A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for June, 2015

July 2015 and You

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 30, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  “July 2015 and You” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

Here are This Month’s Top Four Recipients: July 2015 and You Awards (selected by me for this site only)

I chose “July 2015 and You” as this month’s theme to remind us that we are individuals, as well as a part of the whole.  Days bearing the words “global and international” were spotlighted.  I encourage you to check the award list and celebrate one or more of these in a special way.  Be connected to the world, as well as to your little corner of it.

Special Days to Celebrate in July..

  • U.S. Postage Stamp Day: 1  What did postage stamps cost the year you were born?   Check here for answers to many questions about the postal service:

http://about.usps.com/

  • I  Forgot Day: 2  Name three important things you forgot.  For example, a homework assignment, a friend’s birthday, etc.  Did you apologize?  Did you try to make it up somehow?  List ways to help you remember key things.
  • Fourth of July or Independence Day: 4  Even if I don’t see fireworks on this day, I celebrate in my imagination.  If you live in the USA, what ways do you celebrate this holiday?
  • Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day: 7  Share about a special time  one-on-one with a parent.
  • Global Forgiveness Day: 7  What does this mean to you?  How can you experience this?
  • Simplicity Day: 12  Name a simple, kind act you can do for someone today.   Who will receive this?
  • International Town Criers Day: 13  I am writing a story which includes a child pretending to be a town crier.  What words might a town crier say?  How does his message usually begin?  What prop might he carry?  Research to learn more about town criers and their importance in history.  Do you see town criers today?  Why or why not?
  • Take Your Poet To Work Day: 15  If you don’t know any poets personally, how could you take one to work today?  Check here for ideas toohttp://makesyoumom.com/take-your-poet-to-work-day-is-coming-july-15/
  • Celebration of The Horse Day: 18-19  Do you read horse stories?  Read one to celebrate.  Visit horse stables in your area, a rodeo, or other events with horses.  Research horses. 
  • Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day: 18  What positive statements could you make instead?  For example:  I made a wise decision when I… I am proud that I….I made a positive difference when I…
  • Global Hug Your Kid Day: 20  Kids, I hope you receive lots of hugs today.  Adults, I hope you receive some also.
  • Moon Day: 20  What would you like to learn about the moon today?  Check  websites, books,  the night sky, visit a planetarium, study through a telescope.  Read picture book about the moon.  Share one with a child.    Carol Baldwin, a writer friend, shared a link to School Tube on her blog.  Kevin Costner and Jullian Estell read Catching the Moon:  The Story of a Young Girl’s Baseball Dream (Marcenia Lyle)by Crystal Hubbard and Randy DuBurke.  Enjoy.

http://www.schooltube.com/video/e57d1a4b476441ec8c02/Catching%20the%20Moon%20read%20by%20Kevin%20Costner%20and%20Jillian%20Estell

Did you know there are moon flowers? See here:  http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/vines/moonflower/growing-moonflowers.htm

  • Space Exploration Day: 20  Brainstorm space words.  Choose one as your space word of the day.   Draw, write, read about the word you selected.  Who can you share your experiences with? 
  • National Lollipop Day: 20 Would you like to see how Dum-Dums are made?  How many do you think are made a day?  See here:

http://www.dumdumpops.com/games-videos/videos/how-dum-dums-are-made

  • International Cake Day: 20  What if everyone in the world ate cake today or at least some bread?  We’d all have that much in common.  What else do you think you might have in common with everyone else?  What type cake would you nominate for this day?  If you know people in other countries, invite them to celebrate with cake on this day. 
  • Tell An Old Joke Day: 24  What’s the oldest joke you know?  One about a chicken and a road?  A knock-knock joke?  Want to know some more old jokes?  See here:  http://lajollamom.com/kid-friendly-knock-knock-jokes/
  • Carousel Day or Merry-Go-Round Day: 25–How old were you when you rode your first Merry-G0-Round?  Where were you?  Did you pick your seat or was it assigned?  Can you describe the animal you rode?  Did you ride alone or with an adult by your side?  Have you ridden a Merry-Go-Round since that day? 
  • National Dance Day: 25  Name your favorite dance.  Have you ever taken dance lessons?  Have you attended a dance recital? Whose?  Have you participated in a dance recital?  Teach someone a dance step or two or earn a dance step or two yourself. 
  • National Day of the Cowboy : 25  Brainstorm cowboy words.  Name an actor who plays a cowboy.  What movie or TV show was he in?  Do you have a favorite Western movie or TV program?  Ask your parents to name theirs. 
  • Video Games Day: 25  What games do you play?  Tell about a day when you played video games with a friend?  What happened? 
  • Walk on Stilts Day: 27  Have you ever seen anyone walk on stilts?  Where were you? Have you ever read a book about performers?  Check the library for books about circus performers.  Check for information about stilts.   
  • International Day of Friendship: 30  Do you have any friends in other countries?  How do you know them?  How do you keep in touch?  Have you been to your friend’s country?  What keeps your friendship going? 
  •  Paperback Book Day: 30  How many paperback books do you own?  Do you prefer hardback books or paperbacks and why?  Pull out one of your favorite  paperback books and read it today. 

