A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘chocolates’

It’s February. Don’t You LOVE It?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 1, 2013

“It’s February.  Don’t You LOVE It?” 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 “February” bring to mind?  Cupids, bows and arrows, valentines, chocolates, flowers, sweethearts, romance, etc.  Check the listing below for many more ways to remember February.

Special Days in February:

  • Bubble Gum Day:  1—-Smack your gum.  Blow a bubble.  Read Bubble Gum by LisaWheeler and learn what happens when toad gets stuck in gum.  For activities and an except check the author’s site here:  http://www.lisawheelerbooks.com/LW/bubblegum.html9780316988940_p0_v1_s114x166[1]

  • Have a contest for… the biggest bubble, chewing one piece all day long (honor system), or naming 10 different flavors in 10 seconds.  

  • Survey your friends.  Categories:  Favorite flavors, those who can blow a bubble, or those who can rub their belly and chew at the same time.   What other categories can you name? 

  • Picture book writers, check out Lisa Wheeler’s Boot Camp at www.lisawheelerbooks.com

  • Give Kids a Smile Day:  1  Kids, remind adults all day that it’s “Give Kids a Smile Day.”  Count the number of smiles you get.  Be sure to give one back.

  • Groundhog Day:  2  In or out?  Spring or winter?  Shadow or no shadow?  Which do you wish for?  Why?

  • Have you read Punxsutawney Phyllis by Susanna Leonard Hill?  I hope you will.   Check out the author’s website at http://www.susannahill.com/punxsutawneyphyllis.html


  • Picture book writers, Susanna Leonard Hill conducts online writing courses.  Check it out at www.susannahill.com

  • Sled Dog Day:  2  Create writing prompts about sled dogs and dog sled races.  Place each prompt on a slip of paper and share them with your teacher.  Perhaps your class will use one or more of these today or later this month.

  • World Wetlands Day:  2  What is a wetland?  Where have wetlands been drained?  Is draining wetlands recommended today?  Why or why not?

  • Ballet Day:  7  Have you ever attended a ballet?  Have you ever taken ballet class?  Have you been in a recital or performance?  Do a subject search on your public library or school library site and see how many books are in their collection about ballet.  Which genre had the largest collection?  Look for one that interests you.   

  • Laugh and Get Rich Day:  8  What do you think this special day is all about?  Do you know the expression “laugh all the way to the bank?”  What do you think that means?  Discuss your ideas with a parent.

  • National Stop bullying Day:  9  Tell about a time you were afraid of a bully.  What do these terms mean:  bully, victim, and bystander?  What can you do to prevent or stop bullying?

  • Read in the Bathtub Day:  9  Have you ever read in the bathtub?  Have you ever played with toys in the bathtub?  Tell a bathtub story you know.

  • National Shut-in Visitation Day:  11  What is a shut-in?  Do you know one?  When have you visited someone who is shut-in?  Tell about it.

  • Lincoln’s Birthday:  12  Pretend you were asked to do a photo shoot of Lincoln and Washington.  What backgrounds would you use?  Why?  What prop would you have each to hold?  Are the images you see of these presidents on bulletin boards the same cardboard headshots you’ve seen for years?  Get creative this year.  Research images, books, online sites.  Make a collage.  Learn facts  about Lincoln and Washington while you look for photographs.

  • Paul Bunyan Day:  12  If you were to run into Paul Bunyan, who would mostly likely be with him?  What would they be doing?  Read a book about this folk hero.  Tell how you are like him.  How are you different. 

  • Ferris Wheel Day:  14  Ferris wheels–Do you love ’em or hate ’em?  Have you ever ridden a double ferris wheel?  Pinpoint the states where you’ve visited amusement parks.

  • National Donor Day:  14  What is an organ donor?  Research to learn more.  What organ is most frequently donated?

  • Valentines Day:  14  What is your favorite valentine symbol?  Why?  What would be your ideal Valentine’s Day celebration?  Tell about a special Valentine’s Day memory.

  • National Hippo Day:  15  What hippo book characters do you know?  Do a title search at your library and read fiction and nonfiction hippo books. 

  • National Gum Drop Day:  15  Do you eat gum drops?  Have you ever used them to create craft projects?  Name what you made.  I’ve made  gum drop trees for Christmas.  Have you?       

