The Best National Days in January to Celebrate With Your Kids

The holidays might be over, but there are still a lot of great national days in January to celebrate as a family! 

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What are National Days? 

While the United States only actually recognizes 10 official national holidays and 44 national observances per year, National Days have been growing in prominence since 1984 when President Ronald Reagan created National Ice Cream Day, which was supposed to be a one-time thing.

Today, thanks to websites such as National Day Calendar and Days of the Year and the widespread use of social media, self-proclaimed National Days have become very popular and widespread.

Every day of the year has at least one unofficial National Day associated with it, and most days have three or four different National Days to celebrate.

We’ve picked the most kid-friendly National Days for every day in January right here for you!

January National Days for Kids Free Printable Calendar

To easily choose which days you want to celebrate with your kids in January, be sure to grab a copy of the FREE January National Days for Kids calendar from the Jen Bradley|MOMs Printable Library!

Simply click right here or on the image below to get access!

january days free printable calendar

Once you’ve got that taken care of, scroll on down to see which National Days we’re recommending for kids in January!

National Days in January to Celebrate with Kids

January 1 – New Year’s Day 

Once everyone wakes up after partying hard (wait, we’re parents!) on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day is a great time to connect with your kids. Maybe you have a few traditions like going to a movie or having a special meal.

You can also snag our awesome New Year’s Eve printable pack – there’s a great 2021 Year in Review printable, as well as a Goal-Setting Sheet for 2022!

New Year's Eve Family Party Printable Pack

January 2 – National Science Fiction Day

Can National Science Fiction Day be fun for kids?

If you have older kids or teenagers, you could introduce them to science fiction with a movie such as Dune, Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Ready Player One, or The Martian.

Or you could take a trip to the library and check out a new science fiction book or two! Classic science fiction books include Fahrenheit 451, The Time Machine, 1984, or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

For kids in upper elementary school, look for the classic books A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle or The Giver by Lois Lowry!

January 3 – National Drinking Straw Day

Okay, we admit it, National Drinking Straw Day might sound a little odd.

But it’s the day to commemorate when inventor Marvin C. Stone received the patent for the paper drinking straw all the way back in 1888.

So grab a pack of fun and colorful paper drinking straws like these and make some milkshakes or smoothies for your kids to enjoy!

Better yet, these silicone straws are long-lasting, BPA-free, and are great for the environment too!

drinking straw day

January 4 – National Spaghetti Day

If you have a pasta lover in your home, National Spaghetti Day is a pretty easy one to celebrate!

In addition to serving a big plate of spaghetti, you could also play Yeti in My Spaghetti – a Toy of the Year award-winning game for kids ages 4 and up!

January 5 – National Whipped Cream Day 

On National Whipped Cream Day, buy or make any treat that just isn’t the same without a dollop of your favorite whipped cream!

whipped cream day

January 6 – National Cuddle Up Day

Doesn’t National Cuddle Up Day sound like the perfect opportunity to stay home and curl up with your kids on the couch for a while?

Yes, please!

cuddle up day

January 7 – National Bobblehead Day

Did you know that there’s a National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum?

If you’re near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, see if you can pay them a visit today!

Or, if you’re not within reasonable driving distance, you can check out their Virtual Tour right here!

January 8 – National Bubble Bath Day

Even if your kids don’t love bathtime, celebrating National Bubble Bath Day might be enough to change their minds!

Check out these awesome bubble bath pods that are safe for kids – even those with sensitive skin.

Or if you want your kids to have a more calming bathtime experience, try this great lavender bubble bath soap from The Honest Co.

bubble bath day

January 9 –  National Word Nerd Day

So what is a word nerd anyway?

According to, a word nerd is anyone who loves collecting words, … a large vocabulary, or enjoys using words in creative ways.

To celebrate National Word Nerd Day with your kids, play a game of Big Boggle or Scrabble as a family. (If you have younger kids, try Boggle Jr or Scrabble Jr!)

You could also try this fun crossword puzzle book for kids together!

word nerd day

January 10 – National Houseplant Appreciation Day

If you own houseplants, National Houseplant Appreciation Day is a great opportunity to give them a good dusting and make sure they’re properly watered. Of course, you can get your kids involved by asking them to help you dust or water.

And if you don’t own any houseplants, today is a great day to consider getting one! Take your kids to a local nursery and choose a small houseplant to care for together. Succulents are a great easy-to-care-for option!

houseplant appreciation day

P.S. January 10th is also National Fourth Graders Day, so if you have a fourth-grader in the house, be sure to give them some extra love today!

