A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for December, 2014

Winner of “One Big Pair of Underwear” by Laura Gehl and Tom Lichtenheld

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 13, 2014


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 Winner of One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl and Tom Lichtenheld

Laura Gehl is smiling.  See below.  I bet the winner will soon be smiling too.  And the winner is… Kathleen Burkinshaw.  Congratulations, Kathy.  I will be contacting you very soon.  Laura offered to send an autographed bookplate to the winner.  How about that?  Nice extra!

Thanks to all who visited “A Writer’s Playground” and to those who participated in the book giveaway.  If you didn’t win, it’s not too late to order a copy for Christmas.

Please leave a comment to congratulate Kathy.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Vist Laura Gehl here:

www.lauragehl.com and http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraGehl

lauragehl

onebigpair

 

 

 

 

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No, to Underwear as a Gift. Yes, to Books About Underwear. Giveaway.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 7, 2014


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“No, to Underwear as a Gift.  Yes, to Books About Underwear.  Giveaway.” by Linda Martin Andersen.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: 7

You may ask, “What does National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day have to do with underwear?”  Nothing, usually.  Unless you were a student at East Carolina University like I was and Dr. Farmer was your U.S. History professor.  On Pearl Harbor Day, Dr. Farmer told his personal story of the battle.  He concluded by saying that he should write a book about his adventures and call it A Day at Pearl Harbor or The Day I Was Caught Unaware in My Underwear.  I have never forgotten that–lots of history dates, but not that.  Thank you, Dr. Farmer for allowing your sense of humor to shine through even on the toughest of days.

Children’s writers know that kids gravitate toward books that mention gross stuff, underwear, and potty humor.  What kid, who can read, doesn’t know Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey?

http://www.pilkey.com/

In November of this year, I participated in PiBoIdMo on Tara Lazar’s blog.  I collected over 30 picture book ideas and I’m proudly displaying my badge.

vinvogel_piboldmo_winner[1]

Guest bloggers continued to share tips for picture book writers into December.  I’d like to spotlight Laura Gehl, the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  Read Laura’s blog post here:    http://taralazar.com/2014/12/05/post-piboidmo-day-5-laura-gehl/  For more about Laura Gehl, check out her website and FB Author page:

www.lauragehl.com and http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraGehl.

onebigpairlauragehl

 

In the spirit of memories about underwear, I am giving away a copy of  One Big Pair of Underwear.  This picture book has received  great reviews.  To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment below and your email address, for contest contact purposes.  Contest ends on December 12, 2014 and the winning name will be announced shortly afterwards.

Please leave a comment and your email address, for contest contact purposes.  I can’t wait to hear your memories about underwear.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

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Celebrate Cookie Cutter Week–Decorate With Cookie Cutters

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 3, 2014


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“Celebrate Cookie Cutter Week–Decorate With Cookie Cutters” by Linda Martin Andersen

December 1-7 is Cookie Cutter Week.  December 4 is National Cookie Day.  I celebrated by decorating with cookie cutters.  Sorry, no fresh-baked cookie aroma here.  Try visiting grandma’s.  😉

One year at Christmas, I decorated my dining room with cookie cutters, cookie press, biscuit cutters, etc. that had belonged to my grandmothers.

Copyright 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

This year I decided to switch, swap, and rearrange.  One of my favorite games.  A cheap one too.  This time I decided to  feature cookie cutters in a dough bowl.  Don’t look for a photograph of me rolling dough.  It’s not my thing.  Most likely my cookies would be too tough for comfort.  Time for another grandma reference:  Grandma should have given me lessons.  😉

Copyright 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

I’m thankful my grandmothers left me collectables for decorating.  I can use them for baking if I choose to.  I have had success using a cookie press, but  I prefer to make drop cookies.  Still, I do love those cookie cutters.

Have you ever hung cookie cutters on your Christmas tree?  What about baked cookies?  Do you have a favorite cookie story?  I hope you’ll share it here.

