A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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January 2014 Brings…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 1, 2014


“January 2014 Brings…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “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 “January” bring to mind?  New Year’s resolutions, organizing, goal setting, cold weather, winter, all things snow.  Study drawings of snowflakes.  Remind yourself of your unique qualities and beauty.  

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Special Days in January…

  • New Years Day: 1  What will you eat today?  Can you name foods that people eat in hopes of good luck?  Ask friends what traditions they follow for this day.
  • Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day:  1  This article states that Polar Bear plunges may be extra polar this year.  What does that mean?http://www.pressherald.com/news/NewYearspolarbearplungescouldbeextrapolarthisyear.html
  • Do you know anyone who has ever participated in the Polar Bear Plunge?  Why?  What countries and what states in the US participate in this event?  
  • Bean Day:  5  Do you eat dried beans?  Canned ones?  Frozen ones?  Have you ever picked beans in a garden or field?  Name a story with a bean(s) in it.  Make a list of every variety of bean you can name. Visit a grocery store.  How many more beans can you add to the list?  Consider trying one you’ve never tasted.
  • Bubble Bath Day: 8 Name three things that make bubble baths fun.  When was the last time you had one?  Did you sing in the bathtub? 
  • Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day: 11 http://www.brownielocks.com/learnyournameinmcday.html  Find library books about Morse Code.    Is Morse Code used any more?  Why or why not?
  • Religious Freedom Day: 16 Name religious holidays.  Name different religions.  Select a street in your hometown.  How many places of worship are on this street?  Has there been any crime at one of these churches?  If so, tell about it.  Why do you think someone would target a church with violence?  What books can you find about this topic?
  • Cable Car Day: 17  Have you ever ridden a cable car?  Where?  Name a book or movie with a cable car in it.
  • Kid Inventors’ Day:  17  What invention would help you most at school?  What would you like to invent?
  • Thesaurus Day: 18  What is a thesaurus?  Name three ways a thesaurus could help you with homework assignments.  What websites could you use?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PeterMarkRoget
  • Martin Luther King Day: 20   In Martin Luther King’s famous speech, he says, “I have a dream.”  What is “the dream?”  How can you do to help “the dream” come true?  
  • Popcorn Day: 19 Popcorn is my favorite snack.  What’s yours?  Have you ever popped corn on the stove, in a popper, over a fire?  Ask your friends.  What favorite memory includes eating popcorn?
  • Penguin Awareness Day: 20  Have you ever imagined that penguins were in your yard? I have.  What would you do if it were true?  Research penguin facts to make your tale more accurate, even though it’s fiction.  Check here:  http://www.insideseaworld.com/celebrate-penguin-awareness-day-seaworld-san-diego Tell your story to someone.  Enjoy being a story teller.
  • Inauguration Day: 21 What does the word “inauguration” mean?  Will you watch it on television?  Pretend you are attending in person.  How would you get there?  Where would you sit/stand?  What would you wear?  Research and learn more about the day.
  • National Hugging Day: 21 What is a “bear hug?”  What is a “tree hugger?”  Name a song, poem, story, or novel with a hug mentioned.  Who will you hug today?  Research the origin of this day:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hug_Day
  • National Compliment Day: 24  Do you thank the person who compliments you?  Name a compliment you gave recently.  Should a compliment be sincere?  Is there ever a time when it’s okay to give a “white lie?”
  • National Seed Swap Day: 25 (Last Saturday)  What is a seed swap?  Where would you think a seed swap would be held?  Why would this be celebrated?  What type seeds do you imagine are swapped? Check here for one event:   http://mcg.metrocreativeconnection.com/publish/sections/calendar-details.php?National-Seed-Swap-Day-1078
  • Auschwitz Liberation Day: 27 Link  What is Auschwitz famous for?  Have you read books on this topic?  Have you seen documentaries or visited museums with special exhibits on this topic?  Research to learn more.  Share what you learned with someone.
  • National Kazoo Day: 28 Link  Have you ever played a kazoo at school, at home, or with a choir?  Read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and change the words to say where you will or will not play a kazoo.  Have fun.

