A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘calendar activities’

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


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 »

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:


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

For archived activities for November, see here:




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 »

September Days Worth Celebrating and Writing About Too

Posted by lindamartinandersen on September 1, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“September Days Worth Celebrating and Writing About Too” by Linda Martin Andersen

Top Ten Recipients of September 2015:  Ways to Celebrate Education (Awards selected by me for this site only)


Poster created at http://www.quozio.com  

September is…

  • All American Breakfast Month–How have recommended breakfast charts changed over the years?  What do you eat for breakfast?  Conduct a survey of what your friends eat.
  • Backpack Safety America Month– How many pounds are too many?  What can you do about it?
  • Children’s Good Manners Month–When was the last time you heard someone compliment you for your manners?  What were you doing?
  • Library Card Sign-up Month–Sounds like I might want to read books about beavers.  I have a public library card and use it almost every week.  How about you?
  • National Sewing Month– Do you know homonyms (same sound/different meanings) for sew?  Write a paragraph, poem, or story about one or more of them.  Can you use all three homonyms for sew?
  • National Service Dog Month–Name places you have seen a service dog.  Have you heard of other pets used as service animals?  Research to learn more.
  • National Shake Month (Ice Cream)–If you could develop a new shake flavor, what would it be?  Sample a flavor you’ve never tasted.  Have you made healthy shakes?  What were the ingredients?
  • Self Improvement Month–What is something you would like to improve about yourself?  Are you willing to work at it?  What goals could you set to reach improvement?  Who could keep you encouraged?  Who would be willing to listen to you share disappointments, successes, progress, etc.?

Special Weeks in September…

  • International Enthusiasm Week: 1-7  List things that you get enthusiastic about.  How do you show enthusiasm?  Do you ever get asked to calm down?  Do you get asked to show some enthusiasm?  Discuss this with your parents.
  • National Nutrition Week: 1-7   What’s your favorite nutritious meal?  Tell a favorite food story.  Was the story about a nutritious food or junk food?  Now tell a story about something from the other category.
  • National Clean Hands Week: 20-26   What hand cleaning rules do you follow? Name three or more.  Ask friends for other rules.  What additional rules will you try?  Do you think it’s important to use good hygiene?  Why or why not?
  • National Keep Kids Creative Week: 20-26   Where do you get ideas for creating things?  What things do you like to create?  What challenges you?  What creative projects do you avoid?  Why?

Special Days in September…

  • National College Colors Day: 4 What college colors are popular in your family and why?  Does this ever cause problems?  How can families solve this?
  • National Wildlife Day:4  What wildlife lives in your area?  Tell about a time you witnessed something in nature you will never forget.
  • Pet Rock Day: 5 Have you ever had a pet rock?  A worry stone?  How can these be helpful?  What can you use when you don’t have a worry stone or a pet rock?
  • Swap Ideas Day: 10–Have you ever begun a story and then let someone else write a paragraph?  Passing a story around can be fun.  In addition to stories, what other ideas could you swap?  How could it be accomplished?
  • Grandparent’s Day: 13 (First Sunday after Labor Day) Do you have living grandparents?  How far away do they live?  How often do you see each other?  How often do you call or visit?  Tell about a special time with your grandparents.
  • Scooby-Doo Day: 13  Do you know this character?  What do you like or dislike about him?  If you could give him another name, what would it be?  Why?  What is a name you are sometimes called?  Why?
  • Play-doh Day: 16  Name five fun things you’ve done with Play-doh.  Are there things you wanted to create with Play-doh, but you didn’t?  Why not?  Do you ever mix colors?
  • Big Whopper Liar Day: 19  Is there a difference between a fib, lie, and a whopper?  Have you ever heard someone say something was “a big fat lie?”  Would that be something serious or something funny?  Why?
  • International Coastal Cleanup Day:19  Have you ever helped with International Coastal cleanup?  If that’s not possible or something you’d like to help with, what could you help clean instead?
  • Talk Like A Pirate Day: 19 What letter of the alphabet would you repeat when speaking if you talked like a pirate?  What vocabulary words would a pirate use?  Try creating a sentence or two in pirate language.  Share it with a friend.  Listen to your friend’s sentences.  How does talking like a pirate make you feel?  Why?
  • Dear Diary Day: 22  Do you keep a diary?  A journal?  What can you do to thank a person who inspired you to keep a diary?  How can you decorate your diary or where it’s stored.  How important is it to you that it be kept private?  Discuss this with your parents.
  • Ice Cream Cone Day: 22  How many scoops do you like to buy?  Waffle cone or sugar cone?  Tell a time when you were given ice cream as a treat.  Does it ever give you a “brain freeze?”
  • Punctuation Day: 24  What punctuation confuses you?  What punctuation rule is easy for you?  Create a paragraph with punctuation errors.  Ask a friend to correct it.  Is it right now?
  • Johnny Appleseed Day: 26  If Johnny Appleseed hadn’t planted apples, how would things be different today?  What might a kid bring to his teacher instead of an apple?  What would you rather have had planted instead of apple trees?  Tell why.
  • World Tourism Day: 27  Where in the world would you like to be a tourist?  What is a “tourist trap?”  How do you think the term got its name?  Name places you notice tourists in your area.  How can you tell that they are tourists?
  • National Good Neighbor Day: 28  Name ways to be a good neighbor.  Name ways people have been a good neighbor to you.  Name neighbor greetings you know.

