planning family theme days

Theme for the Day – An Unrivaled Guide for Family Theme Days

Last Updated on March 9, 2021.

What is a Theme Day?

A theme day is when you combine a number of activities around a particular idea or topic. It doesn’t have to be complicated! When many people hear “theme day” they think you have to plan an elaborate event. Your theme day can be as simple as a color! Do red crafts, eat red foods, and wear red clothes for “Red Adventure” theme! Having a theme for the day can be very exciting for kids and makes it easy to incorporate educational activities. 

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Benefits of Theme Days

  • Adds an element of excitement to educational topics
  • May spur new interests for kids
  • Gives kids something to look forward to
  • Can promote creativity and innovation for kids
  • Breaks up any daily monotony 
  • Creates lasting family memories
  • Helps develop a deep family bond
  • Offers a create outlet for mom (or dad)!

How to Plan and Execute Theme Days

When planning your Theme Days, first decide how often you want to have a theme day. I’d suggest monthly to start, but some families do them weekly! 

1. Pick out themes you will enjoy

There are infinite possibilities for theme days. Use Pinterest or my exhaustive list of 101+ ideas below to find themes that speak to you!

2. Put them on the calendar

If you don’t already have a shared family calendar, start one! It can be a physical calendar you place in your common space, or you can use a digital calendar. I love Cozi, a free family calendar app with tons of features. For even added benefit you can upgrade to the pro version for a nominal fee, but you can totally manage with the free version. 

Get Cozi - it's free!

3. Share the schedule with your family

Let everyone know you’ve planned theme days! Get them excited about the experience and have them think about activities they would like to do during the theme day.

4. Make a list of activities for your theme day

A few weeks before your theme day, make a list of activities and foods that will make your theme day amazing! 

5. Collect the necessary supplies.

A few days or a week ahead of your theme day, collect all the necessary supplies for the activities. You may just need to collect items from around the house, or you may need to purchase specialty supplies for crafts or festive foods. I like to put all the items in a laundry basket and tuck them away so they are ready for the event.

6. Enjoy your theme day!

When the day comes, dive right in! Immerse yourself in your theme and build amazing life long memories with your family. The benefits of this bonding experience are plentiful.

Other Variations

Instead of planning theme days ahead of time, you can have your kids draw a theme idea out of a jar the day before “theme day”. The spontaneity may encourage more excitement and creativity!

Another idea is to have a full WEEK of theme days. Pick a different theme for each day, much like spirit week at school or work. 

Theme for the Day Ideas

Decade Day (20s, 40s, 60s, 80s, etc)

  • Research and dress appropriately for the decade
  • Research common language/words used in that decade & use them all day long!
  • Search for popular recipes from that decade for dinner
  • Listen to music from the decade (dance party!)

Movie Star Day

  • Dress up as your favorite movies star
  • Watch movies featuring your favorite movie star
  • Host a red carpet and practice posing
  • Serve a upscale fancy dinner and learn about proper etiquette

Rainbow Day

  • Fruit & veggie tray in the shape/color of a rainbow
  • Rainbow layered Jello cups
  • Rainbow coloring activities
  • Make your own rainbow science experiment

Pajama Day

  • Breakfast all day
  • Read bedtime stories throughout the day
  • Pajama fashion show
  • Matching PJs

It’s a Musical Day

  • Dress up as your favorite musical character
  • Break into song throughout the day
  • Watch your favorite musical movies
  • Learn a choreographed dance together

Beach Party

  • Show off your best beach outfit
  • Play beach ball volleyball
  • Build sand castles (kinetic sand)
  • Listen to beachy music

Camp Out

  • Bonfire with smores
  • Roast hotdogs for dinner
  • Tell ghost stories after dark
  • DIY tent or fort

Spa Day

  • Do pedicures and manicures
  • Take turns doing each other’s hair and makeup
  • Create your own facemasks
  • Talk about healthy food options and make a healthy lunch/dinner

Game Show Day

  • Minute to Win It Games
  • Play The Price is Right with items around the house
  • Play the Family Feud
  • Offer prizes for game winners!

Superhero Day

  • Dress up as your favorite superhero
  • Craft your own DIY mask and cape
  • Tell tall tales about your best superhero rescue
  • Read comics featuring your favorite superheros

Casino Night

  • Learn card and dice games together
  • Make mocktails (or cocktails for the adults)
  • Serve appetizers
  • Give out prizes for game winners

Movie Night Under the Stars

  • Set up a TV or projector outside (weather dependent)
  • Serve buttery popcorn and candy
  • Make it a movie marathon
  • Snuggle up on the patio or in the grass with pillows and blankets

Mother Goose Day

  • Read various nursery rhymes
  • Make foods featured in your favorite nursery rhymes
  • Do a humpty dumpty puzzle (print an image of an egg, cut it into puzzle pieces)
  • Print and color nursery rhyme pictures

Family Talent Show

  • Have everyone research and practice various talents
  • Set up a stage for each member to display their talent
  • Give out various awards (funniest talent, best talent, most improved, etc)

Dr. Seuss Day

  • Dress like your favorite Dr. Seuss Character
  • Green Eggs & Ham for breakfast
  • Speak in rhyme all day
  • Ready Dr. Seuss Books Throughout the Day

Zombie Day

  • Do your best zombie makeup
  • Have zombie themed snacks
  • Zombie hide and seek
  • Nerf War

Gamer Day

  • Compete at your favorite video games
  • Stay in your PJs all day long
  • Create awards for winning various competitions
  • Order pizza and apps for dinner

Mad Scientist Day

  • Dress like a scientist
  • Make oobleck
  • Plan various science experiments
  • Watch a scientific documentary

Need a little help planning your theme days? Or want a little more inspiration on your theme? Grab our printable pack with more than 101 ideas! 

Free Theme Day Printables!

Includes a Theme Day Calendar, Theme Day Checklist and 101+ Theme Day Ideas!

Have you held a theme day for your family? I’d love to hear how it went in the comments below!

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