January 11 – National Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day

National Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day can be a hit with kids who love a good mystery or spy story!

This is one of those great National Days that doesn’t take a ton of extra time or planning.

Simply head on over to CodeBug for a great Morse Code chart! Have your kids write out their names in Morse Code and then practice their dots and dashes during the day.

January 12 – National Youth Day

For January 12, we’re looking abroad because all of the U.S. National Days aren’t very kid-friendly. (National Marzipan Day, anyone?)

But in India, it’s National Youth Day!

So that’s what we’re rolling with here at Jen Bradley|MOMs too.

For Youth Day, you could tell your kids a funny story about yourself as a child or teenager.

You could also recognize outstanding youth in your community by giving them a personalized shoutout on social media.

January 13 – National Sticker Day

Lots of kids love stickers, so National Sticker Day is another easy and fun day in January to celebrate something unique!

Grab a new sticker collecting book like this and some new stickers and let your kids go to town!

January 14 – International Kite Day

Hopefully, you’ll have a decent amount of wind where you live so you can celebrate International Kite Day on January 14th!

(In our experience, it’s worth it to buy a decent kite! You don’t have to spend a lot of money – this inexpensive one from Amazon is easy to fly for kids and adults, and it shouldn’t rip the first day it’s used!

international kite day

Related article: 21 Brilliant Ideas for the Ultimate Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Party

January 15 – National Bagel Day

What a great day to go out and grab some favorite bagels, right?

bagel day

January 16 – National Nothing Day

Surprisingly, National Nothing Day has been around since 1972. And it’s simply a day to celebrate nothing, which could mean one of two things.

First, you could choose to not celebrate.

Or you could choose to celebrate – but not celebrate anything in particular. Just celebrate for the sake of celebrating.

Which one do you think your kids would choose?

January 17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Other than New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr Day is the most well-known day to celebrate in January.

It’s likely your kids have learned something in school about the famous leader of the civil rights movement.

You can definitely supplement their learning by reading a few of these great books:

January 18 – National Winnie the Pooh Day

Whether your kids will appreciate the Disney-inspired adaptations of Winnie the Pooh, or you’re more of an A.A. Milne classic Winnie the Pooh purist, this is a fun day to celebrate with your kids!

You could vote on your family’s favorite Winnie the Pooh character, try reading the original Winnie the Pooh story, do your best Eeyore impersonations, or watch the 1977 classic movie The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh!

(If your kids are older and are over Winnie the Pooh, it’s also National Thesaurus Day too!)

January 19 – National Popcorn Day

For National Popcorn Day, pop some of your favorite popcorn for a snack and enjoy it with your kids!

Easy and fun, right?!

popcorn day

January 20 – National Penguin Day

Many kids love penguins because they’re super cute and fun to watch!

If you’re able to visit a penguin exhibit at a nearby zoo, this would be a great day to do it!

If not, you could watch the 2019 Disney Nature movie Penguins instead. (Our kids really enjoyed it!)

Or you could read a few books about penguins too. Here are a few great choices:

While you’re at it, this would be a great day to talk with your kids about how to protect penguins and their habitats too!

January 21 – National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Our favorite Squirrel Appreciation Day activity is to either watch squirrels in action in the backyard.

Or you could also check out this awesome Ninja Warrior Squirrel Maze video by YouTuber Mark Rober. (You’ll never look at squirrels the same again!)

(If you don’t appreciate squirrels at all, it’s also National Hugging Day too! But if you happen to love both squirrels AND hugs, you could try to make this National Hug a Squirrel Day! haha!)

January 22 –  National Blonde Brownie Day

If you or your kids love a good blonde brownie, this is THE day to make them!!

Here’s a great recipe to try from Cooking with Karli. We especially love her different mix-in ideas!

January 23 – National Pie Day 

Although there is another Pi Day on March 14th, this is National Pie Day!

If you’re not in too much of a sugar overload from National Blonde Brownie Day, make or buy a pie to enjoy with your kids on this day.

pie day

January 24 – National Compliment Day

What a wonderful day, right?!

For National Compliment Day, you could write down a sweet compliment for each of your kids and put it in their backpacks or lunchboxes.

Or you could spend a few minutes at dinner time or before bed together as a family and have family member share something they appreciate about each other.