 

Special Weeks in July…

National Zoo Keeper Week: 19-25  A big shout out to my favorite zoo keeper:  Melissa Barr.  Learn about her here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/meet-melissa-barr-a-zookeeper-at-north-carolina-zoological-park/

World Lumberjack Championships: 23-25  Have you ever been to a lumberjack championship?  What events would you expect to see?  Research to learn more.  To see an earlier guest blog post by Tim Livingston featuring some lumberjack events check here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/timber-sports-lumberjack-skills-in-axetion/

 

July is…

National Grilling Month

National Ice Cream Month

National Hot Dog Month

National Parks & Recreation Month

Sandwich Generation Month

Name your favorites for each of these categories or name an example you’ve never experienced and why you’d like to try it. 

For a broader list of special days to celebrate,  visit:  http://www.brownielocks.com/july.html

I hope you’ll leave a comment.  Thanks for stopping in.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them. Thank you!

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Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Where Are You Hanging Out This Summer?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 25, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Where Are You Hanging Out This Summer?”

Are you hanging out by the pool, the beach, with friends, at the mall, etc.?

For more definitions of “hanging out,” check here:  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hanging+out

Windsocks are often hanging out…

A windsock can be a decorative yard ornament.

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

OR windsocks can serve as a device that shows the direction and strength of the wind at airfields.

This morning, I observed one of Nature’s Windsocks 

I saw an elm leaf suspended in the air and twirling in the breeze–one of nature’s windsocks.  I approached for a closer look.   The leaf hung from a spider’s thread.  The leaf was a hitch-hiker going for a free ride.  It was hanging out in the air.  Cool, huh?

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

Looking for a little summer science study?

  • Why do spiders dangle a leaf from their webs or does the wind blow them there?  At the Physics Forums site listed below, leaves like these are called Christmas ornaments or toys.  Reference:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/why-do-spiders-dangle-a-leaf-from-their-webs.539341/

Looking for a summer craft activity? 

 Looking for a summer writing prompt?

  • Write about a leaf caught in a spider’s thread and show how the leaf might explain his behavior.  What will leaf’s response be if Mother Leaf asks:
  1. It’s about time you showed up.  Where have you been?  I’ve been worried sick about you.
  2. Did you get lost?
  3. Did you follow the flight plan we talked about?
  4. Did you tell your brother and sisters goodbye or just float on away?
  5. Did you remember to dry yourself after the rain shower last night?
  • What are some silly responses leaf could give?  For example, I was just hanging out/around.
  • What other plants/trees can show the direction of the wind and its strength, like a windsock?  Write a story about one of them.

Share something you wrote based on this post or an experience you had with one of nature’s windsocks. 

Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Comments are appreciated.  If you’re under 13 years old, please ask a trusted adult to post for you.

Posted in crafts, Family Discussions, Reading, Science, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Chicken Scratch!

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 16, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Chicken Scratch!” by Linda Martin Andersen

Recently, we had a family celebration in our newly remodeled Florida (Carolina) room.  I decorated one table with a tablecloth my grandmother (deceased) made while attending craft classes in a retirement home.  The embroidered design in the center of this gingham cloth is called Chicken Scratch.  Are you familiar with it?  This lovely gift and the memories of my grandmother made our special gathering even more precious.

Chicken Scratch copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Chicken Scratch copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

If you’d like to learn to embroider chicken scratch, check here:  http://www.needlenthread.com/2014/04/how-to-embroider-on-gingham-chicken-scratch-tutorial.html

I decided to share some CHICKEN SCRATCH WORDPLAY with you. 

