National Kindergarten Day (April 21) History, Activities, and Why We Love It


Discover the origins of National Kindergarten Day, learn about fun activities to celebrate, and explore why this day is so important for early childhood education.

National Kindergarten Day is a day that honors Friedrich Fröbel, a German educator who founded the first kindergarten in 1837. The day is celebrated annually on April 21st in the United States, and it is a day to recognize the importance of early childhood education and the role that kindergarten plays in a child’s development. It is a day to appreciate the hard work and dedication of kindergarten teachers who help shape the lives of young children and lay the foundation for their future success.

National Kindergarten Day Activities

There are many different activities that you can do to celebrate National Kindergarten Day, depending on your interests and the age of the children involved. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Read books about kindergarten: There are many great children’s books that celebrate the joys of kindergarten, such as “The Night Before Kindergarten” by Natasha Wing or “Kindergarten, Here I Come!” by D.J. Steinberg. Reading these books with your child or class can help them get excited about the day and learn more about what to expect.
  2. Plan a kindergarten-themed art project: Art projects are a great way to get children involved in celebrating National Kindergarten Day. You could have them create their own self-portraits, draw pictures of their favorite things about kindergarten, or create a collage of things they have learned.
  3. Play kindergarten games: There are many classic kindergarten games that you can play with children to celebrate the day, such as “Duck, Duck, Goose,” “Red Light, Green Light,” or “Simon Says.” These games are not only fun, but they can also help children develop important social and cognitive skills.
  4. Have a kindergarten-themed party: You could plan a party with kindergarten-themed decorations, such as crayon-shaped balloons or apple-shaped snacks. You could also have children dress up as their favorite kindergarten-related character, such as a teacher or a student.
  5. Volunteer at a local kindergarten: If you have the time and resources, you could volunteer at a local kindergarten to help out with classroom activities or read to the children. This is a great way to give back to the community and celebrate the importance of early childhood education.


Kindergarten Timeline

Here is a general timeline of milestones and events related to kindergarten education:

1837 – Friedrich Fröbel opens the first kindergarten in Germany.


1856 – The first kindergarten opens in the United States in Watertown, Wisconsin.

1873 – Kindergarten becomes a part of the public school system in St. Louis, Missouri.

1898 – The National Education Association (NEA) establishes the Kindergarten Department.

1935 – The National Association for Nursery Education (NANE) is established.

1965 – The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is signed into law, providing funding for kindergarten and other early childhood programs.

1980s-1990s – States begin to mandate kindergarten attendance, making it a requirement for children to enroll in school.

2001 – The No Child Left Behind Act is signed into law, requiring states to test students in grades 3-8, including kindergarten, in reading and math.


2013 – The Common Core State Standards, which provide benchmarks for what students should know in math and English language arts at each grade level, are implemented in most states, including kindergarten.

Today – Kindergarten remains an integral part of the education system in the United States and many other countries, with a focus on developing social, emotional, and cognitive skills in young children to prepare them for success in later grades.



Why We Love and Celebrate National Kindergarten Day

National Kindergarten Day is celebrated to recognize the important role that kindergarten education plays in the lives of young children. Here are a few reasons why people love and celebrate this day:

  1. It celebrates the educators who make a difference in children’s lives: Kindergarten teachers play a vital role in shaping the early development of young children. National Kindergarten Day is an opportunity to celebrate and thank these educators for their hard work and dedication.
  2. It highlights the importance of early childhood education: Research has shown that early childhood education is crucial for a child’s long-term academic and social success. By celebrating National Kindergarten Day, we raise awareness about the importance of providing high-quality early childhood education to all children.
  3. It provides an opportunity to reflect on our own kindergarten experiences: For many people, kindergarten was their first formal educational experience. National Kindergarten Day can be a time to reflect on our own kindergarten experiences and the impact they had on our lives.
  4. It celebrates the joy and wonder of childhood: Kindergarten is often a time of exploration, creativity, and play. National Kindergarten Day is a reminder to embrace the joy and wonder of childhood, and to appreciate the unique perspective that young children bring to the world.


Overall, National Kindergarten Day is a day to celebrate the important role that kindergarten education plays in the lives of young children, and to appreciate the educators and families who support them.

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