For more September holiday celebrations visit here:  http://www.brownielocks.com/september.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! 

For more calendar fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thanks so much.



Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , | 32 Comments »

It’s July and Time to Celebrate

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 1, 2014

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

What will your July bring? Summer fun? Vacation? Time at the beach or lake? Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch. Maybe you can grill out and eat on a beach towel spread on the sand. Celebrate fun in the sun.
July brings…
Cell Phone Courtesy Month–What rules would you write for this?
Dog Days (7/3 to 8/11)–“Is it hot enough for you?”
Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month Link–Did you know that children sometimes have arthritis? Learn more about this disease.
National Blueberries Month–Blueberries grow in my yard. What is your favorite way to eat them? Did you know these berries are very good for you? How? Research to see.
National Grilling Month–Make a list of foods you like cooked on a grill. See how fast you can read your list without stumbling over a word. Try to do it faster. Faster.
National Ice Cream Month–What flavor would you like? A waffle cone or a sugar cone? One scoop or two? With or without chocolate syrup? Nuts?
National Horseradish Month–What is horseradish? Do you like it? Have you ever tried it?
National Hot Dog Month–What toppings would you like?
Sandwich Generation Month–White bread or wheat bread? What type sandwich would you like? What condiments? What is the most unusual sandwich you have ever eaten? Do you eat your bread toasted? Do you like your sandwich cut? Do you eat the crust?
Tour de France Month (Goes from 5-27)–Do you ride a bike? A skateboard? Where do you ride? What safety gear do you wear? Name favorite places you like to ride.

Special Weeks in July

*Rabbit Week: 15-21–Have you ever had a bunny for a pet? What would you need to take care of it?
National Zoo Keeper Week: 20-26 Link–Maybe if we cheer loudly enough, our visiting zoo keeper will visit again.
World Lumberjack Championships: 24-26–Describe yourself as a lumberjack. Share with someone else.

