A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for May, 2013

It’s June and Time for Summer Fun

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 31, 2013


“It’s June and Time for Summer Fun” 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 “June” bring to mind? SUMMER.  School’s out for summer, summer camps begin, summer reading, and hot summer sands and summer vacations at the beach. 

Other things we remember in June include:  Father’s Day, D-Day and Flag Day.

Special Days in June:

  • Drawing Day or Pencil Day:  1  Do you doodle on paper?  What do you usually draw?  What  books have you read with characters who draw?  Which ones would you recommend to friends?  What do you wish you could draw?  Look for drawing books that can teach you steps to take. 
  • Do-Dah Day (Salute to Silliness):  4  Have you ever had the “silly giggles?”  Have you ever had someone come up and ask, “What’s so funny?”  When you tried to explain, the person just didn’t get it.  Have you ever said, “You had to be there?”  What was the silly thing?  Share it in the comment section.
  • Hot Air Balloon Day:  5  Have you ever taken a hot air balloon?  Have you ever watched one soar?  Have you read books with hot air balloons in the story?  Consider reading Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum.  It’s a fun middle grade historic novel.  This link provides an interview about the book by its author.  http://www.lizaketchum.com/books/newsgirl.htm

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  • D-Day:  6  What is this?  Ask someone who loves history if you do not know.  What museums have exhibits on this topic in your area.  Consider visiting. 
  • Upsey Daisy Day:  8  What does this mean?  How will you celebrate?  Ask your parents and grandparents if this is one they know.
  • Corn on the Cob Day:  11  Do you prefer your corn on or off the cob?  What is a corn cob pipe?  What nursery rhyme talks about cows in the corn?  In what season are corn stalks used for decorating?  Have you ever gathered corn in the field?  Have you ever shucked corn?  Have you ever cut corn off the cob for freezing?  What other memories do you have that include corn?
  • Flag Day:  14  What flag is flown on this day?  Why?  If you could design a flag for your family, church, neighborhood, or school, what would it include?
  • Father’s Day:  16  What do you call your father?  What do you call your grandfather?  What other names for father do you know?  Which is your favorite?.  What other ways is Father used?  For example:  Father Time.
  • World Sauntering Day:  19  What is sauntering? What other words can substitute for sauntering?  These are synonyms.
  • American Eagle Day:  20  Have you ever watched a web cam of an eagle’s nest?  Research facts about eagles and share them.  What bird almost became America’s symbol instead of an eagle?  Who recommended the other choice?
  • Summer Solstice (Summer):  21  What will you do this summer?  What will you read?  What sports will you play?  What will you study?  Where can you learn more about summer solstice?
  • Great American Backyard Campout:  22  Where have you camped out?  Who was with you?  Are you a member of an organization that camps out, like Boy Scouts?  Have you ever cooked over a camp fire?  Tell about one of your experiences.
  • Let it Go Day:  23  What does it mean to “let something go?”  When have you been told this or used the expression yourself?  What is bothering you that you will let go today?  Will you call and apologize and make it right with the other person?
  • Pink Flamingo Day (Lawn Ornaments)”  23  When you hear the word “Flamingo” what state comes to mind?  What do you know about flamingos?  What other colors are there?  Why do you think pink plastic flamingos have become popular lawn ornaments?  Do you know someone who has one?  Why?
  • Log Cabin Day:  30  Research famous people who lived in log cabins.  Name a television show where the characters lived in a log cabin.  Have you ever stayed in one?  Were you on vacation, hunting, or hiking?  What was your favorite thing about the cabin?  Did it have running water?

