Celebrate February with the Kids

Every day is a chance to do something fun with our little ones. Set aside some quality time to share with your children. These are a few fun National Days to celebrate and enjoy with your little ones.

National Days to Celebrate with Kids

Celebrate February

February 1 is an opportunity to share inspiring stories of perseverance; it’s a reminder to pick ourselves up when we’ve fallen and give it another go! January is National Skating Month, when rinks across the country bring communities together to experience the joys and benefits of skating. One of the first lessons every figure skater learns is how to fall and to get back up. This day isn’t just about skating, though. It’s about celebrating that “Get Up” spirit that applies to every aspect of life and inspiring others through stories, pictures, videos and social media. More importantly, February 1 reminds all of us to Get Up when we stumble. We never know when our efforts to overcome an obstacle will encourage another to do the same and is a great life lesson for young children.

National Heavenly Hash Day is observed annually on February 2nd. When it comes to defining Heavenly Hash, the only ingredient that seems for certain is a variety of marshmallows, marshmallow creme or whip. Nearly every brand of ice cream has their version of Heavenly Hash and recipes range from fruity salads to chocolate bars with nuts.

This is also…

NATIONAL GROUNDHOG DAY

Will he see his shadow or will he not? For a nice welcomed break during the winter, on this day the groundhog awakens from his nap and goes outside to see if he can see his shadow. It is believed by many that if the groundhog sees his shadow that there will then be six more weeks of winter. If this is so, he then retrieves back into his den and goes back to sleep. If he is not able to see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play and people celebrate believing that spring is just around the corner.

The tradition of predicting the length of the remaining winter is intertwined with the Christian holiday, Candlemas. Clergy would bless candles symbolizing the ‘light of the world’ to give to their congregations. Another tradition associated with this day is eating crepes. Germans practiced the art of predicting the winter with a hedgehog until their arrival in the United States when they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, and the groundhog became the official predictor.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been chosen as the site for the annual Groundhog day event. Thousands of people come to the town of Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.

Although already a well known day, Groundhog Day received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Roger Rininger as the groundhog.

 

National Carrot Cake Day is observed annually on February 3rd. It gives us a chance to have our cake and eat our veggies, too!

Try this recipe to celebrate National Carrot Cake Day:

Frosty’s Carrot Cake

 

There is mail in your mailbox six days a week because of one person, so let’s take time out of our day to thank that person who is responsible for getting it there!

Thank A Mailman Day is always observed on February 4th. It is a reminder of just how important mail carriers are to our everyday lives.

The motto of the Pony Express riders, who were the most famous early American mailmen, was “Neither rain, or snow, nor death of night, can keep us from our duty.” This motto is believed to be taken, in part, from a motto dating back to ancient times. The most popular variation of this motto is “Through rain or snow, or sleet or hail, we’ll carry the mail. We will not fail.”

FUN FACTS:

In 1775, the Second Continental Congress established the Constitutional Post–the first organized mail service in America. As the nation’s first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin established many of the conventions we are accustomed to today. Postage stamps were invented in 1847.

On April 3, 1860, the famous Pony Express officially took off.

In 1863, free city delivery started, and in 1896, free rural delivery began. In 1963, the Zip Code began.

Give your mail carrier a big thank you, a friendly smile, a token of appreciation or find some way to let them know that they are appreciated.

 

World Nutella Day

celebrate february with these national days

When hazelnuts and chocolate collide, interesting things begin to happen. For example, World Nutella Day is celebrated by millions around the globe on February 5.

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention and adding hazelnuts when cocoa is hard to come by may have been an Italian trick during hard times. In the 1800s, in the northern Italian city of Piedmont, they made a paste of chocolate and hazelnuts at a time when the nuts were abundant, but the cocoa was not.

It wasn’t until 1951 that Ferrero made the paste into a spreadable form. We wouldn’t even recognize the spread by name until 1964 when Ferrero’s son Michele gave the jar of creamy hazelnut and cocoa the name Nutella.

