Celebrate Backwards Day!

by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder

Celebrate Backwards DayEver have the chance to wake up in the morning and greet your child with a hug and say, "Good night! Pull up a chair and have some pizza?"

Your child is definitely going to look puzzled as she notices that your sweater is inside out and backwards, too. She tilts her head and begins to wonder if mom has finally flipped.

Have the demands of parenting pushed you over the edge? Nope! It's Backwards Day!

Every January 31st, we have the opportunity to set our worlds inside out and upside down. What fun!

The daily grind -- backwards

Dinner for breakfast, breakfast at night

Start your day with tacos, pizza or another traditional lunch or dinner menu. Have a backward sandwich for lunch. Take a piece of bread and roll meat, cheese and lettuce around it to make an inside out sandwich. Then end the day with pancakes, scrambled eggs and fruit.

Dessert first

Don't just mix up the meals, mix up the order. Start with dessert and finish with the main dish.

Dress appropriately

On backwards day tags and seams should show. Embrace the duck look! Yes, hoods do belong around your waist! Wear it upside down, inside out, backwards or all three. Some creative kids even print out a face and attach to the back of their heads.

Activities

Make an obstacle course

Build an obstacle course and go through it backwards. Can your preschooler clear a string leaping the wrong way? Maybe a strategically placed pillow should become part of the course!

"Simon Says"

On a normal day you'd follow Simon's directions carefully. Today do just the opposite. "Take three giant steps" becomes "take three baby steps."

Invite Silliness

Encourage your family to explore the corn field of absurdity. This joke will get you started!

What has four legs and says "oom-oom?"
Answer: A cow walking backwards.

Toes, knees, shoulders, heads...

Warm up with a rousing session of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," but backwards. Then allow your fingers the opportunity to get in on the fun with a backwards "Fly Away Jack, Fly Away Jill."

Snuggle up for a good morning story

Grab a blanket and cuddle in the recliner with a familiar story. Then read the book backwards. Start with the last page and read toward the front of the book. You might set the mood with Shel Silverstein's poem "Backward Bill" from "A Light in the Attic."

Crazy crafts

Do a foot painting

Finger painting on Backwards Day? Certainly not! Set up on the floor or in the bathtub and create artwork with your toes!

Mixed up animals

Print up animal pictures from online or raid your old magazine stash. Cut each in half and stack into piles -- heads in one group and bodies in the other. Get out the glue stick, create crazy critters and further the silliness with mixed up names.

Did your world change today? Let us know how!

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com.