A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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It’s July–What Outings Are on Your Calendar?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 1, 2013


“It’s July–What Outings Are on Your Calendar?” 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 “July” bring to mind? In the USA: fireworks, and all things red, white, and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July.  It also means days at the pool, lake, or beach.  Summer camps, Vacation Bible School, and time out of school.  Family reunions and family vacations.  Ice cream, watermelon, and fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden or a local produce stand.  Hot, humid days, sunburns, and time in the SUN.

Make a list of outdoor events you’d like to attend.  Discuss them with your family.  Volunteer to help with planning and preparation. 

Special Days in July:

  • U.S. Postage Stamp Day:  1  For those who live in the U.S, visit your local post office today or some time this month.  Wish them Happy U.S. Postage Stamp Day.  Do you collect stamps?  Do you have favorites?  Ask to see a brochure of stamps for sale.  Why not buy a sheet, a book, or a roll of stamps?
  • I Forgot Day:  2  Find a book about a character who forgets things.  I Just Forgot (Little Critter Series) Here’s one suggestion:  I Just Forgot (Critter Series) by Mercer Mayer
  • World UFO Day:  2  What is a UFO?  Research a UFO sighting.  Do you think UFOs exist?  Why or why not?
  • Compliment Your Mirror Day:  3  What is a compliment?  Give an example.  What does it mean to compliment your mirror?  Give an example.  When you see your mom look in the mirror, give her a compliment. 
  • Fourth of July or Independence Day:  4  What is your favorite way to celebrate this day?  Have you been to a fireworks show?  Does your family grill out for the Fourth?  What foods do you serve?  Do you usually stay at home or go on vacation for this holiday?  Research early Fourth of July celebrations.  Did they have fireworks?
  • Global Forgiveness Day:  7  What is forgiveness?  Do you know the expression “forgive and forget?”  What does it mean to you?  When I read the name of this celebration, I thought of more than one meaning for global.  Global can mean worldwide or all of something.  Have you ever forgiven part of what someone did to you and not all of it?   Tell about it.
  • Tell the Truth Day:  7  What book character comes to mind?  Tell about a time when you were honest, even though  you knew you would get in trouble.
  • International Town Criers Day:  8  What is a town crier?  What did he usually hold in his hand?  Why?  What words did he cry out to get your attention?  Why did he want people to hear his message?
  • Slurpee Day:  11  How many different locations can you name where you have bought a slurpee?  What is the difference between a slurpee, an icee, ice cone, and shaved ice?  Which do you prefer?  Why?  Have you ever made your own?  Search for recipes.
  • Collector Car Appreciation Day:  12  I know three car collectors.  Do you know any?  Have you ever been to a car show?  Did you talk to any of the owners?  Once, I passed by a house with a special glass showroom for collector cars.  What stories can you share about collector cars?  Here’s a photo of one I’ve ridden in. 
1929 Model A ride to celebrate my first magazine publication.  Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

1929 Model A ride to celebrate my first magazine publication. Copyright 2012. Linda Andersen

  • National French Fries Day:  13  Survey your friends and discover which fast food fries they prefer.  Ask which style they choose at home:  wrinkle cut, home fries, or skinny fries.  Find out how many eat homemade fries at home.  Ask if they deep fat fry or bake in the oven.  Chart your results.  Ask who eats fries with ketchup.  Consider gathering friends for a get-together where everyone brings his/her own fries.
  • Gummi Worm Day:  15  What does it mean to “worm” something out of someone?  What does it mean to “worm” out of something?  http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/worm+out+of
  • Do you know who created gummi candy?  Research to find out.  Name ways to have fun with gummi worms.  Here are some food suggestions: 
  • Have you ever eaten a “dirt” cake?  Would you like to make one?  Gummi worms are optional.  http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/dirt-cake
  • Here’s a link to a YouTube video showing how to make homemade gummi worms (sugar free)  Good for Type 1 diabetic kids (T1 Kids)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEMqOMExjo8
  • National Get Out of the Doghouse Day:  15  What does this expression mean:  get out of the doghouse?  Name comic strip characters who get in the doghouse.  Do you know book characters who do also.  Name them. 
  • Celebration of the Horse Day:  20-21  Name favorite horse movies and books.  Brainstorm words you think of when you hear the word “horse.”   Find nonfiction books at the library about horses.  Use these resources to add to your brainstorm list.  Think of a horse project you can try such as interviewing someone who stables horses or make a collage about horses, etc.  Name famous horses and tell why they are remembered.  If you were to ride a horse, what kind would you like to ride and why?
  • National Lollipop Day:  20  Name businesses that give away suckers to children.  Is a sucker different from a lollipop?  If so, how?  What flavor is your favorite?  Which is one you do not like?
  • Cousins Day:  24  Do you have cousins?  Are they first cousins, second cousins, or some other category?  Who can explain the family tree to you?  Have you ever made one of your own?
  • Tell am Old Joke Day:  24  What is one of the oldest jokes or riddles you know?  Change it somehow. Make it an original idea or borrow from another expression.  Tell it to a friend.  For example:  Why did the chicken cross the road?  “To see if the grass was greener on the other side.”
  • National Dance Day:  27  Have you ever taken a dance class?  Which kind?  Tell a story about it to someone and have them share their experiences with you.  Ask them to teach you a dance step and you teach them one.
  • Walk on Stilts Day:  27 Have you ever seen someone walk on stilts?  Where were you?  What people walk on stilts for their job?  Research and see.  Not all are entertainers.
  • Aunties Day:  28  Name your aunts.  Name something you like about each one.  Find a way to let them know on this day.  Read a book with an aunt as character.  Yuri’s Brush with Magic by Maureen Wartski features an aunt from Japan who visits North Carolina. 