Make these recipes with your child for a fun dessert option

Nutella Banana Bread

Nutella Bread Pudding

 

National Frozen Yogurt Day is celebrated annually on February 6th. Frozen yogurt sales are increasing every year as people want a healthier alternative to ice cream. The explosion of flavors and topping choices add to the popularity of frozen yogurt.

Frozen yogurt was first developed 1970 in the United States as a soft-serve treat produced by H.P Hood called Frogurt. Humphreys and Dannon soon followed with their own versions of the treat. Its popularity grew in the 80s, mostly due to frozen yogurts “health food” status. Ice cream manufacturers soon caught on, offering low-fat options.

Frozen yogurt is again making a comeback as consumers have begun to prefer the tart taste of yogurt.

Get the kids involved in making these great Frozen treats:

Creamy Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Cherry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt

 

 

We often think about our friends. wonder how they are, miss them and remember fond memories  of times shared. Always observed on February 7th, National Send A Card To A Friend Day is the day to send our friends a card and let them know that we are thinking of them! It is always a nice surprise to receive a card from a friend.

Send a card to your friends. With the technology we have,we can also send Ecards. You can buy cards at a store or you can make them yourself. Whichever way you choose, set aside a few minutes to write a note in a card and send one to make a friend’s day!

 

Observed annually on February 8th, National Kite Flying Day is celebrated by kite flying enthusiasts across the country.

Kites date back to China in 470 B.C. China is full of lore and histories on the origins of the kite. Many are related to the way wind affects the leaves on the trees, the shelters they lived in, blowing away the sails on their ships and the hats they wore upon their heads. The stories also tell of kites being invented to spy upon their enemies or to send messages.

Early kites were constructed from bamboo or sturdy reeds for framing, leaves, silk or paper for the sail and vines or braided fibers for the line or tether. While they were initially used as tools, they were also ceremonial as well. Used to send messages into the heavens or to lift offerings up to the gods, kites had a symbolic place in the culture.

Today kites are popular both as hobbies and for outdoor fun. They range from a simple diamond kite to more complex box kites and giant sled kites. Stunt kites, also known as sport kites, are designed so the operator can maneuver the kite into dips, twists and dives with dramatic effect.

Tips for Getting Your Kite Up in the Air and Keeping it There

Be sure the kite is assembled correctly.

Check the wind. Some kites require more wind and others less. Picking the right day for your kite is key. A light breeze (5-20 mph) is generally optimal.

Be safe. Don’t fly the kite near power lines, trees or other sky high obstacles. Wide open spaces are best.

Be safer. Don’t fly in the rain.

When launching the kite, be sure to have your back to the wind. If the wind is light, have a friend hold the kite down wind and hold your line taught, reeling in slowly until the kite launches.

Don’t let the line out too quickly. Let the line out at the same pace the kite is gaining altitude.

Go outside and fly a kite if weather permits. If not, make one inside. In some parts of the country the time of year may make it difficult to fly a kite. There are kite festivals at various times of the year.

Kite Event Calendar

Kite Festivals

 

National Pizza Day is observed annually on February 9th. Whether it is thin crust, Chicago style, deep dish or anything in between, pizza is an American favorite.

Here are some interesting facts about pizza:

Pepperoni is the most popular pizza at 36% of all pies ordered.

Over 3 billion pizzas are sold in the USA each year.  Add another 1 billion on frozen pizzas

17% of all US Restaurants are pizzerias.

Antica Pizzeria, the first Pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738.

Gennaro Lombardi, the first Pizzeria in the United States, opened in 1895 in New York City.

Americans consume on average 23 pounds of pizza per person each year.

Throw a kids pizza party and give the following recipes a try:

Perfect Pepperoni Pizzas

Margherita Flatbread Pizza

 

National Umbrella Day is celebrated across the nation each year on February 10th.

