A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Wrap up the Year with December Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 1, 2013

“Wrap up the Year with December Activities” by Linda Martin Andersen

December 1, 2013

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  Before we get started, I’d like to announce the winner of the “Mother Goose on the Loose” contest.  Thanks to all who participated.  And the winner is….Tracy Campbell.  Congratulations!  Your song book should arrive soon.

And now for December activities at “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?

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. What else?  Check the list here and choose an activity that wraps up the year and keeps the kids busy while out for the holidays.  

 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 auxiliary 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  Read a short biography about Rosa Parks.  Think of five or more trivia questions based on your reading.  Ask your parent/teacher/friend your trivia questions.  

  • National Mutt Day:  2  Do you love dog books?  What’s a favorite story or book about a mutt?  Do you know this song?  “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?” by Patti Page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AkLE4X-bbU

  • Special Education Day:  2  Do you know any students in special education classes?  How can you show them respect?  

  • National Cookie Day:  4  What’s your favorite cookie?  Can you bake some?  Have you ever doubled a batch?  Have you ever been out of an ingredient and made a substitution? What are some common substitutions?  Can you find a list of substitutions in a cookbook or online?

  • Microsoft Clip Art
  • Microsoft Clip Art
  • World Wildlife Conservation Day:  4  What comes to mind when you hear wildlife conservation?  In what ways can you make a positive difference for wildlife?

  • Bathtub Party Day:  5  Explain to each family member what day it is.  Do you have a rubber ducky at your house?  If so, use it in a bath.  Pass the rubber ducky along to other family members, even the adults.  After their baths, ask if anyone sang or played with the duck. Why do you think this might happen? 

  • Microsoft Clip Art

    Microsoft Clip Art

  • Miners’ Day:  6  Ask your parents if they ever had a relative who worked in a coal mine?  Where?  Do they know any stories about working there?  If not, research coal mining.

  • National Pawnbrokers Day:  6  Look in the yellow pages of a phone book.  How many pawn shops are listed?  Ask your parents if the number of pawn shops is on the rise or decline in your area.  Why do you think this could be true?  Discuss it with your parents.

  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day:  7  Why is Pearl Harbor Day remembered?  What makes it different from other war battles?  

  • National Cotton Candy Day:  7  What color cotton candy have you seen and eaten?  Would color would you order?  Why?  What does cotton candy cost in your area?  Where can you buy it?  What are the ingredients?  Is it a health food?  Why or why not?

  • Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day:  8  Name a movie where a character traveled in time. Which way would you like to travel in time–to the past or future?  Why?  What would you want to do when you arrived?  Which of your favorite foods do you think might be available?  Why?

  • Dewey Decimal System Day:  10  What is the Dewey Decimal System?  Tell how things are different in libraries today than when there was a card catalog?  If you do not know, ask your parents.

  • Human Rights Day:  10  Name a group of people who had their human rights taken from them.  Did they get them back?  If they did, how?  

  • Gingerbread House Day:  12  Have you ever eaten gingerbread?  Was it cake, cookies, or a house?  Name things that might decorate a gingerbread house.  See how many items you can list in one minute.  

  • Microsoft Clip Art

    Microsoft Clip Art

  • Monkey Day:  14  Pretend to have a pet monkey today.  What would you feed it?  How would you keep it safe?  Where would it sleep, etc.  Describe your day to someone.  

  • Bill of Rights Day:  15  What is the Bill of Rights?  Name three places where you can read about it.  

  • 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  If you were writing a book about the Wright Brothers, what title would you choose?  Research the Wright Brothers and create two more titles.  Now, which is your favorite?  Why?  

  • International Migrants Day:  18  Ask your parents if anyone in your family has ever been a migrant worker.  What is a migrant worker?  

  • 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? 

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

  • National Haiku Poetry Day:  22  What is a haiku poem?  What is the formula?  Where can you find this information?  Now that you know how write a haiku, pick a winter topic and write one of your own.

  • Christmas:  25  Why is this day celebrated by Christians?  What traditions, if any, do you participate in at this holiday? Do you exchange gifts?  Do you attend church services? 

  • National Thank-you Note Day:  26  If you received gifts this holiday season,  will you send thank-you notes?  Will you design them yourself?  Will you email or send it through the postal service?

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

  • Tick Tock Day:  29  What does this remind you of?  What songs, rhymes, animals, and things come to mind?  How do you think this day should be celebrated?  Name two words that rhyme and go along with this theme.  

  • Make Up Your Mind Day:  31  What does it mean to be “sitting on the fence or straddling the fence?”  What can you do when you can’t make up your mind?

