A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for the ‘Character Traits’ Category

May Your Personal Space Reflect Christian Love

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 26, 2017


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  “May Your Personal Space Reflect Christian Love”

 

 

 

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen

 

Three feet is often stated as the distance most people prefer to stand from someone else.  This distance is called “personal space.” Name ways you reflect Christian love while standing at a distance and talking to someone.  One example:  smile.

I try to reflect Christian love when I speak with someone.  I know I’m not perfect, so I’m sure my posture and mannerisms do not always seem as warm and friendly as they should.  I will strive to do better.

Another example of a personal space that can reflect Christian love could be your bedroom, your car, etc.  One personal space in my home is the sunporch where I often read and study God’s word.  After this room was remodeled, I had two blank walls to decorate.  I selected a Christian theme for this personal space.  Photos below reveals that one wall is decorated with bird items and the other with flowers. Why? Jesus teaches that God cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and he also cares for us.  Scripture:  Matthew 6: 25-34. By choosing to decorate my sunporch with this theme, my personal space reflects Christian love. I enjoy spending time in this space.

Discuss personal space and Christian love with your parents!  Perhaps you can work on a Christian themed decorating project as a family.

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen

Writing Prompts: 

  1. How does your personal space reflect Christian love? (your posture and mannerisms)
  2. How does a personal space in your home or car reflect Christian love?
  3. What could you write or draw to display to reflect your Christian love?
  4. What scripture passage(s) would you like to use to reflect a Christian theme?
  5. Name a family project that could reflect a Christian theme in your home.

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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Posters, remodeling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Your Thankfulness Rubs Off on Others

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 20, 2017


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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  “Your Thoughtfulness Rubs Off on Others” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

Linda Martin Andersen. Copyright 2017.

I saw four turkeys in my backyard last week.  Oops, it’s turkey season.  I hope no hunters are reading this.  Turkeys, Thanksgiving, and giving thanks go together, but I’d like to encourage you to think of thankfulness all year long.  I’m convinced your thankfulness rubs off on others. 

What does the expression “rubs off on others” mean? Check here for clarification:  http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/rub-off

An example:  A bad mood can rub off on you, but so can a good one, especially when the person shares their thankfulness.

Recently, I spoke to an employee at the gym I attend.  When I asked her how she was doing she said, “I am thankful.” When I asked her to say more, she said she was thankful for every day.  Just hearing her thankfulness made me feel a little more joyful.  In other words, her thankfulness was rubbing off on me.  The next thing I know I was writing a blog post about thankfulness.

Another place I’ve observed thankfulness was on Facebook.  Yes, Facebook.   Someone who was sick posted pictures and updates about kind deeds received.  Two examples:  There was photo of a meal brought to the home and words of thanks.  There were also post updates giving thanks for errands run, a chore completed anonymously, and other acts of kindnesses.  These posts and photos could be seen by friends other than the person responsible.  Posting such thoughts on social media could cause thankfulness to rub off on even more people.  That’s pretty amazing!  I wonder if Facebook predicted this positive influence?   It’s another version of a thank you note and it’s one that many can read and comment on.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of thankfulness.  If you’re a parent with children at home, I hope you’ll use this post as a springboard for family discussions.  If you’re an educator, brainstorm writing prompts or teach lessons on friendship and courtesy.

Here are a few sample writing prompts:

  1.  Name a time when someone’s actions or attitude rubbed off on you.
  2.  What examples of thankfulness have you seen today or within the last week?
  3.  Name a special way you show your thankfulness.  Give a specific example of when you’ve done this.

I look forward to your comments!

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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Posters, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Let’s Get Our Priorities Straight

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 4, 2017


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  “Let’s Get Our Priorities Straight” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

This week, I posted on Facebook that I intended to reduce my online presence.  I felt I was spending too much time there.  Shortly after that, I noticed a sticker on the front page of my day old newspaper.  A photo of the sticker is below.  This sticker is another  reminder of “getting our priorities straight.”  Saying that and doing that are two different things.

Sticker created by Army Community Services (ACS)

 

Create your own Writing Prompts or ideas for Family Discussions based on this subject:

Samples:

  1. What does it mean to get your priorities straight?
  2. What makes this poster/sticker an example of getting your priorities straight?
  3. Who do you trust to help you get your priorities straight?  How can this person help?
  4. How do you go about getting and keeping your priorities straight?
  5.  Saying that you are going to get your priorities straight and actually so are two different things.  What does this statement mean?
  6. What priorities do you need to evaluate or re-evaluate in your life?  Who can help you with this?
  7. What are good ways to keep communication open in families or with friends?
  8. What are some ways to practice safe communication?
  9. Does your family have rules about texting, talking on the phone, etc?
  10. What do you imagine the child in this photo might be thinking or feeling?  Do you think she will tell anyone?  Why or why not?

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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Posters, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

My Christian Walk

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 26, 2017


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  “My Christian Walk” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen. Poster template from Quozio.com

Create your own Writing Prompts inspired by the poster above:

Sample prompts:

  1. Name a person or situation that made a positive influence on your life.
  2. Tell about your Christian Walk.
  3. Name three or more people you admire.  Tell why.

