sure to check out all the Holidays and Seasons for great 'Seasonal Themed' ideas

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ANIMAL DAY

Have each child bring their favorite stuffed animal. Play with animal toys, sing animal songs, eat animal crackers... for lots more ideas...Check out our Animal Theme!

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BACKWARD DAY
Wear all your clothes backwards--shirts and socks inside out.......Say 'Hell-O'  for 'Good-Bye' and 'Good-Bye' for 'Hell-O'.......Learn to write and say your name backwards; talk in Pig Latin .......Learn to say the ABC's backwards....... Have dessert before main course or eat breakfast foods for late snack/dinner....... (Some of these ideas are taken from the Wacky Wednesday Book Theme below...)

.....*ON BACKWARD DAY--

TURN THE DAY UPSIDE DOWN!
Have a breakfast feast (or snack) with kids in the PM!
You can have breakfast any time. Cereal, eggs & bacon, waffles, French toast, or pancakes. Add juice & fruits. Budget low?
If this is a child care program or classroom, have kids sign-up to bring in items. Breakfast is always better at night. (Image by KidActivities.net)

 • ON BACKWARD DAY--TALK PIG LATIN: To all words beginning a vowel (a-e-i-o-u, add the syllable 'way' to the end of the word. 'Eat' becomes eatway and 'over' becomes 'overway'. For words that begin with a consonant, move the first letter of the word and add it to the end--add 'ay' after the consonant.
Example:
Man = Anmay
Cat = Atcay
Ice Cream= Iceway reamcay
 

• On BACKWARD DAY~ LEARN TO SING OR SAY THE ABC'S BACKWARDS!  Why? Just for the fun of it!
Have a poster of the alphabet and point to the letters starting with "Z" and go from there...
Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L K J I H G F E D C B A
 

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Each month remember BONZA BOTTLER DAY!

It's a day just to have a reason to celebrate. So celebrate!!! 
This happens each month when the day and date are the same number!
Example: January 1, February 2, March 3, April 4, May 5, etc. 
 

Bonza Bottler Day is a favorite with many school classrooms and programs because it provides a break in routine for the students and teachers. It has been celebrated since August 8 (8-8) 1985!

When the number of the year also coincides with the number of the day and month (December 12, 2012, there is reason to have a bigger celebration (more food, more friends and more decorations).This is called a 'Bodacious Bonza Bottler Day'. As the official website  states, "Bodacious means extraordinary, impressively great in size, or enormous" Consider making this a monthly event the kids can look forward to! (Now that we're over the number "2012"--this won't happen again until the next century!)

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BOOK THEME... Build a Theme around a favorite book! 

Example: "WACKY WEDNESDAY" by Theo Lesieg --aka Dr. Seuss (Loads of other book theme ideas in the Dr. Seuss Category!) 

 1.  Read the Book "Wacky Wednesday.
Talk about all the wacky things in book and find the misspelled words.
 
2. Create a WACKY environment:
Put shirts on backwards, inside out, or with wacky color combinations and patterns; wear different colored socks or shoes on wrong feet; comb hair in an unusual style. Put signs, notices, and pictures upside down, etc.

3. Visualization Art

  • Close your eyes and imagine your WACKY day.
  • Facilitator vividly describes what children see when they wake up in the morning in their own rooms---children are whisked to their school classroom where it continues. Use imagination and be creative in visual descriptions!
  • Open eyes and then draw/color/paint a picture of what you saw.
  • Play dreamy music during visualization and slightly livelier during art.
  • When complete, verbally share each others wacky days!

4. Play WACKY music (Weird Al or experimental) Move to how it makes you feel.
Note:
Adults must participate so all are silly!
 
5. Eat WACKY food:
Make something from "Gross Grub" by Cheryl Porter or Roald Dahl's "Revolting Recipes". Serve unusual combinations/colors with food; Eat with unique utensils such as Popsicle sticks or straws. Eat breakfast in the afternoon!  Try 'Wacky' recipes such as: Kitty Litter Cake, Pidgeon Poop and Puppy chow.  (All this site)
 
6. Do some WACKY Activities
Learn to write and say your name backwards; talk in pig Latin (See directions above in 'Backwards Day'); learn to say the ABC's backwards; say Bye for Hi and Hi for Bye!

