A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for November, 2015

Before and After–Apron Remodel

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 24, 2015


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.”

“Before and After–Apron Remodel” by Linda Martin Andersen

“I didn’t know people wore aprons anymore,” my sister said when she learned that our mother was sewing one for me.  “Well I do,” I responded.  Mostly, I wear the one from a couple of decades ago when I “moonlighted” as a part-time waitress.  See definition of moonlighting here:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moonlighting

I prefer a bib style apron, as did my grandmother.  I inherited  a few of her aprons, which  I wear on special occasions.  Or I did until their last wash left them thread-bare.  I decided it was time to put these aprons on “inactive duty” and buy some new ones.

While shopping at the local downtown Farmer’s Market, I spotted some handmade aprons.  I asked the vender if I could see the one hanging behind her in the booth.  I loved its quilted skirt.  Somehow the bib didn’t seem quite right to me.  It was a little “loud” as my grandmother would have said.  The bib pattern was mostly red, not pink or lavender like the skirt.  Too bad it wasn’t the same material, so the two sections would blend perfectly.   I tried to think how I could modify the bib–perhaps add a lace panel to soften the color.  But as I stated to the clerk, “I’m not a lace kind of girl.” As I pondered some more, the clerk discounted the price, saying that people didn’t like the quilted bottom–that it was too heavy.  Funny, because that was what attracted me to it.  The vendor wanted to move on the sale.  I bought the apron and walked away determined to find a way to change it to “fit” me.

At home, I tried on the apron again and decided I could sacrifice some of the skirt length.  If I did, stripes could be added across the bib to tie the two sections together.  There was enough material to make three stripes.  Sounded just right to me.  I also needed a way to adjust the tie around the neck.

Next step:  Call in the expert.  My mother took my vision and added her skills.  That’s teamwork! Thanks, Mama.  I’m pleased with the outcome.

Apron--Before. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Apron–Before. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

After--Apron. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Apron–After. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

This is pretty much how I approach my writing.  I get a story idea–the before.  I write it, get it critiqued, revise and I may even try to sell it.  If I am not successful, I usually decide to let the story rest.  Time to write some new stories, I think.  But every once in a while, something reminds me to pull an old story back out for a remodel.  And guess what?  The one that’s calling me now is about aprons.  Imagine that! I’m thinking on how to modify it.   I’m hoping I’m not still tied to the story’s apron strings.  For explanation of this expression see here:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/apron-strings

After I revise the apron story, I’ll call in “experts.”  My critique partners.  I’m thankful for them.  And after making additional changes, I’ll shop my story.  Finding just the right buyer will be my apron celebration story!

Writing Prompt:  Have you ever been tied to someone or something’s apron strings?  Who helps move your projects from before to after? Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  I look forward to your comments.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

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Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Careers, crafts, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Sewing, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Inspired by One Family

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 18, 2015


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.”

“Inspired by One Family” by Linda Martin Andersen

Linda Ashman of Picture Book Builders blog was inspired by hope when she read One Family by George Shannon and illustrated by Blanca Gomez.  Check out her post here:  http://picturebookbuilders.com/2015/11/one-family-counting-more-plus-giveaway-winners/

In turn, I was inspired by Linda Ashman’s overview of One Family.  It caused me to visualize the children’s writing and illustrating industry as “one family.”  I used to work in an elementary school where we considered ourselves a family.  Now, I belong to a much bigger family–a writing and illustrating family.  I prefer to call us a family or community rather than an industry.  Feels more personal.

Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the writing and illustrating community.  Check out the endpaper illustrations featured on Linda Ashman’s blog.  Illustrator Blanca Gomez shows connections between the featured families in this book.  I propose that our writing and illustrating community does likewise.  Thank you, one and all.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Tell of a family unit bigger than your biological one.   I look forward to your comments.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Careers, Character Traits, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

A Riddle: What Do Veterans and Books at the Amazon Physical Bookstore Have in Common?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 11, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

Looking for books for Veterans Day? Copyright 2015. Linda Martin Andersen

Looking for books for Veterans Day? Copyright 2015. Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground” –A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.”