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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Posters, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Life with Beauty

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 10, 2017


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  “Life with Beauty” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen. Poster template from Quozio.com

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen. Poster template from Quozio.com

 

Create your own Writing Prompts using words from the poster above:  believe, hang, and through.

Sample prompts:

  1. I believe in…
  2. Hang on to faith.  Hanging in there…
  3. Ways to go through life

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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Posters, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Nothing Says Joy in the Morning Like…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on September 21, 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  “Nothing Says Joy in the Morning Like…” by Linda Martin Andersen

Personal grief hit me hard in June.  It left me too sad to do some things I enjoy, such as making small home decorating changes.  Fortunately, my  creativity is returning.  This brings me great joy!

Yesterday, I decided to replace the coffee station in my kitchen.  I purchased a bamboo napkin holder and serving tray to hold my coffee maker and condiments.   This simple decorating change filled me with joy.  Now as I pour myself a cup of coffee, I’m reminded to start my day with joy.  I was also reminded of two Folgers’ coffee jingles:  “Nothing says morning like Folgers in your cup. ” Also:  “The best part of waking up in Folgers in your cup.”

These jingles influenced my writing and this blog title.  Writing and word play bring me joy.  Choosing to change my coffee station brought me two joys:  creative decorating and writing.

What caused this positive change?  Time for a moment of truth…I added too much water to my coffee pot which caused it to boil over and ruin my  tray.  Cause and effect.  That’s one accident I’m glad happened.  😉  It started positive wheels turning.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7LXSQ85jpw

These jingles influenced my writing.  Can you recognize their influence in my blog title?  Writing and word play bring me joy.

What brings you joy in the morning and throughout the day?

Bamboo Coffee Station. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen.

Bamboo Coffee Station. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Look around your bedroom and locate things that bring you joy.  Write or tell about them.

2.  Look for things that bring you joy on your ride to school.  Write or tell about them.

3.  Begin a Joy Journal.  Record things that bring you joy throughout the day.

4.  Write an acronym for JOY.  Here is a site for word suggestions:  http://www.enchantedlearning.com/phonetic/y.shtml

Example of an acronym for  JOY:  J–Jump  O–orbit Y–yell

5.  Write a phrase acronym for JOY.  Example:  J–Jump  O–over  Y–yokes (burdens).  Discuss the meaning of this phrase with an adult.

6.  Do you know someone named Joy?  Tell ways this person brings joy to the world.  Example:  Joy Acey:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2016/09/sharks-and-minnows.html

7.  Do you know a song about Joy?  Change some of the lyrics to include things that bring you joy.

8.  Complete this writing prompt:  Nothing says joy in the morning like…

9.  Here are two Folgers’ coffee jingles:  “Nothing says morning like Folgers in your cup. ” Also:  “The best part of waking up in Folgers in your cup.”  Use these jingles as writing prompts to create your own personal jingle or slogan.

10.  What is your definition of joy?  Expand your definition with personal examples.

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, Character Traits, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, humor, music, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Inspired to Create a Poster

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 2, 2016


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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

“Inspired to Create a Poster,” by Linda Martin Andersen

Today, I read a note that inspired me to create a poster.  What has inspired you today?

 

 

 

Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

 

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, Character Traits, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Posters, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

A Heavenly Father’s Day

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 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

As some of my blog followers know, my husband died on June 14, 2016.  His memorial service is Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

This is a time of grief and loss for me and yet it is also a time to celebrate Scotty’s earthly life and his new eternal home.  I am calling this a Heavenly Father’s Day since Scotty is sharing it with his Heavenly Father.  Here’s a link to his memorial service:

http://www.capefearcrematory.com/obituaries/John-Andersen-4/#!/Obituary

Here’s one of my favorite memories…

 

Even when on oxygen, we danced. Copyright Linda

Even while on oxygen, we danced. Copyright Linda Andersen

 

My grandsons and I gathered yesterday and shared memories of Scotty.  Here are a few:

  • Kids loved him, even ones who didn’t know him were drawn to him.  I think they could sense his playful, childlike nature.  He especially enjoyed spending time with small children.
  • Our grandson said he liked to scare people.  At our annual hayride, Scotty did occasionally wear a costume and mask and jump out at children who attended.  Once a child cried, and the mask came off.  No more tears.
  • He loved having people gather at our home for a parties, such as the annual hayride.
  • He was patient and especially enjoyed teaching young children to fish.
  • He loved frogs and had a pretty big collection.
  • He loved going to church and working on church service projects.
  • He loved his family and spending time with them.
  • He loved his job and the people he worked with.
  • He loved his friends and time spent working or playing.

Writing Prompts:

  1. What is your favorite memory of your dad?  Share it with him or other family members, if he is deceased.
  2. What is something that makes your dad laugh?  Why?
  3. What practical jokes have you ever played on your dad?  How did he react?
  4. What is a word you could say that would bring back a great memory?  For example, I could say “Alpine Inn” and our family would moan and groan about a dilapidated motel where we stayed on a vacation.
  5. What would a Heavenly Father’s Day look like to your dad?

