Celebrate Day of the Child – Dia Del Niño with Family, Nature & Fun

Photo by Gary Hundt

By Sandi Funke, Education Director

UPDATE: Sonoma County’s Day of the Child – Dia Del Niño on April 30th featured on KRCB’s Sonoma Spotlight (listen below) and in the Press Democrat!


Many countries around the world celebrate children through an annual holiday—a day to celebrate and honor our youngest community members. This year, the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC) is bringing this global tradition to Sonoma County on April 30th. Catch up on the history of Children’s Day, then learn about how you and your family can celebrate later this month with festivities held at 13 locations throughout the county!

A brief international history of Children’s Day

Children’s Day was established globally in the 1920’s and then later proclaimed as an international holiday by the United Nations General Assembly back in 1954. In the United States, various churches and denominations have observed Children’s Day for over 120 years. Nationally, a one-time “Children’s Day” was proclaimed by President Bill Clinton to be held on October 11, 1998, in response to a letter written by a six-year-old boy inquiring if he would make a Children’s Day for him. A “National Child’s Day,” was also proclaimed by President George W. Bush on June 3, 2001.

In China, like in many countries, Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1st.  Schools may hold activities such as children’s performances, camping trips, or free movies. Children of civil servants might also receive small gifts from the government and civil servants who have children sometimes have a holiday to spend more time with their children.

Our neighbors to the south in Mexico regularly celebrate Dia Del Niño, or Day of the Child, as a national holiday on April 30th and it is a very big deal! Many parents buy their children a gift, and schools hold big celebrations complete with games, music, performances, piñatas and outings. Parks, restaurants and sporting facilities hold special celebrations as well.

dayofchildlogov2Celebrating Children’s Day in Sonoma County

Here is Sonoma County our children are uniquely blessed with thousands of acres of parks and open space from the mountains to the shore to enjoy and explore. Let’s honor our children with a day of outdoor merriment and fun!

You are invited to celebrate Day of the Child – Dia Del Niño with Family, Nature & Fun on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at 13 nature sites throughout Sonoma County.

Hosted by the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC), participating parks, nature centers, preserves, interpretive centers, and even a wild animal rehabilitation center will open their doors from 10am to 4pm offering fun outdoor explorations, nature crafts, kayaking, hands-on activities, visits with animals, family nature walks and more!

The goal of SEEC’s Day of the Child – Dia Del Niño event is to connect all of community’s diverse local families with the vast outdoor recreation and education opportunities of our great county,”  explains Pepperwood Education Director and SEEC chairperson Sandi Funke. “Our area has so much to offer, we hope this day will expose folks to new areas to explore and new activities to do. It will be a fabulous day to have fun with your kids and get outside! We can’t wait!”

A few highlights of the day include:

  • Tip toe through the wildflowers at Pepperwood Preserve. Families can enjoys walking in the fields of blooming beauties and make wildflower crafts to take home. Afterwards, make a bird box or go on a bug hunt in our Native Plant Demonstration Garden.
  • At the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County get the buzz on bees! The Museum will be hosting the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association and Planet Bee Foundation for a full day of fun and education on bees. Make pollinator friendly seed bombs to launch with your own hand-made catapult and help us plant for the bees!
  • At the David Yearsley River Heritage Center near downtown Petaluma play, connect with nature and explore the Petaluma River. Join Friends of the Petaluma River for a variety of activities for the whole family.
  • In downtown Sonoma, celebrate both the human and natural history of Sonoma Valley through hands-on activities and live animal petting zoos hosted by Sonoma Ecology Center!
  • Bring the whole family to the Laguna de Santa Rosa for fun, hands-on activities about wetlands and the plants and animals of the Laguna watershed. Pond explorations, bird watching, field journaling, weaving with plant fibers, nature games and crawl through a living willow tree tunnel in the nature playground!

All offerings are free or low cost and several will be offered in English and Spanish. To learn more, check out SEEC’s interactive digital Story Map. Participants can visit one of the thirteen sites or may choose to visit several over the course of the day. The Story Map includes directions to each site as well as times for site-specific activities.

Sonoma County Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC) is a regional consortium of environmental education professionals from organizations, agencies, networks, and school districts. The SEEC mission is to create vibrant, innovative collaborations that increase environmental literacy in Sonoma County citizens. As a collaborative, SEEC undertakes its mission by identifying and addressing regional needs for environmental education beyond the scope of individual organizations. Learn more at the SEEC website.

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