  • New Years Eve:  31  Have you set any New Year’s resolutions?  Is there something you’d like to learn to do or an improvement you’d like to make?  Tell about it.

  • No Interruptions Day:  31  Name one or more interruptions you could avoid today.  How will you do it?  At the end of the day, share with someone what you hoped to do and tell if it worked or not.  Explain why.

  • Universal Hour of Peace Day:  31 Celebrated from 11:30 p.m. on December 31, 2013 to–12:30 a.m. January 1, 2014.  The goal is to create peace throughout the planet though peaceful thoughts and actions.  http://www.peacedome.org/UniversalPeaceCovenant/UniversalHourPeace/UHPStory.html

  • World Peace Meditation Day: 31 What is mediation?  How is it different from prayer?  

Special Weeks in December:

  • Cookie Cutter week:  1-7  Do you have a favorite cookie cutter?  Tie it to your Christmas tree. Consider making cookies to hang from your tree or simple paper designs such as stars and hearts.  

  • 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?

  • National Hand washing Awareness Week:  1-7  During cold and flu season, it is especially important to follow good hand washing.  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…

  • Bingo’s Birthday Month  What is the history of this game?  What types of Bingo have you played?  Alphabet, multiplication, rhyming words?  Others?

  • National Tie Month  Have you ever bought your father a tie for a gift?  Did he wear it?  Tell a tie story.  I have one:  Once a neighbor came to our front door and asked if my husband was home.  The neighbor was wearing a necktie around his neck.  He was going to a wedding later that day and did not know how to tie a necktie.  He had noticed that my husband wore ties to work.  My husband tied the man’s necktie so he could go to the wedding well dressed.

  • Universal Human Rights Month  What are universal human rights?  How can you learn more about this? Please visit the United Nations website below to view the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted in 1948 following WWII.   

  • http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for December celebration information.  For more December observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/DECEMBER2013.html

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.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 14 or under, you must not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

11 Responses to “Wrap up the Year with December Activities”

  1. The National Haiku Day is a great one… but I love ‘humbug day’ and ‘miner’s day.’ ‘Humbug’ always makes me think of Scrooge in *The Christmas Carol* and when I think of miners, I remember the father of a woman I knew. He always dreamed of going to the stars…
    Thanks for a thought provoking post, Linda!

    • Maureen,
      Great to hear that a mine worker you knew dreamed of traveling to the stars. That’s the way to dream. I’m with you–Humbug is definitely a Scrooge reminder. I’m also looking forward to National Haiku Day right here at this post. Thanks for helping readers celebrate it in a special way. I can’t say more or I might spoil it.

  2. Oh my, Linda! I just checked my emails. Wow! Super! Thank you! I can’t wait to receive the song book.
    Did I tell you I love to sing in the shower?
    December’s list is awesome.
    No. 2 – “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” is one of my favorite songs from my childhood. I also wrote a draft middle grade novel and that song plays a huge part in it.
    No. 6 – Miner’s Day – Although I don’t know anyone who mined coal. My two grandfathers worked in a gold mines as did my father.
    No. 25 – Christmas Day – My favorite day of the year. A time to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Yay!
    Thanks again, Linda!

    • Hi Tracy,
      You’re welcome for the prize that’s coming your way. Thanks for participating in the Mother Goose blog post contest. I bet you already know a lot of the tunes in the book. As for this post–thanks for sharing your favorites. Gold mine work was hard, like any mine work, It changed the population in the west too. Christmas is certainly a very special day for many! It will be here soon.

  3. Dear Linda,
    I am excited that Tracy Campbell won the songs. Congratulations, Tracy.

    I remember when my Aunt Betty took me to my first Bingo game. I won $25.00. I don’t believe I ever won again. When I taught school, we had bingo games with sight words. That was fun.

    Celebrate you.

  4. Tracy,
    Joan and I both blush! Thanks for the double compliment.

  5. Kathleen said

    Linda, I love the idea of the Hour of Peace day. I plan to celebrate that this year on the 31st–providing I can stay awake until 11:30 PM 🙂 I love making gingerbread houses with my daughter. I am so not good at it and it looks more like a Gingerbread crumbling shack, but it is the time we spend together doing it that is really special. Hopefully I am making a memory for her to look back on someday and do with her children…Thank you Linda!

    • Kathy,
      Let me know how your Hour of Peace celebration turns out. Maybe you can modify the time to work for you. I won’t tell. 😉

      Making gingerbread houses is a great experience, even if pieces crumble. Lots of giggling, maybe some nibbling, and fun, fun, fun. You are definitely creating lasting memories and tasty ones too. I’m looking forward to baking with my niece this holiday. She’s 14.

      Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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