A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for the ‘Calendar Events’ Category

Pumpkins on My Mind

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 12, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart. “Pumpkins on My Mind” by Linda Martin Andersen

I’ve been noticing lots of pumpkin products for sale this fall…

When I went to mail a letter, a sign on the glass door advertised homemade pumpkin ice cream.  It’s served up by Andy, our local postmaster.  You can read your mail as you enjoy a cone.  Almost like being in Mayberry.  I like that about this place.

Recently, my niece ordered pumpkin pancakes at Cracker Barrel and raved about how good they were.  And she’s a finicky eater.  Another favorite I’ve seen on menus is pumpkin roll and of course pumpkin bread.

Most all of us are checking out the pumpkins in the grocery store or produce markets for carving, or just for decoration.  If you make homemade pumpkin pies, you’ve probably purchased pumpkin pie spices.

When I think of pumpkins, I am reminded of pumpkin patches and The Peanuts televised special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”  If you love Charles M. Schulz specials and great sized pumpkins, you’ll probably enjoy these links:

http://thefw.com/things-you-didnt-know-about-great-pumpkin/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-great-pumpkin-74423844/?no-ist

https://www.giantpumpkin.com/world_records.php

In fall, hayrides always come to my mind, especially those hosted by our family for the past ten years.  Until this year, that is.  The grandsons believe they’ve outgrown them.  Truth be told, most adults don’t seem to think they have.   The last few weeks, I gave away almost all our hayride decorations.  Thinking back on the one pictured below always brings a smile.  Although the photo doesn’t show this perfectly, the inflated pumpkin’s face is printed upside down.  No matter how we tried to hide it, the children always discovered the upside down face and turned it to the front.  It must have brought a smile to them too.  Not quite a perfect pumpkin, which most likely made it all the more fun.

Hayride 2012. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Hayride 2012. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

 Writing Prompts:

  • What brings a smile to your face this pumpkin season?
  • Tell about a hayride or other special fall event that you have experienced.  What made it special?
  • What are your favorite Halloween specials? Or horror movies?
  • Have you ever stuffed a scarecrow?  Tell about a time you decorated for Halloween or fall.
  • Have you ever created your own costume?  Do you remember Charlie Brown’s costume?

An aside–my thoughts and prayers go out to all who were effected by Hurricane Matthew.  I hope you’ll find a way to celebrate fall, even during this difficult time. 

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Calendar Events, creative play, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Happy Birthday, Blog

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 1, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “Happy Birthday, Blog” by Linda Martin Andersen

My blog’s name is “A Writer’s Playground,” but he recently informed me that he prefers to be called Blog.  Today, is all about Blog.

Here is how Blog has celebrated each birthday: (Archived here, like any proud Mama would do.)

Blog’s first birthday–May 2013:

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/a-writers-playground-is-celebrating-its-first-birthday-lets-parade-in-our-favorite-hats/

Blog’s second birthday–May 2014

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/may-days-and-my-blogs-2nd-birthday/

Blog’s third birthday–May 2015

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/virtual-entertainment-at-my-blogs-birthday-party/

What does Blog want for his 4th birthday? 

 Blog wants to tell all about his adventures and he wants to start at the beginning.

(so I’ll help) 

In 2012, my good friend, Joan Y. Edwards, helped me set up Blog which I named “A Writer’s Playground.”  I thank her for that!  Blog thanks her too!  Without her, he wouldn’t exist.  And now, it’s Joan’s turn to receive some help.  On May 13, 2016  some of Joan’s followers will participate in a Blog Blitz for her new book:  Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive. I’m excited; so I know she has to be!

Used with permission.

Used with permission.

For purchasing information for Joan’s Elder Care Guide, see here:

4RV Publishing: the price includes shipping anywhere in the USA.

