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Backwards Day Party


Most all your students have walked backward, or worn their baseball caps backward, but have they ever done everything backward? Theyre sure to have a giggling good time on Backwards Day!


  • paper and crayons
  • a large mirror
  • refreshments, including sandwiches and dessert


Nancy F. Castaldo is the author of many books packed with inspiring ideas for childhood discovery and learning. In addition to the three titles above, Nancy has written activity guides for teaching children ages 6 to 9 about the ocean, rainforests, deserts, and rivers. All of these titles are published by Chicago Review Press.

Click here to learn about these books and others by Nancy Castaldo.

Plan a Backwards Day party. It's a fun activity for a rainy day, April Fool's Day, or any day. On Backwards Day, invite your students to wear their clothes backward. Greet them at the door by saying, "Good-bye."

Have everyone use crayons to print or trace their names on a piece of paper. Then hold the piece of paper in front of a mirror. What do students notice? (Their names appear backwards.)

Next, serve a backward meal: you guessed it, eat the dessert first! Challenge students to eat with their opposite hands.

Tell riddles and knock-knock jokes -- backward! Give the answer and see if students can make up the question or joke.

When the party's over, say "Hello!"


Involve students in some of these extension activities:

Make up a secret backward language. Here's one way: Take a sentence such as Run to the store. Add the sound "ay" to the end of every word. Run to the store becomes Runay toay theay storeay. Now let students try it!

Enlist the help of parent volunteers or other grown-ups to read you a favorite story beginning at the back of the book. Can you guess what is going to happen next?


Education World's special "Backwards Day" Lesson Plan


This activity is excerpted from Nancy Castaldo's Winter Day Play, which is published by Chicago Review Press. This lesson idea is one of more than 70 activities, crafts, and games from Winter Day Play that are sure to engage children as they discover and learn.

About the Author

A native of New York's Hudson Valley, Nancy Castaldo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College and a Master of Arts from the State University of New York. As an environmental educator, author, and Girl Scout volunteer and board member, Castaldo has led numerous children's workshops. Her school programs include workshops on ocean creatures and other nature topics, creative writing, and pizza making/Italy. She has conducted programs at the Boston Children's Museum, Atlanta Zoo, and Tennessee Aquarium. Castaldo's books include River Wild: An Activity Guide to North American Rivers; Oceans: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; Deserts: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; and Rainforests: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9. She is also author of a historical-fiction picture book, Pizza for the Queen. To learn more about Nancy and her books, check out her Web site, www.nancycastaldo.com.

Article by Nancy Castaldo
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