Special Days in July

*I Forgot Day: 2–Write an expression that proves that you forgot something. Example: I don’t remember…
*Stay Out Of The Sun Day: 3–Are you wearing your sunscreen? How often do you reapply?
*Superman Day: 3–I met someone who got a lung transplant. A superman balloon hung above his hospital bed. Why? He has Superman lungs now, or so he said. How have you heard someone use Superman in a conversation?
*Fourth of July or Independence Day: 4–No firecrackers are allowed to be fired in my neighborhood. I don’t think I’ll see any fireworks this year, but I have plenty to celebrate. Name three things in your life worthy of a celebration.
*Chocolate Day: 7–Can’t resist, especially if it covers nuts. How about you?
*Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day: 7–When was the last time you took a walk with your father? Tell someone about it.
*Tell The Truth Day: 7–No fibs, no white lies. Only the truth today. Can you do it?
Collector Car Appreciation Day: 12–What collector car would you like to own? Have you ever ridden in an antique car? Have you been to a car show? Tell about your experiences.
*National French Fries Day: 13–What’s your favorite meal that includes French fries? Where do you like to purchase your fries?
*Shark Awareness Day: 14–Have you ever seen a shark? Where? How big was it? Was it alive? How was it captured?
*Be A Dork Day: 15–What is a dork? Have you ever been called one? Why?
*Gummi Worm Day: 15–What gummi candy will you eat? Will you eat a gummi worm? Why or why not?
Celebration of The Horse Day: 19-20–Name horse books you have read. Which was your favorite and why?
National Hot Dog Day: 19–There are two hot dog stands near a hospital I have been visiting for over a week. I haven’t bought one yet. Would you have stopped? What would you have bought?
*Moon Day: 20–What is your favorite phase of the moon? Why?
*Space Exploration Day: 20–What type science project have you made that teachers about space? How did you decide what to create?
*National Lollipop Day: 20–Do you have a favorite flavor? A favorite brand? What makes it the best?
National Ice Cream Day: 20–What’s your mother’s favorite flavor? Your dad? Your brother? Finish the list. Ask them if you are correct.
*Cousins Day: 24–Who are your cousins? How often do you see each other? What do you do when you get together?
*Tell An Old Joke Day: 24–Find a joke book. Ask some old ones. How many could the person guess?
*Video Games Day: 25–Name an electronic game you like to play. What would you tell someone about it, if you were telling them it’s the best one you own?
*National Day of the Cowboy : 26 Link–What’s your favorite cowboy thing? A rodeo? A cattle drive? Etc.
Aunties Day: 27–Where do your aunties live? Have you visited them all? What is a good gift for an auntie you are visiting?
*Lasagna Day: 29–Which one do you like better: lasagna or spaghetti? Why?
*Rain Day: 29–What will you do if it rains today? If the weather stays beautiful, save the activity for the next rainy day.
*Friendship Day: 30–Who is your best friend? Why?
*Paperback Book Day: 30–How many paperbacks do you own? Do you read them more than one time?

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

February–XXOO or XOXO and the Winner of a Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 1, 2014

“February–XXOO or XOXO and the Winner of a Giveaway…” by Linda Martin Andersen

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 Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities by Janis Silverman…

Congratulations, Diane Mentzer.  Please email your address to landersen74@yahoo.com.  Thanks to all who participated.

Think:  What does the word “February” bring to mind?  XXOO, XOXO, blowing kisses, Valentine’s cards, candy, and flowers, Cupid, Ground Hog Day, spring or winter weather, hearts,  lace, red, pink, chocolate, and love.  

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Help me with this…

If X= Kiss and O=Hug–

What is XXOO?  Kiss, Kiss, Hug, Hug?

What is XOXO?   Kiss, Hug, Kiss, Hug?

Which do you write–XXOO or XOXO?  Do you say it’s hugs and kisses or kisses and hugs?

Which of these special dates deserve hugs and kisses or kisses and hugs?  Give them an “O.”  Give them an “X.” Give them XXOO or XOXO.  Share your favorites.  Tell why.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Special Days in February…
Ice Cream For Breakfast Day: 1
Robinson Crusoe Day: 1
Take Your Child To The Library Day: 1 (First Saturday)
Groundhog Day: 2
Hedgehog Day: 2
Super Bowl XLVIII: 2
Popcorn Day: 2
World Play Your Ukulele Day: 2
World Wetlands Day: 2
Weatherman’s [Weatherperson’s] Day: 5
Western Monarch Day: 5
Ballet Day: 7
Boy Scout Anniversary Day: 8
National Stop Bullying Day: 9
Read in the Bathtub Day: 9
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day: 11
Get Out Your Guitar Day: 11
Make A Friend’s Day: 11
National Shut-in Visitation Day: 11
Extraterrestrial Visitor Day: 11  (2nd Tuesday)
Lincoln’s Birthday: 12
Paul Bunyan Day: 12 (Born Feb. 12, 1834 in Bangor, ME)
Ferris Wheel Day: 14
Frederick Douglass Day: 14
National Donor Day: 14
Valentines Day: 14

My Way Day: 17
Presidents Day: 17
Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day: 18
Single Tasking Day: 19
Love Your Pet Day: 20
International Tongue Twister Day: 22
George Washington’s Birthday: 22
National Cupcake Day (Canada): 24
National Tooth Fairy Day: 28