Paperback $15.99 includes shipping within the USA
Hardback $19.99 includes shipping within the USA
http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/joan-y-edwards.php

Get your copy soon.  Consider giving this guide book to anyone you know who is a caregiver, or leads a group for caregivers, or works with the elderly, or has a grandparent, or… (in other words, just about everyone)

Blog wants to tell about his growing pains.

Blog has decided to change things up a bit.  Since May 2012, Blog has begun each calendar month with a list of ways to celebrate special days.

Blog will no longer provide a list of calendar events on the first of each month.  Resources for monthly calendar events are available in many places.  See some examples here:

Recommended lists of monthly calendar events: 

  1. Chase’s Calendar of Events 2016: The Ultimate Go-to Guide for Special Days, Weeks and Months– a resource available to use on site at many public libraries. 
  2. http://www.brownielocks.com/may.html
  3. http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/
  4. http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/
  5. Search Archives at this site.  Search by key words.  A good place to start would be with the name of the month.

Blog wishes to add more flexibility to his posts to provide his voice (that’s me) with more time for writing stories and books, while encouraging followers to search out their own monthly activities.  Please provide feedback so Blog knows how that’s going for you.

One example of  Blog’s recent growth:  In 2016, “A Writer’s Playground” participated in two blogging challenges. ” Just Jot It January” and in April:  “A-Z Blogging Challenge.”  Blog has visited many blogs unknown to him and has gained some new followers.  Will Blog decide to do more blog challenges in the future?  Wait and see.

Thanks for playing along with me as Blog continues to grow.  Maybe next year Blog will be old enough to start school.  😉

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Book Launch, Calendar Events, creative play, Family Discussions, Health Care, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, Monthly Activities, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

P is for Pinwheels, Pillows, and Painted Cows

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 19, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “P is for Pinwheels, Pillows, and Painted Cows” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

P is for Pinwheels

Pinwheel in my yard. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Pinwheel in my yard. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

In April, pinwheels are seen about town for Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Learn more here:

http://www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/learn_more/

https://youtu.be/NhjJD32ida8

P is for Pillows

OhBaby

Posted with permission by Katherine Scraper.  This post tells how a nursery theme inspired a customized gift.

https://pillowsalamode.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/elephants/

P is for Painted Cows

Meet A. Cow, an exhibit for the Cow Parade, a charity event for children's hospitals. Photo-- Fayetteville, NC, home of the Airborne. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen.

Meet A. Cow, an exhibit for the Cow Parade, a charity event for children’s hospitals. Photo– Fayetteville, NC, home of the Airborne. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen.

Cow--Military 045

 

A fellow blogger, Carol Campbell–writersdream9  shared the post below featuring painted cows.  I hope you enjoy them too.

https://writersdream9.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/peace-with-allflash-fiction/#comment-13875

What “P” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, art, Calendar Events, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, Reading, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

April–A To Z

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 30, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing
prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those
young at heart  “April–A To Z” by Linda Martin Andersen

April—A To Z

(Can you find A To Z here?)

April Fool’s Day: 1

National Farm Animals Day: 10

National Teach Your Children To Save Day: 29

Zipper Day: 29

International Jazz Day: 30

Writing Prompts:

  1. What prank or April Fool’s joke has someone played on you? What have you played on others?
  2. Are you a good sport when someone plays a joke or trick on you?  How do you handle it?
  3. What farm animal do you wish you could raise in your backyard?  Why would you choose that particular one?
  4. Have you ever visited a petting zoo?  Tell about it.
  5. Are you good at saving money?  What plan works for you?
  6. Julie Bowe writes a friendship series of children’s books that mention a backpack with many zippers. Can you discover which title it is?  Name other stories that mention zippers.
  7. Would you rather wear zippers or buttons and why?
  8. Name different uses of the word “jazz.”  Choose one and write about it.

What will you celebrate in April? 

I have decided to try the Blogging From A to Z–April (2016) Challenge.