yuri_cover_web[1]                                  Truman's Aunt Farm  Truman’s Aunt Farm by James Kim Rattigan is about a birthday gift from Aunt Fran.  What other titles do you know and recommend? 

  • Rain Day:  29 Look for poems or stories that include rain.  Watch a documentary on TV or DVD about the tropical rain forest or other locations with high rainfall.  Watch a documentary about people who work in the rain or in areas that are swampy such as “swamp loggers.”  Research tropical storms, hurricanes, or flash floods.  Name ways to keep storm drains clean.  What other ideas come to mind?
  • Paperback book Day:  30  How big is your paperback collection? Is it getting larger or smaller?  Why?  What do you do with copies you have read?  Consider swapping with friends or donating to a public library. 

Special Weeks in July:

  • National Farriers Week:  7-13  What is a farrier?  What does he/she do?  Research about farriers.  Find books, videos, DVDs about the subject.
  • National Ventriloquism Week:  17-21  Name a ventriloquist.  What was his/her dummy’s name?  Was the routine funny?  If so, who got to tell the punch line most times?  Why do you think so?
  • National Scrabble Week:  21-24  Do you have a Scrabble game?  If so, who would you like to invite to play with you?  Or consider asking a friend who owns this game to teach you to play.  Why not have a family game night?  Invite friends to bring a favorite game board and enjoy a game night together.
  • National Zoo Keeper Week:  21-27  What is a zookeeper’s job?  Revisit the interview with Melissa Barr at this blog last summer:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/meet-melissa-barr-a-zookeeper-at-north-carolina-zoological-park/  If we all call out Melissa Barr’s name, maybe she’ll join us again this summer!  Come on, shout it:  MELISSA BARR!
  • World Lumberjack Championships:  25-27  What is a lumberjack?  Is that the same as a forester?  Research to see.  Check the link here to learn about competitions at the championship:  http://www.lumberjackworldchampionships.com/lumberjack-events.php

July is…

  • Air-Conditioning Appreciation Days (7/3 to 8/15) Do you have air conditioning in your home?  Have you  ever had your air conditioner to break down?  How did you keep cool?  Have you ever stayed overnight somewhere with no air conditioning?  Tell about it.  Research air conditioning and its inventor.
  • Family Reunion Month  Have you ever been to a family reunion?  Did everyone bring a covered dish or was a meal catered?  Were games played?  What did you enjoy most about your experience?  Would you like for reunions to continue?  What can you do to make that possible? 
  • National Grilling Month  What comes to mind when you hear the word “grill?”  Does your family own a grill?  What is your favorite grilled food?  Tell about a time you went to a cookout.  
  • National Ice Cream Month  What is your favorite flavor ice cream?  I read that the national flavor is “vanilla.”  If you nominated a favorite flavor, what would it be and why?  Survey friends to find out their responses.
  • National Recreation and Parks Month  Name three parks or recreation centers you have visited.  Recall a memory you have of each one.  Would you recommend this location to a friend.  Ask a friend which ones he/she would recommend to you.  Create a flyer about favorite sites and post them around town or pass them out in your class in school.
  • National Wheelchair Beautification Month  Who do you know who uses a wheelchair? Give a gift to beautify the ride this month.  Items to consider:  flag, silk flower, ribbons, streamers, and a sign. 
  • National Blueberries Month Did you know that blueberries are very good for you?  Do you know why?  Consider going to pick some at a blueberry farm.  It would make a great outing.  Maybe you can make muffins or other desserts with blueberries.
  • National Hot Dog Month  What day of the month do you think more hotdogs will be eaten this month?  Why?  Will you eat some that day?  What places do you think of when someone mentions hotdogs?  Why?  How do you like yours prepared?  With what toppings?