Note:
Building a Theme around a book is also a good idea for a Reading or Drama Club! You could use such books as Little Red Riding Hood, or the Three Little Pigs. You could then act out the story line! (Which will then incorporate a lot more activities! ) Older children can practice and perform this for the younger children or a Family Event!

Note: You could also have a book day where children come dressed as their favorite character!

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'CHOCOLATE' THEME DAY...

 

 MATH:
1. An estimation jar filled with M & M's. Who can guess the closest? Have the winner share the jar with entire
group!
2. Measure object's with foil wrapped chocolate Kisses. Guess how many 'Kisses' it would take to
measure the lenght of a pencil, shoe, etc.


SNACKS/COOKING:
1. Have a taste test sampling... Milk Chocolate, Semi sweet, and various  dark and bittersweet chocolates. Graph the results. An alternative version for older kids-- could be to blind fold them and 'guess' which type of chocolate they are tasting.
2. Serve chocolate milk, chocolate shakes, chocolate ice cream/syrup, or hot chocolate. How about making fudge or no-bake chocolate cookies? Have children frost chocolate cupcakes! 

Kids always like to melt chocolate and dip pretzels, bananas, marshmallows, cherries, etc. Do you know anyone that has a chocolate fountain to dip a variety of goodies? (Could be messy but fun)
Recipes can be found on these KA links:
   •
Hot Chocolate
   • Chocolate Covered Pretzels
   • No Bake Recipes
   • Fudge Candy (and dipped chocolate dipped food)


ART & CRAFTS...

1. Make some CHOCOLATE COVERED SPOONS as a crafty gift...Directions are on our 'Food Gifts' page! (See photo )

2. MAKE CHOCOLATE PUDDING FINGER PAINT

1  (4 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding & pie filling
2  CupS cold milk

Put pudding mix and milk in a medium size bowl. Beat with electric mixer at low speed for two minutes. Let set until it thickens. Finger paint on white construction paper and let dry for several hours 

3. CHOCOLATE SCENTED PLAY DOUGH (Non-Edible)
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup salt
½ tablespoon cream of tartar
1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup boiling water
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the oil and boiling water. Stir quickly, mixing well. When cool, mix with your hands

 CHOCOLATE THEMED GAMES...

1. M&M' WHIPPED CREAM RACE
How about a few M&M's under a pile of whipped cream!
Put two or three candies on each plate and cover it with whipped cream.  Children then use only their mouth to pick up and eat the candy. The first child to do this wins!

2. Play BINGO using M&M's (or  wrapped chocolate candy) as the markers. Be sure to have plenty for players to munch on during play.

3. PLAY 'CHOCOLATE FACE'
Place a piece of chocolate candy in your mouth and see how long it takes to melt! No sucking and chewing it! The one to keep the chocolate in their mouth the longest is the winner.

4.  KISS ME QUICK 
 Hide Hershey Kisses around the room and have a race to see who can find the most kisses. (Large group? Break children into smaller groups with multiple hunts or in different areas) 
 ♥ A good idea would be to combine all collected candy kisses-- and divide them evenly between the children.
Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

5. HOW MANY WORDS CAN YOU MAKE FROM THE WORD 'CHOCOLATE'? Have children come up with words  alone or in pairs...Set a timer for three to five minutes to see how many they can think of!
Example:
late, ate, tea, eat, ace, cocoa, colate,  hole, coal, coat, tool, oat, to, teal, etc.

MOVIE: Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

MISCELLANEOUS

DECORATIONS...
Balloons and crepe paper in shades of brown. Make posters and collages using pictures of ANYTHING chocolate. Make and swoop brown construction paper chains.

MAKE CHOCOLATE LIP GLOSS 
Ingredients: Hershey Cocoa, vaseline, small conatiner with lid
 
Put  vaseline in a small jar/container
Add cocoa to the vaseline. Lip gloss is made!

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CORNY CORN DAY!

 
TWO CORN ART IDEAS...

 

1. After eating corn on the cob, save the husks and corn cobs, and let them dry. Have the children use them for art activities.
2. Make prints by dipping the corncobs into paint and then pressing them on paper
3. Dip ends of husks into paint and then brush the paint on paper.
 