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Special Weeks in February…

Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week: 2-8 (First Full Week)
International Networking Week: 3-7
International Friendship Week: 3-7
National School Counseling Week: 3-7
Winter Olympics: 7-16
Random Acts of Kindness Week: 9-15
                                               Great Backyard Bird Count: 14-17

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

February brings…

American Heart Month

Bake for Family Fun Month

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

International Expect Success Month

Library Lovers Month

Love The Bus Month

National Bird Feeding Month

National Black History Month

National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Haiku Writing Month

Youth Leadership Month

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for February celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/february.html

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 14 or under, do not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

January 2014 Brings…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 1, 2014

“January 2014 Brings…” by Linda Martin Andersen

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.

Think:  What does the word “January” bring to mind?  New Year’s resolutions, organizing, goal setting, cold weather, winter, all things snow.  Study drawings of snowflakes.  Remind yourself of your unique qualities and beauty.  

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Special Days in January…

  • New Years Day: 1  What will you eat today?  Can you name foods that people eat in hopes of good luck?  Ask friends what traditions they follow for this day.
  • Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day:  1  This article states that Polar Bear plunges may be extra polar this year.  What does that mean?http://www.pressherald.com/news/NewYearspolarbearplungescouldbeextrapolarthisyear.html
  • Do you know anyone who has ever participated in the Polar Bear Plunge?  Why?  What countries and what states in the US participate in this event?  
  • Bean Day:  5  Do you eat dried beans?  Canned ones?  Frozen ones?  Have you ever picked beans in a garden or field?  Name a story with a bean(s) in it.  Make a list of every variety of bean you can name. Visit a grocery store.  How many more beans can you add to the list?  Consider trying one you’ve never tasted.
  • Bubble Bath Day: 8 Name three things that make bubble baths fun.  When was the last time you had one?  Did you sing in the bathtub? 
  • Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day: 11 http://www.brownielocks.com/learnyournameinmcday.html  Find library books about Morse Code.    Is Morse Code used any more?  Why or why not?
  • Religious Freedom Day: 16 Name religious holidays.  Name different religions.  Select a street in your hometown.  How many places of worship are on this street?  Has there been any crime at one of these churches?  If so, tell about it.  Why do you think someone would target a church with violence?  What books can you find about this topic?
  • Cable Car Day: 17  Have you ever ridden a cable car?  Where?  Name a book or movie with a cable car in it.
  • Kid Inventors’ Day:  17  What invention would help you most at school?  What would you like to invent?
  • Thesaurus Day: 18  What is a thesaurus?  Name three ways a thesaurus could help you with homework assignments.  What websites could you use?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PeterMarkRoget
  • Martin Luther King Day: 20   In Martin Luther King’s famous speech, he says, “I have a dream.”  What is “the dream?”  How can you do to help “the dream” come true?  
  • Popcorn Day: 19 Popcorn is my favorite snack.  What’s yours?  Have you ever popped corn on the stove, in a popper, over a fire?  Ask your friends.  What favorite memory includes eating popcorn?
  • Penguin Awareness Day: 20  Have you ever imagined that penguins were in your yard? I have.  What would you do if it were true?  Research penguin facts to make your tale more accurate, even though it’s fiction.  Check here:  http://www.insideseaworld.com/celebrate-penguin-awareness-day-seaworld-san-diego Tell your story to someone.  Enjoy being a story teller.
  • Inauguration Day: 21 What does the word “inauguration” mean?  Will you watch it on television?  Pretend you are attending in person.  How would you get there?  Where would you sit/stand?  What would you wear?  Research and learn more about the day.
  • National Hugging Day: 21 What is a “bear hug?”  What is a “tree hugger?”  Name a song, poem, story, or novel with a hug mentioned.  Who will you hug today?  Research the origin of this day:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hug_Day
  • National Compliment Day: 24  Do you thank the person who compliments you?  Name a compliment you gave recently.  Should a compliment be sincere?  Is there ever a time when it’s okay to give a “white lie?”
  • National Seed Swap Day: 25 (Last Saturday)  What is a seed swap?  Where would you think a seed swap would be held?  Why would this be celebrated?  What type seeds do you imagine are swapped? Check here for one event:   http://mcg.metrocreativeconnection.com/publish/sections/calendar-details.php?National-Seed-Swap-Day-1078
  • Auschwitz Liberation Day: 27 Link  What is Auschwitz famous for?  Have you read books on this topic?  Have you seen documentaries or visited museums with special exhibits on this topic?  Research to learn more.  Share what you learned with someone.
  • National Kazoo Day: 28 Link  Have you ever played a kazoo at school, at home, or with a choir?  Read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and change the words to say where you will or will not play a kazoo.  Have fun.