      Letter Schedule [2016]

To learn more, check  here:  http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Easter in the Hospital

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 16, 2016


 

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing
prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those
young at heart.  “Easter in the Hospital” by Linda Martin Andersen

The Youth at our church will soon prepare Easter baskets for children in the hospital.  Donated items are being collected to fill baskets.  Last year, the youth group filled 30 baskets.  This year they hope to meet or possibly surpass that goal.  A fun-filled afternoon is planned for Palm Sunday following a covered dish meal.  This good will gesture will bring joy to many sick children away from home.

Being in the hospital is difficult any time of year.  Hospital stays are hard on the patient as well as the family.  Even grown-ups look for entertainment during long hours there, if it’s just a trip to the snack machine or a walk around the halls.  The last time I stayed with a hospitalized family member, I observed that disposable medication cups reminded me of break-apart plastic eggs.   I started saving some and I now I’d like to share my project with you.  Check the photo below to find the two med cup eggs pictured here.  Not exactly egg shaped and they’re held together with bandage wrap tape, but an idea was born out of a need for creativity and humor during a stressful time.

Find the Med Cup Eggs. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Find the Med Cup Eggs. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Another simple medicine cup Easter craft would be to transform these into miniature baskets.  Perhaps a pipe cleaner could be used for a handle or wired craft ribbon.  I hope you never find yourself celebrating Easter from a hospital bed, but find a way to have some fun if you do.

Our grandsons came to visit at the hospital and proved that creative play can exist, no matter where you are.  They wadded up colored newspaper ads and tossed them at the waste basket.  Sometimes they’d toss to the ceiling and dunk it into the trashcan below.  Sometimes, balls whirled across the room, almost like a snowball fight.  A trashcan target was placed on either side of the room.  Later, when I told my niece about the boys’ playfulness, she spoke her wise wisdom of 16 years, “Boys can make a ball out of anything.  Even a string. ”  LOVED it!

Writing Prompts:

  1. Have you ever been hospitalized?  Name things that helped cheer you up.
  2. What do you think makes the best gifts for someone in the hospital?  Why?
  3. Tell about a time you cheered up someone who was sick.
  4. Tell about a time someone surprised you with something very nice.
  5. When you were worried about someone who was sick, what helped you stay calm?
  6. How can you  shine where you are?
  7. What do you see around you that can bring joy in some small way?
  8. Name some simple joys you can bring to others.
  9. What do you think:  Can boys make a ball out of anything?
  10. What will you do this Easter season that you’d like to share with others?

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment about Easter or hospital stays.  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, Character Traits, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, humor, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

March Forth–Do Something

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 29, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing
prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those
young at heart.  “March 4th–Do Something” by Linda Martin Andersen

March-4th-is-March[2]

Writing Prompts:

  1. What is your favorite fable and why?  Read a copy of the fable and then tell it to someone.  Rewrite it in your own words.
  2. What famous doctor has a birthday on March 2?  Tell about celebrations you have participated in to remember this famous name in literature.
  3. Have you ever played in a bucket drum band?  What thing makes a great musical sound that isn’t an instrument in the band?
  4. Name a way to march forth and celebrate this month.  What will you do?
  5. Name a favorite topic.  Look for poems on that topic.  Swap poems with friends for Poetry Day: 21.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  What special plans do you have for March?  Share, if you’d like. 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, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Things I’ll Love to Celebrate in February 2016

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 1, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Things I’ll Love to Celebrate in February 2016” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

Things-Ill-Love-to[2]Valentine’s Day is a special day on this month’s calendar.  I chose not to include it simply because it is so well known.  February 14 is also International Book Giving Day. Why not consider giving a book instead of a Valentine to someone special?

I hope something listed here will catch your attention and be added to your February calendar.  Perhaps you’d like to send a Valentine, thank you card, or missing you card to friends during International Friendship Week, or read cowboy poetry and haikus and write a few yourself.  Could you reach out to a school counselor, an author, or illustrator?  Make February special by finding new ways to celebrate.

What special things do you have planned for this month?  I’d love to hear about them.