 Special Weeks in January… 

  • New Year’s Resolutions Week: 1-4  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Do you have success keeping them?  If not, do you know anyone who makes resolutions and keeps them?  Ask them how they do it.
  • National Vocation Awareness Week: 13-19  What jobs do you know of that didn’t exist ten years ago?  Make a list.  Do you know someone in this line of work?  Perhaps a Career Day could be planned for your class at school.  
  • Bald Eagle Appreciation Days: 18-19  Where can bald eagles be found in the world?  Have you ever watched one on a webcam?  Here is a mother bald eagle on a nest in the snow.  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/41377241/highlight/442450
  • I know someone who set up a webcam to watch turkey vultures in a hollow of a tree.  Check here to see:
  • http://thebackdoorartist.com/2013/04/22/turkey-vulture-shift-change/ 
  • No Name Calling Week: 20-24 Do you have a brother or a sister?  Have you ever tried to go a whole day without calling each other names?  Were you successful?  If so, what helped?  Discuss this with others.  Share techniques that work.  
  • National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week: 27-2/1  Any idea how this week got started?  I can imagine cowboys sitting by the camp fire swapping tall tales, but not poetry.  What is “cowboy poetry?”  Check out David Harrison’s  cowboy poems.  Read an interview here:  http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2012/04/5q-poet-interview-series-david-harrison.html
  • US National Snow Sculpting Week: 29-2/8 Have you ever had someone forward you an email with snow sculptures?  Have you ever made a snow sculpture?  What was it?  Check this site for photographs:  http://www.squidoo.com/national-snow-sculpting-week
  • January brings…

  • Book Blitz Month  Ask everyone in your family to participate in “Book Blitz Month.”  Check out a stack of books each and read, read, read.  If one title is read by everyone in the family, you could hold a book club of your own this month.  
  • Get Organized Month  After Christmas, many stores have sales on storage boxes and organizers.  Think what you’d like to organize.  I bought an inexpensive weekly planner for my writing projects.  I’m excited about trying things a little differently.
  • National Soup Month  What if you try a different kind of soup this month?  I’ve heard of people who take labels off soup cans and choose one to eat.  Would you be a good sport and eat it no matter what it was?  Are you familiar with Andy Warhol’s soup can art?  See here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_Soup_Cans
  • Here’s the Campbell’s Soup Company website:  http://www.campbellsoup.com/
  • International Brain Teaser Month  What is a brain teaser?  There are many kinds.  My grandfather used to ask riddles that challenged my brain.  What type brain teasers have you tried?  Have you ever invited friends over for brain teaser games?  It might be fun on a cold winter day with no snow.  Here’s an article about creating crossword puzzles:  http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/235734051.html
  • International Creativity Month  Choose a January calendar date listed here and celebrate using your own choice of activities.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

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 13 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 © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

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15 Responses to “January 2014 Brings…”

  1. Speaking of International Creativity Month, I think your blog is at the top for all its wealth of fun info and ideas! Happy New Year, Linda!

    • Linda,
      Wow! What a great compliment. Thank you so much. And I received it on New Year’s Day. How could anything but good come of this year? I wish the very same for you–an awesome 2014. My prediction–your MG novel is going to rock this world.

  2. Dear Linda,
    Interesting about Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week. Gene Autry and Roy Rogers wrote lyrics for songs which is a kind of poetry. However, I agree with you, when I think of cowboys, I don’t envision them spouting off poetry.

    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas of activities and celebrations for January.

    …Joan

    • Hi Joan,
      When I make a list of words that come to mind when I hear “cowboy,” I don’t usually think of poetry, but I’m open to it. Thank goodness for song writers, authors, and poets. This way of life needs to be preserved.

      You are welcome for the January activities. Enjoy this month and every other one in 2014! I know great things are coming your way!

  3. Along with the liberation of the death camp, Auschwitz, January has a day to hug people– and compliment them. An interesting month; no wonder it was named after Janus! Thank you for posting, Linda.

  4. joyacey said

    Linda,
    When I lived in the dorm during college, we weren’t allowed to have hot plates or other electrical cooking devices. The only things we could have were a clock radio and an iron to iron our dresses. (We weren’t allowed to wear jeans or trousers except on rainy days when the dean would issue a special exception.) So, I became the best iron cooker I know. Grilled cheese sandwiches wrapped in foil cook very nicely on an iron, S’mores too. And I became an expert at using the pop up popcorn packages on my iron. I’ve always tried to circumvent the rules. I definitely will celebrate pop corn day. It is one of my favorite snack foods too.

  5. happyinhim said

    Hi Linda,
    Wow! You have collected quite a lot of information about the month of January. You make the month fun with all the activities!
    Megan

  6. Linda, what a fun list. Morse code leaped off the page. Now I’m off to check out the link. Happy New Year! 🙂

  7. Sorry Linda, I’m skipping the Polar Plunge and going straight to Popcorn Day and National Hugging Day. 😉

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