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for July celebration information.  For more July observances check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/july.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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17 Responses to “It’s July–What Outings Are on Your Calendar?”

  1. Just shared this amazing list on FB!

  2. Fun post, Linda. I especially liked Horse Day and Farrier Day. My favorite old joke is about an African lion who wakes up feeling exceptionally proud and full of himself. He saunters out of his den and grabs the first elephant he sees. He swings that elephant by its trunk, lifting the frightened animal over his head and then slinging it 3 feet away. (Which is quite a distance if you’re a lion throwing an elephant.) The elephant is lying panting on the ground, when the lion roars, “Who’s the King of Jungle?” Barely speaking over a whisper, the elephant says, “You are, sire.” The lion struts off to his next victim, who, likewise, acknowledges the lion’s Kingship. After all the animals agree that Lion is indeed King, he encounters a tiny field mouse. Well, Lion makes short work of Mr. Mouse and again roars, “Who’s the King of the Jungle?” Mr. Mouse raises his head from the ground, holding his torn ear with one paw and whimpers, “I’ve been sick.” Hope Scotti is still improving. Sarah

    • Sarah,
      Thanks for sharing a king of the jungle joke. A good lesson there and you tell it well. I haven’t heard that one in quite a while. I’m glad you enjoyed this post and let me know of two favorites.

      I’m guessing you are a big horse fan. Do you have horses in any/many of your manuscripts? Does the horse’s rider wear a white hat or a black one? Or do you have one of each?

  3. Joy Acey said

    Stilt Day sounds like fun and thank goodness for Rain Day, I hope we get some on that day. Do you know the difference between shave ice and shaved ice?

    • Joy,
      I can see you trying out stilts and mastering them too. As for rain, I wish I could send you some of ours!

      Your question…what is the difference between shave ice and shaved ice. Help me out here. Shave ice is actually shaved from a block of ice. Shaved ice is crushed. Correct? Confusing enough to give a “brain freeze.” 😉

  4. Hi, Linda– I love the UFO day and Aunties day. We had a dear friend, now gone, who used to be a card-carrying member of the UFO society! At one party my wicked sons set up a UFO in the tree and had poor Stan drag out his card!! As for Aunts, I have had two very special ladies in my life. I write about them all the time…. Thanks for your engaging post!

    • Maureen,
      UFOs don’t get the press they used to. I couldn’t help but laugh at the prank your sons played on the card-carrying member of the UFO Society. Boys will be boys..

      I’m glad the mention of aunties brought you such pleasant memories.

      Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground” and for writing a children’s book that includes a special aunt. Thanks for commenting here too.

    • Susan Williams said

      Maureen and everyone else,
      07/07/1947 is the anniversary of the Roswell Crash. I have watched a lot of shows about this. Many authoritative people, a lot of them military, have come forward to say that it really was a UFO. My burning question is “Did they really recover and autopsy alien bodies?” I guess you can tell that deep down I really want to believe that happened (yes, I’m weird!), but haven’t convinced myself that it’s true. I do think our government would have covered it up. What does anyone else think???

      • Hi Susan,
        Thanks for joining us and adding your comments about UFOs. I will have to look up programs about this incident. I don’t recall enough about it to comment. Mostly, I recall crop circle reports. Now, you have me curious. Your comments tend to make me want to learn more. Are you sure you weren’t ever a teacher?

  5. Dear Linda,
    Wonderful choices to celebrate during July. It’s fun to celebrate the 4th of July in different places. My favorite was in Charlotte at a stadium park in 1997. The weather was beautiful and the fireworks went on for at least 30 minutes or more. Beautiful images in the sky.
    Today fires or the threat of fires prohibit many places from having a public or private display of fireworks on July 4th. In those cases, watching a fireworks display on television and in our hearts may have to suffice. We don’t have to have fireworks to celebrate freedom. It’s a fun experience.
    Celebrate you and your many wonderful ideas.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    • Joan,
      It is fun to try something new. By going to different places for the Fourth of July celebrations, you experience a variety of things. Great idea! A great fireworks display is indeed spectacular. Thanks for the reminder of why fireworks aren’t always held. Safety must be number 1.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Thanks to you and other loyal followers, my heart is joyful and I celebrate every day!

  6. So thrilled with this list, especially since we’re having a Family Reunion. And my birthday is Aunts’ day. This sparks much imagination, Linda. Thanks.

    • Juliana,

      I loved your use of “sparks.” Great word choice for the month of fireworks. You can deny it–the writer in you shows.

      Enjoy your upcoming family reunion and happy upcoming birthday. By chance, are you an aunt? If so, Aunties Day is a double-day special this year.

      Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s PLayground” and leaving a comment. It’s always nice to hear from you.

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