For many, Labor Day signifies a long weekend, the end of summer and shifting away from a warm weather wardrobe until next year. Though the three-day weekend is still high on our list, it’s important to remember what Labor Day is really about and celebrate its origin in the midst of boat days and barbecues.
Observed on the first Monday of September, this federal holiday celebrates and honors workers in the United States. When first celebrated during the Labor Movement in 1882, many people – including children – worked seven days a week. Commemorated by a march and picnic, the official holiday was created as a sign of gratitude for the strength and dedication of these American laborers.
Now that we refreshed ourselves on the meaning behind Labor Day, how can we pay tribute while still having a blast? Our Bug Bite Thing team came up with a list of ideas children and adults will both enjoy.
How to Celebrate Labor Day with Purpose and Excitement:
Labor Day Crafts
Art projects are always a great way to help children get in spirit. Our favorite Labor Day crafts teach children about the roles of community helpers and how they support our society. Simple thank-you cards for teachers, grocery workers, nurses, security guards and others in jobs crucial to our areas are a great start. Young children will love coloring, cutting and role-playing in their own career hats fashioned as pilots, detectives and construction workers. For a more involved project, use large cardboard boxes to build a firehouse or police department.
American-themed crafts are another natural fit. Embellished paper lanterns are cute and fun for even the littlest hands, though they may need assistance with the scissors. Patriotic sun catchers are nice for homes that may still be closed to visitors during this time, but wish to spread the thanks and joy beyond their walls.
Kids love to display their artistry, so incorporate them into the other Labor Day festivities below.
Neighborhood Bike Parade
Traditional community Labor Day parades and parties are likely put on pause this year, so why not create your own safe and socially distanced version? Share the idea with neighbors – and your homeowners' association or town, depending on your plans – before planning a simple street or sidewalk bike parade.
Decorate bikes, trikes, scooters, kids’ cars and wagons in red, white and blue and encourage children to dress up like its career day. Wave flags and make posters thanking the local fire department, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, farmers and other members of today’s labor force. Pump up the music with a playlist dedicated to the working man and woman, then head out on the town. Whether your family is alone in your efforts or joining forces with friends and neighbors, a bike parade is a great way to recognize the special members of our community on this national holiday.
“Party Like it's 1882” Picnic-Style Cookout
We would be remiss if we did not include the classic Labor Day weekend cookout. This year, try hosting it picnic-style to honor the first-ever event. Giant blankets, a fired-up grill, patriotic décor and a serious spread of American favorites like hot dogs, sliders, chicken wings, corn on the cob, potato salad and watermelon slices are sure to be a hit. Package red, white and blue cocktails and mocktails in Mason jars for easy access.
To spice up the day’s activities, add some silly squirt gun targets and printable Labor Day-focused party games into the mix (we’re most excited about the twist on Scattergories ). Keep hats, sunscreen and a Bug Bite Thing nearby to protect guests from the elements.
As if we needed another excuse to go camping! The long weekend is a great time to take pride in your own labor with a break from it all. Pack up the camping gear and hit the road (or head to the backyard). Include a tablecloth printed in stars and stripes and some of the kids’ crafts to add to the American ambiance. Children and adults will be fans of this simple flag-shaped snack that is easy to prepare and bring on the go.
If you are new to camping, try renting an old school airstream in a cool locale. From the Colorado mountains to Joshua Tree to the Everglades, there are glamping options to explore almost any area of the United States. Wherever you choose, make sure the Bug Bite Thing is on your travel packing list because we hear Labor Day is also popular with mosquitoes.
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