One holiday that is celebrated in Thailand that isn’t celebrated back in the US is what they call Children’s Day. Children’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of January which landed on a Saturday this year. Because the day landed on the weekend, my school celebrated the holiday on the 13th… and it did not disappoint! Since I teach in an elementary school, I could not think of a better way to spend the holiday than to spend it here. Although all days of the school year are focused on the children, this day was so special and it was so incredible to see them all so happy to be celebrated.
We started off the morning by setting up 10 booths of games. Each student received a card with 10 squares and their goal was to go around and play each of the games until their card was filled with stickers! Me and other foreign teachers were working the ring toss game but there were other stations like balloon popping, fishing for Easter eggs, painting ceramics, and so much more! It was so fun to watch the kids race around to get their card filled and win prizes in the process. We handed out candy, pencil pouches, stuffed animals, slimes, fidget toys, and so many more fun toys and treats. All the kids were filled with so much joy and it was so fun to celebrate and spoil them.
After the kids finished filling their cards, they got to just hang out on our turf and play with their new toys and eat the sweet treats they had won while jamming to some music. I had so much fun just bouncing around the groups and seeing what they had won and dancing with them. A lot of the kids will say “Teacher! Look what I won!” with a huge smile on their face and I do have to say that it made my heart soar!
It wouldn’t be a school event day without an ice cream party! All of the students lined up to eat some ice cream with music blaring, including my students favorite “Bad Boy” by Paper Planes, which is apparently an anthem amongst all kids in this country. I swear, the school must have played it 10 times just on this one day. Teachers even created a “Bad Boy” photo opp set-up that they could stick their cute little faces in. The students go CRAZY for it. And for ice cream.
We then headed to the canteen for lunch, where we had more food than usual, including some pasta alfredo which I found to be interesting because the lunch is typically just Thai food. I assume that it must be a favorite among students which would explain why they were serving it on Children’s day. They also had tons of fruit and Thai food for the students to munch on, even though I think they were too distracted by the leftover ice cream waiting for them outside.
After lunch, we had a big dance party with conga lines and more “Bad Boy” appearances. Half of the students really scream this song at the top of their lungs. The other half plugs their ears. To each their own I guess! But overall the kids were so cute and it was so exciting to join in on their fun. I truly had never seen anything like this before! The students also got to bring out their instruments, including guitars and ukuleles and got to play around the school with each other. All the students are so talented at what they do. I even got to see one of my 5th grade students play the guitar alongside my school director who was singing. This was a really incredible moment to witness as you can tell how much talent each of them have and how proud the student was to be playing next to the director! A proud teacher moment for sure!!!
My first Children’s Day at an elementary school in Thailand did not disappoint. On days like this one, I am so grateful to be where I am at and to experience the new things I am experiencing. Much of these days are spent outside and it is so exhausting and hot and sweaty, but I would not change it for the world. It is so worth it to see these students so happy and filled with pride for themselves. It makes me excited as a teacher to experience more school events because they really unify the school and make the kids shine even more than they usually do!