  • My Way Day:  17  Name five things you would ask for if it was “My Way Day.”

  • Battery Day: 18  Survey friends and family for their favorite “toy” that uses batteries.  What size does it require?

  • Cow Milked While Flying In an Airplane Day:  18  Just for fun name an animal, an action, and a mode of transportation.  Make it a special day to celebrate.  Please leave your creation in the comment section.

  • Pluto Day:  18  Brainstorm the word “Pluto.”  Which is your favorite use for the word?  Why?

  • Presidents Day:  18  Which presidents are celebrated this day?  What will you do to celebrate?  See the suggestions above for Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12.

  • World Thinking Day:  22  What are three key things that the world needs to think about? 

  • George Washington’s Birthday:  22  What picture comes in your mind when someone mentions George Washington’s name?  Research to learn three important facts you did not know about George Washington.  Would you rather have known him when he was a child, a general, or a president?  why?

  • International Sword Swallowers Day:  23  Have you ever seen a sword swallowers perform?  Look for books and research about sword swallowers.  Locate jokes and riddles about them too.  Check for performances on videos or dvds. 

  • For Pete’s Sake Day:  26   What does this expression mean:  For Pete’s Sake.  When do people use this saying?  Have you ever heard it?  When?

  • Inconvenience Yourself Day:  27  What does it mean to inconvenience yourself?  Why would you do that?  Look for ways to show respect for others, self, and things.

  • National Tooth Fairy Day:  28 Book Titles  What story can you tell about leaving a tooth for the tooth fairy?

Special Weeks in February:

  • Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week:  3-9  Who is your favorite author?  Who is your favorite illustrator?  Tell a friend and ask who is his/her favorite.  Consider reading something by that author or illustrator.  Visit an author or illustrator’s website.  Check out their published books.  Look for a title you’d like to read.

  • International Coaching Week: 3-9  Who is your favorite coach.  Make a card and send it.  Bake a plate of cookies and deliver it.

  • International Friendship Week:  4-8  Who is your best friend?  Do you have a friend in another state or country?  Think of something you can do for your friend.  Do it!

  • National School Counseling Week:  4-8  Does your school have a counselor?  Name three or more things the counselor does for students.  Have you ever talked with him/her?  What can you do to recognize this person?

  • Jell-O Week: 10-16  What is your favorite flavor?  Do you like fruit  in your jello?  Do you eat it with whipped topping?  Ask your parents if you can help make some.  Eat jello with your family.  Just for fun, create ways to eat it.  For example, tap it with a spoon and count to three.  Is it still wiggling?

  • National Pancake Week:  10-16  Can you name pancake varieties from A-Z?

  • Random Acts of Kindness:  10-16  Who could you do something nice for without telling them your plans ahead of time?

  • National Green Week:  11-17  What does “green” mean to you? What ways do you practice being “green?”  Please visit again on February 11, 2013 for a guest blog by tween author Bonnie Doerr about “being green.”

  • Great Backyard Bird Count:  15-17  Have you ever participated in this event?  Learn more about it.

  • Read Me Week: 21-25  How will you celebrate?  Do you have a book on a shelf you’ve never read or one you haven’t read in a year or more?  Read anything you like, just read!

  • Peace Corps Week:  25-3/3  Research about the Peace Corps.  Do you know anyone who has volunteered for this group?  What things has the Peace Corp done to assist others?  Name at least three things.

February is…

  • Heart Month  What celebrations are going on in your community?  Read a nonfiction book about the heart.  Read a fiction book with “heart” in the title.  Name heart healthy exercises.

  • Bake for Family Fun Month  What will you and your family bake for fun?  Try doubling a recipe.  Learn a substitute for a food ingredient.  These are included in many cookbooks.

  • Dog Training Education Month  What kind of trainings are there for dogs.  Research and see.

  • From Africa to Virginia Month  Do some globe or world atlas studies.  Study and learn the names of locations.  Check your public library for a data base on world cultures.  Learn about somewhere you’ve never been.

  • International Boost Self-Esteem Month  Joan Edwards, a friend of mine likes to say, “Do something to celebrate you.”  I hope you will take her advice.

  • International Expect Success Month  Name a success you have had recently.  Name one you expect to have this month.

