Autumn is upon us (in the UK anyway) and so is the time of harvest. In fact, did you know that the Old English word “haerfest” actually means “autumn”? Yes, indeed, and for those of you looking for some harvest festival printables for your children to help celebrate, we’ve assembled ours below.
When is Harvest Festival (UK)?
Harvest Festival is celebrated on the nearest Sunday to the Harvest Moon (that’s the full moon nearest to the September equinox). This year in the United Kingdom, the Harvest Festival Feast will fall on Sunday 4th October 2020. (The equinox is actually the day after, on the 23rd.) However, harvest celebrations in general take place over several days, so it doesn’t really matter when you have yours. Traditionally, it was never held after Michaelmas Day on the 29th September though, because that’s when the church decided that the Harvest Festival period should officially end. The idea was that all the crops had to be brought in before St Michael’s Mass and that parishes would then gather in their churches to give thanks. These days, dates are not as strict.
That said, traditions surrounding bringing in the harvest predate Christianity, in the UK going back to at least Saxon times. Some of the very old traditions are feasting, dancing and playing games. Making corn dollies was also popular, which were carefully kept in people’s homes as a tribute to the Spirit of the Corn or Goddess of the Grain, in the hope that he or she would make sure there was a good harvest the following year. Not all corn dollies were made in the shape of a doll mind you, some were woven to look like bells, crosses, knots, spirals and animals such as hares and horses. Different parts of the country often had their own corn dolly traditions.
All in all, Harvest Festival time was a chance to come together and have fun, to be thankful for whatever the land had supplied, and to lift people’s spirits and put them in a positive frame of mind, ready to get through the winter.
After all that of course, we’re in the run up to Halloween…
Of course, some of the printables above are also useful for Thanksgiving.
Hello dear visitors! By popular demand, we’ve uploaded a summer issue of our Fairyland newspaper, the Midnight Messenger, for you to print for your child. We especially hope it will help entertain those of you still in lockdown or who are having to self-isolate thanks to Covid-19.
In this issue you can find out what’s been happening at Christmas House, where the Easter Bunny has been on holiday and what the Tooth Fairy’s been up to as of late. As always, our thanks to Leone Betts for all her hard work putting it together and for allowing us to make it free on this site.
Are you looking for the previous issue? It’s here.
What is the Midnight Messenger?
The Midnight Messenger is the newspaper which gets delivered all around the magical world – read by everyone from Santa and his elves to the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and every other magical personality you can think of. And this summer, your child can read it too!
We’ve uploaded it as a PDF. Just click here or on the picture below to download or view it. It’s completely free. We hope it makes you and your little ones smile.
If you enjoy this resource, please consider telling others. Our site survives because of people like you using it. Thanks x
More About the Midnight Messenger:
For those of you after more information about our Fairyland newspaper, it was first created in 2003 by L A Betts. It was early days for our site and as we didn’t have many visitors back then, after a couple of years we retired it. However, it carried on being delivered every month to magical folk of course, and has often mentioned in our other creations, such as the Father Christmas letters.
The Midnight Messenger is normally in black and white, but special issues like the one for Easter, are in colour. It regularly features news from well-known parts of the magical world, like Father Christmas’s house in the North Pole, and features many familiar characters such as Jack Frost, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy. But it also features new characters your child won’t have heard of, such as the Worrying Witch, the Fortune-Telling Toad and all sorts of goblins, fairies and elves.
It’s always hard to know what people want more of, but if we sense the Midnight Messenger is popular, we’ll consider adding further issues to our site.
Ah Midsummer! What a wonderful, magical time. It conjures up long light evenings, fairies of the forests and fields, Shakespearean fantasies, and moonlit picnics. We love all these things and more. Whether you’re celebrating the Solstice or having a Midsummer’s Eve Party or just a family celebration on Midsummer’s Day, all our Midsummer printables are on this page.
Having a midsummer party? These decorations might help you make it look lovely:
Midsummer Posters and Cards:
We also have a handful of fairy certificates which are especially suitable for the summer months. You should be able to see them below:
As many of our visitors will know, Victory in Europe Day is coming up very soon and for those of you looking to decorate, we’ve collected our VE Day printables together in this post. It’s all free of course!
There’s nothing like an treasure hunt over the Easter holidays, especially on Easter Morning. Here’s one from the Easter Bunny, with eight rhyming clues. If you’ve got some small chocolates such as chocolate coins, mini eggs, or even just some small wrapped sweets, we suggest you make it eggstra exciting by putting one with each clue. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!) Or, if you’re looking for a healthy, sugar-free option, you could try sticks of carrot – wrapped of course – you don’t want bits of fluff and dust sticking to them!
