Bored? Try a Theme Week!On May 14, 2020 by Calgary's Child
by Trista Arney
Schools often have “spirit days” or themed weeks (think ‘crazy hair day,’ ‘sports jersey day’ for example) for kids to participate in. These fun little activities break up the days of teaching with out-of-the-ordinary experiences and memories while giving children the chance to get creative!
At home, my family has had a few “theme weeks” to break up the daily routine, get creative, and give ourselves something fun to look forward to. Here’s a brief guide to creating a theme week for your family with a few examples of what we’ve done!
Step 1 – Pick a Theme
Sometimes, I’ll just select a theme based on something I know my 7-year-old likes or based on a special day that’s coming up. For example, we did a Star Wars theme week during the week of May the 4th in celebration of Star Wars Day.
Often, though, I will ask him for his input and what he’s interested in right now to guide our theme. Right after in-person school was cancelled, we celebrated Justice League week – my kid was reading a DC Superhero Girls comic book and was very interested in celebrating the different characters!
Step 2 – Pick Activities to Fit Your Theme
Your activities could be different dress up days, coloring pages, party foods, craft projects, LEGO challenges, or anything that relates to the theme that sounds like fun! Activities can be as in-depth or as simple as your family needs.
Adjust for what fits your family. Maybe it isn’t a theme week – maybe it’s one theme day every week, or even once a month. It could even be a themed meal where you decorate your dining room and try something new.
For our Justice League week, my child picked one character (or character duo) for each day. Monday was Hawkgirl/Hawkman, Tuesday was Batman/Batgirl, Wednesday was Wonder Woman, Thursday was Aquaman, and Friday was the Green Lantern.
Each day, we planned a couple of themed activities – nothing was super formal or overly regimented. We had a great time! I browsed a bit on Pinterest and asked my child for ideas or information about the characters. Some of the activities were physical, some of them were craft or thinking-based.
- For Hawkgirl day, we made a mace out of a tinfoil ball and an empty wrapping paper roll and practiced swinging at a balloon hung off the ceiling.
- For Batman day, we cut Bat-a-rangs from cardboard.
- Wonder Woman day included reading a book from Calgary Library’s online collection about Greek Myths, making a paper tiara and ordering in Greek food for lunch.
- Thursday, we did some Justice League-themed printable worksheets I found online (it’s surprisingly difficult to find Aquaman-related content!)
- Friday, we had a colour scavenger hunt for the colour green and then did an indoor obstacle course.
This is a great way to think outside the box to find some new daily activities, too – the hanging balloon became an indoor gym activity for well over a week! It was engaging and helped with hand/eye coordination. It led to a future theme week where everything was Ninja-themed! Pinterest has thousands of activities and inspiration for nearly any theme (although it can also be a bit of a rabbit hole!)
I love designing theme weeks together – they provide a wonderful insight into what’s important to my son and what he values in the characters and franchises he loves right now. Talking about the characters and themes from books and shows they love and making up activities together is a nice break from schoolwork! Designing the activities is almost as fun as doing them, and gives your child the chance to think about event planning, time management, and making the best of supplies you have on hand.
Step 3 – Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
Let go and enjoy the day and activity with your child!
I know it isn’t possible for everyone (work schedules, juggling activities for multiple kids and homeschooling can make this difficult) but, where possible, try to embrace the fun as fully as you can as a family.
On May 4th, my whole family wore Star Wars costumes all day. My child had a classroom meet and was excited to be in a costume, and my husband even wore a Darth Vader mask to his morning video meeting! We decorated the house with Star Wars-themed Halloween and Christmas decorations we already had and enjoyed themed recipes together. I’m sure it raised some eyebrows from our neighbors, but it made us all smile and it was something we looked forward to.
Some Theme Ideas
Here are a few to get you started! Talk about them with your kid(s) and see what they get excited about:
Justice League, Marvel, mix them together! Ask your kids who their favorite character is and something about that character they like.
o Wear capes
o Make masks
o Make an obstacle course where you need to “rescue” a stuffed toy and bring it safely through
o Have “weapons” practice. Targets can be balloons suspended from the ceiling, stacks of recycled containers, etc. Make weapons from toys, pool noodles, or cardboard.
Talk about favourite princesses – real and historical! Ask what your kid(s) admires about their favorite princess, or talk about what it might be like to really rule a kingdom.
o Play dress up
o Read fairy tales
o Learn a princess song or dance
o Have a fairy tale dinner or tea party
Talk about Ninja characters your child likes or learn about martial arts
o Take an online martial arts class
o Practice ninja stealth and sneaking skills
o Make your own Ninja costume. We have a tutorial for a no-sew Ninja mask on our Facebook page!
Find out what your child’s favorite animal is. What do they like about that animal? What are they curious about?
o Calgary Library has digital access to National Geographic Kids, and you can read books and magazines online
o Draw pictures! Of the animal, of its habitat, even its footprints!
o Costume challenge! Give a time limit and get family members to make their own costume or mask to represent an animal
o Play animal hide and seek by “hiding” stuffed animals in the yard or in a room and see how quickly your kids can find them.
These ideas won’t be right for every family – I am a firm believer in doing what works for your family and trying not to worry about what other people are doing! That said, give it a try and your family might have a fun new tradition to enjoy!
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