What is Día de los Niños?

By Paula Jiménez | 19 April 2024

International Children’s Day, or Día de los Niños, is a special occasion recognizing that adults have the responsibility to support and protect the rights of children and ensure their full development. Countries around the world that have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognize that children are active participants in their own rights. The convention also promotes the comprehensive development of all children and advocates for the respect and acknowledgement of their rights, including identity, life, nutrition, equitable access to education, health, recreation, culture, information access, and the right to participate.

In Colombia, Children’s Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of April. The United States celebrates this day on the second Sunday of June. Internationally, this day is also commemorated every November 20th. The United Nations General Assembly allows each country to choose any day of the year.

How is it celebrated?

International Children’s Day is observed in diverse ways across Hispanic American countries. Some children are gifted toys or treats, dine out, or indulge in their favorite meals. Others opt for outings to cinemas or amusement parks for a day of enjoyment. One of the most prevalent commemorations takes place within schools. Educators view this occasion as an opportunity to share their knowledge about children’s rights. Consequently, schools organize various activities aimed at educating children about their rights and duties.

During this school celebration, many children are permitted to wear casual attire instead of uniforms, and it’s customary to distribute sweets, cookies, or small gifts to the children. Additionally, schools prepare engaging activities such as crafts, music, dances, arts, puppet shows, and other forms of entertainment for them. Overall, this day serves as a reminder to children of their rights and values while also celebrating the joy of childhood.

Activities to celebrate Día de los Niños in your classroom.

Activity 1: Children’s Paper Chain

On Children’s Day, we also want to celebrate things that are crucial during childhood such as friendship, unity, fun, and creativity. An engaging way to do so is by creating a children’s paper chain. Imagine that each figure that students cut and unfold represents a child, and when we link them together they’re holding hands.

Watch this video to find out how to make this paper chain. Students can feel free to decorate their paper chain as they prefer. Don’t forget to have fun!.

Activity 2: Dear Future Me, Message in a Bottle

In this activity, students will write a short message to their future selves about the joys of being a child. Then, students will place these messages in decorated bottles, like time capsules, to keep their happy memories safe until they open them again in the future. By writing about the happiness of childhood, kids can always remember to stay cheerful and playful, no matter how old they get.

Activity 3: Children’s rights through children’s eyes

In this activity you will explore Children’s rights (Los derechos de los niños). Read the rights as a group and reflect on their relevance. Then, ask students to pick the right that called their attention the most. Encourage students to express their own understanding of children’s rights through art; they can create posters, collages, or even short films and posts for social media (if you consider it appropriate), illustrating situations where they can share their interpretations with other members of the school community.

Activity 4: Plan the ideal celebration

In this activity, students will take the lead planning a Día de los Niños celebration. Encourage students to take ownership of the event and plan celebratory activities at your school. Students can have an itinerary. The day’s agenda could include field trips, community projects, guest speakers, and of course, a short reflection on the importance of this celebration.

Activity 5: Inspiring Change: Student Reflections on Children’s Rights

In this activity, you will first explore children’s rights. You can watch this video and explore children’s right here. Then, ask your students to reflect on it, and find or write a quote expressing their thoughts on the importance of these rights. Then, they can design a poster featuring their quote and put it in a place where everyone in the school can see it. Here’s a quote example: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than how it treats its children.” — Nelson Mandela

Activity 6: Voices of Change: Stories and Comics on Children’s Rights

Using this video, and the information above on children’s rights, ask your students to write a short story or design a comic strip illustrating and reflecting on the various challenges children face worldwide and potential solutions to these issues.

Suggested Videos:

Note: Please watch the videos and make sure they are appropriate for your class.

Calcetín con Rombos Man y los derechos de los niños:

#WorldChildrensDay: What are child rights and why are they important?


	                            Paula Jimenez

Paula is the Program Coordinator and Curriculum designer of the Spanish Program for Meg. She has been teaching English and Spanish to students from Colombia and Australia for six years. She is passionate about languages, culture, and communication in context, which led her to complete a Master program in Applied Linguistics. Her interests include; intercultural communication, cultural linguistics and the greater role of technology in education. She can be found on LinkedIn.

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