On this day, we honor one of the world’s most convenient inventions, the umbrella! Not only does the umbrella help keep us dry from the rain, it also protects us from the heat of the sun. Umbrellas can also be used as a fashion accessory.

Interesting Umbrella TidBits:

The word umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning shade or shadow. Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, used often in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism, for umbrella, from the late 19th century.

The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt Assyria, Greece and China.

It was the Chinese that first waterproofed umbrellas for use in the rain. They waxed and lacquered their paper parasols in order to use them for rain.

The first of all umbrella shops were called “James Smith and Sons”. The shop opened in 1830 and is still located at 53 New Oxford Street, London, England.

Umbrellas have also been fashioned into hats as early as 1880 and as recently as 1987.

Get a few solid color umbrellas and have a party with the kids where they decorate their own umbrellas.

 

 

National White Shirt Day, also know as National White T-Shirt Day, is always observed on February 11th.

 

This unofficial national holiday honors the men and women who participated in the strike at General Motors in 1937.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union was helped by these autoworkers to become the sole bargaining agent for General Motors autoworkers.

White Shirt Day is best known in Flint, Michigan, and other cities that have a GM auto plant.

Use this day as an excuse to recycle all those old white undershirts. Get the kids together and tie dye them in different fun colors.

 

Enjoy your favorite tortellini dish on February 13th, as it is National Tortellini Day. This unofficial national food holiday is observed each year on this day. Tortellini lovers across the country will make their favorite recipes or order a tortellini dish at their favorite pasta restaurant.

Tortellini is a signature dish from the Italian region of Bologna, where they claim to have created these tiny stuffed pastas. Ravioli, tortelloni and tortellacci are all part of the same family of stuffed pastas. The most common fillings for tortellini are ham, white meat and Parmesan cheese.

An organization called The Learned Order of the Tortellini in the city of Bologna has its members wear to the meetings red and gold hats that are shaped like tortellini. They also wear a ribbon, around their neck that has a gold shaped tortellini hanging on it. The Learned Order of the Tortellini has a large membership that is dedicated to the preservation of the traditional tortellini.

There are many ways to prepare a tortellini dish. You may want to top it with a cheese sauce, cream sauce, pesto or tomato sauce, or follow one of the thousands of recipes available for a great tortellini meal.

Get the kids involved and enjoy one of these tortellini recipes:

Tortellini Crock Pot Meal

Cheesy Italian Tortellini

Broccoli and Tortellini Alfredo

Tortellini Rose’ (Tortellini with Tomato Cream Sauce)

Tortellini Bacon Broccoli Salad

 

Of course February 14 is Valentine’s Day, but it is also… the annual observance of National Ferris Wheel Day. This unofficial national holiday is held on this day to honor the birth of the inventor of the Ferris Wheel, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.

Preparations for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition began in earnest in 1891. Director of works for the fair, Daniel H. Burnham, laid out the challenge: create a centerpiece to the fair that will rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Erected the year before, the Eiffel Tower was quickly becoming a world attraction. Ideas were tossed about, plans presented and plans rejected.

George Washington Gale Ferris was inspired. He contemplated several ideas but it wasn’t until one evening in a Chicago chop-house that he struck on an idea that could fit the challenge. After sketching out the idea on napkins he proceeded to develop his plans.

When presented with the idea Burnham balked, doubting it could safely carry people to such heights. Ferris persisted. Spending $25,000 of his own money he paid for safety studies, obtained $600,000 more from investors, hired engineers and built the 250 foot diameter wheel and hoisted it up between 140 foot twin towers.

It was a colossal success at 26 stories tall and making a whopping $726,805.50. In 1893 that was a hefty profit for the fair.

Despite the wheel’s success, Ferris struggled after the fair. Lawsuits over who owed whom bankrupt him. His wife left him. Then in 1896, a few short years after the fair, he died at the age of 37 of typhoid fever.

The original wheel suffered similar fate. In 1906 it was destroyed with dynamite for scrap metal. The idea has lived on and wheels continue to be enjoyed around the world.

