It’s a brand new month AND a brand new year! Celebrating holidays for January gives you extra bang for your buck! Originally, January was kind of ignored as one of the winter months. The government was shut down and it didn’t really count. Once January was recognized, it got its name from the Roman god Janus. Janus was the god of goods and he had two faces, one that could see the past and one that could see the future.
As you explore the Holidays for January, I hope the celebrations of the past inspire you, and those ahead, in the future, are filled with information that keeps your Happy Hive buzzing with excitement
This post about Holidays for January may contain affiliate links, which means Happy Hive Homeschooling may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.
Begin a New Habit – Write about the Holidays
January is the perfect time to begin a new habit in your homeschooling routine. If you are looking for an EASY way to add holidays into your homeschool I have a few options for you! The first one comes to you from Teacher Writer Suzanne has 33 different writing prompts with videos designed for elementary-aged children. These prompts are aligned with the January National Holidays! You can read about How the product is easy to use on the blog!
New Year’s Day / Apple Gifting Day- January 1
New Year’s Day Celebrations
It’s a well-known fact that January 1st is New Year’s Day – the first day of the New Year. Since 1890, California has welcomed the New Year with the Tournament of Roses Parade. This parade is a showcase of the abundance of flowers, even though it is winter. They added the first Football game to the event in 1902. The parade now takes place along a 5.5-mile route through the streets of Pasadena and takes approximately 2 hours.
Keep the kids busy while you clean up any holiday decorations with this set of New Year Poke Art. You get both full color and black & white patterns for hours of poking fun.
Celebrate a Book with Mary Hanna Wilson has a great post with New Years Books for kids.
Apple Gifting Day
Gift-giving for the New Year in Europe is a tradition that began before the time of Christ. It is said the Celtic druids and Romans gave mistletoe. The Romans even gave gilded coins, nuts, and coins with the picture of the god Janus. In England, before Victorian times, small gifts such as gloves or an orange with cloves were given to family and friends on New Year’s Day. Traditions such as these were brought to the new world and continued for many years. In fact, these traditions were brought to America and continued there.
January 1st is also known as Apple Gifting Day. It isn’t known how the gifting of Apples is now associated with the new year. Perhaps it is because the apple symbolizes love, bounty (as in a good harvest), good health (an apple a day keeps the doctor away), knowledge (teachers), beauty, and rebirth. Giving apples at the New year is the perfect way to wish your friends and family good health and a fruitful new year!
When you think of giving apples as gifts, you may instantly think of Teachers. You are correct! The act of giving apples to teachers stems from pioneer times. In those days it was common for a teacher to receive gifts as payment. Apples were cheap and available in the fall when school began. The custom of giving Teachers apples continued even after they began receiving wages for their work.
To help make celebrating apple gifting day easy for you download this FREE Printable.
55 mph speed limit day – January 2
Driving may be a long way off for your learners, or just around the corner. Nevertheless, being aware of signs is an important lesson, and it can easily begin at any age – with the SPEED LIMIT SIGN! 55 MPH day, January 2 gives us the perfect opportunity to explore the topic of road signs, speedometers, and even the different speed limits around town and from state to state. Furthermore, if you have older mathematicians in your homeschool you can use this holiday to teach them how to calculate how many miles per gallon the family car currently gets.
- Fill up the gas tank all the way.
- If you have s a trip odometer for your car, reset it, or record the current mileage according to the odometer.
- Drive your car as you normally would. It’s best if you use up at least half of a tank of gas.
- Fill your tank all the way.
- Record the number of gallons of gas it took to refill the tank.
- Record the elapsed trip miles or new odometer mileage.
Complete the calculations
- Subtract the original odometer reading from the new one or use the mileage from the trip odometer.
- Divide the miles traveled by the number of gallons it took to refill the tank. The answer to this calculation will be the car’s average miles per gallon for that driving period. miles driven /gallons used = mpg
Another simple activity you can do to celebrate 55 MPH day is to have your children design their own speed limit signs. They can create the shape, color, and speed. A lively discussion as to why each element was chosen is optional, but lots of fun!