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Idea #2 CORN COLLAGE
Need:
Yellow and green construction paper, Glue,  Un-popped popcorn
1. Cut a "corn cob" and "husks" out of paper. Glue the "husks" around the "cob".
2. Spread the glue on the "cob" and cover it with un-popped popcorn

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SNACKS...

Eat corn on the cob...make popcorn..make corn muffins.....corn bread...corn dogs!

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GAMES...

PASS THE CORN GAME (Ages 4 - 10)
Divide the children into two teams (or as many as you need) and have them form two lines. You
will need a cob of dried Indian corn for each team.
 
1. At the signal "go", the corncob is to be passed from child to child. The catch is that they
can use any part of their bodies, except their hands.
2. If the corn touches the ground at any time, it must go back to the beginning of the line
again.
3. Whichever team manages to get the corn to the end of the line first wins the game.
4. The corn can also be used in a relay, with the kids putting the corn between their knees,
and racing "crab" style".
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CORN HUSKING RACE
Give each child 4 ears of unhusked corn and race to see who can have all of their corn husked
first. Of course-- cook it up and serve for a great snack!

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I'M A LITTLE CORNSTALK SONG
To tune of 'I'm A Little Teapot'

I'm a little cornstalk tall and stout...
see me grow and watch me sprout.
When I'm brown, you can shuck me down...
Boil me up and I'm the best in town.

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SCIENCE...

SPROUTING POPCORN KERNEL

Place dirt in a small zip lock bag. Add water and a few kernels of popcorn. Seal the bag and hang in sunny window. The popcorn kernels will begin to sprout in about a week.

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SPROUTING INDIAN CORN

 

Place the Indian Corn on its side in rectangular baking dish or similar container.  Put water in to cover the bottom of dish and then place it in a sunny spot. The corn will sprout in about a week. A good idea to provide a magnifying glass for close inspection. As corn sprouts some of the kernels fall of...this activity gives children a chance to handle and closely observe the sprouting corn. Kids like this one!

NOTE: I tested this activity with Indian Corn that was about six years old--and it still sprouted! (The corn was part of my fall decorating collection that I bring out each year...) Image by KidActivities.net

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DANCING POPCORN-- Fill a clear cup  3/4 full with vinegar.  Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Drop in a few kernels of un-popped popcorn.  Watch as the kernels rise and fall.
Variations: Try substituting club soda for the vinegar and baking soda. You can also try using
other objects like buttons or pebbles.
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COMPARE STAGES OF POPCORN!

Purchase popcorn still on the ear at a specialty store.
Place this in the science center (table) along with un-popped popcorn, corn on the cob and
popped popcorn. Have children observe the differences! 

You can make popcorn of this type in the micro-wave! Place one ear in one of the special microwave bags that come with the corn. Set  microwave oven for 2-3 minutes, and you've got popcorn right off the cob!

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CORN COB BIRD FEEDER
1. Use a corn cob as a base.
2. Completely cover the corn cob with peanut Butter.
3. Press bird seeds into the peanut butter...

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MISCELLANEOUS...

CAN YOU ARRANGE A CORNFIELD FARM FIELD TRIP with a CORN MAZE set up in a field of corn? A field trip to a farm can be an enjoyable experience. If it's harvest time, your children can pick corn, or other vegetables from the field. These can be taken home to eat and dried corn can be a souvenir.

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NOTE: You may also get ideas you'd like to add to this short theme from KA's POPCORN CATEGORY  (The Popcorn Theme also includes a Popcorn Book List) and
POPCORN RECIPES/TIPS/SNACKS

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FYI~CORN

Corn is a tall plant grass that has large ears with many seeds or kernels. These seeds grow in rows on the larger ears and are eaten as a vegetable.

TOP TEN FACTS ABOUT CORN

1. Corn is produced on every continent of the world with the exception of Antarctica.
 
2. Grits are small broken grains of corn. They were first produced by Native Americans centuries ago.
 
3. Before Christopher Columbus's voyage to North America, corn was grown only by the Indians of North, Central and South America.

4.   Petrified corn cobs that are over 5000 years old have been found in ancient Indian villages in the Western hemisphere.
 
5. When Columbus's ships landed in what is now the West Indies, he traded with the Indians and took corn home with him to Spain.