If you are near a Ferris Wheel, take the kids and catch a lift up to the top and enjoy the view.

Observed on February 15th, National Gumdrop Day, recognizes a favorite candy of many; the gumdrop! On National Gumdrop Day, there is no question as to what to do. Eat gumdrops and eat as many as you want!

Gumdrops are a tasty, colorful, chewy candy that are made with gelatin and then coated with sugar. They come in a variety of flavors, either from the fruity category or the spice category. These little candy treats have been popular for many years in decorating gingerbread houses.

The classic board game, Candy Land, features both a Gumdrop Pass and a Gumdrop Mountain.

Besides enjoying them by the handful, there are many other ways to use gumdrops:

In cookies

Decorate cakes or cupcakes

In popcorn cake

For crafts

For gifts

You can also make your own gumdrops. According to many of the recipes, you would need vegetable oil, sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, powdered fruit pectin, baking soda and food coloring.

Enjoy one of these colorful recipes:

Gumdrop Cookies

Popcorn Gumdrop Cake

 

 

Everyone knows a grouch and some of us may even be guilty of being one. I’m sure there is someone your child thinks is a grouch, probably a teacher. February 16th is a call to kindness in the name of a grouch. On this day, you can do something to maybe make their day much better. It would be a nice life lesson to have your child think of a kind act to make the “grouch” happy.

For some, it’s in their nature to be grouches all of the time while others may just be having a rough day or two. On National Do a Grouch a Favor Day, we have an opportunity to turn the grouches frown upside down!

The grouch that you know might be a friend, relative, co-worker, boss, neighbor or someone that you live with.

The favor you do on National Do a Grouch a Favor Day can be simple or elaborate. Either way doing them a favor is going to feel good for you!!

As defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary, a grouch is a habitually irritable or complaining person, a grumbler.

Maybe it would be a great day to think of ways to cheer up Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street if your child likes that show.

Let’s make it a better day for your favorite grouch!

 

February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year. It is celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness.

It is a favorite day to many, as people everywhere are enjoying doing these nice things for others. Not only is it special for the receiver, it also feels good as the doer!

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates Random Acts of Kindness Week. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

Random Acts of Kindness Week

A Few Quotes of Kindness:

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” (Mark Twain)

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” (Scott Adams)

Kind words and actions can seem so small, but their effects are truly endless.” (Author Unknown)

 

Get a charge out of National Battery Day! Observed each year on February 18th, this is a day to appreciate the convenience batteries provide to our everyday lives.

 

Today we would be hard pressed to find someone in the United States who doesn’t benefit from a battery. Even those who live “off the grid” have battery operated devices such as a flashlight, radio or watch.

A battery is used to change chemical energy into electricity by bringing the different chemicals together in a certain order. When correctly ordered the electrons will travel from one chemical to another creating an electrical current.

Gradual improvements were made by various scientists and inventors over time until in 1896, when the National Carbon Company (later known as the Eveready Battery Company) manufactured the first commercially available battery called the Columbia. Two years later, National Carbon Company introduced the first D sized battery for the first flashlight.

The first battery operated watch was produced in 1957 by the Hamilton Watch Company.

Today batteries are available for an innumerable number of purposes. In our modern age, portable electricity isn’t something we think about everyday because it is so readily available. We charge the batteries on our phones by using the batteries in our cars as we travel down the road.  We even have portable chargers that can charge our batteries where ever we are.

To celebrate National Battery Day, get your kids together and do the potato battery experiment Potato Battery

and it is a good idea to check all of your smoke alarm batteries!

(Also a great day to read and share this post… Batteries)

 

Recognized by the US National Confectioners Association, National Chocolate Mint Day is observed annually across the nation on February 19th. This holiday has been set aside for all the chocolate mint lovers to eat their favorite treats all day long.

