Make room for these fun celebrations on your 2022 calendar

Indian-Americans enjoying kite flying day in New Jersey. Photo: provided

Eleven holidays have an official United States government stamp of approval. But with 365 days on the calendar, 11 is far too few to celebrate. Each year we at KidsPost look for at least one nontraditional – and often quite silly – holiday for each month to add to your calendar. This year we found days for those who love animals, poetry, nature, science and, as we said, silliness. And these days aren’t just for kids. Share them with your parents, teachers and neighbors. It just might make our next trip around the sun a little more fun.

National Compliment Day (Jan. 24): Start the year on a positive note by sharing kind words about those around you. Did Dad make you pancakes for breakfast? Compliment his culinary skills. Did your sister empty the dishwasher even though it was your turn? Tell her she’s the best sister ever! How about the classmates who worked with you on a Spanish project? Tell them, “¡Ustedes son fabulosos!”

International Polar Bear Day (Feb. 27): These beautiful Arctic animals are considered vulnerable because their habitat is disappearing. The bears spend much of their lives on sea ice, which is melting because of human-caused climate change. The bears must travel farther in their search for food. It also means more ships (and humans) disrupting this formerly remote area. To mark this day, read about polar bears and learn what you can do to help save the species.

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Take a Walk in the Park Day (March 30): With winter officially over and spring flowers appearing, it’s the perfect time for a walk in a local park or one that’s not so nearby. Check out the Kids in Parks website (kidsinparks.com) to find hiking trails in 15 states and the District of Columbia. If you sign up for the TRACK trails program, you can earn prizes for spending time in nature. That’s something to celebrate!

Haiku Poetry Day (April 17): KidsPost features poetry each April for National Poetry Month. We love a good sonnet, acrostic or villanelle. But a traditional haiku – a three-line poem with five syllables on the first line, seven on the second and five on the third – is an especially fun challenge. For inspiration, read KidsPost readers’ poems about squirrels (wapo.st/SquirrelHaiku).

Mayday for Mutts (May 1): The word mutt used to be a negative term for a dog that wasn’t purebred and probably not smart. Thankfully, most people now think mutts, or mixed-breed dogs, are wonderful companions. If you have a mixed-breed dog, give her an extra treat today. And if you know someone looking to add a dog to their family, encourage them to adopt from a shelter or rescue organization.

Hug Your Cat Day (June 4): There’s a saying that every dog has his day. But every cat should, too! Almost 32 million U.S. households include at least one cat, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2018 count. But not all cats would be thrilled with a hug on their special day. So give Luna or Milo what they like most, whether it’s a cuddle, a chin scratch or a game of catch the string.

Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Day (July 4): Have you heard the expression “It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk”? It has been around for a long time, perhaps since a 1899 newspaper column, according to the Library of Congress. It’s a mystery about who urged people to try this on July 4 (although it is often sizzling hot on that day). But Oatman, Arizona, takes it seriously. Each July Fourth the Solar Egg Frying Contest offers a prize for the best sun-cooked egg.

Play in the Sand Day (Aug. 11): You may have realized how fun sand can be as a toddler in a backyard sandbox. But the tiny pieces of rock aren’t just for little kids. Sand has provided so much fun for all ages that the Strong National Museum of Play inducted it into the National Toy Hall of Fame last year. So, if possible, head to the beach today to create a spectacular sand castle.

Wonderful Weirdos Day (Sept. 9): Austin, Texas, prides itself on being kind of weird – doing things differently. It’s a place where a Cathedral of Junk can become a must-see attraction. So it’s not surprising that a group of Austin residents suggested an unofficial holiday encouraging everyone do the same. To celebrate, be a little wacky. Wear mismatched clothes or try an unusual hairstyle. And do it, as Austinites do, with pride.

International Animation Day (Oct. 28): If you like animated films, you have Émile Reynaud to thank. The Frenchman invented a machine called the Optical Theater, which projected a series of painted images onto a screen.. Reynaud’s invention made its public October 28, 1892, at a museum in Paris, France. Today, watch your favorite animated movie as part of this worldwide celebration.

International Tongue Twister Day (Nov. 13): Tongue twisters have been around at least since 1813, when John Harris published “Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.” Even the title is a mouthful. Try a tongue twister challenge today with your parents or a friend. Here’s a tricky one from Dr. Seuss: “Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.” Try saying that three times fast.

National Popcorn String Day (Dec. 13): You may think of popcorn only as a snack, but it once was a popular Christmas decoration. It’s unknown who came up with the idea, but Colonial Williamsburg notes that in 1842 Charles Minnigerode shared with neighbors the German tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. They strung popcorn around the branches. Ask your parents if you can bring back this tradition using stale popcorn, waxed dental floss and a needle. Then deck the halls!

 

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