You could also encourage your kids to compliment other people they interact with such as friends, neighbors, teachers, and coaches.

January 25 – National Opposite Day

Did you ever pretend it was Opposite Day when you were a kid?!

Well, now it IS a real day!

To celebrate with your kids, you could begin the day by saying “Good Night” to your kids.

Continue to use the opposite words for different things, like asking your kids to turn the light off when you really want them to turn it on.

You can maintain this opposite speech and have your kids join in for as long as they’d like.

You could also identify as many opposites as you can think of with your kids. They’ll probably be able to come up with a long list!

January 26 – National Library Shelfie Day

For National Library Shelfie Day, take a quick pic of your kids’ bookshelf.

You could share it on your social media channels and ask your friends to share their favorite children’s books in the comments.

Or you could surprise your kids with a new book to put on their shelf and include it in the library shelfie photo!

library shelfie day

January 27 – National Chocolate Cake Day

Well, we’re back to another sugary National Day!

For National Chocolate Cake Day, you could support your local bakery by purchasing a delightfully decadent chocolate cake for your family.

Or if you love to bake, we really like this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

chocolate cake day

January 28 – National LEGO Day

If you have any LEGO fans in your home, all you need to do to celebrate National LEGO Day is get ’em out and play with them!

You could host a few simple LEGO challenges for your kids, such as:

  • build the tallest LEGO tower in 2 minutes
  • create the fastest LEGO car
  • build a minifigure while blindfolded
  • put together a simple LEGO creation with one hand behind your back

To round out the day, watch one of the LEGO movies too! Our favorite is The LEGO Batman Movie.

lego day

January 29 – National Puzzle Day

For National Puzzle Day, you can simply get out a favorite puzzle and put it together as a family!

Easy and fun.

puzzle day

January 30 – National Croissant Day

Grab some fresh croissants from your local grocery store or bakery to celebrate National Croissant Day!

You could have them as a side to fruit and cottage cheese for breakfast or fill them with sliced meats and cheeses for lunch.

croissant day

January 31 – National Hot Chocolate Day

For National Hot Chocolate Day, get some cute matching marshmallow mugs like these and enjoy some hot chocolate together!

January 31st is also National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, so if you have an aspiring artist in your home, this may be a better day for you to celebrate with your kids instead!

Why Kids Love National Days

Kids are often pleased with the smallest things, which is why National Days seem to resonate so well with them!

In his beautiful essay, “Small Things Matter,” Kelly G. Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Mississippi, wrote:

See if you can remember times, moments, activities, when you knew you were loved.

Did someone read to you? Snuggle with you a minute before bed? Did they let you help cook pancakes and let you stir? These are the landscapes of love. Not big things, rather these patterns of small moments.

While celebrating National Drinking Straw Day may seem insignificant to you, it may be just the thing that will create a lifelong memory for your kids.

Final thoughts about January National Days

As with all things here at Jen Bradley|MOMs, we encourage you to keep your National Days celebrations super simple! Don’t feel like you have to create a Pinterest-worthy event for any of these days!

Even if you just picked one or two fun days to celebrate each month, that’d be a great way to connect with your kids in ways that you might not otherwise.

If you want any more information about the National Days in this article, or want to see what other National Days are happening in January, visit the National Day Calendar right here!

Finally, don’t forget to join our Free Printable Library and print out your January National Day printable calendar today!

national days in january printable calendar

Related articles about Winter Fun activities:

Christmas Song Trivia for Kids – 50 Fun Questions and Answers

101 Fun Christmas Would You Rather Questions and Answers for Kids

21 Adorable (and Free!) Santa Letter Templates Your Kids Will Love

Related articles about National Days for Kids:

28 Super Fun February National Days for Kids

31 Awesome March National Days to Celebrate With Your Kids

The Best April National Days to Celebrate With Your Kids

31 Great National Days in May for Kids

30 Fun and Family-Friendly National Days in June

Pin the image below to easily return to this article in the future!

january national days pin

Which national days in January are you excited to celebrate with your kids? 

The Best National Days in January to Celebrate With Your KidsThe Best National Days in January to Celebrate With Your KidsThe Best National Days in January to Celebrate With Your KidsThe Best National Days in January to Celebrate With Your KidsThe Best National Days in January to Celebrate With Your Kids

Jen Bradley, the founder of Jen Bradley|MOMs

Hi there! I’m Jen and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a mom who believes that meaningful connections with our families can happen in small and simple ways. Read More …


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