  • Library Lovers Month  Please tell a librarian something you love at the library.  Try something new there this month.

  • National Black History Month  Research two African American heroes who are lesser known.

  • National Children’s Dental Health Month  Who is your dentist?  Call him/her and say, “Thank you.”  How can you improve your dental health habits.

  • National Time Management Month  How can you spend your time more wisely?  Share your ideas with your parents.  Set a goal for one of these areas.  Good luck!

  • Youth Leadership Month  Name one or more youth leaders who has made a difference in your life.  What ways has this person helped you to be a better person?  Thank them for that improvement.

  • Lent:  What is Lent?  How is it celebrated?  Have you ever given up something for lent?  What does that mean?

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for February celebration information.  For more February observances 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. 

Coming soon:  A guest blog by Bonnie Doerr for National Green Week (Feb. 11-17)

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

October 2012 Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 1, 2012

“October 2012 Activities” 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 “October” bring to mind?

Halloween, hayrides, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, Fall leaves, haunted houses, Fall Festivals, cool nights, bonfires, jackets, ghost stories, homecoming games, football, trick-or-treat, and costumes.

What else happens in October?  Choose one of the conversation starters below and leave a comment.

Special Days in October:

    • National Custodial Workers Day:  2  Thank a custodian for his/her hard work.

    • Balloons Around the World Day:  3 (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.

    • Blessing of the Animals Day (aka Blessing of the Pets Day, World Pet Day):  4  Does your church recognize this day?  Do you have a friend who attends a church that does?  Consider attending a service.

    • Ten-Four Day:  4  When is “Ten-Four” spoken?  What does it mean?  What jobs might use this signal?  Use the term in conversation with someone today.

    • National Diversity Day:  5 (First Friday) Brainstorm ways to celebrate this day.  Which way will you celebrate?  Ask a friend to join you.

    • World Smile Day:  5 (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.

    • Laura Reeves’ artwork used by permission. Copyright protected. To purchase see http://www.reevesartwork.com

      World Communication Day:  7 (First Sunday) Think of ways to start a conversation with someone who is not one of your best friends.  Communicate with that person today.

    • You Matter to Me Day:  7  Tell someone special, “You matter to me.”  Tell them why.

    • Native American Day:  8 (2nd Monday)  Research Native Americans.  Share facts you learned.

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

    • Stop Bullying Day:  10  At lunch or on the playground, ask friends what they think helps stop bullying.  What action will you take next?

    • Day of the Six Billion:  12 What does this mean?  Ask friends, teachers, parents, Google it, etc. until you learn the answer if you do not already know.  Why is it important?

    • Universal Music Day:  13 (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? 

    • Clergy Appreciation Day (or Pastor Appreciation Day or Ministry Appreciation Day):  14  Find a way to give thanks for your pastor, your church, and its ministry.

    •  I Love Lucy Day:  15 Watch a rerun, read about Lucille Ball, share your memories of favorite shows.

    • National Grouch Day:  15 Read a book with a grouchy character.  Sesame Street has one, so does The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and Christopher Robin and the Hundred Acre Wood.  What are these characters names?  Name others. 

    • Dictionary Day:  16  Name places where you can locate a dictionary.  Race a friend to find a word using different resources.

    • Mulligan Day:  17  What is a mulligan?  What sport uses this term?  When would you like to have a mulligan and why?

    • Reptile Awareness Day:  21  Check out a nonfiction book about reptiles.  Quiz your parents about different ones.

    • United Nations Day:  24 What is the United Nations?  How is the day celebrated?  What other ways could it be recognized?

    • Frankenstein Friday:  26  Who is Frankenstein?  How was he created?  Is he real or fiction?  If you were a scientist working on a cure for a disease, what would be your mission? Why?

    • Make a Difference Day:  27 How can you make a difference today?  Do it.

    • National Forgiveness Day:  27 (Last Saturday) What would our world be like if everyone forgave everybody?  Who will you forgive today?

    • National Chocolates Day:  28 What’s your favorite kind of chocolate with ice cream?  Swirls in ice cream, chocolate chunks in ice cream, crunchy thin coat on a fudge bar, soft chocolate on an ice cream sandwich?  Something else?  Have you ever persuaded someone to try something new?  How did you convince them?

