100 Days of School

Eliza Clark
January 19, 2016

Have you been counting down the days? Do you hear tell of a fabulous party that will soon be coming to your child's preschool or kindergarten? Is the anticipation building to a fever pitch?

If you're mystified, let us enlighten. The 100th day of school (which usually falls in late January or early February) is a hugely important event anticipated every year by legions of preschoolers and elementary school kids. It's possible that you really have to be a teacher or student in a classroom to get what the excitement is all about. But parents who are looking in from the outside can nonetheless appreciate what a great excuse the 100th day is for a party and what an excellent learning opportunity it presents.

So let's hear it for the 100th day of school! But how is it celebrated? Here are a few ways we can think of, and your child's teacher is sure to have lots of good ideas up her or his sleeve too.

  • Many schools will ask each child to bring in 100 small objects, such as paper clips, beads, dry pasta, Q-Tips, and the like to make a 100th day collage.  The kids may do exercises like counting the items by twos, fives and tens, and will usually end up gluing them onto a grid. The display of all the 100 items posters around the classroom is something to see!
  • Estimating game: take three jars and fill them all with the same sort of small items (i.e. dry beans or unpopped popcorn kernels). Fill one jar with exactly 100 items. Have the children guess which jar contains 100. They will be surprised at how little 100 really is!
  • A great book to read with the children is Keiko Kasza's Wolf's Chicken Stew, in which a hungry wolf tries to fatten up a hen by feeding her 100 pancakes and other treats every day. If you're feeling really energetic, you can heat up your griddle and make 100 small pancakes yourself. It's easier than it sounds, and the kids will devour them. 
  • Some classes may celebrate with a cake with 100 candles on it or by blowing up 100 balloons (parent volunteers needed!).
  • Another good exercise is to have all the kids bring in 100 pennies, and set up a pretend store where they can practice buying and selling, and see how much they can get for a dollar.
  • Have all the kids fill in these blanks:  "I wish I had 100 _______ and 100 _______, but I'm glad I don't have 100 _______!"  Post around the room—the answers are sure to be amusing!

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