Whether you're celebrating Easter, Thanksgiving, or the Fourth of July, chances are you need some activities to pass the time after a delicious meal and honoring family traditions. You might even have some surprising fun playing a round of Easter trivia.
Here's a list of major holidays, starting from January, and links to related activities to get the party started.
January and New Year's Day
In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated at evening gatherings where people dance, eat, drink, and set off fireworks at midnight to mark the new year. But New Year's Day is a whole day to celebrate the beginning of the year and the accompanying winter weather. For those long New Year's Day gatherings, give your kids an abundance of activities to do, including crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and word scramble games that celebrate the wintertime.
February and Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love and romance, but it began as more of a Christian holiday focusing on an early Christian saint named Valentinus. The Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February to Christianize the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient Roman fertility festival in preparation for the coming spring.
Today, the day is more of a lighthearted event that begets lots of kisses, roses, chocolates, and cards. Show kids of all ages how much they mean to you by spending time with them playing Valentine's Day "Pictionary," and you'll all end up rolling on the floor in laughter. Or gather around to play Valentine's Day bingo using free printable cards that'll delight players of all ages.
March, April, and Easter
In the Christian world, Easter is the holiest of holidays. Usually, the day begins with a celebratory visit to a place of worship. Then, family and friends come together for a luncheon or dinner. For many others, Easter is a cause for celebration because it marks the beginning of springtime.
May and Mother's Day
Mother's Day is a day to show the mothers in your life how much you love and appreciate all that they do for you. Make cherished flower-power bookmarks for all the moms you know who are voracious readers. If your mother is a puzzle lover, then the perfect gift might be a personalized photo puzzle, which you can have made by sending a photo to an online photo company, such as Shutterfly. Make a coloring book for mom with printable adult coloring pages, and then add a set of beautiful watercolor pencils for a gift you can turn into an activity on her special day.
July and Independence Day
Independence Day, also called the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, declaring the 13 American colonies a new nation. After fun in the sun and a round of fireworks, settle down with the family to do a patriotic craft in red, white, and blue. For the younger set, dip into these free July 4th printables to color.
October and Halloween
Halloween may be a night shrouded in mayhem and trickery, but it is a celebration of the Christian feast of All Hallow's Day. It coincides with Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.
For kids, however, all they want is to go get the goods by trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. If you're having a Halloween gathering, why not give them a calming activity before or after the festivities, such as tackling these Halloween word searches? Or grab a device, and have them settle down to play a few free online Halloween games.
November and Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest. In the U.S., Americans recognize the First Thanksgiving as the three-day harvest feast of the pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621.
Have kids of all ages learn more about Thanksgiving by offering them free jigsaw puzzles and an abundance of word-search puzzles about the holiday. Chill out after a big serving of turkey by settling kids down with free printable coloring pages to make even more memories of the holiday.
December and Christmas
Christmas is a global holiday celebrated around the same time as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the winter solstice. There's so much busy activity in December that any child and adult will be happy to settle down and tackle a quiet letter to Santa, a jigsaw puzzle, a word search puzzle, or color a few free printable pages to take the mind off of all the exciting festivities, just for a while.