Special Weeks in June:

  • International Clothesline Week:  1-8.  What is a clothesline?  Who do you know who has one?  Who do you know who has a clothes rack for indoor drying?  Have you ever run through clothes on the line?  Name a story, television program, or book that mentions a clothesline.  Have you ever “hung clothes on the line?”  What happens if they get wet? What happens if the clothes are still wet when the temperature freezes?  How do you dry clothes at your house?
  • Rip Current Awareness Week:  2-8  What is rip current?  What is the danger?
  • National Flag Week:  9-15  What country or countries recognize this day?  Name a favorite flag.  Tell why it’s a favorite.
  • National Automotive Service Professionals Week: 9-16  Who is your favorite auto mechanic?  Have you ever helped repair a car?  What is a “shade tree mechanic?”
  • Duct Tape Days:  14-16  What have you seen created with duct tape?  What have you made with it?  Would you wear or buy something made from it?  Here are images you might enjoy.  http://www.ducttapefashion.com/
  • http://www.cleveland.com/avon/index.ssf/2013/05/avon_heritage_duct_tape_festiv_4.html

Product Details

  • Check out the selection of crafts and fashions in books.

  • Watermelon Seed Spitting Week: 27-30  What festival activities have you participated in?  Do you like salt on your watermelon?  Do you eat it with a knife, spoon, fork, or just your mouth?  How does the juice feel when it dries on your skin?  Why?

June is…

  • Audio Book Appreciation Month   What is your favorite time to listen to a book?  Do you listen while traveling in a car?  What are your favorite books on audio?  Why?
  • Country Cooking Month  What do you call country cooking?  What country do you mean?  What country cooking foods do you like?  Which would you not eat?
  • National Camping Month  What kind of camping have you done?  Summer camp, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Dance camp, Music camp, Cheerleading camp, Church camp, Basketball camp, etc.  Have you ever pitched a tent?  Cooked on an open fire?  Told ghost stories by the camp fire?
  • Skyscraper Month  Search for skyscraper trivia.  What is the highest building in your town?  How many stories?  How old is the building?  What movies show skyscrapers?

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for June celebration information.  For more June observances check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/june.html

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Is it Time to Share That Story Stuck in a Drawer?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 23, 2013


“Is it Time to Share That Story Stuck in the Drawer?” 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.

I recently  visited “Pencil Tips Writing Workshop” blog  and read a post entitled, “Writing Connections with Debbie Levy by Mary Quattlebaum.”  In an interview, Levy stated that something her mom had saved and brought with her as an immigrant to America, told of her days as a Jewish girl in Nazi Germany in 1930.  This reading led Levy to write a book .  Do you have a story or mementos stored away that needs sharing?  Check out this site to read about Debbie Levy’s experience.  http://tinyurl.com/m44vymc

Levy’s finished product is a historical novel in verse called The Year of Goodbyes.   

After reading this post, I was reminded of the current issue of  “Talking Story,” a quality newsletter written by Joyce Hostetter and Carol Baldwin.  Its current theme is immigration.   View it here:  http://www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/p/talking-story.html 

Learn more about these authors at their blogs.  They have discovered that items of historical  interest can be right around the corner or in their neighborhood:

http://joycemoyerhostetter.blogspot.com/  Joyce writes middle grade historical fiction–sometimes local community sites.  She lives in Hickory, North Carolina.

Carol is writing a middle grade novel called Half Truths about local historical events that took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives. http://www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/p/half-truths.html

Carol Baldwin and Joyce Hostetter also offer giveaways at Talking Story.  I just won a copy of The Amazing Harry Kelly Great American Magician by Gail Jarrow.  Lucky me!  I hope you’ll check out the great newsletter and register for future giveaways too.

Here’s another immigration resource from May 22, 2013:  On this day in history “The Great Emigration” departed for Oregon in 1843.  Learn more about it here:  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/great-emigration-departs-for-oregon

Do you have an immigration story you’d like to share here?  Maybe you can turn it into a published story too!

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Hat’s on Parade!

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 19, 2013


“Hat’s on Parade!” by Linda Martin Andersen

Today, we march at “A Writer’s Playground” to celebrate the one year birthday of this blog. Hooray!  Below, are photos sent to me by followers who wanted to be part of this parade.  You can join in too.