 Special Weeks in January… 

  • New Year’s Resolutions Week: 1-4  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Do you have success keeping them?  If not, do you know anyone who makes resolutions and keeps them?  Ask them how they do it.
  • National Vocation Awareness Week: 13-19  What jobs do you know of that didn’t exist ten years ago?  Make a list.  Do you know someone in this line of work?  Perhaps a Career Day could be planned for your class at school.  
  • Bald Eagle Appreciation Days: 18-19  Where can bald eagles be found in the world?  Have you ever watched one on a webcam?  Here is a mother bald eagle on a nest in the snow.  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/41377241/highlight/442450
  • I know someone who set up a webcam to watch turkey vultures in a hollow of a tree.  Check here to see:
  • http://thebackdoorartist.com/2013/04/22/turkey-vulture-shift-change/ 
  • No Name Calling Week: 20-24 Do you have a brother or a sister?  Have you ever tried to go a whole day without calling each other names?  Were you successful?  If so, what helped?  Discuss this with others.  Share techniques that work.  
  • National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week: 27-2/1  Any idea how this week got started?  I can imagine cowboys sitting by the camp fire swapping tall tales, but not poetry.  What is “cowboy poetry?”  Check out David Harrison’s  cowboy poems.  Read an interview here:  http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2012/04/5q-poet-interview-series-david-harrison.html
  • US National Snow Sculpting Week: 29-2/8 Have you ever had someone forward you an email with snow sculptures?  Have you ever made a snow sculpture?  What was it?  Check this site for photographs:  http://www.squidoo.com/national-snow-sculpting-week
  • January brings…

  • Book Blitz Month  Ask everyone in your family to participate in “Book Blitz Month.”  Check out a stack of books each and read, read, read.  If one title is read by everyone in the family, you could hold a book club of your own this month.  
  • Get Organized Month  After Christmas, many stores have sales on storage boxes and organizers.  Think what you’d like to organize.  I bought an inexpensive weekly planner for my writing projects.  I’m excited about trying things a little differently.
  • National Soup Month  What if you try a different kind of soup this month?  I’ve heard of people who take labels off soup cans and choose one to eat.  Would you be a good sport and eat it no matter what it was?  Are you familiar with Andy Warhol’s soup can art?  See here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_Soup_Cans
  • Here’s the Campbell’s Soup Company website:  http://www.campbellsoup.com/
  • International Brain Teaser Month  What is a brain teaser?  There are many kinds.  My grandfather used to ask riddles that challenged my brain.  What type brain teasers have you tried?  Have you ever invited friends over for brain teaser games?  It might be fun on a cold winter day with no snow.  Here’s an article about creating crossword puzzles:  http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/235734051.html
  • International Creativity Month  Choose a January calendar date listed here and celebrate using your own choice of activities.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 13 or under, you must not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

November 2012–Calendar Activities for Kids

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 1, 2012

“November 2012–Calendar Activities for Kids” 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.



Think:  What does the word “November” bring to mind?

Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day, Election Day, Black Friday, Christmas shopping.  What else happens in November?  Choose one of the conversation starters below and leave a comment.

Special Days in November:

  • Give Up Your Shoulds Day: 1 Listen for all the times you hear someone say “should” today.  Write down what is said.  Discuss why it might be a good idea to  give up “shoulds.”

  • National Authors’ Day:  1  Interview each member of your family.  Ask their top three favorite authors.  Does anyone repeat a name?  Learn something new about at least one of these authors.

  • Cookie Monster Day:  2  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 white canned icing.  Spread on cookies for treats today. 

  • Cliche Day:  3  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 _______.

