A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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December 2012 Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 1, 2012

“December 2012 Activities” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think:  What does the word “December” bring to mind?

Pearl Harbor Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. What else happens in December?  Choose one of the conversation starters below and leave a comment.

 Special Days in December:

  • Civil Air Patrol Day:  1  Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded in 1941 to spot enemy submarines in WWII.  It is a volunteer patrol auxillary for the US Air Force.  Today it provides inland search and rescue missions and promotes aerospace education for youth.  Where can you learn more?

  • Rosa Parks Day:  1  How can you celebrate this day?  What can you do for someone else today?  Research facts about Rosa Parks.  Consider reading a biography about her. 

  • National Mutt Day:  2  What kind of animal is sometimes called a mutt?  What does it mean to be a mutt?  Some people claim mutts make the best pets. What do you think?

  • Special Education Day:  2  Do you know any students in special education classes?  If so, do any of them attend your school?  Are they mainstreamed?  What does that mean?

  • Bathtub Party Day:  5  Before planning Bathtub Party Day, get permission from your parent(s).   Would you fill the tub with water?  Would you sit in the tub?   Who would be invited?  What activities would you do at the party?  Would you have a rubber ducky race?

  • Miners’ Day:  6  What natural resource(s) is mined?  Why is it used? Research the location of coal mines.  Find photographs.  Read about the dangers of working in mines. 

  • National Pawnbrokers Day:  6  What is a pawnbroker?  What does it mean to pawn something?  Have you  ever been to a pawn shop? 

  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day:  7  What happened at Pearl Harbor?  Where is Pearl Harbor?  Which war was this?  Why was the attack a surprise?

  • National Cotton Candy Day:  7  Have you  ever watched cotton candy being made?  What ingredients are used?  What color cotton candy have you seen?  If you got a choice between cotton candy and a candied apple, which would you choose?  Where can you usually find both of these treats?  Where else have you seen cotton candy?

  • Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day:  8  If you could travel to another time, what year would you visit?  Why?  Where would you like to visit?  Why?  Draw a picture of you visiting this time and place.

  • Dewey Decimal System Day:  10  What is the Dewey Decimal System ?  How is it used and where?  What is the card catalog?  What is used now instead?

  • Human Rights Day:  10  What are human rights?  Name one.  Why is this day celebrated?  Name two or more people who have helped guarantee human rights.  How?  Where can you learn more about these people?

  • Gingerbread House Day:  12  Cities often have contests for gingerbread houses in December.  Some may be in craft shops, art displays, public libraries, or schools.  Have you ever been to a gingerbread house contest?  Have you ever entered one yourself?  Name two decorating techniques you would use if you were decorating.

  • Monkey Day:  14  Use Survey Monkey on the computer or conduct a survey by hand.  Ask your friends if they ever had a stuffed monkey.  What was the monkey’s name?  Was the monkey a sock monkey, Curious George, a monkey given a name, or not given one?

    Finish these expressions about monkeys:  (Stop) monkeying _______.  Monkey see, monkey _______.  Stop all that monkey _______(opposite of pleasure).  Playground equipment:  monkey _______.

  • National Salesperson Day:  14 (always 2nd Friday)  Years ago, there were many door-to-door salesmen.  What were some of the items these individuals sold?  Why are there less door-to-door salespersons today?  What other ways are company products sold?  Have you ever sold items?  What method did you use?  How did you keep safe?

  • Bill of Rights Day:  15  For videos and even activities for a smartboard, check out this site:  http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resources/bill-of-rights-day/

  • National Chocolate-covered Anything Day:  16  If you could spread chocolate on one thing that’s not normally chocolate, what would it be?  Who would you share it with?

  • Wright Brothers Day:  17  What two states claim the Wright Brothers?  What state were the Wright Brothers from?  Where was their first flight made?  Have you ever read a book about the Wright Brothers?  Have you read other books about early flight?  Were they fiction or nonfiction?

  • Crossword Puzzle Day:  21  Do you like crossword puzzles?  Do you buy books to complete?  Create your own crossword puzzle about December or a special day this month.  Use www.puzzlemaker.com or other sites for your creation. 

  • Humbug Day:  21  What does it mean to say, “Humbug?”  What book or movie character have you heard use this expression?  When have you been a humbug?  Why? 

  • Underdog Day:  21 (3rd Friday)  Underdog!  TV Program.  Have you ever seen it?  What is an “underdog?”  Do you ever cheer for one?  Give an example.

  • World Peace Day:  21 Research the reason for this day.  How is it remembered?  With ribbons? Candles in the window?