First, find your favorite hat and march at home.  I chose to wear a jester hat because it reminds me to love life and bring joy and laughter into the world even when life isn’t always funny.   Please tell me about the hat you’re wearing and why you chose it.

Let the parade begin!  Don’t be shy.       

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074                                                                MeLinda Andersen head Jester200x 182

Sherell, a terrific certified nursing assistant.  Congratulations on being accepted into nursing school!

Sherell, a terrific certified nursing assistant. Congratulations on being accepted into nursing school!             

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Carol Baldwin with the Pacific Ocean in the background.  Follow her at http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/

100_1618Follow Joan at http://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/

Joan Edwards.  Since I am a great fan of ducks, in 2010 I was glad that I was able to talk my sister, Judith and her family into joining me on the Ride the Ducks Tour in Seattle. We had a great time. I bought this silly hat. I was even able to share about my book, Flip Flap Floodle with people riding the boat/bus there. It’s cool because the boat has wheels to roam through the city and is also able to float on the water all in the same tour.

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Joy Acey wearing her orange hat, anthology tee shirt (she has two poems within), and hanging out with Oscar, the Ostrich.  Follow her poetry blog at http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/

Please leave a comment about your favorite hat and its significance.  I look forward to having you join in with Hat’s on Parade.

Posted in Games, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

“A Writer’s Playground” is Celebrating Its First Birthday. Let’s Parade in Our Favorite Hats!

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 6, 2013


“A Writer’s Playground” is Celebrating Its First Birthday.  Let’s Parade in Our Favorite Hats! 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.

As you may have noticed, I always wear a jester hat on my blog.  I have encouraged readers to guess why.

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/about-me/

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/about-my-writing/

One reader guessed why I wear a jester hat.  There’s a prize in it for you, Tracy Campbell.  Tracy’s prize…a birthday hat.  Actually, it’s a headband with birthday candles.  Tracy, please send me your address and I’ll mail you the hat.  Congratulations!  I hope you’ll enjoy wearing it.

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So why do I wear a jester hat?  To remind myself to never lose my jingle (sense of humor).  Years ago, I began reading children The Jester Has Lost His Jingle, a picture book written and illustrated by David Saltzman.  The story also promotes the character trait of caring.  A friend decided I needed my own jester hat to wear while sharing this book; so, she bought me one.  I wear it on my blog to promote laughter and caring.   Learn more about the picture book and the author here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/c-a-r-i-n-g-character-trait-of-december/

I’d like to encourage you to  join the Favorite Hat Parade to celebrate my blog’s birthday.

If you’ll email me at landersen74@yahoo.com  and send a copy of  a photo of you in a favorite hat, I will include all photos in my next blog post.  Are you willing?  If you would rather not send a photo, email a memory of a time you wore a hat.  Why is it a favorite memory?  What is the setting?  How old were you?  Would you wear the hat today, if you could?  I’ll include these comments as well.  Let the parade begin.

Hat’s off to you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

May is My Blog’s Birthday and Mine Too. What Else is Celebrated This Month?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 1, 2013


“May is My Blog’s Birthday and Mine Too” 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 “May” bring to mind?  Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, and Memorial Day.  What lesser known days bring you pleasure?  My younger grandson loves Batman.  I was excited to learn that May 1 is Batman Day.  I hope you find a listing that pleases you just as much.

Special Days in May:

  • Batman Day:  1  Who do you know who loves Batman?  Who or what was your super hero when you were younger?  How are these alike?
  • Mother Goose Day:  1  Who is Mother Goose?  What else do you know about her?
  • National Dance Day:  1  Do you like to dance?  What type dances can you do?
  • National Two Different Colored Shoes Day:  3–Have you ever done this on accident?  I have.  It’s embarrassing.  My shoes were close in color and the same style shoe.  One was black and one was navy.
  • International Firefighters Day:  4  Do you know a firefighter?  Thank him/her!
  • Star Wars Day:  4  Have you ever had a theme party?  Have you ever made costumes for the guests?  Check out more a Star Wars theme party on my friend’s blog.  http://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/family-sewing-projects-jedi-robes-and-princess-leia-ponchos/
  • Cartoonist Day:  5  Who is your favorite cartoonist?  What makes  this art so funny?
  • No Socks Day:  8  I know an adult man, an attorney, who doesn’t wear socks.  I know a doctor who wears sandals all year?  Who do you know like this?
  • Windmill Day:  10  Have you ever seen a windmill?  Where was it?
  • Letter Carrier’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day:  11–What do you know about this event?  Have you ever participated in it?
  • Limerick Day:  12  What is a limerick?  Do you have a favorite?  Share it with someone.
  • Mother’s Day: 12  What will you do for your mom?  What does she do for you?  Thank her.
  • Biographer’s Day:  16  Name a biography.  Name an autobiography.  What’s the difference?  Name one you have read.
  • NASCAR Day:  17  Do you follow NASCAR?  Who is your favorite driver, if you do?  What number does he drive?  Can you describe his car?  Are there female drivers?  Share a NASCAR fact with someone.
  • O. Henry Pun-off Day:  18.  Who is O. Henry?  What is a pun?  Research and see what one has to do with the other.
  • Weights and Measures Day:  20  Where are weights used?  When are items measured?  What do you think this celebration is about?
  • Don’t Fry Day:  24  Why would this day be celebrated?  What foods do you eat fried that could be baked or grilled? 
  • Morse Code Day:  24  How is Morse Code used and when?  Can you tap out a short message? 
  • Cookie Monster’s Birthday:  25  Who is Cookie Monster?  What television program is he on?  What gift would you take cookie monster?  Why?
  • International Jazz Day:  25  Look for jazz CDs, books about jazz, jazz performances, etc.
  • Memorial Day:  27  Why is this day celebrated?  How will you celebrate?
  • Learn About Composting Day:  29  What is composting?  Who do you know who has a compost bin?
  • World No-Tobacco Day:  31  Do you know why this is celebrated?  Why would this goal be a good one to reach?  Do you think it is very likely?  Why or why not?

Special Weeks in May:

  • Be Kind to Animals Week:  5-11
  • National Wildflower Week:  6-12  Name flowers you have seen growing wild.
  • Reading is Fun Week: 12-18
  • National Etiquette Week:  13-17  What is etiquette?  Who has taught you etiquette?  Thank them.
  • National Backyard Games Week:  20-26  Name your favorite.  Share a story about it.

May is…

  • Gardening for Wildlife Month–What do you plant or provide for wildlife in your yard?
  • Get Caught Reading Month–What would you get caught reading if someone knocked on your door today?  Five years ago?  For pleasure?  For assignments?
  • National Bike Month–What stories are special to you that contain a bike?  Why?
  • National Inventors Month–Create a list of your favorite inventors.  Ask friends to name their favorites.  Are any the same? What did these people invent?  Research more about them. 
  • National Photo Month–Take a photograph and share it with someone.  What is your favorite topic to photograph?
  • National Physical Fitness & Sports Month–What is your favorite type of exercise?  What sports do you enjoy participating in?  What sports do you enjoy watching?
  • National Smile Month–Research smile trivia.  Ask your friends questions using your research.  For example, is it true that it takes less muscles to smile than to frown?

3248268_orig[1]Copyright by Laura Reeves 2013.  http://www.reevesartworks.com/contact.html

  • National Youth Traffic Safety Month–What traffic safety rules do you know?  Which have helped keep you safe?  How?
  • Older Americans Month–Who would you list in this category?  What type things do you do with older Americans/people?  What else could you do together?
  • Young Achievers of Tomorrow Month–What achievement would you like to be known for in the future?  What are you doing to make that a reality?
  • National Family Month–(5/12-6/16)–What things does your family do together?  Do you have family meetings?  Do you plan together?  What does quality family time look like to you?  What can you do to improve family times?

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for May celebration information.  For more May observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/may.html

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

 
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