So What is the Big Deal About the 100th Day of School?


If you have young children that are school age, you are beginning to hear rumblings around this time of year about the 100th day of school.  

Even if your children are older and the days of elementary school are long gone,  I am sure you have fond memories of supplying a collection of 100 things, sending in food for a 100 days snack, or volunteering to run a small group in your child’s classroom on that special day.

All the while, were you thinking, “What is the big deal about the 100th day of school?!”

This school celebration has become very popular in the last 10 years.  Years ago, when I began teaching there were a few picture books written for young children about the topic –  Miss Bindergarten’s Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten and Emily’s First 100 Days of School were among them, but now there are a plethora of literature for my kindergarten classroom including, but not limited to:

100th day of school
Image courtesy of

100th Day Worries

The Night Before the 100th Day of School

Jake’s 100th Day of School 

100 School Days

What is the big deal about this day?  

Why as teachers do we ask you to provide all of this stuff and then come in and help us out?  Now that I am both a teacher AND a parent of a kindergarten age student, I am both asking other families for a 100 collection and helping my son with his 100th day collection. And, in case you were wondering what the teacher’s kid brings, he picked 100 pieces of dog food.  His reasoning?  So he wouldn’t be tempted to eat them.  I can’t argue with that logic!  But I digress…

100 days collection
Ideas for 100 Collections – photo courtesy of

So why do we celebrate this day in such a huge fashion?  Here are the top five reasons:

1.  It’s a milestone for children (and teachers!):  

Think about it… for children, especially young children and those in school full days for the first time, reaching the milestone of 100 days of school is a big deal.  We talk about all of the learning we have done, and the learning yet to come.  We discuss our favorite parts of school so far (recess, anyone?) and what we are looking forward to.  We re-visit our hopes and dreams from the beginning of the year, and see if we are on our way to meeting those goals.  

abacus2.  It’s a way to practice all of the ways to count to 100:

How many ways can you count to 100?  In kindergarten, we focus on counting by 1s and 10s.  Other grades spend time on 2s and 5s.  As the children become older, they are adding and subtracting three digit numbers, and beginning multiplicative reasoning.  100 is a good, round number to focus on.

3.  It’s a day that incorporates a number of math concepts:

Patterns, counting, sorting, measuring… you name it, and the concept can be utilized during this day.

100th day counting

4.  It’s a way to combine all aspects of curriculum into a focused activity:    

The 100th day of school is not only about math.  We incorporate reading, writing, science, and social studies throughout the week leading up to and including the actual day itself.  It’s a whole curriculum approach to learning, including the social piece of partner work and sharing collections.  

5.  And finally, it’s a lot of fun!  

During our 100th day celebration, we play games, make pictures of ourselves at 100 years of age, eat snacks, create necklaces, glue 100 collections, and much, much more.  The children and adults greatly enjoy this day, which combines a lot of fun with a lot of learning.

So there you have it, the reasons why the 100th day of school is important!  I hope you have fun helping your child with their collection or figuring out the many ways to count to 100!


  1. Nearly three years since you published this post, but I’m glad I found it. We have two kids in TK (yes, twins) and they (well one of them, at least) have been very excited about this landmark, but we thought it was just some weird, fun thing to dress up as an old person. As kids, neither my wife nor I have any recollection of this kinda landmark celebration in any form, and my wife was a Montessori teacher for years 1-3 (no exposure to this there, either). At first I thought it was something silly our school did, but when I looked up advice on elderly costumer hair, I got a bunch of Party City ads for 100th Day costumes. So, a) capitalism is alive and well, making the most of every opportunity; and b) it’s obviously some sort of more global phenomenon than just our kids’ school!

    I found your article insightful, and now I wish approaching this landmark that I’d known more about the relevance in my kids’ curricula.

    • Thank you Tom! I hope your twins enjoy their day. I know some teachers have their kiddos dress up like they are 100 – I didn’t realize Party City was in on this too. It’s been around for a while, and even in my 20+ years of teaching a number of children’s books have been published around the 100th Day of School. It is a fun milestone. I’m glad you found this helpful!

    • I’m sorry you feel this way – I’ not sure here your daughter goes to kindergarten but there is no homework involved. The only thing they need to provide from home is a 100 collection. Sounds like you should talk with your school about their homework policy. Cheers!

  2. Great article, Erica! I never had any 100th day fun when I was in school (a million years ago) but I’m glad it’s a big part of my kids’ school year!


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