    • National Knock-Knock Jokes Day:  31  Check out books from the library with knock-knock jokes.  Ask your friend(s) to check out copies too.  Take turns telling jokes.  Take a break and play outside and come back and ask more jokes.  Count the jokes as you go.  See how many you tell in a day.

Special Weeks in October:

  • Universal Children’s Week: 1-7 How do you think this week should be celebrated?  Learn about children in other countries.  Many public libraries subscribe to databases about other cultures. 

  • National Newspaper Week: 1-5 Visit the local library and look at the newspaper displays.  What are local titles?  What are national ones?  Spend time reading. 

  • Spinning & Weaving Week:  1-7 Visit a museum with displays about spinning and weaving.  Attend a demonstration, if possible.

  • World Space Week: 4-10 Consider visiting a planetarium, read nonfiction books about space travel, or read biographies about astronauts. 

  • National Storytelling Weekend: 5-7 (1st Full Week) Do you know a storyteller?  If not, check out some library books and read folktales, fairy tales, fables, ghost stories,etc.

Linda M. Andersen copyright 2012
  • Fire Prevention Week: 7-13 Review “stop, drop, and roll.”

  • Great Books Week:  7-13 (1st Full Week) Have everyone in your family list one or two books they call great.  Check out the titles from the public library and takes turns reading a favorite section.  Visit here again on October 7 for a chance to meet a Newbery Award Judge. 

  • National Metric Week:  7-13 (Week always has 10th in it)  Think metric.  Speak metric.  Measure metric.  GO metric!

  • Kids’ Goal Setting Week: 8-12 What goals have you set for yourself?  What are you doing to achieve them?  Ask an adult to help you set goals and monitor your progress.

  • World Rainforest Week:  12-18 Can you imagine spending time in the rainforest?  One of my friends did.  Check out Joy Acey’s blog posts with poems she wrote about her adventures.  See her photos below:  

  •  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/search?q=rainforest

Macaw in Rainforest of Peru. Copyright 2012 Joy Acey
Monkeys in Rainforest of Peru. Copyright 2012 Joy Acey



    • Teen Read Week:  14-20 Name your favorite authors for teens.  Read something by an author new to you.

    • National Character Counts Week: 21-27 Name character traits.  Which are your strengths and which do you need to improve?  How? 

    • National Chemistry Week: 21-27 Do you know someone who is taking chemistry?  Ask questions about the subject.

    • Red Ribbon Week:  21-27 (Last Week)  Why is Red Ribbon Week celebrated?  How do you celebrate it

    • National School Bus Safety Week:  22-26 (4th Week) How do you get to school?  Have you ever ridden a bus?  What rules do you think should be added to keep a bus ride safe?  Who can you discuss this with?

  • Peace, Friendship and Good Will Week:  24-30 Name one way to improve each for the week.  Are you willing to continue doing what worked beyond a week?

  • International Magic Week:  25-31 What is your favorite magic tricks?  Read and practice a magic trick.  Watch a magician’s act.

October is…

  • Apple Month

  • Bat Appreciation Month. What do you appreciate about bats?  Learn one more positive thing about them.

  • Bullying Prevention Month  See October 10.  Think of other activities.

  • Children’s Magazine Month. Read stories or articles from three magazines you don’t subscribe to.  Some magazines may be checked out from the public library.

  • National Bake and Decorate Month Check for parent-child cooking programs.  Some craft stores may offer them.  Public libraries may also.

  • National Book Month. Write a favorite author.  Buy a favorite author’s book.  Attend a favorite author’s book signing.  Consider doing these same things for a debut author such as the one spotlighted here this month:  Donna Earnhardt.

  • National Crime Prevention Month.  Brainstorm terms about crime prevention.  Research careers in this field.

  • National Dental Hygiene Month.  Do you need to replace your toothbrush?  Do you floss every day?

  • National Go on a Field Trip Month. How many school field trips can you recall taking?  Where else would you like to go?

  • National Stamp Collecting Month  Ask about this at your local post office?  Find out what stamps are popular now.

  • Positive Attitude Month.  What could you do this entire month that demonstrates a positive attitude?  Would you be willing to try for two months?

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for October celebration information.  For more October observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/october.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.

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

Coming this week:  Debut Author, Donna

Earnhardt, and Signed Book Giveaway!

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen


Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

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