The unofficial end of summer. The first three day weekend of the school year. A much needed day off from work. Whatever you call it, most kids (and many adults, for that matter) do not know what Labor Day is or why we celebrate it.
Other holidays, including Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day are all taught at school, but being so close to the beginning of the school year, Labor Day usually gets quietly passed by as children learn the ropes of their new classroom.
So what is Labor Day?
The simple answer is that it’s a day to celebrate working people and the contributions they’ve made to our society. It became a national holiday in 1894 and is celebrated on the first Monday of September each year (source).
Although Labor Day tends to be a day for rest, relaxation, and the final barbecue of summer, if you’d like to make a little more of it with your kids this year, Miss Humblebee’s Academy is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of ideas and activities that will teach your children about the holiday as well as help them get to the heart of what Labor Day is all about: Celebrating working people.
Labor Day Resources:
This printable from Squarehead Teachers gives a brief and easy to understand explanation of the history of Labor Day. If you want to make it even more educational, it also offers your child the chance to work on identifying parts of speech.
This poem from Super Teacher Worksheets is great for younger children. To extend the learning, after reading the poem, help your child brainstorm a list of jobs that weren’t mentioned in the poem.
Labor Day is a great time to teach your children about community helpers. Community helpers are the workers in a neighborhood or town who help the people who live there. This includes police officers, fire fighters, doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, postal workers, and more.
Although many offices are closed on Labor Day, you could use the day to make special treats or cards for your local community helpers, then take time over the next week or two to schedule visits and thank them for their work. Most police departments and fire stations welcome visitors (and are always open, even on holidays), and it’s easy to thank your postal worker and sanitation workers since they come to you!
If you want to learn more about community helpers, try these great resources:
Community Helper Sorting Mats :: The Measured Mom
Fun Ways to Learn About Community Helpers :: EDventures With Kids
Rock Your Blocks Center- Interactive Map :: The Primary Pack
Now you’re ready to teach your children why we have the day off, and they’re sure to have fun doing the suggested activities.