“A Riddle:  What Do Veterans and Books at the New Amazon Physical Bookstore Have in Common?” by Linda Martin Andersen

Books facing out at the public library. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Books facing out at the public library. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Have you heard about the new Amazon physical bookstore in Seattle?  Read about it and see photos here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3302166/Amazon-opens-physical-bookstore-Seattle.html

Now, see if you can answer my riddle.

Riddle:  What do veterans and books in the new physical Amazon bookstore have in common?

Answer:  They both face forward and march!

How can books march?  You’ll figure it out.  Happy Veterans Day!

Did I write this riddle?  Yes, I did.  And yes, all the books at the new Amazon physical bookstore in Seattle face out.  Photos are available at the link above.  Because the Amazon store is across the country from where I live, I chose to include photos of books on display at a local public library.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Read, write, or share a riddle.  I look forward to your comments.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Careers, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Enter With Happy Hearts–Awarded for November 2015

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 1, 2015


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.”

Announcing the winner of a beautiful, handmade Origami bookmark made by Deanna K. Klingel… Joan Y. Edwards.  Congratulations.  I will contact Deanna and let her know you won.  Enjoy!

“Enter With Happy Hearts–Awarded for November 2015” by Linda Martin Andersen

November is a time to appreciate stories–oral and written.  Enter the month with a happy heart as you celebrate these and other fun November celebrations. (Awards selected by me for this site only.)

Enter With Happy Hearts Awards--Family Stories Month, National Novel Writing Month, Picture Book Month, National Author's Day:1, I Love to Write Day: 15. Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

Enter With Happy Hearts Awards–Family Stories Month, National Novel Writing Month, Picture Book Month, National Author’s Day:1, I Love to Write Day: 15. Copyright 2015, Linda Martin Andersen

November is…

  • Aviation History MonthIn what ways has aviation history affected your life? Name one positive influence.
  • Family Stories MontDoes anyone in your family record your family’s stories? Do you pass the stories down by word-of-mouth or in written form? What’s one of your favorite family stories? What if someone in your family told a story each month? Maybe family members would take turns. What if you created a family stories calendar or book?
  • National Native American Heritage MonthAsk a librarian for book title suggestions. Read. Study famous Native Americans. Read as many as you can this month.
  • National Novel Writing MonthSome authors write a novel in November as part of a writing challenge. Tell of a time when you had to write a certain number of words or pages to meet a deadline. Did you meet your goal? What helped you?
  • Picture Book MonthEach day this month an author tells why picture books are important. Name five favorite picture book authors. To learn more about Picture Book Month check here:  http://picturebookmonth.com/
  • Picture Book Idea Month–(PiBoIdMo) Tara Lazar sponsors this event to encourage writers to record one or more picture book ideas each day of November.  To learn more check here:  http://taralazar.com/piboidmo/

Special Weeks in November…

  • World Communication Week: 1-7–Give examples of how to communicate with the world.  How do you communicate with the world?  What other ways would you like to communicate?
  • Dear Santa Letter Week: 7-13–Have you ever written Santa?  Did you mail your letter or leave it by the Christmas tree?  What do you wish Santa could bring you this year?  Will you ask him?
  • Geography Awareness Week: 8-14–Name ways you can be more aware of world geography.  What resources can help you find the most current information?  Not sure? Ask a reference librarian at your public library. 
  • World Kindness Week: 9-15–Quick as a bunny…name five ways you like to have kindness shown to you.  Now, do one or more of these kind acts for someone else this month. 
  • American Education Week: 16-20–Name your favorite school subject.  What topic can you research this week so you learn more in this subject area?  Find books, websites, documentaries, etc. on this topic.
  • National Family Week: 22-28–What family activity could you do this week that would be special?  Schedule it for this week, if you can.
  • National Game & Puzzle Week: 22-28–Which do you like better:  Games or puzzles?  Ask each person in your family this question.  Then ask each person to lead the family in an activity for one night of this week.  Or plan a game and puzzle festival for the weekend.  Have fun!