I hope all of you out there are enjoying Father’s Day with your father, your sons who are fathers, or grandsons who may become fathers, or other “father figures.”  Visit a “playground” of your own choosing–it can be your family room, a restaurant, a church, a long distance phone call or Skype or even an actually playground down the street.

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, Character Traits, creative play, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 41 Comments »

W is for Wisteria, Wonder, and Writer’s Gifts

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 27, 2016


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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  “W is for Wisteria, Wonder, and Writer’s Gifts” 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/

W is for Wisteria

Have you seen wisteria twisting and climbing trees in your area?  I told someone it’s as close to purple mountain majesty as we get in the Sandhills of North Carolina.  Wisteria always reminds me of one of my favorite authors…

Joyce Moyer Hostetter has a new middle grade historical novel that will be launched in October 2016.  It’s called Aim.  It is the prequel to Blue.  Comfort rounds out the trilogy.  Wisteria plays an important role in the setting of Joyce’s books.  So of course, she’s showing off their lovely blooms below.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter's Profile Photo  These Advance Readers Copies (ARC) arrived on Monday.  The launch day for Aim is Oct. 4, 2016.  Congratulations, Joyce!                                   

Why is Joyce modeling wisteria? 

Perhaps she is celebrating that Aim, the prequel, is coming soon!

To learn more about Joyce Moyer Hostetter’s books, check here:  http://joycemoyerhostetter.com/my-books/

Joyce’s blog:  The Three R’s–Reading, ‘Riting, and Research:  http://joycemoyerhostetter.blogspot.com/

I had the pleasure of interviewing Joyce Hostetter for another of her books, Healing Water, a book that includes leprosy.  This post probably received the most comments of any I’ve ever written.

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/who-would-write-about-leprosy-joyce-moyer-hostetter-thats-who/

Healing Water: A Hawaiian Story

Joyce Hostetter and Carol Baldwin co-write a newsletter for teachers and parents.  Learn more about “Talking Story” here:  http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/p/talking-story.html

I hope you’ll check out Joyce Moyer Hostetter and her books!

W is for Wonder

When I hear “wonder,” I tend to think “head in the clouds.”

Copyright 2014. Jim Martin

Copyright 2014. Jim Martin

 

What do you think of when you hear “wonder?”  I wonder what he/she’s thinking.  I wonder if I’ll ever reach my goal.  I wonder what it would be like to be…or to do… I hope you’ll share something that you wonder.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is participating in a poetry writing challenge this month that she calls, “Wallow in Wonder.”  Here’s a post to enjoy.

http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2016/04/wallow-in-wonder-day-25-mama-kangaroos.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+amylv%2FGmZc+%28The+Poem+Farm%29

Visit Wonderopolis here:  http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-do-kangaroos-keep-in-their-pockets

W is for Writer’s Gifts

When friends give me gifts, they sometimes purchase something to inspire my writing.  Here’s one example:

Writing Muse. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Writing Muse. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Thanks to all who gift me with encouragement, love, friendship, and shared writing tips!  I love and appreciate my writing community.  It keep me going!

What “W” 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, Character Traits, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, Interviews, Reading, Social Studies, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Q is for Question Marks, Quilts, and Quests

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  “Q is for Question Marks, Quilts, and Quests” 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/

Q is for Question Marks–and with that comes lots of questions

Some Q & A activities, just for fun…

  • Walk around your house with a question in mind.  Can you answer the question before your walk is complete?  For example:  What items in my house or yard begin with the letter “Q?”  I thought of quarter, quilt, and flowering quince.
  • In what class or classes at school would you expect to see a lot of question marks?  Give an example.
  • What written language uses inverted question marks?  How did you find the answer to this question?
  • What animal(s) is sometimes described as having a curly Q tail?
  • What is a good study skill habit that centers around questions when reading nonfiction?
  • What “W” questions and one “H” question are good to ask when writing a story?
  • Do you ever question your ability to do something?  What helps you build your confidence in situations like this?

Q is for Quilts

Years ago, I bought a quilt rack to display some of my oldest quilts.  Another special one was a gift from my mother-in-law.  Nice gift.  I also have commercially made quilts.  (See the photos below).    On our first Christmas as a married couple, my husband gave me a handmade quilt.  I was so excited.  I received a baby quilt for one son when he was born. The other son received a crocheted blanket.  I have featured a quilted apron at this blog.  You would think with this love of quilts and handmade things that I would quilt, but I don’t.  I’d rather admire someone else’s handiwork.  How about you?

IMG_0635

 

Commercial quilt--larger view. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Commercial quilt–larger view. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Q is for Quests

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/quest

I used to work as a school counselor in elementary schools.  When I taught classroom guidance, I often used a resource called  “Lions Quest Skills for Growing.”  Years later, I met a former student who told me he remembered me coming to his class and teaching lessons, and he remembered getting to hug Quinton the Bear–Q Bear, the program’s mascot.  He went on to say I was one of his favorite teachers.  It didn’t hurt that he got to hug Q Bear too. 😉

What are you on a quest for?

What “Q” 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, Character Traits, crafts, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, goal setting, History, Homeschool Activities, Reading, Sewing, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

 
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