  • Christmas:  25  Why is this day celebrated by Christians?  What traditions do you participate in at this holiday? Do you exchange gifts with anyone?  Do you make some of your gifts?  Where do you get your ideas?

  • National Thank-you Note Day:  26  Who do you want to send a thank you note?  Could you make one yourself?  Will you email or send it through the post office?

  • National Whiner’s Day:  26  Define a whiner.  Make a list of things a small child, a teenager, and an adult  might whine about during a day.  For example:  I didn’t get _______(list a popular toy that might have been requested).  How would you suggest that a whiner get over it?

  • National Chocolate Day:  28 &29  Check out this website  www.thestoryofchocolate.com.  Learn facts like this…”Did you know?  It takes two-four days to make a single-serving chocolate bar?”

  • Pledge of Allegiance Day:  28  Where do you hear this recited?  Who leads it?  What books have you read which mention the flag of a country?  What are ways countries honor their flag?

  • Make Up Your Mind Day:  31  What does it mean to be “sitting on the fence or straddling the fence?”  What does decisive mean?  Explain pro, con, neutral.  What are goals you have set?  What can you do when you can’t make up your mind?

  • No Interruptions Day:  31  List things that interrupt you when you are trying to concentrate.  What can you do to lessen these interruptions?  List your ideas.  Ask others for suggestions, if needed.  Try your strategies.  Are you able to complete more in less time? 

  • Universal Hour of Peace Day:  31 Celebrated from 11:30 p.m. on December 31, 2012 to–12:30 a.m. January 1, 2013.  The goal is to create peace throughout the planet though peaceful thoughts and actions.  http://www.answers.com/topic/universal-hour-of-peace

  • World Peace Meditation Day: 31 What is mediation?  How is it different from prayer?  How is it different from devotions?  Where is meditations used?  By whom?  Name a way to connect the Univeral Hour of Peace Day with this observation. 

Special Weeks in December:

  • Cookie Cutter week:  1-7  What personal memories do you have that include a cookie cutter?  What books?  What can you create using this theme?  Cookie cutters make special sandwich cut-outs, provide a chance to bake and share your treats, become ornaments for your Christmas tree, create a special holiday display (see mine below), and provide writing prompts about a baking experience.  What creativity will it stir in you?  Here’s a twist–sometimes the expression “cookie cutter” is used to suggest that something is not creative.  Have you ever heard someone use it like this?  See here: 

  • http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/cookie-cutter.html

    Cookie Press, biscuit cutters, cookie cutters. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen

  • Tolerance Week:  1-7 What does it mean to be tolerant?  What words come to mind when you hear this spoken?  Name positive examples of tolerance in your town, school, and home.  What improvements could be made?  What could you do?

  • Recipe Greetings For the Holidays Week:  2-8  Share a treat and its recipe with someone.  Create a recipe for friendship, love, the Christmas season or other topic. 

  • National Handwashing Awareness Week:  2-8  During cold and flu season, it is especially important to follow good handwashing.  How do you do that?  What steps do you need to improve?  Where can you learn more about this?

  • Human Rights Week:  10-17  See the post below for Universal Human Rights Month. 

  • Kwanzaa:  26–1/1  This holiday celebrates African-American and Pan-African communities.  The official website is here:  http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml

December is…

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for December celebration information.  For more December observances check out:


Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

*Resources:  http//vertex42.com (calendar) and http://www.brownielocks.com/DECEMBER2012.html (observances)

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

22 Responses to “December 2012 Activities”

  1. June said

    Dear Linda,
    Monkey day Is one of my favorites.. It brought back memories. When my great nephew was three he just loved monkeys. He” saw” them everywhere. He’s now almost Seven. He has a wonderful imagination. Now I have another a story idea. 🙂

    Thank you,

    • A story idea was generated.! How wonderful! That was one of my hopes for posts like this! Thanks for sharing about your nephew’s love of monkeys. Curious George went everywhere with my sons. I hope you’ll share your story with me when it’s done. Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. joyacey said

    Another great list of conversation starters. Like June and her great nepphew., I like monkeys. I have an adage with a monkey on my blog today http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com Have you ever heard that Southern saying?
    great work. Thank you for another list of great ideas.

    • Joy,
      This is a great tie-in to Monkey Day. I never heard the Southern epigraph by Arnell Artes that says, “Hard times will make a monkey eat pepper.” Thanks for sharing it. I love how you made it come to life in your poem. It’s terrific. Readers, if you haven’t visited Joy Acey’s blog, it’s a must. She’s the princess of poetry and posts a poem a day–a DAY, folks! See her link above! Please!