What the “treasure” is at the end of the hunt isn’t specified in our clues, so it’s up to you. Easter eggs or other sweets are obviously the most popular, but if you’re looking for other ideas, you could always try Easter crackers or cupcakes or any other treat you think your children might like. If you’ve got a printer, you could always add our Good Egg Award from the Easter Bunny for the winner, too.
What You Need:
A printer for the clues of course, and some scissors to cut them out. This is an indoor game and we have tried to make sure that the clues only include objects (such as a bag or a chair) that exist in any house. You’ll also need some “treasure” to leave with the last clue.
If you’d prefer to avoid printing images, for example if you’re trying to save the colour ink in your printer, the text of our clues is below. You can highlight, copy and print it in black and white.
Hoppity hop! Let’s go, let’s begin… Look for a cupboard, The first clue’s within.
Bouncity bounce! You’re well on your way, The next clue is near A thing you can spray.
Skipity skip! You’re playing for keeps, The next clue is hidden Where somebody sleeps.
Jumpity jump! Then follow this clue, You’ll find what you seek Near something that’s blue.
Quickity quick! Don’t dawdle or lag, The next clue is hiding In some sort of bag.
Floppity flop! If you’re tired, go to bed! But you’ll miss the next clue Which is near something red.
Springity spring! As high as a hare! The last clue is waiting Not far from a chair. Jump up for joy, You’ve got to the end! The treasure is yours, Well done my dear friend.
More Easter Printables
We love Easter and that magical feeling of spring that comes with it, so we’re always adding to out Easter resources. The ones which seem to be most popular so far are our Easter Bunny notes and letter, and our Easter Bunny certificates. For those of you who are Australian, we also have some Easter Bilby printables. They’re all free to print out for personal use.
Croeso i popeth ar gyfer Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant! Welcome to all our St David’s Day printables! We’ve only just started these and are hoping to add to them in future years but in the meantime we hope you and your children enjoy them… and that you have a very happy time on the 1st of March, celebrating the patron saint of Wales.
Hello! We generally create printables for children but these days, Valentine’s day is for everyone. Far from being just for couples, we’re seeing cards sending love to all sorts of family members and friends, not to mention the wider world. Pink and red decorations appear in shops and homes alike and some people are even using it as an opportunity to spoil themselves. And why not? It”s good to love yourself, too.
So, with the aim of moving with the times, we’ve put the printables we thought you might find useful this Valentine’s Day here on one page. Thinking that the kids might want to help out, we’ve focussed on printable four-fold cards and colouring in. We hope you, your children, your family and whoever else is special to you enjoy them. Oh, and from all of us here at Rooftop Post, have a happy and magical Valentine’s.
What to write in your Valentine’s Card:
It’s never easy to think what to write in your Valentine’s card, and of course, a lot depends on who you’re writing to.
From a Secret Admirer
For example, if you’re sending a card from a secret admirer, it’s best to stick to funny or lightly romantic – as a mystery sender you don’t want to sound too serious (because that can make some people nervous) and it’s attractive to have a sense of humour. If you’re really stuck, here are a couple of ideas:
I’m sending you this Valentine’s card to let you know that whenever I see you, you make me smile. Have a wonderful day!
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I’m incredibly lucky
To be friends with you!
I like you. Even more than chocolate/football/any other (light-hearted) favourite thing. Have a very happy Valentine’s Day!
You’re that “nothing” when people ask me what I’m thinking about.
For a Partner
On the other hand, if you’re writing to a long-term partner, pretty much anything goes. You know their likes and dislikes better than anyone, and even though you might feel as if you can’t think of anything, just take the plunge because most of your thoughts will be appreciated. Remember, this person already likes or loves you. If you’re really stuck, thanking them for all they do and is a good start, and should get you thinking about what those things are. Name them, if you can. After all, letting someone know you’ve noticed all those small ways they make your life nicer is always going to make them smile.
For Family and Friends
For friends or non-romantic family, think of the sorts of things you’d put in a normal greetings card and just edit those sentiments a bit to suit Valentine’s. Here are some examples:
Happy Valentine’s Day! I wanted to send you a card to say I hope your life is filled with love for the whole year ahead.
As it’s Valentine’s, I just wanted to let you know how much you are loved and appreciated by me (and all the family). Have a great day.
Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day from a family who loves you.
To my best friend, I thought I’d use Valentine’s Day to send you lots of love and let you know how special you are. My world is about a million times better for having you in it.
Not long now until that spooky time of year – so we’ve collected a few of our favourite Halloween printables together below. Some are popular every year, others are new additions. Whatever you’re doing on the 31st of October, we hope you have a frighteningly good time!
No Trick or Treat Posters
Trick or treating is great fun but it’s fine not to want to take part. You don’t need to give your reasons to opt out but one of the best ways to let trick or treaters know it’s not for you is to put a light-hearted notice up in your window. Here are a few which might help you out.
If you’re looking for some simple paper decorations to hang around the house, you might also like our Halloween ghosts: