A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘donating’

Easter in the Hospital

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 16, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writing Prompts:

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

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment about Easter or hospital stays.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!


Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Character Traits, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, humor, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Theme for December 2015: Stand Up for Yourself and Others

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 1, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Theme for December 2015:  Stand Up for Yourself and Others” by Linda M. Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen. Quozio Poster site.

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen. Quozio Poster site.

December is a time to think of others.  In the poster above, I chose to spotlight days that represent the theme “Stand Up for Yourself and Others.” (Awards selected by me for this site only.)  As much as possible, the suggested activities below apply to that theme.

December is…

  • Bingo’s Birthday Month  Have you ever played Bingo?  Word Bingo and other versions of the game may be played to reinforce learning.  Church bingo has helped raised money for the needy and other causes.  Sometimes, it’s just played for fun and a chance to win a prize.  What games do you like to play?

 Special Weeks in December:

  • Cookie Cutter Week: 1-7 Decorate with old cookie cutters or use them to bake for others. A recent article in my local newspaper told of a woman who shared her love of baking with homeless individuals. How can you help others with baked goods this holiday season?
Cookie Press, biscuit cutters, cookie cutters. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen

Cookie Press, biscuit cutters, cookie cutters. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen

  • National Hand Washing Awareness Week: 6-12 Practice good hand washing practices to help prevent sickness this winter. What other good health practices can you name?
  • Computer Science Education Week: 7-13 Name ways computers can be used to help others.  Recently a local newspaper featured a family with special medical needs and a charity drive. The article was also appeared on Facebook.  This is one way computer science can help those in need.  What are other ways? Talk with your family about this or use it as a writing prompt.
  • Christmas Bird Count Week: 14-1/5 Sing of happiness. Sing of joy. Birds sing no matter the season. Let’s do the same.   Often, people who are sick or lonely enjoy watching and listening to birds.  Some nursing homes have feeders outside patients’ windows. 
  • Kwanzaa: 26-1/1 Kwanzaa is a “celebration of family, community, and culture.”  How can Kwanzaa help teach the theme of “Stand Up for Yourself and Others?”  Read more about Kwanzaa here:  http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml

Special Days in December…

  • Basketball Day: 1 Earlier this year, I read a newspaper article about Austin Lehmann, a PE teacher who had set a goal to make a million free-throw shots.  He achieved his goal.  Mr. Lehmann encourages his students to set and reach goals of their own.  Read more here:  http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/cumberland-county-pe-teacher-hits-millionth-basketball-shot/article_fc45d374-d5ab-5624-b57a-67ebd828d9f3.html
  • What goals can you set to help yourself?  To help others? 
  • Day With(out) Art Day: 1 Art tells a story, often without words. How can art be used to help others?
  • Rosa Parks Day: 1 Tell how Rosa Parks stood up for herself and others.
  • Giving Tuesday: 1 Name ways you can help others without spending money. What can you give?
  • Special Education Day: 2 Do you know anyone with special needs? Name ways we are alike. What can be done to help with any differences?
  • International Day of Persons With Disabilities: 3 Name types of disabilities. Are handicaps the same as disabilities? What can you do to help someone you know with disabilities? Ask an adult to discuss this with you.
  • National Cookie Day: 4 Children in my church gathered on Veterans Day and baked cookies for Wounded Warriors. What could you and friends do for a special group with needs?
  • World Wildlife Conservation Day: 4 Learn about programs for wildlife rescue or other programs to help wildlife.
  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: 7 Read and study about this day in history. What is a way to help heal these wounds?
  • National Cotton Candy Day: 7 Thoughts of cotton candy at fairs, circuses, and festivals brings smiles. How can you bring smiles to others?
  • Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day: 8 If you could travel back to an earlier time in your life, what time would that be and why? Was something special done for you? What is something special you could do in the future for someone else?
  • Nobel Prize Day: 10 Nobel Peace Prize is the one I chose to spotlight.  Awards are presented for other categories.  Can you name other categories?  If your teacher says, “That’s Nobel Prize behavior,” what does she mean? 
  • National Cocoa Day: 12 Do you like a cup of hot chocolate? By the fire? On a hayride? Other times? What made this a special time? How can you help others enjoy special times?
  • National Re-gifting Day: 17 What does it mean to re-gift? If I give you a good laugh, could you do the same for someone else? Would this be an example of re-gifting? Can you re-gift items other than purchased presents?
  • Wright Brothers Day: 17 What gift did the Wright Brothers give to the world? Name ways that flight has brought joy to others.
  • International Migrants Day: 18 What is a migrant worker? What are some ways people have stood up for migrants? What ways have people helped migrant workers?
  • National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day: 18 Some people have parties where guests wear an ugly Christmas sweater. At other events, guests may be asked to bring canned goods for the needy as an admission fee. What are other ways to remember those in need while partying?
  • Underdog Day: 18 What is an underdog? List ways you can help an underdog.  Could the needy be considered as underdogs? 
  • Poet Laureate Day: 20 Research for names of poet laureates. Can you name a poet who writes about showing concern for others.
  • World Day of Prayer and Action for Children: 20 “Working to create a world where children are free from violence.”  Read more here:  https://prayerandactionforchildren.org/
  • Crossword Puzzle Day: 21 Consider creating a crossword puzzle about caring for the needy. Check this site for help: www.puzzlemaker.com
  • Humbug Day: 21 What does “humbug” mean? Who made this word famous? When might someone use this word when asked to help with charities?
  • National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day: 21 Read about this day here:  http://nationalhomeless.org/about-us/projects/memorial-day/
  • World Peace Day/Winter Solstice: 21 What would world peace look like? How can you stand up for peace?
  • Christmas: 25 Many people donate to a charity at Christmas. What other ways can you help the needy?
  • Boxing Day: 26 (Canada) I recently saw a rerun of a MASH television program where people were participating in Boxing Day. On this day, people trade jobs with someone. This reminds me of “walking in someone else’s shoes.”  Do you think job trade for a day could be helpful?  In what way, if any?
  • National Candy Cane Day: 26  Read The Legend of the Candy Cane here:  http://www.spanglercandy.com/our-brands/candy-canes/legends
  • National Thank-you Note Day: 26 Do you write thank-you notes? Who do you need to thank for a gift? Have you ever received a thank-you note?
  • Visit The Zoo Day: 27 What is your favorite animal? Read about animals you like to visit. Visit the zoo if you can. This time of year, could be too cold for some animals to be outside.  Spending time at the zoo brings pleasure to many. 
  • New Years Eve: 31 How will you spend New Years Eve? Do you have a goal(s) set for 2016?
  • Universal Hour of Peace Day: 31 An hour of peace is doable. What will you do to keep the peace in your life for an hour? 
  • World Peace Meditation Day: 31 Plan a day with peace as the goal. What things will you do differently? Could you continue to do these things beyond the day?

For archived activities for December, see here:




Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  I look forward to reading them. Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!


Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Character Traits, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Physical Education, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

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