  3. Hey Linda!
    Where do I start? You’ve put so much effort into this post!
    Well, first I love your homemade Christmas swag. It reminds me of one I made years ago with my hand-painted gingerbread men.
    I had a hard time deciding which comment starter to choose, but here goes.
    Christmas: 25 Why is this day celebrated by Christians?
    Christmas is celebrated by Christians to remember Jesus Christ’s birth and to remind us He came into the world to die for our sins. I can’t even begin to fathom what it must have felt like to die for someone you love.
    What traditions do you participate in at this holiday?
    I bake cookies. And that is the only time I ever bake! 😀
    Do you exchange gifts with anyone?
    Yes, with family and friends.
    Do you make some of your gifts?
    Only cookies. I used to make all sorts of hand-made gifts, but I’m selfish. I’d rather write. LOL
    Where do you get your ideas? To write? LOL
    Awesome list, Linda!
    As it is December, you’re the first person I’ll wish a, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

    • Tracy,
      I copied and pasted the above comments for you since you were having technical difficulty. Unfortunately, it shows as something I said to myself. Too funny!

      Thanks for saying you enjoyed the photo of my homemade Christmas swag. I like old things; so I enjoyed arranging it. Thanks for the Merry Christmas greeting. It’s my first this season. I’m so glad I celebrate Christmas as a Christian. It’s so much more than exchanging gifts. Please tell me when you will be baking. I want to imagine the aroma drifting all the way to North Carolina. If only…
      Merry Christmas to you, dear friend.

  4. Hi Linda,
    Okay, I’m trying again. Good thing I left my name at the bottom. LOL
    I’m glad I was the first to wish you A MERRY CHRISTMAS! Now, that’s two times.
    I do love your swag. I see we have something else in common,–two crafty birds.

    Gulp. Baking? Did I say baking? My baking consists of stirring a pile of ingredients like coconut, chocolate, oatmeal, tons of sugar, milk, and butter into a big pot, then stir like a mad woman before the mess hardens. Then I plop messy chunks onto parchment paper and shove it in the fridge to cool. Viola! That’s my baking.

    I signed my name again, in case this doesn’t work.
    Tracy 😀

    • Yeah! It worked!

      • joyacey said

        I like you brand of baking. It is perfect for children to try because they don’t have to worry about the heat of the oven, or burning on the cook top. Your concoction sounds yummy to me. Where can I find your recipe so I use proper amounts of each ingrediant?
        Merry Christmas to you, too.

      • Tracy,
        Indeed it did work. Yay! We may have to swap cookie recipes. Mine doesn’t have coconut in it. Hmmmm…I do like those easy cookies.

      • Joy,
        I’ll be glad to share my recipe which has had some slight changes to it over the years (added cook time). Sometimes the cookies don’t harden properly. I’m not sure why. I blame it on the humidity. If that happens, you eat it by the spoonful. 😉
        Oatmeal Fudge Cookies
        2 cups sugar
        4 teaspoons cocoa
        1/2 cup milk
        1 stick margarine, melted.
        Bring the above to a full boil. Cook 3 minutes. Add 1/2cup peanut butter, 2 cups oatmeal, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir until well mixed. Drop by spoonful on waxed paper. Let cool.

  5. How I love the concept of a time-traveler day… or to travel to space! Imagine the wonders I would see… worlds within worlds of wonders!
    love your post, as always. Great ideas!

    • Maureen,
      I know you love space. Your blog posts and art reflect it. Do you have books about space or time travel? Maybe you should consider it, if you haven’t. It’s a great big world out there! I’m glad you found a comment section just right for you. Thanks for the compliment about having great ideas. I really appreciate it. Your blog posts are always packed with great ideas too.

  6. Well, my birthday is the 14th so I now know that I have something in common with monkeys. (don’t way what!!) As usual, a ton of stuff here!

    • Carol,
      I think you should have your own special stuffed monkey named for you. Curious George does. Why not you? What color would you want it to be? Any special markings or jewelry?

      I’m glad you enjoyed learning something new about Dec. 14. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Happy upcoming birthday and a big Merry Christmas to you too.

  7. lindaphillips4866 said


    I am happily retired from the classroom but if I were still teaching I would definitely be borrowing some ideas. Thanks for this think-tank of December ideas (useful in or out of a classroom setting for sure).

  8. What a wonderful list of special days and discussion questions around them! Mutt Day is my favorite (Dec 2nd) since my furry babies are mutts. 🙂

  9. Roxie said

    wow, rich in resources, Linda, excellent!
    funny thing about the 31st: Make Up Your Mind Day, No Interruptions Day or Universal Hour of Peace Day…I’d say a combo, Universal Peace Day so you don’t have to Make Up Your Mind or experience Interruptions!! Anybody in?

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