By Kimberly Witt
April is a month of many significant religious holidays. It’s also time for some purely fun, unique and quirky secular holidays. Here are some things to celebrate in April with your teens.
April Fools’ Day — April 1
Short-sheeting their bed, refilling Oreos with toothpaste, rearranging items in their drawers—the internet abounds with pranks to play on this holiday. Whether your pranks are simple or elaborate, take heed because as Shakespeare Day later this month will remind you “revenge is a dish best served cold.” Play a prank on your kid and you might want to watch your back.
Special Food Holidays — various
April is full of food-themed holidays with Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (April 2), Burrito Day (April 7), Grilled Cheese Day (April 12), Picnic Day (April 23), and Pretzel Day (26), you can fill your menu plan with fun. Also, watch for deals from local and chain restaurants. (I’m looking at you, Chipotle!) Why not try hosting a family PB&J or grilled cheese contest? You might find a new spin on an old favorite sandwich.
Love Our Children Day — April 3
I know most of us are celebrating this one every day, but if you need an extra incentive to do something sweet for your teens, here it is! Plan their favorite meal, swing through a preferred drive-thru, or take this opportunity to leave a simple Post-it reminding them they’re loved.
Pillow Fight Day — April 3
This celebration (ironically?) coincides with National Love Our Children Day. Who doesn’t love a good pillow fight? If you’re worried about breaking precious valuables, find a safe place in the basement or even outside. Or if you’re like me and imagine a pillow fight between brothers resulting in a bloody nose or black eye, then cue up the “Pillows and Blankets” episode of Community to passively watch an epic pillow fight, instead.
No Housework Day — April 7
This doesn’t need an explanation! An excuse to do no housework for a day? Sign me up!
Sibling Day — April 10
If your teens are like mine, they need a reminder every once in a while that they actually do like each other. Take this opportunity to celebrate sibling love on National Sibling Day. Create an easy photo collage of sweet photos of your kids together and send it in the family group text. Then give your kids money to grab dessert or a movie without the parents. (Children with no siblings have their own holiday to celebrate on April 12!)
Pet Day — April 11
Let’s share some love for the furry, the feathered, the shelled, and the finned friends in our family! Sharing pet love can go beyond a social media post. Surprise your family with customized socks with your pet’s face, stage your own silly family photos featuring your pets, or let your teens pick out a favorite treat or toy for your pet. If your family doesn’t have a pet, visit a local pet store or shelter for some snuggles.
Moment of Laughter Day — April 14
During the last two years, nothing has helped my mental health more than genuine belly laughs, so make time for that with your family on April 14. Share some favorite jokes or memes in the group text or sit down to watch a favorite sitcom or funny movie together. Whatever it is, schedule some time for laughter. Your abs will thank you, too.
High Five Day — April 15
You made it through tax day—now celebrate by giving yourself a high five! Then keep the celebration going by giving high fives to your kids. If your teens are like mine, they might not be in a high-five mood right away in the morning, but keep trying and get those eye rolls you deserve by asking for some random high fives throughout the rest of the day. If you’re really lucky, your teen will agree to an elaborate high five only the two of you know.
Shakespeare Day — April 23
The former high school English teacher in me says, “YES PLEASE!” Or maybe “AYE PRITHEE!” Use this day to share your love of the Bard by teaching your teens the origin of phrases like “good riddance,” “it’s Greek to me,” and “what’s done is done.” If your teen gives you an epic eyeroll after one too many “methinks” or “doths,” then cue up a modern day adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s classics for your next movie night. I suggest 10 Things I Hate About You or She’s the Man.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day — April 28
If you’re working from home, this one might not be very exciting for your teens, but this holiday—which has roots back in 1992—gives parents an opportunity to introduce their work to their kids. Depending on your teen’s school schedule, this could be a great chance for some extra quality time together AND some career exploration, too.
Honesty Day — April 30
It seems fitting that April begins with pranks and tricks and ends with honesty. National Honesty Day encourages truthfulness in all encounters. Make this a fun game with your teens to see who can go all day without telling a white lie. Ultimately, honesty with our teens goes a long way to build trust in our relationships, something that should go beyond any single day of the year.
Your teens might not realize it, but there’s “a method to your madness” in celebrating small holidays. Get some dates on the calendar to create meaningful memories with your family. We all know “too much of a good thing” doesn’t apply when it comes to quality time with our teens.
And yes, Shakespeare invented those phrases, too.