A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Activities, Games, and Songs (Piggyback)

Hi I’m Linda.  Linda Martin Andersen.  I wear a jester’s hat on my blog.  Would you like to guess why?  Leave me your best guess on the comments below and I’ll let you know if you’re right.

Activities, games, and songs (piggyback) will increase as the year continues. 

ACTIVITIES–2012 and beyond

MAY DAY Baskets–make and hang on a door knob for someone special.  

1. Fold a large sheet of construction paper in half (hamburger fold).

2. Draw half a heart.

3. Cut along the outline.

4. Unfold for a heart shape.

5. Trace the heart shape onto a second sheet of paper.

6. Cut out the second heart.

7. Staple together (like a Valentine’s Day card holder).

8. Attach a paper handle made with a long thin strip of paper or long pipe cleaner or chenille stick.

9. Fill May Day baskets with silk flowers or cut flowers.  Wrap cut flower stems with moist paper towel and place in a sandwich bag and seal.

10. Deliver the May Day basket to someone special.

JUNE 4:  Name three ways to salute silliness on Do-Dah DaySilliness:  For example:  wear two different colors of socks or a silly hat like mine.  Have someone push you in a wheelbarrow.  Watch out, you may get dumped.

JULY 21:  Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves.”  Positive Attitude:  (When have you used these words in a sentence?  Write down what you said and then toss the paper away.  Example:  I could have made a home run, if I hadn’t stopped at third.)

AUGUST 12:  Vinyl Record Day.  Ask your parents or grandparents about the history, size, and speed of vinyl records.  Does anyone you know collect these?  Have you ever played one on a record player?

SEPTEMBER 4:  Newspaper Carrier Day:  Do you know a newspaper carrier?  Ask your parent if you can interview him/her about the job.

SEPTEMBER 5:   Be Late for Something Day:  create a list of events you wish you could be late for.  Create a pass giving permission to be late and a reason for it.

SEPTEMBER 13: Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day:  What would you like to learn to cook?  Ask someone to teach you and then prepare the dish yourself on this special day.  If you have brothers or sisters, consider dividing the menu and prepare the entire meal.

SEPTEMBER 15:  Big Whopper Liar Day (3rd Saturday)  What is a whopper? What are some things people often tell whoppers about?  Write a whopper tale or tell one.

SEPTEMBER 15:   International Dot Day:   http://fablevisionlearning.com/dotday/ Read The Dot by Peter Reynolds and try activities listed here to encourage creativity.

SEPTEMBER 15-22 (Third Full Week)Pollution Prevention Week:  What is a pollution prevention program your family can adopt?  Your classroom?  Your school?  Is there a “street adoption” program in your area for groups to clean area roadsides?  Create a poster for pollution prevention.  Do you know any pollution prevention campaign poster slogans?  See if you can finish this one:  ”Give a hoot…”

SEPTEMBER:  National Prosper Where You Are Planted Month. If you were a plant, what type plant would you like to be?  Why?  What does prosper mean?  How would you prosper when compared with the type plant you selected?  What does it mean to prosper where you are planted, as a person?  How do you prosper where you’re planted?

SEPTEMBER:  One-on-One Month. What do you think of when you hear one-on-one?  What are other uses of the expression?  Can you create a one-on- one expression of your own?  What would it mean?

OCTOBER 3:  Balloons Around the World Day (First Wednesday):   Buy a bag of balloons (notice the alliteration).  What color did you choose?  Research a country with this as the dominant color of their flag.  Learn 3 facts about this country.

OCTOBER 5:  World Smile Day (First Friday): Create smile posters or leave a Post-It Note with a smile.  Take them everywhere you go today.  Don’t forget to smile.

OCTOBER 9:  National Face Your Fears Day (2nd Tuesday):  Book characters often face fears.  Name one book character, his/her fear, and how it was overcome.  Would you recommend this book?

OCTOBER 13: Universal Music Day (2nd Saturday):  Pick a musical instrument you don’t hear often.  Listen to instrumental music with this instrument.  What emotion do you feel as you listen?

