Kids wearing sunglasses with party food and party drinks at a table

Special Days, Parties, and Holidays in Daycare

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Celebrating special days and holidays in daycare can make wonderful opportunities for children to learn about customs and values that matter to people. A fun part of running a home daycare is planning parties or activities for these special days.

Kids dressed up in costumes looking at party food

Holidays for children

Holidays can be a lot of fun for kids and they can learn a lot from them. They are part of learning to make friends too. At Little Sprouts, we celebrate Thanksgiving by learning about gratefulness and telling what we are thankful for. Or we celebrate Christmas by packing care bags for homeless people that my husband and I drop off later.

We also do a gingerbread celebration to bring the families together and enjoy each other. And we usually will have a PJ and Christmas movie day on the last day before we are closed for Christmas.

Here’s a super fun printable downloadable coloring gingerbread house craft to go with your Christmas fun!

gingerbread house craft coloring sheets

We try to celebrate the holidays in daycare that are important to all of the families and include their culture in our celebrations any way we can. We want to make sure families know that we feel they are all important and not one culture over another.

Obviously, celebrating my own culture comes more naturally and easier for me because I’m used to it, but I try to stay mindful of including everyone in our plans. If I don’t know anything about a certain culture, I will ask a parent how they like to celebrate something and if they’d like to share that with the daycare.

I love to learn about what is important to different kinds of people and what makes them feel seen and special and important.

You can also do the 12 days of Christmas activities with kids! Or these fun elf on the shelf ideas!

Or if you’re looking for winter themed snacks for Christmas, snow, and Valentine’s, check these out. And these adorable Christmas themed breakfast ideas for daycare are lots of fun for your holiday celebration!

Holidays in daycare

Check out these 5 minute games for daycare to add to your plans! And these kids party drinks are extra fun too! Or use some inexpensive paper plates to make one of these paper plate crafts for kids that fit the occasion.

Some holidays that we celebrate are Valentine’s Day, Dr. Seuss Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. These home daycare crafts and activities for special holidays can help make your celebrations fun!

There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s day. You can throw a party, or do a craft, or enjoy some Valentine’s day process art. If you want to spread it out for a week or two, instead of doing a party, you can just do a Valentine’s theme. And don’t forget the fun Valentine themed snack ideas!

Check out this fun Valentine Picture Bingo game for your Valentine’s Day theme or party this year!

We like to make goodie bags, have the kids bring snacks to share and Valentine cards, and we will do some arts and crafts, play a few games, and make our parents Valentine’s cards. It’s about celebrating friendship and fun. Here are the best Valentine gift ideas if you’re looking for something to give your kids. Even gift your preschooler these fun pop-up Valentine’s Day cards featuring their favorite Disney character. Their little face will light up with excitement when they open it!

Check out all the fun we have had celebrating Dr. Seuss Day at Little Sprouts.

For St. Patrick’s Day, we just learn about the color green. We usually eat green foods and maybe do a color sheet or shamrock game. We keep it pretty low key. St. Patrick’s Day coloring is a fun activity for kids of all ages. Here are some leprechaun coloring pages and some St. Patrick’s Day gnome coloring pages for kids of all ages. (You can even make your own shape crayons from broken crayon bits you have around)

St. Patrick's Day Gnome coloring pages arranged on a table with colored pencils and a pot of gold

For Easter, we like to have a big family celebration with everyone’s families at the daycare. We do an Easter egg hunt and more. Check it out by clicking on the link. It’s my favorite of the holidays in daycare that we celebrate!

For some fun Easter Pom Pom Mats, check this out.

easter pom pom mats layered on a sheet

And this adorable Easter Chick Toast is a healthy but fun way to add to the celebration.

easter chick toast on a plate with silverware and a gold spatula and a tray full of easter chick toast nearby

For Mother’s Day, we usually just do a simple craft or gift for the Moms and send them home. This Mother’s Day butterfly kisses card is just one idea. And Father’s Day gifts that kids can make as well.

Check out this Mother’s day printable questionnaire you can use too! Download and print it for free today!

Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays in daycare. I don’t like scary stuff, but I try to be fun for the kids. So we usually have a party like our Valentine’s Day party. The kids bring snacks to share, we do a craft, a game, and whatever I come up with that year. It’s usually centered around pumpkins.

And don’t forget dad with this fun Father’s day scavenger hunt and this cool father’s day card free printable.

mock up of foldable father's day cards on a blue background

We do pumpkin activities during the party and do the pumpkin theme two weeks before. We will also usually find a way to decorate pumpkins without cutting them. And don’t forget this printable pumpkin lapbook activity! You can even make these easy Halloween costumes from stuff you already have around the house! And for some fun Halloween snack ideas, check these out:

pumpkin activity lapbook mock up
Halloween paper dolls

Check out these really fun paper dolls you can dress in Halloween costumes. Also, if you have a loved one with allergies or other issues, you can print out these teal pumpkin Halloween signs. And if you want to participate in the teal pumpkin project and include more kids in the fun, check this out.

teal pumpkin Halloween signs
party game of kicking balls

And then Christmas and Thanksgiving were already mentioned above. Parties can get out of hand with kids’ behavior, so if you hate doing parties, by all means, don’t do them. I enjoy the kids’ excitement. And don’t forget these fun Thanksgiving lacing cards for a cool fine motor activity!

Check out these Pom pom Christmas tree ornaments kids can make.

We don’t celebrate President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Columbus Day, and the like because I don’t feel like 2-4-year-olds can understand those concepts yet. I do try to teach the kids kindness, problem-solving, and grace year round and I feel like that covers a lot of the things we observe these holidays for.

If you like to celebrate those, that’s great too! You go right ahead and do what’s developmentally appropriate for your group and what you enjoy doing.

Celebrations in daycare

All of the kids are included in all the celebrations we have. If a parent mentions something they don’t like, we can make changes. The kids are little and they just like having fun. There is significance to each holiday, but my kids are very young to understand most of that, so we just keep it light. Definitely work with your parents to ensure each family is represented as they want to be.

There are lots of ways to find meaning in celebrating holidays without spending money. I am cheap, and I am poor, so I am very creative about how I come up with ideas of things to do with the kids. I like to see what I have on hand and make up my curriculum, activities, and celebrations about that. Kind of like an episode of Chopped, but not cooking. These great shark milk carton catcher games are a great example.

preschool party food on a table celebrating special days, parties, and holidays in daycare

Preschool special days

Here are some more ideas we have done or I have seen that you could use to make special days in daycare. Including dramatic play in learning is such an integral part of children’s success. Click on the links to see some ideas if they are highlighted.

For some printable summer themed pom pom mats, check these out. Download, print them out and have an activity in minutes!

Summer pom pom mats arranged on a sheet

Or 4 seasons of fun do a dot sheets, check these out.

There are so many ways to make days special and fun for the kids. Many more than are listed here, but I hope these give you some ideas that you can do with all of your kids! The key is just to have fun!

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