Toss your Fruitcake Day – January 3
You may remember December 27th was National Fruitcake Day. Our recommended activities come directly from the Fruitcake Fun Activity Pack. The celebrations surrounding these two holidays are a no-miss in my opinion. You can easily host a fruit cake tasting event and a fruitcake tossing event. If you didn’t get to these Family Fun food centered activities in December, the holidays for January have you covered.
You can read more about National Fruitcake Day and Fruitcake Toss day in this post: WHO EATS FRUITCAKE?
3 Kings Day / Epiphany – January 6
I recently had an inquiry from a friend who dubbed me the queen of holidays. As they were going through their homeschool routine, she and her children noticed there were 12 days until Christmas! It is an exciting time for sure. The question came up regarding THE 12 days of Christmas, and if they were BEFORE or AFTER Christmas. Not, able to readily answer herself, my friend quickly contacted me. (Makes my heart happy!)
Where EXACTLY the 12 days fall is a common misunderstanding surrounding the 12 days of Christmas. It gets even more complicated by the popular song, which has NOTHING to do with the 12th day of Christmas. I happily supplied my friend with the answer: Epiphany is the 12th day after Christmas and is THE 12th day of Christmas. This celebration ends what is known as the Christmas season in many Christian religions with the arrival of the 3 Kings. January 6th is the 12th day of Christmas, otherwise known as the feast of the 3 Kings.
Ways to Celebrate 3 Kings Day
There are many great traditions surrounding 3 Kings day that are easy to participate in.
- Leave your shoes on the front porch for the Kings to leave a gift in
- Serve 3 Kings Cake – or make cupcakes and hide the baby in one of them
- Study what the gifts (GOLD, FRANKENSCENCE & MYRRH) are used for today
Read more about the 12th day of Christmas and ways to celebrate in this post: THE 12TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS IS THE FEAST OF THE 3 KINGS
You can learn some history and decorate for the Feast of the Three Kings with this complete resource. The craft is a bit on the advanced side, and more appropriate for your older children.
If you are in need of 3 Kings Day activities for kids and have little ones, you will love our Activities for Three Kings Day. This FREE Resource is full of resources to supplement the study of Epiphany. The Activity Pack includes a template for creating a 3 Kings day crown, coloring pages, a 3 Kings day maze, a puzzle, and a printable Memory activity designed to go with the “Meet the Kings” video. (There is a link in the product for your convenience!)
This Activity Pack will keep little hands busy while you celebrate this important holiday!
Get access when you subscribe to THE BUZZ!
National Old Rock Day – January 7
January 7th is one of the holidays for January that is easy to celebrate. Old Rock Day was designed to inspire education about rocks and fossils. Earth’s crust is made up of rock so celebrating is as easy as leaving the house to go on a rock hunt.
- Take a walk and see if you can find rocks for your collection
- Complete a rock painting craft with your friends
- Make a “Pet Rock”
- Visit the library for books on volcanos, fossils or how rocks are formed
Learn Your NAme in Morse Code – January 11
January 11th, Write your Name in Morse Code Day, is set aside to help preserve the history of Morse Code and its importance to society. You can interest your kids in this holiday by explaining that Morse Code was the original form of text messaging! That’s right, the dots and dashes are encoded text characters, considered the forerunner to email, text messages, and other near-instant messaging we use today.
Grab this Free-Bee to help you celebrate and learn more about this fun holiday in THIS POST.
Dress Up Your Pet Day – January 14
For this adorable holiday for January you get to celebrate with your pet. Dress Up Your Pet Day was started in 2009. It’s the perfect day to celebrate your pet’s fashion sense and get a great picture. You do however have to consider the safety of your pet. Please don’t make them uncomfortable or dress them if they don’t want to dress up.
If you want a safe, fun alternative, consider using PET PAPER DOLLS
Pet Paper Dolls were designed for those without pets, and to preserve the sensibilities of animals who dislike playing dress-up.
Other ideas for celebrating Dress Up Your Pet Day
Celebrating DRESS YOUR PET DAY is a great opportunity to incorporate some lessons on:
- Caring for God’s Creation – can you save newspapers to donate to a local shelter? Do you have old blankets or towels they can use?
