Whether or not you are superstitious yourself, you and your kiddos can probably name a few common superstitions. Beware of black cats crossing your path. Never walk under a ladder. Keep your eyes peeled for four leaf clovers. And for heavens sake, eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away. There are so many superstitions to celebrate with kids!
But sometimes celebrating silly superstitions is a hilarious way to connect with your kids. You can adapt our list of favorites to fit your preschooler or your Boy Scout troop. No matter how you celebrate, we can pretty much guarantee some funny conversations and time together as a family. Have fun!
Fun and Silly Superstitions to Celebrate With Kids
Hoodie Hoo Day (February 20)
Did you know that everyone in the Northern Hemisphere should work together to scare winter away on February 20? If you didn’t know, maybe you’re the reason why my backyard is still covered in more than 20” of snow. This year, let’s work together to chase winter away by celebrating Hoodie Hoo Day. Here’s all you have to do: at noon on February 20th, open your front doors and head outside. Bang on pots and pans, all while yelling “hoodie hoo” loudly. Rumor has it, if everyone does it, winter will be frightened and head away quickly, leaving room for spring to come early. If your family isn’t around to yell at noon, we think that any time of day is a good time to celebrate. Add a little extra fun by doing something spring-like; try brushing the snow off the grill and making burgers, and plan your garden over dinner.
Mardi Gras King Cake (date varies)
Mardi Gras is a celebration that concludes on Fat Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent. There are plenty of fun Mardi Gras traditions that your family can get involved with each year right in your own living room, and the King Cake is one of our favorites. A King Cake is a New Orleans speciality, a sweet and braided pastry iced and sprinkled with Mardi Gras colors (yellow, purple, and green). Inside each King Cake is a small, plastic baby. You heard me – there’s a baby in the cake. Superstition tells us that whoever gets the baby will have good luck all year, and has to bring the King Cake to the Mardi Gras party the next year. Sometimes, the baby-finder is the King of all Mardi Gras celebrations that year.
Superstition dictates that horseshoes, when turned up and placed near a room, will keep nightmares away. If you have a kiddo who is needing a little extra bedtime confidence, we think that a quick craft project might be just the ticket. Grab a horseshoe (you don’t need to find a real one, a wooden one will do) and give it a fun makeover with paint, glitter, or anything else you have on hand. Hang it near the bedroom door upright – so that it looks like the letter U – and say so long to nightmares.
Friday the 13th
While you might have grown up with a creepy killer named Jason coming out on Friday the 13th, we think that you should turn this unique date into a silly day, not a scary one. Make a few traditions in your home for Friday the 13th days. Colorful pancakes (just add food coloring to the batter) or glowsticks at bathtime might be an interesting way to make this date a little extra special.
April Fool’s Day (April 1)
For many April Fool’s Day, my mom would wake me and my brother up by telling us there was a huge snowstorm overnight and we had a snow day. Then after she got us up and out of bed to look at the snow, she cackled and yelled “April Fool’s – gotcha!” We groaned every time, and she eased the pain by having a big breakfast ready for us, instead of our usual bowl of cereal. April Fool’s Day can bring an extra dose of silly into your family’s day. Have breakfast for dinner, or add a few jokes to your child’s lunch box.
It is common to ring church bells on wedding days or other celebrations. This ritual is steeped in history, starting out when bells were thought to scare away evil spirits. Every family needs a way to restart a bad day or shake off the sleepy days. How about keeping a bell in your kitchen or in your purse to pull out and ring when everyone just needs to calm down or smile. We think this could be a unique family tradition.
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. Sounds like the perfect outdoor family activity to us! Gather up blankets, flashlights, and some snacks and head outside to watch for the first star you see. While you are out there, see if you can find common constellations. We especially love that you can find wishing stars no matter the season – while it would be the perfect summer evening activity, you can also bundle up and head out to the car in the wintertime to see the stars on a clear night. Happy wishing!
Winter Solstice (December 21)
Similar to Hoodie Hoo Day, but with a much longer history, people have gathered on the Winter Solstice for hundreds of years to encourage winter to leave. The shortest day of the year, people celebrate with bonfires and lighting candles. Sounds like the perfect excuse for a cozy family candlelight dinner to us.
May Day (May 1)
A tradition on May Day is to bring flowers to neighbors, ushering in the spring season. Typically, this is the only time that it is appropriate to “ding dong ditch”, or ring the doorbell and then run away. My son and I passed out flowers to neighbors last year on May Day and no one had heard of the tradition. I was surprised, as I used to make little paper baskets filled with dandelions for my neighbors growing up. Let’s bring back May Day traditions – it is fun, and your kiddos get the chance to love on their neighbors, which is always a good lesson.
Summer Solstice (June 20 or 21)
The longest day of the year, or Midsummer, is the perfect fun summer celebration. Make flower crowns, put flowers under your pillows for good dreams, eat strawberries, and stay up past bedtime. Enjoy the extra long daytime hours, and use the time to explain a bit about how the sun determines our seasons here on Earth.