Another meaning of Chicken Scratch:

  • Poor penmanship or sloppy handwriting. 

Examples:  Have you ever been handed a note that you couldn’t read?  If a teacher accepts a student’s paper and immediately returns it she may say, “What’s this chicken scratch?”

Question:  When you are sick, who calls in a prescription to your pharmacy or writes out a prescription (script) that may be hard to read?  This poor handwriting may be described as chicken scratch.  [Answer:  Doctor/physician]

Recently, I gave a young grandson a birthday card and included a handwritten note in cursive.  Someone asked if he could read it.  I was reminded that students aren’t always taught cursive writing any more.

  • One type of feed for chickens is called Chicken Scratch.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/know-how_Chicken-Care_how-to-feed-chickens

  • And my final example:  chickens scratch the ground.  I changed the word from chicken to chickens.  Chickens are born with the instinct to scratch the ground.  Read more here.

http://www.extension.org/pages/66175/normal-behaviors-of-chickens-in-small-and-backyard-poultry-flocks#.VYBoAmvbLtQ

If you’ve never seen chickens scratch the ground, consider taking a field trip. 

A writing prompt challenge: 

Write a poem, a paragraph or a story and include the words “chicken scratch” in it.  Consider using more than one meaning of  chicken scratch.  Have fun!

Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Comments are appreciated.  If you’re under 13 years old, please ask a trusted adult to post for you.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, History, Homeschool Activities, Sewing, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

The Liebster Award for “A Writer’s Playground”

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 6, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “The Liebster Award” for ‘A Writer’s Playground. ‘”  Thanks Kathleen Burkinshaw.   The Liebster Award recognizes new blogs or those with fewer than 200 followers.   Thanks for thinking of me, Kathleen.

liebster-award-for-bloggers-discover-new-bloggers[1]

The  Liebster Award Guidelines are posted here:  Participation is voluntary.  Announce that you were nominated for the Liebster Award.  Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to his/her blog.  Answer the questions sent.  Nominate 11 or fewer blogs with less than 200 followers. Write 11 questions for the nominees.  Inform them of their nomination.

Thank you again for the nomination, Kathleen (Kathy) Burkinshaw.  I enjoy your blog very much and others will too.  See Kathy’s posts here:   Creating Through the Pain.

Here are my answers to Kathy’s questions:

  1. Favorite color?  Green.
  2. Favorite book?  Aunt Nancy and Cousin Lazybones by Phyllis Root.
  3. Favorite place in the world?  Mountains of NC
  4. Any pets? no longer.
  5. Can you play a musical instrument?  No.
  6. Any hobbies? attending workshops, traveling, making floral arrangements.
  7. Favorite food? Cold boiled shrimp
  8. Tea or coffee?  Coffee
  9. What is one thing you would never part with?  My antique bed
  10. If you write, where is your favorite place to write?  At my desk in our mountain house looking out at the view.
  11. Favorite movie/TV program?  Shawshank Redemption

I chose not to nominate blogs I’ve nominated in the past.  Some of them may be tagged by others I know.  Instead, I chose blogs I have only recently begun following.

I’d like to nominate these blogs for the Liebster Award:

God’s Selfie (blog by Ben and Renee):  https://godselfie.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/water-and-falls/

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons:  http://theseniorhealthandfitnessblog.com/2015/03/19/the-myth-of-senior-fitness-its-simply-business-as-usual/

Kimberley Payne:  encouraging moms in fitness, family & faith

http://www.kimberleypayne.com/perfection-is-an-illusion/

Here’s a Core Strength video:

11 Questions for the Writers I Presented the Liebster Award:

1.  What inspired the name of your blog?

2.  What has been your most rewarding writing project so far?

3.  Who encouraged your creative abilities when you were a child?  How?

4.  Where does your creativity fall on a scale between 1 and 10?

5.  Where does your determination to reach your goals fall on a scale between 1 and 10?

6.  Where does your accomplishment of goals fall on a scale between 1 and 10?

7.  What is your favorite adult genre?

8.  Name the last magazine you subscribed to.

9.  Would you rather write by the pool or indoors where it’s air conditioned?  Why?

10.  What’s best about blogging?

11.  Would you rather sleep on one mattress or ten?

I look forward to hearing your responses.

