This week my daughter’s school is celebrating the “100th Day of School.”
I remember vaguely seeing that special day mentioned once on some of the school’s event calendars and newsletters, but it never clicked that this was something more than just acknowledgement that “hey, we have hit 100 days!” Apparently it is way more than that. It is something to celebrate!
I have always been a “count-down” versus a “count-up” person, maybe that’s why I don’t quite get why this is a big deal. I always had a “There are only X days to go” calendar that I created on the first day of school; sometimes it even had days, weeks, and months to cross off. Even now, I secretly have little countdown charts here and there, but that’s really a story for a different day…
Anyway, I started doing some research* and sure enough, this 100th day thing is a very big deal. Almost all of my friends have kids who are hitting this milestone right about now, and all of their schools have something planned. Activities range from classroom events focused around the number 100, to scavenger hunts and trivia contests, to entire parties with the 100 theme. Yes…a party. Because 100 school days have passed.
It appears that the higher the grade, the more complex their 100th day hoopla tends to be. Since K is just in kindergarten, it’s a bit more simple. For kindergarten/first grade, most schools seem to be doing a “decorate an item of clothing/T-shirt with 100 of something” or they just ask that the child bring in 100 of some object. In my mind’s eye, I see Super-Mom somewhere, at this very moment, painstakingly drawing faces and hot-gluing little bows/top hats onto 100 Ping-Pong balls, or hand-embroidering numbers 1 through 100 onto an organic cotton T-shirt.
Luckily for me, K brought home a Ziploc bag for her 100 things. It is nice to have boundaries set right off the bat, otherwise I would be lying awake at night wondering what all the other kids were going to bring. In fact, when I heard that this activity was on the horizon, the first thing that popped into my head was “Oooh – 100 stuffed animals! Fun!” And then I pictured K dragging a giant cardboard box into the classroom, while all her classmates sat primly with a string of 100 wooden beads, or a bowl of 100 baby carrots, or a sheet of notebook paper on which they have listed 100 reasons their mom is so great.
A Ziploc bag pretty much evens the field.
But the big question is: what are they going to do with this stuff at school? Leave it in the bag? Do counting exercises? Should I send something non-perishable? Will I ever get those objects back?
Brainstorming creative ideas can be fun; actually doing the project is a bit harder. I decided that I was going to get through this new “holiday” without stress. I really really did not want to have to sew, glue, or otherwise construct 100 of something. I just survived putting together all those tiny Valentine’s Day cards last week, for crying out loud. No more crafts! I always seem to forget about the 100th Day project every time I am at the store and unfortunately I don’t have the time to go tonight. So now, here I am, with tomorrow’s due date looming over us. An empty Ziploc bag sits on the counter, waiting anxiously for me to finally settle on something.
Here are some of the ideas that wandered through my head, danced around a bit, then immediately dissolved:
“Oh, how I wish it was summer so that we could…”
- …collect 100 snail shells from the lake.
- …pick 100 small wildflowers.
- …find 100 shiny pebbles.
Sigh…well, it’s about -10 and snowing outside, so I moved on to more realistic brainstorming. Maybe we can celebrate 147th day sometime at the end of April.
My Brilliant Ideas for 100th Day
Use items that I already have on hand. Yes! That is the easiest by far. All I have to do is look through all my cupboards and drawers.
- 100 toothpicks. 100 sharp objects in a bag, with a roomful of 6-year olds?
- 100 goldfish / animal crackers or pretzel sticks. Great idea, until I discover that I don’t have 100 left of any of these things, and the goldfish cracker bag is actually empty.
- 100 pieces of shredded cheese. I don’t want to waste my cheese. I love cheese.
Use something I can just grab at the store. (These ideas came before I knew about the Ziploc bag size limit.)
- A 100-piece puzzle, all nicely sealed in a box.
- A bottle of laundry detergent that does 100 loads
- 100-count box of plastic silverware
Would 100 goldfish fit in a Ziploc bag?
Carve out an hour or two for a fun and easy craft.
- 100 Cheerios on a string. Except I have no Cheerios. Or string.
- 100 cotton-ball sheep. Take 50 cotton balls and rip in half (100 won’t fit in the bag), then draw eyes with a Sharpie. Have you ever tried to draw on a cotton ball with a Sharpie? And the feel of tearing a cotton ball in half. Like fingernails on a chalkboard. *shiver*
Okay, I am so bad at trying to think up a fun and easy craft that I could not come up with a third option in this category. I feel like Chandler Bing in that Friends episode where he and Monica have to make each other Valentine’s Day presents and he clumsily twists a wire hanger into a strange shape because he can’t think of anything to make.
For a brief, insane moment, I consider trying to keep up with Super-Mom and do a Super-Craft.
- 100 hand-folded origami animals. Hand-folding anything is not fun, and just leafing through the “simple, easy-to-follow” origami instruction book makes me want to crawl into a dark corner and never come out. After I throw the book out the window.
- 100 paper snowflakes. Marginally less stressful than origami, but it produces hundreds of teeny paper scraps. (Hmmm…100 teeny paper scraps would fit nicely in a Ziploc bag.)
- 100 hand puppets made of socks. I laugh out loud just picturing my attempts to do that, plus have you seen the price of socks?!
My daughter is taking 100 pieces of breakfast cereal to school for 100th Day. Yes, breakfast cereal. And that is only because our coffee beans are too oily (and expensive!) and a string of 100 Christmas lights won’t fit in the bag.
She’s excited about it. I have no headache. Mission accomplished.