6.The Indian name for corn was MA-HIZ which the early settlers began to call maize.
 
7. The Indians of North America helped save the settlers from starvation during their first winter in America by providing them with corn to eat. After that first hard winter, the settlers were taught by the Indians how to grow corn by planting corn kernels with small fish for fertilizer.
 
8. The Indians also shared their methods of preparing corn with the settlers. This included corn bread, corn pudding, corn soup and fried corn cakes. 
9. Corn was so valuable in the days of the early settlers that it was used as money and traded for meat and furs.
 
10. Corn is completely domesticated, it cannot exist as a wild plant.
Facts Source:
University of Arkansas

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FRIENDSHIP DAY...


GAMES...

I LIKE 'MY FRIEND' THAT________
Equipment: A circle of chairs for participant--one less than the amount of youth/children.

One person stands in the middle of the circle of chairs and announces "I like my friend who"..... Example is wearing sneakers or has brown hair, etc.
Everyone who fits the statement must move (run) to another chair.
 
The object is for the person in the middle to find an empty chair. This lot of fun and can be
played for a long time.
Remember to use your imagination.
 
Tip: I initially thought this would be a game for children younger than grade 3. The first
time I played it (about 20 years ago) several older kids came to watch and asked if they could join in! As the facilitator, also play it with the group---it's fun... Barb


FRIENDSHIP TOWER
(Good for Building Team/Program Spirit)
Divide the group into teams of four or five children. Distribute construction paper and tape
to each team. Explain to the teams that they will have ten minutes to build the tallest tower they can---WITHOUT TALKING. They can use only the given supplies. At the end of ten minutes -- have each team display their tower and discuss whether it was easy or difficult to build and why. Not necessary but ---an award or certificate can go to the group who made the tallest tower. You can also award certificates to the smallest, most unique, most straight, most leaning, etc.

A SONG AND GAME IN ONE...
WON'T YOU BE A FRIEND TO ME?
(For Pre-k to Gr. 1)
Sing to tune of London Bridges

Won't you be a friend to me? Friend to me? Friend to me?
Won't you be a friend to me? And I'll be your friend, too!

1. Randomly give each child a small object to hold (You could use small paper hearts, crayons, beads, etc.)
2. Depending on the number of children in the group, use two or three different colors. Make
sure the objects each have a mate of the same color
3. Teach children the song: Won't you be a Friend to Me?
4. When children all have a colored object, they walk about the room singing the song. When
the song is complete, they partner with a 'friend' who holds the same color that they are holding.
5. When matched with a friend, they both sit down as quickly as possible. When all are
sitting, children change colors with each other and a new round begins!

 
SPIDER WEB OF FRIENDSHIP (Good for all ages)
Need: A ball of yarn

Have youth sit on the floor in large circle. You start by selecting a person to roll the yarn to. The person who receives it -- holds on to a corner of it--- before passing it on to who they choose. When you choose a person, you must say something nice about that person (or whatever you decide the topic will be) before you pass it on.
At the end, it looks like a large web of diversity...(Have fun rerolling it!)

THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT
Need: Paper, markers, tape 
1.  Everyone gets a piece of paper taped to their back. (Make sure their name is at the top of
the paper.)
2.  Each person is given a marker.
3.  Each person in the group must walk around the room and write a compliment or positive
remark about that person on their back..... NO PEEKING! 4.  When everyone has written something positive on each others back, they return to their seat and read what was written.
5.  With a smaller group, everyone exchanges papers without looking at their own. Each
participant can take a turn at reading aloud from person's list they have. (Adjust for a larger group)

This is a great self-esteem booster! If some children still don't know each other very well...they can write such things as: You have a great smile; You're hair always looks nice; Great blue eyes; etc.

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ART-CRAFTS

A GIANT PAPER DOLL CHAIN
What You Need: Paper and paint or markers...
Cut out life-size cutouts of your children. Have them paint them. Put them together in a large
paper doll chain with the heading "We are all Friends"...

FRIENDSHIP BULLETIN BOARD
Materials: Paint, Paper
Give children in your program peach, white, brown, black, and orange paint (add soap to make
it stain proof). Have them mix what they perceive their skin color is. Then have them paint a friend's hand and then put a print on a heart shaped piece of paper. You can put these on a bulletin board with the heading, "Friendship Comes in Many Colors!"

