A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 1, 2015


  • A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Drop Everything and Read.” (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations” by Linda Martin Andersen

April 12, 2015 is Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.)  If you’re a kid, make time to read this day, just for fun.  If you’re an adult, do the same!  If you still have items on your “To Do List” by late afternoon that day, can you put it aside and read something for pleasure?  Will you?  Warning:  don’t get so engrossed in reading that you forget to pick up your child, forget to do your homework, or walk out in traffic, but do make time to read.

Other Special Days in April:

  • April Fools  or All Fools Day: 1  Do you have little brothers or sisters?  Teach them to tell an April Fool’s joke, if they don’t know how.  Demonstrate for them and then  let them practice on you before trying it out on someone else.  Have fun!
  • International Pillow Fight Day: 4  Would you rather have a pillow fight with a foam pillow, a feather pillow, or a bean bag pillow?  Why?
  • Passover: 4  Who celebrates this religious holiday?  Why is it remembered?
  • Easter: 5  Why is this religious holiday important to Christians?  Name three of your family’s Easter traditions?  Which one is most special to you and why?
  • International Whistler’s Day: 5  Name a time that someone tried to whistle and couldn’t.  Name a time someone whistled so loudly that people turned to see what was happening.  Can you whistle?  Who taught you?  If you’d like to hear a champion whistler visit Phyllis Heil, The Whistling Woman, on YouTube here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbrbCcNxRf4
  • International Beaver Day: 7 Have you ever seen a beaver?  What was he doing?  Have you ever seen a beaver dam?  How can beaver dams be harmful to property?  Research to learn about beavers, their dams, trappers, and more.
  • National Farm Animals Day: 10 Have you ever been to a Barnyard birthday party? I haven’t, but I know someone who organized one for her triplets’ birthday party.  What fun those kids must have had.  If you attended a barnyard party, what animals would you expect to see?  Name one or two you would be willing to pet. 
  • Safety Pin Day: 10  Have you ever seen a safety pin?  Have you ever used one on your clothing?  What is its purpose?  Have you ever seen jewelry made with safety pins?  You might want to try making some of your own.  Here is a step-by-step process for a safety pin bracelet:  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bracelet-out-of-Safety-Pins
  • Bicycle Day: 15 What did your first bicycle look like?  What tricks can you do on your bike?  Ask a friend to take a brainstorming contest with you.  Name as many types of bikes as you can in one minute.  What are some jobs that are done on a bicycle? 
  • Ellis Island Family History Day: 17  If you are an American, can you trace the way your family came to the USA?  How would you have liked to come? 
  • National Haiku Poetry Day: 17 Choose a nature topic for April.  Write a three-lined haiku poem of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables.  I’ll share one of mine if you will. 
  • Movie Theatre Day: 23  Do you love to go to the movies?  Who takes you?  How often do you go?  Name a movie you have seen several times.  Why did you agree to watch it so often?
  • World Penguin Day: 25  Have you ever seen a penguin?  Where were you? Was he taller or shorter than you
  • International Dance Day: 29  Is there an international folk festival in the area where you live?  What country’s dance would you like to learn? What dance costume would you like to wear?  What country could your family represent?  How can you find out? Describe that country’s flag.
  • International Guide Dogs Day: 29  Name a time and place you saw a guide dog or  a service dog.  What should you remember when you approach a service dog?  Do you know anyone who trains these animals?  Research to learn more. 
  • World Wish Day: 29  Name three wishes you would make for the world.  Why these?
  • Zipper Day: 29  When did clothing first use zippers?  Name something you own with multiple zippers.  A backpack, a purse, a suitcase, etc.  Do you know how to fix a zipper that gets stuck?  Can you sew zippers in clothing?  If so, you’d probably be called a seamstress.  What name can you make up that seems more appropriate for those who sew zippers? 
  • National Honesty Day: 30  “Honesty is the best policy.” Read Being Frank for a funny look on honesty.  It’s written by Donna W. Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani.  http://www.flashlightpress.com/Being_Frank.html

  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: 30  Do you have a favorite poem you could carry in your pocket on this day?  Who is the poet?  How did you find out about him/her?  Share one of your own poems with others. Special Weeks in April: 
  • National Robotics Week: 4-12  Where have you seen robotics at work?  Where did you learn about this?  If you could create your own personal robot, what chores would you program it to do?
  • Explore Your Career Options: 5-11  What grade do you select a career path in your school? What career do you plan to follow?  Have you ever observed someone in this line of work?  What skills are needed?  How many years of education? 
  • National Blue Ribbon Week:  5-11  In Fair Cow by Leslie  Helakoski, Petunia the pig, a blue ribbon winner at the fair, tries to coach Effie the cow so she can be a winner too.  A fun read. 

  • National Library Week: 12-18   The library has a calendar full of free fun events for people of all ages.  What programs will you attend this month? 
  • National Park Week: 18-26  This fall, all 4th graders in the US will receive a one-year free pass for families to the US National Parks.  The program is called “Every Kid in a Park.”  Now that’s a great gift! See here:  http://www.nationalparks.org/ook/every-kid-in-a-park
  • National Playground Safety Week: 20-24  Have you ever found a loose bolt on a piece of playground equipment?  Have you ever torn your clothes on a piece of equipment?  Who services the playground equipment in your area?  Do volunteers help keep the grounds clean?  What can you do?