Enjoy this special week in your own way.   Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

 

 

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December Activities and the Ho Ho Ho Spirit

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 1, 2014


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“December Activities and the Ho Ho Ho Spirit” by Linda Martin Andersen

Just for fun, see if you can put a little Ho Ho Ho Spirit into the activities you do during December.  I’ll start you off. Instead of playing BINGO, why not play a Christmas version of the game such as GIFTS or another five-letter Christmas word that doesn’t duplicate letters.  The winner calls out, “Ho Ho Ho!”  (I haven’t tried playing this way, but it seems it should work).

December is…

  • Bingo’s Birthday Month– Where have you played this game?  What did you use for markers?  What if you used chocolate kisses instead?  Seems to me everyone would be a winner.
  • National Tie Month–I wonder if this is why dads often get ties for Christmas.  Name three things you think your dad would rather receive.  Consider making a paper tie for each person in your household.  Wear them to the dinner table.  Talk about the ties while you have your meal.
  • Safe Toys and Gifts MonthRead the recommended age on each toy box.  Why do you think some toys are considered unsafe for small children?  Do you know of a time when someone got hurt with a new toy?  What happened?
  • Universal Human Rights MonthWhat do you think are basic human rights?  Discuss this with a parent.  Do you have the basics you need?  Why might children not have what they need?

Special Days in December:

  • National Cookie Day: 4– Have you ever made cookies with cookie cutters?  Have you ever decorated with colored sugar or sprinkles?  Share your favorite cookie story.  Do you know what a cookie exchange is?  If not, ask your parents.  Do you know anyone who does this?
  • Bathtub Party Day: 5–It seems a little chilly for a bathtub party.  What if you play in the tub without any water?  You can always bathe later.  Who will you invite?  Your stuffed animals?  Your action figures?  A brother or sister?  Your parents? 
  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: 7– Do you know anyone who fought at Pearl Harbor?  What happened on this day?  Research or ask a parent.  What countries were present? 
  • International Civil Aviation Day: 7– What is an aviator?  What Peanuts comic character likes to pretend he is a World War I Ace?  Tell about one of your favorite comics with this character.  If you could spend Christmas with a Peanuts character, who would it be?  Why?
  • National Cotton Candy Day: 7– What ingredients are used to make cotton candy?  What color cotton candy do you choose?  Why?  Where do you usually eat this treat?
  • Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day: 8– If you could travel in time, what year would you visit?  Why?  Is this in the future or the past?  How do you know?  Is there anyone special you’d like to pretend to be?  Why?  Which Christmas would you like to travel back to and why?
  • Gingerbread House Day: 12– Have you ever built a gingerbread house? If not, you’ve probably seen them.  What products could decorate the roofs?  Which would you use?  Do you like to eat gingerbread?  Do you think its spicy flavor is hot?  Can you tell the story of the Gingerbread Boy?  If not, look for a copy of the book to read to someone.  Why do you think Santa chose not to live in a gingerbread house? 
  • National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day: 12– Have you seen an assortment of  items for making ugly sweaters?  Have you ever owned an Ugly Sweater?  Have you ever had your picture made in n ugly sweater?  Have you ever attended an ugly sweater party?  My mom’s birthday is on this day.  I wonder if she’d enjoy an ugly sweater birthday party? 
  • Day Of The Horse: 13– If you love horses, raise your hand.  If you can ride horses, pretend to swing a rope in the air.  Read a horse story or book today.  If Santa drove a team of horses, who would lead?
  • Monkey Day: 14–One, two, three. Name a song about a monkey.  Name your favorite monkey in a movie, book, TV program, etc.
  • National Chocolate-covered Anything Day: 16– Name one food that would be terrible covered in chocolate.  Would you rather eat it in its natural state or not at all?  What is your favorite chocolate-covered food?  Do you like chocolate-covered cherries?  I used to get a box every year as a Christmas gift.  Who do you think of when you see these and why? 
  • Wright Brothers Day: 17–For what are the Wright Brothers known?  If you could ask them one question what would it be?  What state were they from?  Where did they test their work?
  • Underdog Day: 19–Who or what is an underdog?  Do you pull for the underdog?  Have you ever felt like an underdog and what did you do about it?  Think of a friend or family member who needs a little cheering up.  What can you do to make this person feel better?
  • Games Day: 20– What kind of games do you think Santa’s elves would like to play?  What is your favorite indoor game?  Who could you teach this game?  Create  Christmas poems or riddles. 
  • Crossword Puzzle Day: 21— Create a Christmas crossword puzzle.  Use http://www.puzzlemaker.com
  • Forefathers Day: 21–Who or what is a forefather?  Where have you heard that word?  Ask your parents for help, if needed.  Who is Father Christmas?
  • Humbug Day: 21–When do people use the word “humbug?”  What does it mean?  How did the word become well known?  Can you think of a time you might say it?  Why?
  • National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day: 21Name one or more agencies that help the homeless in your area.  Name a safe way you can help the homeless.  Do you attend a church that helps the homeless?  Maybe you can help too.
  • National Haiku Poetry Day: 22–A short poem of three lines and a specific pattern:  5 syllables (first line), 7 syllables (second line), and 5 Syllables in the last line.  Nature is often mentioned.  Think of Winter nature topics and write a haiku poem. 
  • Christmas Eve: 24– What Christmas traditions does your family have for Christmas Eve?  I usually go to a church service.  Do you?  Do you open one or more presents this night?  What tradition would you like to add?
  • Egg Nog Day:24– Do you drink egg nog?  If not, what would you rather have?  What are the ingredients in egg nog?  Check the calories and other nutritional information.  Compare with another favorite beverage.
  • Christmas: 25– Does your family celebrate Christmas?  What is a secular Christmas?  How is it different from a Christian’s celebration?
  • National Thank-you Note Day: 26– Have you ever written a thank you note?  Did you text, email, or send it by postal mail?  What occasions would you send a hand written note?  Do you know someone who sends these often?  How would it feel to receive a thank you note in the mail?  Could you send at least one today?
  • Visit The Zoo Day: 27– What is your favorite animal habitat at the zoo?  Do you know a zoo keeper?  Melissa Barr has visited this blog several times.  Check here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/meet-melissa-barr-a-zookeeper-at-north-carolina-zoological-park/
  • https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/the-return-of-melissa-barr-a-zookeeper-at-north-carolina-zoological-park/
  • https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/our-zookeeper-friend-returns/
  • National Pledge of Allegiance Day: 28– Can you recite this pledge?  Who taught you?  Thank them.  Where do you say this pledge?  Have you ever carried a flag in a special ceremony?  What ways to we show respect for our flag?
  • Tick Tock Day: 29– This reminds me of a nursery rhyme.  Do you know one about a clock?  One more hint–and a mouse?  What do we call a tall floor clock that chimes?  Do you know any stories with a clock like this?  Which one?
  • Bacon Day: 30– What does “Bringing home the bacon” mean?  Do you think Santa would rather have bacon than cookies for a Christmas Eve snack?  What do you eat for Christmas breakfast?  My family began a tradition of making cheese toast.  Now, I usually have ham biscuits at our son’s house.
  • New Years Eve: 31–The year is nearly over.  Is there one last thing you wish you had done before the year ended?  Is it still possible?  Could it be started today and completed in 2015?  Do you plan to make resolutions or promises of things you’ll do in 2015?
  • Universal Hour of Peace Day: 31– Do you know what this is and when it occurred?  Ask a parent if you need to.

Special Weeks in December: 

  • Cookie Cutter Week: 1-7–Have you ever baked cookies?  Have you rolled out the dough with a rolling pen?  Have you cut out shapes with a cookie cutter?  Have you decorated cookies after they’re baked? Do you have a cookie story to share?
  • Hand Washing Awareness Week: 7-13–Why is hand washing important?  How is it helpful?
  • Recipe Greetings For The Holidays Week: 7-13– What do you think would make a good recipe for the holidays?  A cup of laughter, an ounce of kisses,  and…What recipes are favorites at your house?  Are they shared or kept secret? 
  • Christmas Bird Count Week:  15-January 2– What are the rules?  Who would know?  Even if you don’t participate, be on the lookout for birds in your area.  Can you name the ones you see?
  • Kwanzaa: 26-January 1–Where can you learn more about this celebration?  Have you participated in the activities?  Share what you know and what you’d like to try.

 Visit http://www.brownielocks.com/DECEMBER2014.html for more ways to celebrate December.

Complete this sentence–All I want for Christmas is ________________.  Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

 

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