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Familly Traditions


Full Member
Hi! Does anyone have parents come in and share some holiday traditions in December? I've got lots of parents dying to volunteer, but I don't usually like them in my room while I'm teaching. I was thinking of having them come in and share for about 30 minutes about a tradition or make a craft, read a book, something like that. Has anyone done something like this before or have ideas on how to ask them?


Full Member

I have never done that before, but it does sound like a wonderful solution. I can never get parents to come to the classroom. I can't even keep up with their current address or phone number! Go ahead and see if that will work with your parents. I think they will feel valued by the experience.


Junior Member
Christmas round the World

Last year my 3rd grade team each selected a country/tradition to teach about for 40 minutes. For the whole day we rotated so that by the end we had all taught each others' classes. Students had passports that we stamped as they went around. I had parents come in to share as experts. One of my students was Swedish so his mom came in and talked about Santa Lucia and what is was like when she was selected to be the Santa Lucia for the parade in her hometown. After the mini lesson, students did a short craft and at the end of the day they took home their suitcases full of crafts from their trips "around the world". Parents had a great time rotating with students or teaching a mini lesson with us.


Senior Member
Being Careful

I don't know if you teach in a public or private school--but that might dictate how much of the traditions your parents could share. I teach in a public school and we would not be allowed to have parents come and share their religious traditions, Christmas story, etc.

I had a parent that wanted to play the violin at our Christmas party one year. It became a religious "sermon". My room was full of other parents. Luckily no one complained--but I could have been in "hot water".

It's sad that public schools have to adhere to strict guidelines sometimes. But in the same sense, that is our countries' freedom!


Senior Member
We called it Diversity Day...

and invited families to share a food, custom, or family tradition (i.e. strawberry day or pancake Sunday). This year we are doing a taditions aritifacts museum. The kids brought in an item to represent a family tradition and they are writing a news article about their item to display with the item during our museum.


Senior Member
We invite parents to come in and share their holiday if it's something other than Christmas. We also teach Christmas around the World similar to mitchus. I'm at a public school and we can do this because winter holidays are part of our curriculum. Last year we had parents come in and explain Eid (Muslim), Dewali (India) and Hanukkah. They did great and there were no "sermons"! We also have the kids bring in items from home to explain their own family traditions.


Senior Member

I started doing this two years ago. I read one or two chapters of Horrible Harry and the Holidaze each day before Winter Break and we do activities based on the holiday in those chapters. I have had teachers that were Jewish come in to talk about Hanukkah, our music teacher talks about Korean New Year, etc. I do send a letter home asking about the holidays our families celebrate and most of our families are Christian so they all celebrate Christmas. At the end of the letter I ask if the families would like to come in to discuss their traditions. I've only had one parent do so in the two years I've done this but she really enjoyed it and so did the kids.

The first year I did this, we had one parent complaint. I had a fifth grade teacher come down to talk to us about Hanukkah. I had to stay with her class so I wasn't there to hear what she had to say. Apparantly she was explaining to the kids that since there are people out there that don't celebrate Christmas that it would be nice if they said Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas to people that they don't know. The parent was pretty upset but after a while, it was forgotten.

I attached the letter that I send home. I hope it helps you out a bit!!
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  • Winter Celebrations.doc
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Senior Member

I have dads mostly come in to demonstrate a tool when we are in our construction theme and they are wonderful