Readers, I hope you’ll visit the blogs honored today with the Liebster Award. 

Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Comments are appreciated.  If you’re under 13 years old, please ask a trusted adult to post for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Interviews, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

This Month’s Top Ten Recipients: All About Kids Award

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 1, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 “This Month’s Top Ten Recipients: All About Kids Award” by Linda Martin Andersen. 

ANNOUNCEMENT:  THE WINNER OF THE BOOK GIVEAWAY IS…

Sarah Swan.  She came in style on an orange and white pinto and rides away with a prize.  Sarah, please contact me by email and give me your address.  I’ll mail a copy of A Rock Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas.  It is her latest release and that’s why I chose it as a giveaway.

JUNE:

Everyone knows we celebrate Father’s Day on June 21, 2015.

Did you know that June 28, 2015 is America’s Kids Day? Yes it is, and that’s what inspired the theme for this month’s blog.

Here are This Month’s Top Ten Recipients: All About Kids Award (selected by me for this site only)

This-Months-Top-Ten[1]

 

  1. Beautiful in Your Skin Month– I’ve described some favorite people as being beautiful inside and out.  What do you think it means to be beautiful in your own skin?  Describe what actions a person might be doing to earn this comment.  Tell about a time someone said something to you that made you feel beautiful.  What kind of beauty was it?  Physical?  Inner?  Beautiful in your own skin?  A combination of these?  Another type of beauty?  Tell us about it.
  2. National Smile Month–When you say something encouraging to someone, do you find yourself smiling?  What other things bring a smile to your face?  List as many as you can in a minute.  Chose one of the items on your list to write about.  Turn your notes into a poem or story.  Have fun!  Survey people for an hour, a day, a week.  Smile and see if they respond with a smile.  Share your results with someone.  Would you say a smile is contagious?  Why or why not?  Have you ever smiled through the pain?  What does this mean?  Tell about a time you experienced this.
  3. National Sun Safety Week:  1-8–The weather is beautiful.  The sun feels great.  Why do we need to hear something about sun safety?  What can you do to be more safe in the sun?  Intentions don’t count.  What promise will you make?  Who will hold you accountable for keeping your word?
  4. Say Something Nice Day: 1–Name something nice that was said to you today.  What nice thing can you say in the next ten minutes?  In the next hour?  Be sincere.  Count the number of nice things you hear in an hour/a day.  Where did you hear most of these?  Do you think positive things said by retail merchants should count?  Why or why not?  Does a positive comment said by a clerk make you feel good? Why do you think they make positive comments to you?  Do you think their positive comments are sincere?  Most of the time?  Some of the time?  None of the time?
  5. Positive Power of Humor and Creativity Days: 5-7–What helps you when you are feeling blue?  Does humor help?  Does it help to do something creative?  Keep your hands busy?   Give examples of how humor and creativity have had a positive influence on you. 
  6. Upsy Daisy Day: 8–Have you ever heard anyone use this expression?  How could you use it?  When turning something upright?  When helping someone out of a chair?  Other examples.  I have a friend who likes to say oopsy when a mistake happens.  What do you like to say?
  7. Family History Day: 14– Ask about your family history:  Who was it who used to work for the circus?  Who was the rodeo star? Did anyone move west by wagon train?  Was anyone a lumberjack?  A lawman?  Record what you learn.  Add to your research another day–maybe a family reunion.   Lots of families have those in the summer. 
  8. National Flip Flop Day: 19– When I think of flip flops, I think of summer, the beach, shower shoes, and Jennifer Larson.  Go to her site and you’ll see why.  http://www.authorjenniferlarson.com/home.html
  9. Family Awareness Day: 21–What is special about being part of a family?  What is special about how you and your family spend time together?  How do you show your family that you appreciate them?  Learn about other family structures such as single parent families, grandchildren raised by grandparents, foster families, adopted children, and others. 
  10. Let It Go Day: 23–What does it mean to “let it go?”  What is something you can let go today?  Let your worries go, your To Do List, your busy schedule.  What about your hair?  How did you feel at the end of the day?  Better or not?  Why?

Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Comments are appreciated.  If you’re under 13 years old, please ask a trusted adult to post for you.

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Character Traits, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

 
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