The Aztecs and Mayans are given much credit for their ways with chocolate, and while chocolate was brought back to Europeans, they were not fond of the dark, bitter bean, and it was used more for medicinal purposes.

As it was mostly consumed as a hot beverage, Europeans mixed mint, cinnamon and other spices to make it more palatable. Over time, sugar was added and the combination of chocolate and mint became fashionable.

Fast forward to the mid-1800s when inventions and improvements in processes made it possible for confectioners to begin mass producing chocolates. Even then, small candy shops served a local public. Advertisements for mint chocolates, or chocolate mints, did not start showing up in newspapers until the turn of the century.

The International Dairy Foods Association states that mint chocolate chip is the 10th most popular flavor of ice cream.

One of the earliest mass producers of chocolate mints was Huyler’s in New York, which had a chain of stores across the country.

Today we find mint chocolate in everything from ice cream to brownies, cookies and candies, liquors and sauces. Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies were first sold in 1953 and are still their most popular cookie.

Mint chocolate is also the name of an herb with edible leaves that taste like chocolate and mint.

Below is a favorite frosting recipe for chocolate cake. It looks great decorated with chocolate mint candies, a perfect to celebrate National Chocolate Mint Day!

Mint Frosting for Chocolate Cake

1 package cream cheese (8 0z), softened

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon mint extract

Green food coloring

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, beat in mint extract, 2 to 3 drops of green food coloring and 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar until mixed. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Store frosted cake in refrigerator.

 

On February 20th, pet lovers everywhere observe National Love Your Pet Day. This unofficial national holiday is a day set aside to give extra attention to and pamper your pets. This is a good day to focus on the special relationship that you and your children have with your pets.

Did you know that most households in the United States have at least one pet? In the United States, dogs are slightly more popular than cats, but not by much. Pets are not limited to the canine and feline categories. There are quite a few who prefer the companionship of birds, reptiles, fish or rats. Whoever your pet companion is, we are sure you will enjoy spending a little extra time with them on National Love Your Pet Day and reap the benefits, as well such as stress relief and lower blood pressure. Soon February 20 (and everyday) show your appreciation to your pets!

Bring your pet a special treat, take an extra long walk or give them more attention on National Love Your Pet Day. Whatever you decide to do, spoil and appreciate your pets!

 

National Sticky Bun Day is celebrated annually on February 21st. Originally known as “schnecken” and still considered to be a Philadelphia specialty, it is believed that the sticky bun’s origin in the United States began in the 18th century when the German settlers brought baking tradition with them when they began settling near Pennsylvania.

Most often served for breakfast or as a dessert, sticky buns generally consist of rolled pieces of leavened dough that often contain brown sugar and/or cinnamon. Prior to the dough being placed in the pan, the pan is lined with its sticky ingredients such as: maple syrup, honey, nuts, sugar and butter. When the buns are finished baking, they are then flipped upside down so that the sticky bottom then becomes the topping.

Famous cousins to the sticky bun are the cinnamon roll, caramel roll and monkey bread.

If you are craving this delicious sticky sweet delight, try making some of your own with one these sticky bun recipes:

Super Easy Sticky Buns

Butterscotch Sticky Buns

Easy Caramel Sticky Buns

 

National Cook A Sweet Potato Day is celebrated across the United States each year on February 22nd. The sweet potato is eaten and loved, each day, by millions of people across the nation.

The sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin A, which supports good vision, the immune system and bone growth. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B-6, magnesium and vitamin C.

It’s also great for the complexion. High in fiber and low in fat and calories, this root vegetable is a healthful alternative to snack foods when prepared without added butter, sugar or salt.

Unlike other potatoes, sweet potatoes like long, hot growing seasons. Which might be why it is the state vegetable of North Carolina.

Give these sweet potato recipes a try:

Louisiana Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

Sweet Potato Pineapple Casserole

 

Would you believe the humble toast would have its very own day on February 23rd? But it is so very versatile. It carries a multitude of jams, jellies, marmalades and fruits compotes. But we don’t stop there. Toast transports proteins and veggies, sprouts and soaks up sauces and drippings.