April is…

  • Celebrate Diversity Month  Let’s celebrate how we are alike and how we’re different.  How can we do that? 
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month  Every child should have a safe home environment.  Some do not.  Why? 
  • Frog Month  My husband loves frogs and he has an April birthday.  Good reason to spotlight him.  He has frogs that are stuffed animals, ceramic, and metal.  Frogs can be found throughout our house.  Who has a special collection at your house?  Do you?  What is it?
  • Jazz Appreciation Month–I’m taking a workshop this month called “Picture Books and All that Jazz.”  Does the word “jazz” in the  workshop title mean the same as “Jazz” here?  What is the difference, if any?  What is Jazz appreciation?  What does that mean? 
  • Keep America Beautiful  Lately, I’ve noticed more and more paid workers picking up litter along the roadsides.  What can be done to build up community pride to keep America beautiful? 
  • Month of the Military Child  Do you know a child with a parent in the military?  How many times has this child moved in his/her life?  Why do you think there is a month to celebrate the Military Child?
  • National Kite Month  Which would you rather ride:  a kite, a hot air balloon or a magic carpet?  Have you ever flown a kite with a group of people?  On the beach?  in an open field?  On a school yard?  What experiences can you recall  about flying a kite?
  • National Pet Month  Name the type pets you’ve had.  Which was your favorite?  Which one got in the most trouble?  What did he do?
  • National Poetry Month  What is your favorite type of poem?  Do you like poems that rhyme better than ones that don’t.  What could you write a poem about today?  Any special reason?  Write another poem tomorrow, and the next day, and perhaps  the next.  I have a friend who posts a poem every day on her blog.  Please visit Joy Acey who writes “Poetry for Kids Joy.”  See here:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2015/03/having-fun.html

For more ways to celebrate this month, see here:  http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon 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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16 Responses to “Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations”

  1. Who knew there were so many things to celebrate! Neat post, Linda!

  2. Dear Linda,
    Thanks for reminding us to Drop Everything and Read. I remember when we used to do that for 15 minutes a day at our school. Everyone, custodians, teachers, students, principal, all read for 15 minutes. That was fun having everyone doing the same thing. Powerful memories for all and fun learning about characters and life between the pages of a good book.

    Love, Joan

    • Joan,
      What great memories you have of D.E.A.R. So glad this post brought them to the surface. You’re right, it is very special when we all unite for a common cause, especially a deserving one. Thanks for sharing. Maybe you can do some extra reading for this year’s Drop Everything and Read. I hope so.

  3. Gretchen said

    DEAR time is so important. I held it dearly to my heart as a teacher. Thanks for reminding us of this wonderful concept.

    • Gretchen, I agree that DEAR time is important! I’m glad you encouraged it during your teaching career! It was my pleasure to spotlight Drop Everything and Read this month. Thanks so much for commenting.

  4. Hi Linda, I was thinking earlier today about all the time you take to put together your first of the month list. And I appreciate it. I save these blog posts. Just wish I had more time to implement these wonderful ideas. There were so many to choose from. But I’ll start with Easter. I celebrate Easter because Jesus died and rose again to save me for all eternity. This is the most special of all holidays. I’ll attend Good Friday service and Easter Sunday. How about you? And the most recent movie I saw was with my hubby. He took me to see the new movie Cinderella for your anniversary. He’s a keeper. Then four days later I took my mom to see it. The movie is that good! Okay, going to read now. 🙂 Happy Easter, Linda. P.S. The link on the video isn’t working on my end.

    • Tracy,
      You’re always welcome for the monthly list. It means a lot to me that you save them for future reference. I always hope that children participate in some of the celebrations. A bonus: I’ve learned many adults find them helpful for writing prompts or something just for fun.

      I love Easter too and will attend Maundy Thursday services and then Sunday’s service.

      I will have to see Cinderella based on your high recommendation. I appreciate you telling me how much you liked it.

      I appreciate the comment about the video link. I’ll see if I can figure out what’s wrong. Thanks!

      And thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you’ll make time to read too.

  5. I relate to so many of these! Frogs! Libraries! Diversity!

    My grandparents from Ukraine and from Slovakia came through Ellis Island. Going there is an amazing and humbling experience. I saw real artifacts and real passports, handwritten letters, etc. I could have been there for days.

    I also relate to World Wish Day. I wish for peace for all. Just imagine if there was NO war! People could thrive and maybe get along and perhaps love one another.

    Happy April, Happy Passover and Easter,
    Janis

    • Janis,
      It sounds like April is YOUR month. I am so curious. Will you share why frogs are on your list? I’ve never been to Ellis Island but I think I could hang out there for days also. I loved your choice of favorites. I hope this month brings you much joy! Thanks so much for sharing about what matters to you in April. Keep visiting. Your thoughts delight!

  6. As usual an good blog post, Linda. And thanks for sharing Jane Friedman’s interview with Ms. Murphy and Ms. Hawk.

    • Sarah,
      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I can’t take the credit for posting the interview Jane Friedman conducted with the agents. That was Teresa Fannin. It was a great one!

      I hope you’re doing well. Always great to hear from you!

  7. I think we should change National Honesty Day to National Honesty Year.

  8. […] Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations […]

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