Always the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day was started by Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, California in 2001 but did not officially get recognized until 2002. It is recognized by the North American Comic Book industry and has over 2,000 participant retailers in some 30 countries. The day is organized by Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest Comic Book distributor in the world. I don’t know if you have seen any of the more modern comic books but they certainly are more graphic in every way imaginable. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, the art work is fantastic, the message is often a bit more than children need to know. however, I sort of assume comic books aren’t for children anymore anyway.
How to celebrate – Go to your local comic book store and if they participate get a free comic. Compare the old comic books to the new ones. See if you can create your own comic book.
Though the pretzel is often associated with German food, or snacks, it actually was created around 610 AD in Southern France by Catholic Monks. Some insist that pretzels first appeared in Italy, also made by Monks, who created them as treats for children who said their prayers. The original pretzels were designed to look like arms folded over the chest, as if saying prayers. Of course the Germans claim some credit for the first pretzel as well so about all we do know is that it was created in Europe, somewhere. The first pretzel in the United States was made by Julius Sturgis in 1850 at Lititz, Pennsylvania. While today has some listing a 1983 Pretzel Day we do know that Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania made a pretzel holiday in 2003.
How to celebrate – Have a pretzel today. Learn how to make your own pretzel. Visit a German restuarant.
Friedrich Frobel figured out in 1837 that children were going to do better at school if they were first introduced to a half day of what to expect, in a fun environment, a year before they were expected to become involved students. He, of course, was right… the only odd part of this is that it took so long for someone to figure it out! Frobel, born in 1782, was no youngster himself when he added the idea of kindergarten to the German educational system.
How to celebrate – Visit a kindergarten class. (Make sure to get permission first) Celebrate Frobel’s birthday, the reason we celebrate kindergarten day today. Try and find pictures of yourself in kindergarten.
Another odd holiday from the good people at Wellcat.com, created in 2002. The general idea is that anyone owning a pet can take today off , if they work, and spend it with their pet. Of course lately, we all have been spending more time with our pets since we have had to be at home more. I am not exactly sure what the Independence Day is all about? Maybe it’s because Pet Day was already taken. While it makes little, to no, sense to me… it’s okay. I love my pets and I am independent of them. (They do not influence my vote)
How to celebrate – Take your pet to lunch. Just make like it’s a regular day and give your pet all the love you can.
April 18th National Animal Crackers Day
Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my… oh and Elephants too. These were the most common early on animal crackers. Animal crackers have been a child favorite snack since the 1800’s when they were produced and exported from the UK. Eventually they began to be produced in the US as well and in 1902 they featured the Barnum’s and Bailey’s Circus Wagon as a container with circus animals making up the majority of the critters inside. They even became popular for children’s Bingo chips at one point. Today Nabisco makes the Animal Crackers we all know and love. Of course, there are numerous animals now and the circus wagon has become a thing of the past. There are new and different flavors to try along with the shapes but they still remain one of children’s favorite snacks of all times.
How to celebrate – Buy some Animal Crackers. Learn how to make your own animal crackers. Try playing Animal Crackers Bingo!
Crayons have been with us in a sense since the 17th century, though the originals were not made out of wax and had very limited colors to choose from. The first were made from a mixture of of charcoal and oil, it wasn’t until 1902 they started being made of wax. Over 3 billion crayons are made every year, Crayola having made over 237 billion since it first began. They keep a running count of 120 colors while generally retiring 50 colors a year. and this is the day they retire the old and add the new. Crayola helps keep life colorful!
How to celebrate – Visit one of the Crayola stores. See if you can figure out what colors are due to be retired. Plan a fun day of coloring with the family.
Fairy Tales are generally saved for children but they needn’t be. We all like a story that ends with a happily ever after. There does seem to be a little difficulty determining what makes a Fairy Tale, a Legend, a Myth or just a Story. I’m not sure there is a scientific way to determine one over the other, although there probably is and not all Fairy Tales are intended to end happily. The Grim Brothers wrote their Fairy Tales because they hated children and wanted to scare them. So that sort of flies in the face of “Happily Ever After”. Then there are Stories like Camelot that meet the requirements of all the categories. It is a legend, as it contains some truth; myth because of magical creatures and people; a fairy tale because it has a Happy Ever After ending (well kind of), and of course, it is a story.
How to celebrate – Determine your best example of a Fairy Tale. Write a new Fairy Tale. Read a Fairy Tale.
Today is A. A. Milne’s birthday, back in 1882. Of course we all know he wrote Winnie the Pooh. I have heard so many stories about how and why he wrote the children’s book that I don’t know which of them is true. You might ask Christopher Robin or Tigger, Eeyore or Piglet or Roo. Surely one of them will have he right answer. So if you love Winnie the Pooh then by default you love Allan Alexander Milne too.
How to celebrate – Read Winnie the Pooh. Research how old Milne was when he wrote Winnie the Pooh. Throw a Pooh party for a few of your friends.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Plush Toys. Naturally if there are thousands of them in your house laying all over the place they can be annoying but still… you got to love them. They are friends to a lot of kids, they make the child feel relaxed and they will often talk to a stuffed animal when they won’t to an adult. Plush is, of course, a brand name. But it’s hard to deny that they have created a product that has many uses and nearly all of them are good. Do you name your plush toys? Do you give them a personality? Do you think they can hear you when you talk to them? Maybe they can hear you…
How to celebrate – Buy a Plush Stuffed Animal. Make sure your stuffed animal gets a lot of sun. Make a Plush Stuffed Animal a friend.
Today we celebrate those special people who teach our children. The day was created by the Director-General of UNESCO, Frederico Mayor, in 1993. It kind of surprises me that it took so long to make a day for teachers but then they have been overlooked for a long time and in many ways still are. A teacher is a person who has the ability to reach children in ways most of us can’t. They can hold their attention and break down subject matter to the level the child can understand. Please don’t treat your child’s teacher like a baby sitter, they are owed your respect.
How to celebrate – Thank a teacher for their service. Make yourself available for teacher conferences. Volunteer to help a teacher in your free time.