November is not always everyone’s favourite month of the year. It’s getting cold and dark and the excitement of Christmas is yet to kick in. However, there are several occasions to mark in November which your children can learn about and get involved in.
Remember, remember the 5th November
It’s Bonfire Night at the beginning of the month, a day when we remember the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Guy Fawkes and his associates tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Up and down the country bonfires will be burning a Guy and fireworks displays will light up the sky. A lot of celebrations were cancelled last year but many are back on for 2021 so you might want to take the kids down to your local display.
If you’re celebrating at home, try making some traditional Bonfire foods to warm you up – from warm pork pie and mushy peas to sweet treats like Yorkshire Parkin, toffee apples and toasted marshmallows melted in hot chocolate.
Add to the excitement with some sparklers for the kids – just make sure they wear gloves while holding them! If you’re having fireworks at home, it goes without saying to stay safe and read the instructions.
Remembrance Day – 11th November
Remembrance Day is observed on 11th November, when our country, plus many others around the world, pauses at the 11th hour to remember those who sacrificed their lives in World War One and every war since for the freedom we enjoy today.
It can be hard to explain to little ones the importance of remembrance, but there are things you can do to introduce it.
Buy a poppy to support the campaign
Poppies are a common sight in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day, a mark of remembrance for those who have fought or fallen in wars across the years. The poppy became a symbol of remembrance after the First World War due to the abundance that grew wild in the ex-battlefields of northern France and Belgium.
There’ll be a two-minute silence at 11am on Remembrance Day – try to encourage your kids to take part in this, explaining the significance of how it allows us to reflect, remember and honour those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
If your children are involved in Scouts/Guides or military cadets, they might be involved in a remembrance parade and wreath-laying on Remembrance Sunday (14th November). This is another great opportunity to show children the importance of remembrance.
Children in Need – 19th November
Most of us will be familiar with BBC Children in Need, the modern televised appeal has been broadcast every year since 1980. That year saw a dramatic increase in donations with £1million raised. But did you know the first ever children’s BBC radio appeal was broadcast on Christmas Day, 1927? That first appeal raised more than £1,300 (c.£70,000 in today’s money).
Schools often take part in Children in Need and encourage children to dress up (or down!) for school, with bake sales and sweepstakes in place to help raise funds.
Check in with your child’s school to see if they’re taking part and what they’re doing. This year the charity’s partnering with Strictly Come Dancing, where they’re asking kids and adults alike to ‘Get their Strictly on’ by glamming up for school or work, adding a little sparkle to the day with sequins, feather boas, bow ties – the sky’s the sparkly limit!
If you want to do something more active you can join in on the Countryfile Ramble or take on a cycling challenge to support the Rickshaw challenge and Pedal for Pudsey.
However you get involved, you’ll be sure to help underprivileged children in the UK and around the world.