August 19th--next Monday--is National Aviation Day. First designated in 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aviation Day is the anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday. An interesting fact about this: Orville Wright was still alive when Roosevelt issued this proclamation--and lived for nine years following! So whether you're a believer of Ohio, North Carolina, OR Connecticut being first in flight, you can celebrate Aviation Day for providing us with a safe way to travel that gives us a completely different view of our world!


Here are five random facts about flying to share with the children to celebrate:

The runways where planes land and take off are usually paved between two and four feet thick to withstand the impact of a jet plane landing, which can be up to 900,000 pounds! The runways where planes taxi during either takeoff or landing are usually between one and two feet thick.

  • Commercial airplanes fly at about 38,000 feet in the air, and a standard 747 jet can fly up to 600 miles per hour! Smaller aircraft are able to go even faster than that.

  • Blimps are lighter than the air around them—they are filled with helium, which is less dense than the atmosphere!
  • Your ears pop when the plane takes off and lands because as the plane rises in altitude, the cabin is artificially pressured to one different than the air pressure we experience on the ground.
  • If you are ever flying through a thunderstorm, don’t worry—a plane is one of the safest places to be during an electrical storm due to the plane’s metal frame! (Though turbulence may cause an issue, planes rarely—if ever—crash solely due to turbulence. Just make sure you follow the flight attendant’s instructions!) 

And here's a fun transition activity you can do with children on Monday!

Let's Travel Around the World/Country/Town!


  • large shower curtain
  • permanent markers
  • toy ships, planes, cars, buses, and trains
  • play people
  • boxes for airport and bus/train stations

What to Do

  1. Beforehand, draw a map of the world, country, ro town in which the children live on the curtain with permanent markers. Add water areas, islands, and other important details, such as airports, train and bus stations, and hospitals. Note: You can use the whole curtain to make a large map, or use one large and several small ones (curtain cut in halves and quarters) and draw several different maps on them.
  2. Tape the maps securely in an area where children have plenty of space for their travels.
  3. During times when children must wait for an activity to start or for others to finish, they can use toy vehicles, play people, and boxes on the maps.


 The GIANT Encyclopedia of Transition Activities for Children 3 to 6 is available from Kaplan's website for $34.95 with transition activities in topics like art, social development, dramatic play, music and movement, and more!