Writing Prompts:

  1. If you chose to give a book to someone this month, which would it be and why?
  2. Do you ever swap books with friends?  What type books do you usually swap?  Have you found a favorite author by swapping with someone else?
  3. What would you rather write:  cowboy poems or haikus?  Why?  Try writing one.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear what special things you have planned for this month.  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, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Just Jot It January #18–Writer’s Humor

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 18, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 jjj-2016[1]

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

Just Jot It January #18–Writer’s Humor

I accepted a challenge for January: Just jot a note and submit.  I can’t participate every remaining day this month, but I will join in when I can.

I decided to create a theme to write about:

Today, I celebrate a writer’s humor.  Enjoy.

Linda Martin Andersen. Copyright 2016.

Linda Martin Andersen. Copyright 2016.

Writing Prompts:

  1. Write a riddle about writing.
  2. Write a riddle about the alphabet.
  3. Write a riddle about writing and the alphabet.

Visit http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2016-rules/ for details about Just Jot It January and to comment on other participants’ posts.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear what you’re celebrating today.  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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Posters, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Just Jot It January #10

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 10, 2016


 

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074        jjj-2016[1]

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

“Just Jot It January #10” by Linda Martin Andersen

I accepted a challenge for January: Just jot a note and submit.  I can’t participate every remaining day this month, but I will join in when I can.

I decided to create a theme to write about:  Today, I celebrate…

Today, I celebrate the big things and the little thingsTomorrow is my dearest friend’s birthday.  That’s a big thingI won’t have access to the internet tomorrow; so I’m posting today.  The timing’s not perfect, but that’s one of the little things that won’t stop me from celebrating.  So today, I celebrate the big things and working through the little things.

Celebrating a BIG THING--Joan's birthday! Clip Art

Celebrating a BIG THING–Joan’s birthday!

To learn more about Joan Edwards, my friend and fellow writer visit here:  https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/under-the-weather-sick-sad-and-then-a-song-brought-a-smile-to-my-face/

Writing Prompts:

  • What do you call a big thing?  A little thing?
  • Name a time you had to switch from Plan A to Plan B.  Was that a big thing or a little thing?  Why?  How did you handle it?
  • What are you celebrating today?

Visit http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2016-rules/ for details about Just Jot It January and to comment on other participants’ posts.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear what you’re celebrating today.  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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Celebrate Every Day

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 8, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  “Celebrate Every Day” by Linda Martin Andersen

Each month at “A Writer’s Playground,” I post information about monthly calendar days to observe.

This post is a reminder to celebrate every day of the month!  Not with a party and cake, but by living life to the fullest!

Yesterday, I read an article in “The Fayetteville Observer” by Alicia Rancilio of the Associated Press about customizing your own decorative planning tools.  This reminded me of scrapbooking days.

Just like coloring books are now something for all ages, so are decorative planning creations.  One 14-year-old interviewed in the article, creates a planner page to help her “conquer the week.”  That sounds more than decorative.  That sounds empowering.

Erin Condren, a customized planner business owner, suggests combining  planning with “truly celebrating every day.” http://www.erincondren.com/ 

And for those who say they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies… the best line of the article:  “The great thing is, there are no rules.”

Read Alicia Rancilio’s article below:

http://www.fayobserver.com/living/to-do-lists-turn-creative-with-stickers-tape-and-colors/article_a996f8e5-496f-5bf8-a291-c09f55196f8e.html

Look for other lovely tools that encourage creativity.  At our local farmer’s market, I purchased a hand-made sketch book for my niece that was covered  in a fabric that looked like batik.   What is batik?  Learn more here:   http://www.batikguild.org.uk/whatisbatik.asp 

Suggested Writing Prompts: 

  1. What is a red letter day?  When did you have one?  Describe it.
  2. Have you had a sick day lately?  What did friends and family do to cheer you up and help you to feel better?
  3. List the steps for creating a decorated planner page others can try.

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, crafts, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

 
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