Google+ bakers and astronauts: How You Celebrate

11 May 2010

How You Celebrate

[For Mother's Day]

There was a discussion recently on the Reggio ListServ about celebrating Mother's Day and holidays like that.  Who does what?  Who avoids this day?  Why celebrate it?  Why not?

I'm interested in knowing about people's take on celebrating in the classroom.  We keep it pretty simple:  we invite families into share about celebrations in their cultures; we sing "Happy Birthday" at the end of the day on birthdays and invite the children to bring a treat to share with their friends; and we make a small gift for Mother's Day and Father's Day.  This year, the children drew a picture of themselves with their Mom and dictated a few words about what they like to do with their Mom, and why they love their Mom.

I'm interested in bringing in the element of the children all cooking together on birthdays.  It would be a nice way to respect the child's special day in a unique way, I think - the child can choose what we cook, and we can all work on it together and sit down to share the food as a celebration.

There are different opinions on this topic, and I'm interested in hearing them.


  1. Anonymous11.5.10

    Mother's Day in Lebanon was a few months ago. The moms came to class, and their kids gave them a pained portrait and a note (we had them framed, bc that's cheap here). We also had a selection of fruit, and they all made fruit salad together.

    This was probably the best celebration I've ever had in school, and I really think it's because there was no pressure on the kids. They didn't have to perform. They were excited to see their moms. It was low-key and manageable for students and it was nice for them to tell their moms abou their paintings. Also, since moms were sitting around round table, it generated conversation amoung the adults, and made me realize the community we have.

    We'll have an end of the year celebration, and I'm starting to think about something similar. Any ideas?

  2. For the end of the year, some parents want a "graduation", and we don't like to make too big a fanfare, because some children will be returning to this same room and staying with me next year. We are going to have a circle in our room, which everyone is invited to, where the children each get a paper with everyone's photo on it that says the year is over. Then we'll go to the forest together and have a brunch picnic, and then go home! This is during the 2nd to last week of school.

    Lauren, inviting the mothers in is an interesting idea! I bet a lot of the Moms would come for that event, too.

  3. I love your cooking idea! Much more unique and involved than the traditional store-bought "Muffins with Mom / Donuts with Dad" breakfasts that many schools have...

    I wish you could be Cass's teacher :)

  4. I believe in celebrations but feel they are more meaningful when they are relevant to the children in the program. At preschool last year, every child had a mom as well as a grandma nearby so we invited moms and grandmas in for tea - invitations we made ourselves and send to them via post - the children wrote a poem about butterflies and we decided to recited it for the families - the children were so proud to have both their mother and their grandmother (some children had two grandmothers present) at school with them --- it was a lovely hour and a half of conversation, getting to know one another and sharing special people with your friends.

    The scene made for a wonderful photo shoot - 3 generations of females. I think it is one of the many scenes that I will remember forever, and I hope the children and their families will too.

    If there had been one child in the group who was without a mother or a grandmother, I would have approached the celebration differently -- We didn't do the same for Father's Day because I knew some of the dads would not be able to make it and there was one child whose father had recently left home - there weren't a lot of grandfathers around.

    There are certain holidays that exist strongly in a child's life whether we address them or not and I think we can have a positive impact on helping children value certain things by acting instead of ignoring. When I first started teaching I wanted to ignore Christmas, especially Santa Claus. I soon realized that it would be best to bring out certain qualities around Christmas instead --- giving, sharing, family, giving away what you don't need, using recycled materials and making gifts instead of spending money... Children are going to talk about Santa Claus but that doesn't mean we have to sing about him or read books about him...


Thanks so much for joining the conversation!

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