Labor Day began as a way to celebrate the American working class and their contributions to society.
On Tuesday, September 5, 1882, the first Labor Day parade was held in New York City. It was followed by picnics all around the city and fireworks at night. In 1884, the holiday was again observed, this time on the first Monday in September. That is when it is still celebrated today.
By 1885, the idea had begun to spread through labor unions. It was celebrated in many industrial centers throughout the country. Soon, all states started celebrating Labor Day. In 1894, Congress voted to establish Labor Day as a federal holiday.
There is some discrepancy surrounding who the actual founder of Labor Day is. Many sources give credit to Peter McGuire, a carpenter and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Other sources say it was Matthew Macguire, a machinist and secretary for the Central Labor Union in New York.
Regardless of who its founder was, American workers still enjoy celebrating Labor Day each September. Most Americans consider it the unofficial end of summer, and the holiday finds beaches and other popular resort areas packed with people enjoying one last three-day weekend.
Use the following free Labor Day printables to help your students learn more about the holiday.01of 09
Labor Day Vocabulary
Print the pdf: Labor Day Vocabulary Sheet
Students will begin learning more about the history of Labor Day with this Labor Day vocabulary sheet. First, students should read about the purpose and history of Labor Day. Then they will match each term from the word box to its correct definition based on what they learned.02of 09
Labor Day Wordsearch
Print the pdf: Labor Day Word Search
In this activity, students can review what they've learned about Labor Day terminology as they look for the words related to the holiday in the word search puzzle. All of the terms from the word bank can be found among the jumbled letters in the puzzle.03of 09
Labor Day Crossword Puzzle
Print the pdf: Labor Day Crossword Puzzle
This fun Labor Day crossword puzzle provides another review opportunity. Each clue represents a word or phrase from the word bank. Students will match the word or phrase to the clue in order to correctly fill in the puzzle.04of 09
Labor Day Challenge
Print the pdf: Labor Day Challenge
Challenge your students to show what they know about Labor Day. They will choose the correct word or phrase for each definition from the four multiple choice options in order to correctly complete this activity.05of 09
Labor Day Alphabetizing Activity
Print the pdf: Labor Day Alphabet Activity
In this activity, students will practice their alphabetizing skills while reviewing the words and phrases associated with Labor Day. They will write each word or phrase from the word bank in alphabetical order on the blank lines provided.06of 09
Labor Day Bookmarks and Pencil Toppers
Print the pdf: Labor Day Labor Day Bookmarks and Pencil Toppers Page
Add some Labor Day festivity to your home or classroom! Young students can practice their fine motor skills by cutting out the bookmarks and pencil toppers along the solid lines.
Complete the pencil toppers by punching a hole in each tab. Then, insert a pencil through both holes on each topper.
For best results, print on card stock.07of 09
Labor Day Visor
Print the pdf: Labor Day Visor
This activity provides another opportunity for young students to hone their fine motor skills. Instruct students to cut out the visor along the solid lines. Then, use a hole punch to place holes in the locations indicated.
To complete the visor, tie an elastic string through the holes to fit your student's head size. Alternately, you may use yarn or non-elastic string. Tie a length of string through each hole. Then, tie them together in the back to fit your child's head.
For best results, print on card stock.08of 09
Labor Day Door Hangers
Print the pdf: Labor Day Door Hangers
Add some Labor Day festivity to your home with these Labor Day door hangers. Print the page and color the pictures. Cut the door hangers out along the solid line. Then, cut along the dotted line and cut out the small circle. Hang on door and cabinet knobs.
For best results, print on card stock.
Labor Day Coloring Page
Print the pdf: Labor Day Coloring Page
Let young students practice their fine motor skills by completing the coloring page, or use it as a quiet activity for older students during read-aloud time.
Updated by Kris Bales