Perhaps we have overlooked the necessity of toast, and it shall have its due.

I’m sure, like Allie, your little one loves toast. Give them an extra piece today.

 

National Tortilla Chip Day, a day set aside for the crunchy snack loved by millions across the nation, is observed annually on February 24th.

The tortilla chip is most commonly served with salsa, chili cheese, guacamole, or other dips.

Tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas that have been cut into wedges and then fried. The corn tortillas are made from corn, vegetable oil, salt and water. Typically made with yellow corn, tortillas can also be made with white, blue or red corn.

Even though tortilla chips have always been considered to be a Mexican food, known as tostados, they were first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940’s. It is said that the triangle-shaped tortilla chips were made popular by Rebecca Webb Carranza as a way to use the misshapen tortillas that were rejected from the automated tortilla manufacturing machine that she and her husband used at their Los Angeles deli and tortilla factory.

The United States is one of the main markets for tortilla chips.

Another popular dish made with tortilla chips is nachos.

The dish was first created around 1943 by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya. Nachos are tortilla chips served with melted or shredded cheese and often additional toppings are added, such as meat, salsa, refried beans, tomatoes, diced onion, lettuce, olives, jalapenos, guacamole and sour cream.

Go and get your favorite dip and enjoy some tortilla chip with the kids.

 

 

Each year on February 25th people across the nation have a bowl and spoon ready to be filled with clam chowder as they prepare to participate in National Clam Chowder Day.

A clam chowder in its simplest form is a soup or stew containing clams or fish. The most common type of chowder includes milk or cream as well as potatoes, though the Manhattan clam chowder has tomatoes.

The origin of the word “chowder” is up for a little bit of debate. The French word for cauldron is “chaudiere”. The English word “jowter” means fish peddler. Both are on the hook for possible origins.

In chowder, along with the clams, it is common to find diced potatoes, onions (often sautéed in pork or bacon drippings) and celery.

Following is a list of the primary clam chowder variants:

New England clam chowder

Manhattan clam chowder

Rhode Island clam chowder

Delaware clam chowder

New Jersey clam chowder

Hatteras clam chowder

Minorcan clam chowder

Long Island clam chowder

To observe National Clam Chowder Day, enjoy a nice clam chowder with the family.

 

On February 26 have a happily ever after kind of day. It’s National Fairy Tale Day. This is a great one to do with young children.

What were once oral histories, myths and legends retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers, have been written down and become known the world over as fairy tales.

The origins of most fairy tales were unseemly and would not be approved or rated as appropriate for children by the Association of Fairy Tales by today’s standards. Most were told as a way to make children behave, teach a lesson or to pass the time much like ghost stories around a campfire today.

Many of the stories have some basis in truth. For example, some believe the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is inspired by the real life of Margarete von Waldeck, the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck. The area of Germany where the family lived was known for mining. Some of the tunnels were so tight they had to use children – or small people such as dwarfs – to work the mines.

Margarete’s beauty is well documented, and she had a stepmother who sent her away. She fell in love with a prince, but died mysteriously before she could have her happily ever after.

As the stories evolved they took on a more magical quality with fictional characters such as fairies, giants, mermaids and gnomes, and sometimes gruesome story plots.

The brothers Grimm collected and published some of the more well known tales we are familiar with today. Jakob and his brother Wilhem together set out on a quest to preserve these tales at a time in history when a tradition of oral story telling was fading. In 1812 they published their first volume of stories titled Household Tales.  Their stories had a darker quality and were clearly meant for an adult audience.

Rumpelstiltskin is one of the tales they collected. There were several versions and the little man went by many names in different parts of Europe. From Trit-a-trot in Ireland to Whuppity Stoorie in Scotland, Rumplestiltskin was one difficult man to name.