- Can the kids volunteer to read to the animals or spend time with them in other ways? Someone needs to help with all that poop! Be sure to check with your local shelter regarding age limits, etc. before mentioning these things to your kids. You don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up.
- Dog walking & dog sitting for neighbors who go out of town or who are elderly and can’t walk much themselves are great ways to introduce pet responsibility without actual ownership. Be open to a variety of animals.
- Birds, snakes, lizards & fish are pets too. Visit friends who have these pets, and be sure to invite friends over to see yours if you have them. Host a mini class about their habitat, what they eat, their sleep cycles, etc. Kid lead classes are amazingly informative! Use the corresponding “Pet Paper Dolls” page as a companion to your class!
- Writing about dream pets is a great activity too. Living in the city we were never going to own horses, but that didn’t mean my daughter couldn’t dream! We checked out books, watched documentaries, and even planned field trips so she could experience her passion for horses without owning one. Don’t just dismiss that desire for a unicorn!
- There are some Paper Doll Books available if this is an activity your Kids seem to really enjoy!
Kid Inventors Day – January 17
January 17th is Benjamin Franklins Birthday. Many don’t know that HE was a kid inventor himself. That’s right! If you search the question: What was Ben Franklin’s first Invention – the answer that comes up “officially” is: The Franklin Stove. Kids all over the world, disagree and are inspired to know that when young Ben was only 12, he invented swim flippers. That makes Kid Inventors’ Day one of the favorite holidays for January among kids, because it is a holiday celebrating their inventions!
You might be surprised to learn of the other remarkable things we use today that were invented by ordinary kids.
Celebrating Kid inventors’ day can be fun. Simply search the internet for kid inventors and you will find MANY interesting kids and their inventions. Gather materials and set up a “MAKER” space in your home. Just the act of tinkering with random stuff can and does lead to inventions.
New products solve problems, so when working on an invention, you may want to begin with the problem.
There are 6 kid inventors inside the Kid Inventors’ Day informational text activity for your children to explore. Each has a link to a video that describes the invention. You can research all 6 kid inventors or just a few.
National Popcorn Day – January 19
National popcorn day has been celebrated on several different dates throughout history. Many times it coincided with the date of the Super Bowl! Eventually, a newspaper reported the date of National Popcorn Day to be January 19th and the date has stuck since! One thing Americans can agree on is that popcorn is one of their favorite snacks with about 13 billion quarts of it consumed each year.
We think the best way to celebrate is to pop popcorn and enjoy it. You can create a popcorn bar and have mix-ins like candy and sprinkles or toppings like butter or caramel. Popcorn always pairs well with a movie too!
Squirrel Appreciation Day – January 21
Squirrels belong to the class of animals known as rodents, and because of this, they tend to be classified as pests. I must admit the cable company isn’t too thrilled when our backyard squirrels chew through the internet wires. Squirrel Appreciation Day was started to highlight the better qualities of these animals, and perhaps reclassify them in the minds of folks who think of them as pests. Often when we don’t understand something it’s easy to just think of it as, shall we say, a pest.
Celebrate Squirrel Appreciation day by visiting an area with squirrels. There are over 200 species of squirrel, so I would imagine there are some near you. Putting out food or water provides a great opportunity to observe their natural behaviors. You can do this in a local park or even in your own backyard.
National Handwriting Day -January 23
Your John Handcock is your signature. We call it that because when he signed the Declaration of Independence, his was the largest out of all signatures. National Handwriting day was started by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association.
Some think in the age of technology the art of writing longhand is getting lost. Some schools do not include cursive writing as part of their required curriculum any longer. As homeschooling families, we get to choose. There may be valid reasons not to pursue writing past basic manuscripts. On the other hand, we may also have a child that excels artistically and would like to learn calligraphy or even font creation.
Ways to Celebrate
National Handwriting day can be the perfect opportunity to put pencil or pen to paper with some simple, yet fun writing activities:
Respond to a journal prompt, or use a picture as a story starter. Happy Hive Homeschooling has a set of 64 different picture Prompts to get you started.