  • Sandwich Day:  3  What is your favorite sandwich?  Is it made with loaf bread or a bun?  Is it toasted, with sesame seeds, or plain?  Write the steps for making your sandwich.  Let someone follow your directions.  Did it turn out correctly?

  • Use Your Common Sense Day:  4  Give an example of using your common sense.  Have you ever heard someone say, “He has book learning but no common sense?”  What does that mean?

  • Election Day:  6  How old must you be to vote in national elections in the United States?  What is absentee voting?  Who might use it?  Did your school have an election for students?  Does your school have Student Government or Class Officers?

  • National Parents as Teachers Day:  8  Name something your parents have taught you to do.  Thank them for it today.  Is there something else you would like them to teach you, such as how to make cupcakes?  Ask if they can teach you this week.

  • X-ray Day:  8  Have you ever had an x-ray?  Where you at the dentist, or the hospital?  Have you ever broken a bone?  Write a story that includes someone who has an x-ray.

  • Domino Day:  9  Do you have any dominoes?  Have you ever lined them up and tapped one which began a chain reaction?  Try it again today.  Learn to play the game of dominoes if it is new to you.  Research other chain reactions. 

  • International Tongue Twister Day:  11 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.”

  • Origami Day:  11 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. 

    Lissy’s Friends by Grace Lin. Used with permission

  • Veterans Day:  11  How will you remember veteran’s today?  Will there be a parade in your town?  What other special events are scheduled?

  • World Kindness Day:  11  Brainstorm ways to show kindness.  Underline the ones you’d like to have happen to you.  Choose one of these to do for someone else.

  • Veteran’s Day (observed):  12  See November 11.

  • National American Teddy Bear Day:  14  Do you have a teddy bear?  What is the bear wearing?  Do others have teddy bears in your house?  Write an adventure about the teddy bears in your house.  Do you know the origin of teddy bears?  Research and see.

  • America Recycles Day:  15  Name products that can be recycled.  Research products that are made from recyclables.  Find a nonfiction book about recycling.  Tell someone something you learned.

  • Great American Smokeout:  15  What is this day?  Research and see.  Create a poster that shows what this day stands for.  Where can you display it?

  • Guinness World Record Day:  15  Research Guinness World Records.  What are three Guinness world records you’d like to read about?  What is the most unusual record you saw?  Tell someone about it. 

  • I Love to Write Day:  15  What do you love to write?  Jokes, riddles, poems, short stories, letters?  Write one and give it to someone you love.

  • Homemade Bread Day:  17  Name the types of homemade bread you’ve eaten.  Which is your favorite?  Have you ever made bread?  Was it baked in a loaf pan, a biscuit pan, or something else?  Name three or more of the ingredients.  Have you ever used a rolling pen?  Write the steps for baking bread or write a story about baking.

  • National Unfriend Day:  17  Why would you unfriend someone?  Why is this day celebrated?  Where can you unfriend someone?  Would you like for someone to unfriend you?

  • National Day of Play: 17  Name things you like to play.   Number these in order of most liked to least liked.  Which is number one?  Which is last?  Star the ones you play with friends.  Do you play more with others or alone?

  • Mickey Mouse Day:  18  What facts do you know about Mickey Mouse?  Who is Minnie Mouse?  Where can you learn more about Mickey Mouse?  What is the Mickey Mouse Club?  Research about it.

  • Push-button Phone Day:  18  When did phones begin to have push-buttons?  What was used before push-buttons?  What can you do to celebrate this day?  Look for photographs of old phones.

  • Thanksgiving Day:  22  Read Thank You, Sarah:  The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner.

  • Buy Nothing Day:  23-24  What does it mean to “window shop?”  Have you ever done it?  Research if you do not know the meaning of the expression.  What do you think about “Buy Nothing Day?”  Would you be pro (for) celebrating?  Why or why not?  Why do you think it is celebrated?

  • National Day of Listening: 23.  Sometimes it is listed as Nov. 27.  Make a list of people you listen to.  Place a check beside the ones you listen to well.  Who could you listen to better?  How?

  • Cyber Monday:  26  What is Cyber Monday?  How do people celebrate?  Why?