NOVEMBER 2:  Cookie Monster Day:  Make up a trivia sheet about Cookie Monster.  Quiz family or friends.  Who knew the most correct answers?  Make blue icing by mixing blue food coloring in whitecanned icing.  Spread on cookies for treats today.

NOVEMBER 3:  Cliche Day:  Research cliches.  What is your favorite?  Finish these:  egg on my _____, don’t look a gift horse in the _____, passed with flying _____, eat _____(bird), mind your Ps and _____, chip on your______, chip off the old _______, and crocodile _______.

NOVEMBER 11:  International Tongue Twister Day:  Look for books listing tongue twisters.  Find someone who will try saying some of these with you.  Examples:

“She sells seashells by the seashore.”

“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”

NOVEMBER 11:  Origami Day: Would you like to learn to fold paper and create origami objects?  Books contain instructions for making easy and difficult items such as jungle animals, ones under the sea, Christmas decorations, and others.  Have you read any fiction books about origami?   Some suggestions include:  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger and Lissy’s Friends (picture book) by Grace Lin.

NOVEMBER 11-17:  Geography Awareness Week:  Can you spell geography?  Here is a mnemonic device for spelling this word:

G-George, E-eats, O-old,  G-gray,  R-rats, A-and, P-paints, H-houses, Y-Yellow.

This memory device reminds me of Curious George and the man with the yellow hat.  The author of the Curious George series by H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey.  Find these locations on a world map or globe: Germany, France, and Massachusetts.

Name another book title this memory device reminds you of such as Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien.  Research places the author lived and locate them on a world map or globe.  Here are two more memory devices for spelling geography:

G-General, E-Eisenhower’s, O-oldest, G-girl, R-rode, A-A, P-pony, H-home, Y-yesterday.

G-George, E-Emerson’s O-old, G-grandmother, R-rode, A-a, P-pig, H-home, Y-yesterday. (Several different last names were listed with this one)

What other ones do you know?

GAMES–2012 and beyond

CAR GAMES–Any Month:

1.  Cow Poker (the way I remember it)

Two or more players in a car.  The one sitting on the left, checks the scenery to the left of the highway.  The one sitting on the right, checks the right side.  One point is awarded for each cow in a pasture.  Keep a tally.  All accumulated numbers are erased/lost whenever a graveyard is present on that person’s side.  The winner is the one with the higher count at the end of the trip or whenever the players decide to quit.

MAY:  “Mother May I?” Check game books for directions.

JULY:  Made in USA Game.  (Divide the room in half.  Check labels on one side of the room and have a friend check the other side.  Set a timer for three minutes.  The winner is the one who locates the most USA products.)

SEPTEMBER:  Apple Month.  Set a timer.  Race a friend who  see who can name the most varieties of apples.  Spelling counts.

SEPTEMBER:  Children’s Good Manners Month. Challenge a friend to a Good Manners Contest.  Print out a blank September calendar template for each player.  List good manners words or actions.  One per day.  Set a timer or declare as the first person to write something in each square the winner, if no answer is repeated.

SONGS (PIGGYBACK)–2012 and beyond


Tune:  “The More We Get Together” or “Did You Ever See a Lassie” (substitute a career name)  Act out one of the jobs someone in this career might do.  For example, a zookeeper might throw food to a gator.  See “A Writer’s Playground” blog post for July 15, 2012:  Meet Melissa Barr, a zookeeper for North Carolina Zoological Park.

2 Responses to “Activities, Games, and Songs (Piggyback)”

  1. I’m tired out from reading all the activities I have to do. Such wonderful ideas for children. Can you send me the link for the Zoo Interview. I couldn’t seem to find it, but would love to read it.
    Still love the “hat”! “)

  2. Tracy, you are so much fun. I’m glad you like my jester hat. Just try an activity now and then–I don’t want you too tired out. I have sent you the link to the zoo interview and I’ll try posting it here too. https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/meet-melissa-barr-a-zookeeper-at-north-carolina-zoological-park/

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