We’re compiling a year-long series here on the ClubX Blog highlighting fun holidays and historical events to use as programming idea sparks. To learn more about how I used them when I was a frontline Club staff, check out the first post in the series here along with ideas for January and February, find ideas for March, April, and May here, and the summer months of June, July and August here! Today we’ll cover September and October!
National Sewing Month: Sewing is a skill my grandmother and mom both excelled at, but I do not. It’s a shame! Not only does it practically come in handy when you pop a button or need a hem adjusted, it is a possible career path and a GREAT outlet for expressing creativity. If you don’t know how to sew yourself, this would be a perfect role for a community volunteer.
I try to find ideas to post but since I don’t know what good beginner projects would be or what supplies are necessary or how to make it work in a Club I’m gonna post a gif for now and if someone who has run sewing programming has any good links I’ll update it! Comment below if you can help!
National Honey Month: This one offers a ton of possibilities. From learning how bees make honey in the first place, to a chat with a beekeeper, to a honey-tasting party! Did you know that different types of honey can have different flavors depending on what flowers the bees are nearby? There are also lots of recipes that use honey. These Honey Nut Cheerios Balls look yummy and you can swap out the peanut butter for nut-free options.
National Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month (September 15-October 15): This celebration gives us a chance to honor and recognize the key contributions that Latino-Americans have made to our country. It’s also another opportunity for SO MANY FUN IDEAS! As you search, you may see it called National Hispanic Heritage Month or National Latino Heritage Month. Stay tuned for more on how BGCA will be celebrating!
We always love a book list!
And here’s a huge list that includes activities, movies, and a truly stunning Frieda Kahlo bulletin board!
National Preparedness Month and 2021 Readiness Day: Child Safety is our #1 priority at Boys & Girls Clubs, and every year in September we come together to make sure we are all ready for emergency situations. Learn more about those efforts and register for Readiness Day on September 9th at BGCA.net/ChildSafety.
National Dog Week (Fourth Week): Dogs deserve to be celebrated every single day, but it would be cool to mark this fun holiday by learning more about Service Dogs. Dogs can provide so much incredibly varied assistance, including as Guide Dogs for the sight impaired and emotional support and even alerts for low blood sugar. This is another place a community speaker would be a perfect fit.
September 4 First Kodak Camera Patented: The first Kodak camera is sure different than the cameras we use today! Take a look at some of the first photos taken with cameras, then hop over to MyFuture for a fun photography activity. There are multiple to choose from, including Photo Advocate, Photo Scavenger Hunt, and even an intro lesson on editing! See them all on MyFuture.net.
September 10 National Hot Dog Day: Have a hog dog party! They are a relatively inexpensive food to buy in bulk, and I’ve recently learned that hot dogs in the air fryer are delicioussssss. And even more fun would be for a staff to dress up as a hot dog. 🙂
September 17 Constitution Day: On this day in 1787, the US Constitution was signed by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia. Mark the day by playing some virtual games though one of my favorite sites, iCivics. I talk more about it in the post below, but games that would be perfect for Constitution Day include Race to Ratify and Do I Have a Right.
September 25 Comic Book Day: Comic Books are an American innovation that have taken the WORLD by storm. Some people look down on them, but some of the most powerful and creative storytelling have happened in the pages of comic books, and ALL! READING! IS! READING! And all writing is writing! Clubs can be a place where youth can explore this genre. See if a local comic book shop would be willing to partner for a lending library, or as a resource to connect with the comic book community for donations. The link below gives printable templates for youth to create their own, or you can make comics digitally through MyFuture.
National Fantasy Month: We’ve got a whole post of ideas for Fantasy Month! It’s a way to have a fun and expansive lead-up to Halloween.
National Vegetarian Month: In case you can’t tell, I really love cooking activities, especially with older youth. Empowering young people to prepare meals and try new dishes is such a great way to expand their horizons and give them some practical skills to boot. Consider exploring veggie-based meals and how vibrant and delicious they can be, including seeing if a local vegetarian chef might come and teach a session or zoom in to share their favorite recipes. Pair this with another October food celebration, National Pizza Month, and make some veggie naan pizza!
National Chemistry Week (third week of October): Chemistry is the science that deals with the properties, composition, and structure of substances (defined as elements and compounds), the transformations they undergo, and the energy that is released or absorbed during these processes. And good news- Unit 3 of DIY STEM is all about Food Chemistry!
October 3 Techies Day: Techies Day was established in 1999 to encourage young people to consider careers in technology. Use the opportunity to get teens thinking about their futures with the What’s Next badge on MyFuture.
October 5 Do Something Nice Day: We love opportunities for a service project! And this one works for all ages. The concept of “something nice” is an incredibly broad one, so let youth brainstorm ideas for what niceness they’d like to put into the world, and then do it!
October 8 American Tag Day: Find a new kind of tag to play today in the Gym! Choose one of these or let youth make up a new version.
- Octopus Tag: This ocean odyssey requires two clearly-marked end zones and edges to form a boundary. One person is elected to be “it” and act as the “octopus”. To begin, the “octopus” is positioned in the middle of the area and the other players line up along one end zone. When the “octopus” shouts “Go!” all players attempt to cross the area to the other end zone without getting tagged. If tagged, he or she becomes “seaweed” and sits still at the position of contact. “Seaweed” may assist the “octopus” by waving their arms and tagging other players.
- Band-Aid Tag: In this version of the classic game, all players can tag and be tagged. Once a person is tagged, he or she must put one hand on the spot they were touched to make a bandaid. Tagged again? Make a second bandaid with the other hand and continue to run. If a player is tagged for the third time, they must visit the “hospital” — a designated spot outside of the boundaries — and complete ten jumping jacks to heal and rejoin the game.
- Dead Ant Tag: Decide on one person to be “it” in a large boundary. When a person gets tagged, they become a “dead ant” by lying on their back with legs and arms in the air. In order for the “dead ant” to join back in, he or she must be tagged on each limb by four different people. When a player becomes a “dead ant” for the third time — we’ll call it “ant years” — they take over as “it”.
October 22 First Parachute Jump (1797): On this day, French inventor Andrew Garnerin became the first person who jumped with a frameless parachute. He jumped from hot-air balloons at a height of 8,000 feet! Mark the day by doing the well-known Egg Parachute STEM activity.
October 22 National Color Day: October 22 is extra special because it gets two special events! This ClubX Blog throwback post has ideas that work throughout the Club.
October 31 Halloween: And the best holiday of them all, Halloween! We’ve posted a couple of Halloween posts here on the ClubX Blog.
Last year we posted a round-up of ideas for Clubs who may be social distancing due to COVID-19. While every one of our fingers are crossed that we won’t need to worry about it this year, these are still good ideas.