Copy a favorite quote onto a sticky note and leave it to inspire someone. Our favorite place to do this is on gas pumps, mirrors in public restrooms, and the doors of fast-food restaurants. Try and put the sticky notes at “eye-level” or on the door handle where they can be seen.
If your children are ready or need some handwriting help purchase our handwriting resource available in manuscript (print) or cursive. We also bundled them for families with children at multiple levels! You can check out more information about pre-writing skills in THIS POST: The Write stuff for learning to Write
International Holocaust Remembrance Day – January 27
Auschwitz was one of the most infamous camps of the Holocaust. It was liberated on January 27th, 1945 by the Soviet army, and this is why January 27th is chosen as a day of remembrance. Auschwitz was located in German-occupied Poland and consisted of 3 camps. More than 1.1 million people died there. Auschwitz is the only location in which prisoners received tattoos.
What you can do to remember on this day:
Visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum online. They have “ID CARDS” for 600 different individuals of various backgrounds to explore.
Use Children’s Literature to explore the topic with young children. Some books Happy Hive recommends are:
Complete Kindness activities from our 30 days of kindness challenge free-BEE
International Lego Day- january 28
On January 28, 1958, at precisely 1:58 pm local time, LEGO submitted a patent application for the bricks we know and love today. This remodeled LEGO brick has interlocking studs and tubes. The Lego however was INVENTED In August of 1932.
International Lego Day celebrates the advancement in the LEGO brick that was needed to propel this toy into the complete building system it is today. That is to say, the bricks from your childhood will fit into the bricks you purchase for your grandchildren.
You can design a lego challenge for your kids around the Holiday of the Day. Use the Calendar to find out what the Holiday of the Day is, then have your kids build something inspired by the holiday! Or pop over to the Happy Hive Shop and download our FREE-BEE
National Puzzle Day – january 29
There are a wide variety of puzzles you can use to celebrate Puzzle Day. Jigsaw Puzzles, Logic Puzzles, crossword puzzles, and word search puzzles are just a few. Puzzles are not only fun, they are good for your brain.
Jigsaw puzzles are known to improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. For example, your children (and you) need to concentrate to put the pieces together. Completing jigsaw puzzles can help short-term memory and problem-solving.
If you want to take your brain to the gym try Logic Puzzles. Logic puzzles on the other hand, provide your brain with activity that increases systematic thinking (how different components impact each other) and reduces boredom.
Children who occupy themselves with puzzles at a young age, and continue to do so over time, strengthen physical, cognitive, and emotional skills. Doing a puzzle with a friend or family member also encourages social skills to develop.
In the Happy Hive we like to use Puzzles and Brain Teasers as an activity kids can do independently while I work with another child who needs one on one instruction. You can read more about how we implement FREE CHOICE LEARNING in THIS POST.
More Holiday Activities for January
These products use each of the Holiday of the Days for Januaryl
In each set of May copywork you get 31 topics, in 2 font styles. The first is with guides (arrows) and the second font is a simple version of the font. The trace over copywork contains simple sentences, Manuscript and Cursive sentences are longer and more advanced, but similar so family discussions or use as Memory Verse is still possible!
Thanks for checking out the many holidays for January!
If you would like more meaningful mindset shifts, expert homeschool tips, and things to say to the neighbors when they ask about homeschooling you’ll love our email list!
When you sign up you’ll get an exclusive thank you free-BEE that’s NOT available in our resource library! Enter your email address below to join the Happy Hive
I can’t wait to share my homeschool expertise and mindset-shifting superpowers with you each edition of THE BUZZ. We’ll also chat about the methods I used to organize, schedule, and lesson plan in my homeschool with the hopes it will help you have a happy hive too. In the meantime, “Bee” sure to check out the different methods of homeschooling as well as our 3 easy strategies for burnout.
This site is a labor of love and will grow and grow. Is there a Holiday of the Day you would like to see featured? Contact Us and we will do our best to make it happen! We are glad you are here and hope you enjoy learning and celebrating in your HAPPY HIVE!