While some story tellers have a long and sometimes ancient history such as Aesop (The Fox and the Goose, The Ant and the Grasshopper), other story tellers are more recent like the Grimm brothers.

Hans Christian Andersen first published in 1829 and brought to us written versions of the Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and were clearly written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.

How to Tell a Great Story:

Engage your audience. Children like to participate. Have them quack every time the Ugly Duckling is mentioned, or make the motions of climbing Jack’s bean stalk.

Use repetition. This will also keep the kids engaged. It not only helps them to remember the story, but sets them up for the next round of the repeated phrase or stanza.

Give your characters a voice. Nobody likes a monotone story teller. Buehler, Buehler, Buehler. No, not even children like the monotone. Varying your voice for each character and inflecting excitement, sadness and disappointment will create drama and stimulate the imaginations of the little minds listening to you.

Ask questions as you go. It’s a good way to keep your story flowing and to gauge the children’s listening skills.

Find out if someone has a story of their own. You might be in the presence of a great story teller!

Share your favorite fairy tale with friends and family. Try relating them from memory as this has long been tradition. Visit a library or local book store for story time.

 

 

National Polar Bear Day, also known as International Polar Bear Day is observed on February 27th. It is a day to learn more about the polar bear and conservation efforts where the polar bear is concerned.

Polar bears can reach a height of 9 ft tall and a weight of 1400 pounds. They have large front paws, which are slightly webbed, that are used to paddle as they swim.  As they are very strong swimmers, some polar bears have been seen swimming hundreds of miles from land, however, some of the distance may have been covered by floating on sheets of ice.

The polar bears have a warming layer of fat which is covered by their thick coat of insulating fur. This helps them live in the colder environments.

There are organizations that use this day to raise awareness of the declining number of polar bears worldwide. It is believed by many that these beautiful creatures are threatened due to global warming and the consequential loss of their natural habitat. Groups around the world gather together to find ways to make a difference and  spread information to others.

Teach your kids about the polar bear, its environment and how it lives.

 

February 28th is a day to look back on the history of one of dental care’s little helpers and to keep encouraging our children to develop good dental hygiene. It’s National Tooth Fairy Day.

Like some of the mythological creations who oversee children, the tooth fairy is a relative new comer to the world of child fantasies.

In the mid-1920s fairies were used for all sorts of health education from bath fairies to fresh air fairies as a way to get children to remember to eat their vegetables, wash behind their ears and get a good night’s rest. Like toothpastes today that advertise fruity flavors and sparkles to get kids excited to brush their teeth, in 1925 it was probably quite a bit more difficult considering the pastes were mostly peroxide and baking soda.

Then in 1927, Esther Watkins Arnold printed an eight-page play-let for children called The Tooth Fairy. It was the same year Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “proved” his claim that fairies and gnomes are real and has pictures of two little girls surrounded with fairies “verified”. So the world was ripe with imagination and primed to have a tooth fairy about to come collect the lost teeth of little boys and girls and leave a coin or two behind.

Arnold’s play began to be performed in schools the following year and the tooth fairy has been slipping into homes ever since. She (or he) started leaving nickels and dimes under the pillows of sleeping children. Over the years there have been variations on the theme. In 1942, in an article written by columnist Bob Balfe in the Palm Beach Post, his children received War Stamps to put in their books when they lost a tooth. It was a popular alternative during a time when giving to the war effort was a motivating factor. Today, the tooth fairy jingles much less then ever.

 

Those are the National Days I think would be fun to celebrate with kids for the month of February. If you want to check out more fun things to celebrate go to National Days for more information.

 

Are there any traditions you celebrate during February? Maybe you do some craft or activity with the kids for Valentine’s Day. Let me know in the comments.

 

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

9 Replies to “Celebrate February with the Kids”

    1. A lot of research went into finding these National Days. I hope you get some fun out of a few of them 🙂

  1. This an awesome list with some great ideas! Most of these days I have never heard of, but would be fun to celebrate some as a family.

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