Plaza Voices: Día del Niño 2022 - A Celebration of Children and Childhood

¡Feliz Día del Niño!       Happy Día del Niño! 

The Denver Public Library celebrates Children's Day, or Día del Niño, in the month of April, following the tradition of Mexico and other Latin American countries that celebrate on April 30.

In many communities in Mexico, El Día del Niño is a day to celebrate children with things they enjoy: games, parties, music, and treats. In 1996, author Pat Mora had the idea of celebrating Día del Niño in the U.S. as a day to honor children and celebrate bilingual literacy--not just for children of Latino heritage, but for all children to celebrate and learn about their personal heritage. With the help of partners in the library and education fields, El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) was born.

Día del Niño is a time to celebrate the children in our lives, and to remember the importance of our own childhood experiences. We asked our colleagues to share some of their childhood stories in honor of this special day.  

We remember playing (especially outside!) and the magic of imagination: 

“I loved getting so caught up in my imagination that the real world slipped away. There was such a lack of self-consciousness about being myself and not worrying about what others thought.”

“We played outside all afternoon with our siblings and children of various ages throughout the neighborhood.”

“Together, we played tag, soccer, wall ball and more with youth all around us despite the hot or cold weather. We also bicycled throughout the neighborhood and invited other youth to play.”

What did you like to do for fun as a child? “Climb trees, swim in lakes, listen to music and dance, put on plays for the neighborhood.”

“When I was young, I spent summers on my grandparents' farm. My grandpa boarded race horses, and I 'helped' feed them. Corn harvest time was particularly fun, as we would give huge heaps of green stalks to them, while we ate the sweet raw corn. When my grandpa was not around, my cousins and I would climb the fence to get on them. Of course, they would take off running, and we would fall off every time. Laughter, bee stings, the grainy taste of raw corn, the feel of a caterpillar crawling on my hand, the impact with the hard ground - these are my treasured childhood memories.”

We spent time with family:

What did you love about your childhood?  “My family. Having so many cousins that I sometimes forget their names. I live far away from them now and I miss them every day.”

“Whenever my mom and aunties made fresh bread, my cousins and I would always sneak some away from them. We got in so much trouble but it is one of the most vivid memories that I have.”

“My parents fostered a love for the outdoors, by taking me camping, fishing, ice fishing, ice skating, hiking, swimming, boating, bike riding.”

We explored our interests:

“My favorite thing to do was to play school and make my younger sister and best friend do schoolwork. They weren't as thrilled with it as I was.”

“As a child I liked to wear pretty wild clothing--socks on my hands, objects as hats, face paint, and wild patterned leggings. I love(d) animals. I would write down names of animals I saw in a long list.”

And we found refuge in books and libraries:

“As a child I loved the library. I would walk to Park Hill Branch and my grandpa bought their house because the branch was so close. I grew up on a first name basis with the staff. When I ended up working at the library many years later, one clerk still worked there and of course knew me and my family and it was great to see her again.”

“As a child, my home was often filled with fighting and fear. Books were an amazing escape and a source of comfort when things were hard. You never know what a good book can do for someone who needs it!”

Thank you so much to everyone who shared their childhood memories with us. Do you have a story to share? Let us know in the comments!

Celebrate Día del Niño with the Denver Public Library!

Written by Amma R. on