Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ways To Celebrate Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros/Children's Day, Book Day

I don't remember ever celebrating Día de los niños when I was a child. Probably because we didn't really have this holiday back then - at least not here in the United States.

But this Saturday, my family will be celebrating Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros, otherwise known as Children's Day/Book Day. This holiday finds its roots in the 1925 "World Conference for the Well-being of Children" held in Geneva, Switzerland. Countries all over the world, like Japan, Turkey and India, have adopted their own versions of Children's Day. But the holiday didn't blossom here in America until 1996, when author Pat Mora became inspired by the Mexican holiday, Día de los niños, and thought to combine the holiday with literacy for children. A year later, Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros was born in the United States and Mora soon found support from across the country.

This holiday was created for the honoring of our children, who represent the hopes and dreams of every family and community. They are our future. And the path that our history will take, depends upon their choices and actions. It advocates literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds, as essential to their mental development and well-being.

Although this will be the 15th anniversary of Día here in the States, I have only known about it for a few years. And since then, I have been developing ways to celebrate it with my family. Some of these are posted over on the LBBC (each year we celebrate it for the entire month of April). But if you are looking for ways to honor this holiday on Saturday, here are a few of our better ideas:

• First and foremost, give your kids a good breakfast. No, I'm not just saying this because Kellogg's is sponsoring this post. I'm saying it because I've seen how a bad breakfast - or none at all - can have some seriously negative affects on my kids' ability to focus, read, and have a good time learning. I doubt they are that different from your own kids! Read more here or aqui.

Make your own book! Better yet, make it bilingual! It's easy if you follow these simple instructions over on the LBBC. 

Take a family trip to your local bookstore and splurge on one book for each member of your family.

Throw your own Día Party! Invite all of your friends (or your child's friends) over for book party and take turns reading passages from your favorite books. Or throw a Book Swap Party where each person brings some gently used books that they are ready to trade out. You can find some great printables for invitations, bookmarks, buttons, flyers, and book plates here.

• Go to the park and read poetry out loud. You can either take your favorite book of poems or write your own!

Read Book Fiesta! written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael López.

Send a Día-themed e-card to all your family and friends!

Download a Día "Tool Kit." There are quite a few of these tool kits now available online. I like this one from the Texas Library Association (and also made possible, I might add, by a grant from the Kellogg Foundation!). But all you have to do is Google "Día tool kit" and you'll be able to take your pick!

Learn the official Día song!

Celebrate El Día del Niño with a free trip to the movies. Here’s how:

* Buy any three Kellogg cereals (8.7 oz or larger) or EGGO Waffles (6 count or larger) and receive a free kids movie pass (up to $7.50 value) with mail-in official order form.

* The order form can be found on special packages of Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Krispies. Tear Pads are also available in the cereal aisle or from an EGGO freezer cling.

Visit the Maya & Miguel web page dedicated to Día.

Find some fun printables online that promote literacy. You can create flip-books, monthly activity calendars (in Spanish and English), and even your own Lotería game boards!

• And lastly, run by your local library and check out a whole pile of books that celebrate diversity.

If you are a follower of our sister site, The Latin Baby Book Club, then you already know that we are celebrating Día all this month with author/illustrator interviews, giveaways, tutorials, book reviews, and guest posts by some of your favorite authors. So be sure to check us out!

Con mucho cariño...

Disclosure: I am participating in a blogging program from the Kellogg Company and Latina Bloggers Connect, and this post makes me eligible to win a $35 payment. However, Día is a holiday that is dear to my heart, and all the opinions expressed here are purely my own. (I just figure why not get paid for doing something that I am already doing, no?)


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