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SNACKS-FOOD

TWO FRIENDSHIP SNACKS

 #1 FRIENDSHIP SNACK MIX:  Have each child bring in a half cup of their favorite snack (You

can offer parents suggestion at this point: cereal, raisins, crackers, etc) When you get all of the snacks-- mix them all in a huge bowl and serve them for snack. Talk about how different things go together to make something very good. This helps get the ideas of diversity, sharing, cooperation, and trying new things across.

#2 FRIENDSHIP SNACK Do the same as above, however, USE FRUIT instead of snack mixes. Have each child bring in one can... or piece of fresh fruit...and then talk about how different things go together, to make something very good. This helps get the ideas of diversity, sharing, cooperation, and trying new things across. (Donate any left-over cans to a shelter)

MAKE FRIENDSHIP SOUP! Hot-hearty and healthy for cold days!!! Great for day care, classroom and after-school programs...
Think about making a big pot of soup in a crock pot. You can start it in the morning  and let
it go on low during the day. Have kids sign up to bring potatoes, small onion, carrots, celery, cans of beef broth, can of diced tomatoes, seasoning, crackers or rolls, etc.
* Each child would only have to bring a single item to make a huge pot.

HEART SHAPED SANDWICHES (Nice for Friendship Day!)

Ingredients:
Cream cheese, softened
Red food coloring
Bread
Heart cookie cutter
Jam - strawberry or raspberry

1. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the softened cream cheese and mix until the color is a light pink throughout.
2. Cut bread into heart shapes with the cookie cutter.
3. Spread cream cheese on the bread and top with the jam.

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SEE FRIENDSHIP BOOK LIST (It's the fourth category down the page)

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HEALTHY HEART DAY!

1. Decorate area with hearts and have children come dressed in red or pink!

2. Plan the day filled with “healthy” heart  fun, aerobic activities that get children up and moving. You may want to set up several skill  stations. 

STATIONS CAN INCLUDE:

 Step Aerobics Station:  Set up four or five step aerobic steppers and music.

Healthy Heart Station: Demonstrate several aerobic exercises and have children perform three aerobic exercises of their choice at this station (ie. jumping jacks, jumping rope, jogging in place)

Cholesterol Game:  Pictures of both high and low cholesterol foods are taped down. Children throw beanbags underhand from a throw line at low cholesterol foods.

Blood Pressure Game: Make a sign that says “normal blood pressure 120/80” and tape down pictures of things that can raise blood pressure such as smoking, unhealthy foods, lack of exercise and stress. Children THROW BEANBAGS UNDERHAND from a throw line at the things that will raise blood pressure. (You can put point values on targets and total points)

Directions for above games... Divide the children into groups and disperse them evenly among the stations. Place them in a numerical order and have them keep this order for all stations. Set the number of tries for each turn and announce when it is time to rotate to the next station. Leave ample space between stations and advise children not to stand in the throwing areas. (Adapted and expanded upon from: School-age Note of the Day- 2/5/07 schoolagenotes.com)  

3. HEALTHY HEART DAY SNACKS... After Activities serve healthy, yummy snack table! Check out and get some ideas from Warm Weather Snack page and Autumn/Fall Snack page.

4. HEART BEATS...Can you find or borrow one or two good quality stethoscopes?
Show children how to use the stethoscopes to listen to their heart beat. Show them how to tap out the rhythm of their heart: lub-dub-lub-dub.

If young---Ask children if they can think of any way to change how fast their hearts are beating.
For all kids---Have them jog in place for several minutes, then have them recheck the rhythm beats of their hearts.

Extended Activity:
Are any of your parents or friends a nurse or doctor? Ask him/her to visit your group and bring in a stethoscope. Have the visitor talk to the kids about keeping their hearts strong and healthy. (With exercise, good food and sleep!)

Go to Page 2  for • Milk Day, • Say Something Nice Day, • Super Hero Day, • What I Want to be Day, • Veggies and Fruit Day, • Puzzle Day and • First Day of Winter (Start a new tradition with Winter!) If you can't have a 'First day of Winter Day'--celebrate winter in January with special activities! 

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