Special Days in November…

  • National Authors’ Day: 1–Why not read a debut author’s book?  Or books by a local or state author.  Perhaps, you’ll add a new  favorite to your list.  How can you learn about debut and local authors?  Ask a librarian or book store clerk for assistance.  Also, ask the library to purchase books you’d like to read that aren’t on the shelves. 
  • Daylight Saving Time Ends: 1 (Turn Back One Hour)–One more glorious hour.  How will you spend it?
  • Cliché Day: 3–Brian Klems describes clichés this way,”They are boring and abused and about as fun to read as the instruction manual of a Dustbuster.”  See article here:  http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/12-cliches-all-writers-should-avoid
  • Election Day: 3–What comes to mind when you hear “Election Day?”  If you’re too young to vote, what can you do to be part of the election process or to study it?  Ask your parents, teachers or librarians for suggestions.
  • Sandwich Day: 3–This day reminds me of Dagwood Bumstead from the comic strip, “Blondie.”  Do you read the comics?  Do your parents buy the local newspaper?  Print or online? Sometimes sandwiches stacked high are called “Dagwood Sandwiches” after Dagwood’s super duper creations. See Dagwood and some of his comics about sandwiches: http://blondie.com/?s=sandwich 
  • Use Your Common Sense Day: 4–What is common sense?  Is it always common?  Why or why not?  Give an example of using common sense.  Try a common sense test:  http://www.playbuzz.com/andreamasters10/how-much-common-sense-do-you-have
  • World Freedom Day: 9–This could make a great writing prompt: What would World Freedom look like.
  • Veterans Day: 11–What ways is this day celebrated in your area?  How will you celebrate? 
  • National American Teddy Bear Day: 14–Have you ever shared your favorite teddy bear with someone.  Why not share it or a favorite teddy bear story with someone today.
  • America Recycles Day: 15–Before you recycle, how could the item be reused?  For example, I shared a way to use plastic jugs as table vases for Halloween/Fall.  See here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/simply-decorating/
  • I Love to Write Day: 15–When was the last time you wrote a poem? Joy Acey, a poet friend of mine recently hurt her hand and had to take off some time from her daily posting of poems.  Why not write a poem and send it to her?  See her blog and enter a poem in the comment section.  I will if you will!  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2015/10/so-sorry.html
  • Guinness World Record Day: 21–Explore this site.  I think you’ll be glad you did.  http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/
  • National Day of Play: 21–Learn a new game today.  Create one of your own.  Play with someone.  Invite someone to play with you. 
  • World Television Day: 21–Pick a show.  Any show.  Which one would it be?  Why?  Writing Prompt:  What would it be like to grow up today without television?
  • Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day: 24–What do you do well?  What talent are you blessed with?  How are you improving your skills?  What keeps you motivated?  Tell about an talent related experience that is special to you. 
  • Thanksgiving Day: 26–Research dates for Thanksgiving celebrations in other countries.  Do you know the way Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the U.S.?  Research or read a picture book about it.: Thank You, Sarah!  The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Hales Anderson 
  • http://madwomanintheforest.com/youngreaders-thank-you-sarah/
  • Square Dancing Day: 29–Try a little Square Dancing today.  I hope this gets you started:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xXePOakJGs

For other November celebrations, check here:  http://www.brownielocks.com/NOVEMBER-2015.html

For archived activities for November, see here:

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/november-2012-calendar-activities-for-kids/

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/jump-on-the-november-writing-bandwagon-get-ideas-from-calendar-events/

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/is-it-already-the-second-week-in-november/

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. I look forward to your comments.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Games, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

 
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