Just like there is a day to celebrate mothers, fathers and grandparents, there’s also a day on the books that is set aside entirely for the celebration of children. Have a great time showing appreciation for and simply having fun with kids of all ages in celebration of Day of the Child!
History of Day of the Child
The roots of the Day of the Child can be traced back to a century ago when the first Congress for the Well Being of Children was held in Mexico in 1924. This event happened during the presidency of Álvaro Obregón and the result was that the “Declaration of the Rights of the Child” was signed. This important document recognized the serious job of protecting and promoting the rights of every child.
Thirty years later, in 1954, the Day of the Child, or “Día del Niño”, got its start when the government of Mexico decided to set aside April 30 as a day to honor the aforementioned declaration. Since then, each year on this day, the folks in Mexico have celebrated this as Children’s Day by promoting various events and activities that emphasize the important role children have in the life of the community and the future.
Day of the Child can be a really big deal for the folks who celebrate in Mexico and other areas of Latin America. Though it is not technically a government holiday, so the businesses are still open, it is still a time when families like to celebrate and enjoy the day, often by giving gifts to their children. When this day falls on a school day, the teachers will often organize different events that may include art, music, performances, or other exciting activities.
How to Celebrate Day of the Child
Considering ways that it might be fun to incorporate a Day of the Child celebration into a family, school, scout troop or other community group? Check out some of these ideas for getting involved with the day on a level that is either small or large:
Host a Day of the Child Event
From something low-key like a family party where gifts are bestowed upon the kids, to something larger such as a community event or school activities, the Day of the Child has tons of different opportunities for celebrating. Just use the imagination and then arrange for kids to have a grand time!
Perhaps a dance party would be in order for celebrating Day of the Child. This event could be celebrated with a Mexican theme as a nod to where the day originated. Let the kids play with a piñata that is filled with delicious fruits and candies, and listen to some traditional Mexican music, like from a Mariachi band. Organize a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt that the kids can take part in. It also might be fun to provide various foods that go along with a Mexican theme.
Get Gifts for the Children
One of the traditional ways that families in Mexico celebrate Day of the Child is to provide small gifts for each child in the family, from toddlers to teenagers. These might include themed gifts from parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles that encourage fun and delight all year round, like board games, card games, or supplies for doing hobbies and crafts.
Day of the Child gifts might also include inspirational gifts that promote the imagination, such as books based on fantasy, art supplies, or even a journal with delightful colored pens for older children to write down their dreams. Each child is different and the more creativity put into choosing gifts, the better!
Get Creative with Family Activities
If the Day of the Child falls on a weekday while the kids are in school, perhaps it would be fun to give some small gifts on the actual day and then save some bigger activities for the weekend. All sorts of creative ideas for things to do can be brought forth for the kids. Either surprise them with something they would love, or include them in the decision about how it would be best to celebrate and enjoy this important day!
Consider some of these fun activities to celebrate Day of the Child as a family:
- Take a Hike. Spending quality time with kids outdoors (and away from electronics or screens!) is always a great idea. This could even be incorporated into a weekend camping trip.
- Play Adventure Games. Mini-golf, go-karts, arcade games, bungee jumping, laser tag, bowling and so many other fun games can be enjoyed as a family.
- Choose Water Sports. Depending on the weather and the age of the kids, this might be a fun day to go to a water slide, water skiing, whitewater rafting, tubing and more.
Take the Kids to Mexico
One amazing way for those who don’t come from Mexican culture to celebrate the Day of the Child might be to take a trip to Mexico just to see what it’s all about! Kids who have opportunities to learn about and experience other cultures through travel certainly have a unique perspective on the world! Visiting amazing sites such as Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, or Huatulco, will bring tons of opportunities for learning, exploring, and fun!
Celebrate Children All Year Around
Children don’t stay young very long! So why not find a number of times throughout the year to pay special attention to them, support them and show them that they are loved and appreciated? Check out some of these others days that are available for celebrating children around the world:
- World Children’s Day or Universal Children’s Day was started by the United Nations and is celebrated on November 20
- National Sovereignty and Children’s Day has its roots in the country of Turkey and is observed on April 23
- International Day of the Girl Child is on October 11 and celebrates the specific blessing and benefit that comes from having daughters