Special Weeks in November:

  • American Education Week:  11-17  How is this week celebrated?  Have you ever made a school project for this week?  If so, what was it?  Where did you display it?  How is education in American different from other countries.  Where did you find your information?  What educational advantages do you have? 

    Do you know what this is?  How is it used?  How is it gathered?

    Fall 2012. Close up. Copyright Linda Andersen

    Fall 2012. Copyright Linda Andersen

  • Geography Awareness Week:  11-17  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?

  • World Kindness Week:  12-18  Name an act of kindness for an animal.  Name an act of kindness for a younger child.  Name an act of kindness for an older neighbor.  Name an act of kindness for a friend.  Name an act of kindness for a parent.  How many of these can you do today?

  • National Bible Week:  18-24  Do you have a Bible?  Do you have favorite Bible stories?  Do you know one with children?  Who could you tell this story?

  • National Family Week:  18-24  What is something fun your family does together?  Our family has an annual hayride.  Tell about a fun outing you had with your family.  Look at a family photo album.  Find three of your favorite memories. 


November is…

  • Aviation History Month  What facts stand out in aviation history? Develop an aviation history timeline.  If you could interview someone living or deceased, who would it be?  What books would you recommend to a friend about aviation?

  • Family Stories Month  Share your favorite family stories.  Consider recording them or writing them down.  A night of stories by the fireplace or a campfire would make the event extra special.

  • Military Family Appreciation Month  Do you know families who are military?  Are there children in the family?  Does your school have a club for children who have parents in the military?  Does the school have Military Appreciation events?  What do you do to make children in this family feel welcome?

  • National Adoption Month  Have you  ever wondered if you were adopted?  Have you ever thought you’d like to adopt children?  Do you know adults who have traveled to other countries to adopt a child or children?  Do you know people who are adopted?  Have you ever read a book about a character who is adopted?  Was it fiction or nonfiction?  Look for books about adoption at the library.

  • National Family Caregivers Month  What is a family caregiver?  What are some of the duties of a caregiver?  What are some ways a child can help care for others.  Look for books at the library.

  • National Native American Heritage Month  Read books about Native Americans and Native American cultures.

  • National Novel Writing Month  Some adults sign up for NaNoWriMo to write a novel in the month of November.  Maybe you could write a book review or report for your favorite book or write a paragraph about a favorite book character.  Make a list of your favorite books.  Ask a friend to suggest book titles. 

  • National Peanut Butter Lovers Month  What is your favorite peanut butter food?  Do you know anyone allergic to peanuts?  Have you ever been in a classroom that was peanut-free?

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for November celebration information.  For more November observances check out: 


Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

*Resources:  http//vertex42.com (calendar) and http://www.brownielocks.com/november.html(calendar observances)

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen


Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Red Ribbon Week Celebrated. R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y Character Trait of October

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 26, 2012

“Red Ribbon Week Celebrated.  R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y Character Trait of October” 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.

Currently, I volunteer once a month for Story Time at Pilgrim’s Journey Home School Bookstore.  Check it out at www.thepilgrimsjourney.com.  My goal is to share stories that promote character traits following the same sequence as the Cumberland County Schools in Fayetteville, NC. 

This month, Story Time at Pilgrim’s Journey Home School Bookstore celebrated Red Ribbon Week and honored drug-free families and communities.  I chose to read The Red Ribbon—A Story of Hope by John Lasne and Brains on Fire.  Years ago, I obtained permission from the author to create an interactive book-based activity.  It is one of my favorite readings because the kids have so much fun moving about. You may purchase copies of the book at http://tinyurl.com/8t424rb (Barnes and Noble) and also at Amazon. 

October’s character trait is “Responsibility.”  According to the definition used by the Cumberland County Schools of NC, responsibility means “to be dependable and accountable for one’s actions.”  I’d love to hear actions you take that show you are dependable and accountable for your actions.  For example:  I clean my room every Saturday.  Please leave a comment below.  Thank you for joining us at “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend.

Coming in November:  Activities for Kids, visiting storytellers, authors, and a pilot.  Story Time will feature the character trait, Integrity.  Hope to see you then.

During November, I’ll be participating in Picture Book Idea Month.  (PiBoIdMo)

To learn more about this writing challenge, visit www.taralazar.com.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

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