What is Labor Day?
Celebrated on the first Monday of September, many see Labor Day as a reason to invite friends and family to eat and celebrate. However, children can also be excused for not fully understanding its importance. After all, it’s easy to overlook this topic with school districts either starting classes after Labor Day or closing before Labor Day.
So, what is Labor Day? Labor Day is a federal holiday, often seen as symbolizing the end of summer. Not to be confused with Memorial Day, Labor Day has its significance.
The History of Labor Day
During the 19th century, working conditions in the United States were not how we know them today. Laborers were mistreated, often working 12-hour days, seven days a week. With such little concern for employee welfare, these laborers also operated in dreadful working conditions, all to earn an insufficient wage to the detriment of their families.
But it wasn’t just adults that suffered during the industrial revolution, as children from low-income families had to work too.
These harsh conditions caused laborers to riot and demand labor unions, which started the large-scale labor movement.
President Grover Cleveland and Congress created Labor Day to rebuild the relationship with workers. The bill that signed Labor Day into law was passed in 1894.
Today, it is easy to forget the sacrifices and hard work laborers endured during the Industrial Revolution. We must use Labor Day to honor these laborers and their contribution to society. Labor Day is celebrated annually, providing American citizens with the opportunity to recognize the contributions made by American workers and all that our country has achieved.
How is Labor Day Celebrated?
Since 1894, Labor Day has been celebrated within its federal holiday status by citizens across the country. From family gatherings to community activities and events, there are many ways to celebrate Labor Day.
As Labor Day is observed on the first Monday in September, the holiday is often celebrated as a long Labor Day weekend. Common neighborhood celebrations of Labor Day include parades, firework displays, local potlucks, and family and friends enjoying picnics.
Depending on where you live, you may also find other quirky traditions to celebrate the weekend. In Virginia, many people spend the long Labor Day weekend visiting the amusement park!
Our Top Labor Day Crafts for Kids:
Kids learn best when they are engaged and having fun, so what better way to immerse them in the history and celebration of Labor Day than to get stuck into some amazing Labor Day crafts for kids?
Here are some of our favorite ideas to get your students working hard this Labor Day:
Community Helpers Split Pin Craft
Our Community Helpers Split Pin Craft is a fun, hands-on way to learn more about the roles of community helpers. Print and distribute this resource to students to use their fine motor skills. They will need to cut each section. Once cut, students can use split pins to assemble their figures, ready for various educational and fun uses.
Paper Flower Bouquet Craft
This is the perfect craft project for a Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend! To make this lovely handmade flower bouquet, print and distribute this resource to students and follow the easy-to-use guide to assemble it.
Once complete, choose a local community helper you would like to make happy and give them these flowers.
Mindfulness Thank You Cards
To get started, ask your child who they want to write their card for. Perhaps children would like to send a “Thank You” card to their local nurses, police, firefighters, and any other community helpers they can think of! If a child needs help selecting who to make a card for, ask them to think about whether they have any friends or family that work as community helpers to guide their choices.
Help children tailor their cards to the recipient with personalized messages specific to their line of work. To make this craft activity more special, encourage students to deliver their cards by hand on Labor Day weekend.
Design Your Own Face Mask Art Activity
Our Design Your Face Mask Art Activity allows students to design, decorate, and color in the blank mask template. Great as a discussion point on the work of essential workers during Labor Day and encourages creativity and imagination as your children develop their unique designs.
Once students have completed their design, they can practice their fine motor skills by cutting the masks. They can then be added to a display honoring Labor Day or used during dramatic play.
Learning about Labor Day is also a fantastic opportunity to get children thinking about their goals and aspirations. A great way to help inspire children to think about what they would like to be when they grow up is to task them with creating a vision board!
To complete this activity, provide children with access to the internet, magazines, and other media that they can use to cut out inspirational images about their dream profession. Encourage your students to explore as many careers as possible before deciding to help them develop their prospects.
Once you have discussed the chosen careers with students, they can paste their images onto their vision board and annotate their goals with marker pens. Be sure to use the internet to discover people with these jobs and what it takes to be like them!
American Flag Craft
If you are looking for a flag template to make creating your American flag easy, check out our Flag Color and Cut Craft. This resource is a great way to observe Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Completed flag crafts can be used to create an eye-catching display all about Labor Day!
Fireworks in a Jar Science Experiment
What is Labor Day weekend without fireworks? You can make a bang in your classroom with our mesmerizing Fireworks in a Jar Science Experiment!
This engaging and fun science activity is the perfect way to celebrate Labor Day weekend at school or home.
This teacher-made resource provides students with step-by-step instructions and a list of materials needed so that you can make your scaled-down fireworks display inside a mason jar!
This will be an unforgettable way to celebrate Labor Day and teach your students how water and oil don’t mix!