A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Joyce Hostetter’

Happy New Year! Will You Be a Mover and a Shaker in 2015?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 1, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“Happy New Year!  Will You Be a Mover and a Shaker in 2015?”

I’ve been helping my sister and niece move to a new home and the expression “movers and shakers” came to mind.  I was definitely a “mover.”  I hope I won’t be remembered as a “shaker,” as in rattle-rattle, was that glass?

If you’d like to check out the real meaning of “movers and shakers,” check here:  http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/movers-and-shakers.html

What about you, will you be a mover and a shaker in 2015?  Will you accomplish things that make you proud?

And your response:  Certainly!  Of course!

Here are some fun celebrations for January.  Perhaps you can start with traditional New Year’s Day foods and choose a few other celebrations to enjoy this month.  The complete list of January events can be found at http://www.brownielocks.com/january.html

 January is…

Book Blitz Month  How many books can you read in a month?  Reminds me of  “How low can you go” when doing The Limbo.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo_(dance)  In this case, it’s how high a stack can you read?  What’s tops on your list?
Get Organized Month  Straighten, shuffle, do things more efficiently, and better.  How will accomplish this?
International Brain Teaser Month  What type brain teasers do you like to do?  In my mind, writing and illustrating for publication counts.  Do you agree?
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month  Our older son took skiing classes while in college.  It was the best money we ever spent on physical education courses.  Do you ski? 
National Hot Tea Month Someone gave me a special hot tea mug once.  Now, that’s a serious hot tea drinker.  Are you?
National Skating Month  Spotlighting Tara Lazar and her upcoming publication, as announced here: http://taralazar.com/2012/06/21/ryan-gosling-makes-a-book-announcement/

illustrated by Troy Cummings
Random House
October 2015

National Soup Month Link  What’s your favorite soup?  Have you tried something new lately?  We’d love to hear about it. 
National Volunteer Blood Donor Month  Always needed and appreciated. 
Oatmeal Month  Do you eat oatmeal?  I like mine with raisins.  
Teen Driving Awareness Month 
My niece just got her driver’s permit.  Makes this one personal to me.  Do you know a teen driver?  How can you show him or her support and courtesy?

Special Weeks in January:

World Leprosy Week: 25-31 Joyce Hostetter wrote a book called Healing Water.  Learn more about it here:


Joyce Moyer Hostetter - Healing Water Book Cover
Healing Water
This is the story of Pia, a thirteen year old Hawaiian boy who is banished to the Kalaupapa leprosy settlement. Like so many others in the settlement he is in a fight for survival.  He finds he must choose between anger and forgiveness, goodwill and hatred.

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week: 26-31 Gather your favorite poetry books.  Invite friends to bring their favorites.  Sit around a fireplace and take turns sharing.  That’s a deviation on a cowboy poetry gathering.

US National Snow Sculpting Week: 28-2/1  Snow sculptures are amazing sights.  What would you like to sculpt with snow?  Why?

Special Days in January:
Argyle Day: 8  What is argyle?  Research to learn more about it?  Have you ever owned an argyle sweater?
Bubble Bath Day: 8 Do you shower or bathe?  Bubble bath or plain?  Favorite brand?  
Rubber Duckie Day: 13 Do rubber duckies join you in your bath?  Other tub or shower favorites?
Dress Up Your Pet Day: 14 Do you dress up your pet?  Only at Halloween?  On a regular basis?  Share about it.
Appreciate A Dragon Day: 16  Would you rather have a real or pretend dragon?  Why?  What is your favorite dragon story?
Cable Car Day: 17  Name three words that come to mind when you hear this.  If you can’t name three, research this topic, just for fun.  
Kid Inventors’ Day:  17  What would you like to invent?  Why?
Thesaurus Day: 18  Online or hardcopy?  Which do you prefer?  When do you use a thesaurus?
Martin Luther King Day: 19  How will you honor Martin Luther King’s influence on civil rights?
Popcorn Day: 19 I love popcorn.  Do you eat it at the movies, as a snack at home, or some other time?  Have you ever popped it in a big commercial popcorn popper?  Tell a popcorn story of your own.
Tin Can Day: 19  Why do you think this day is significant?  What is used today instead of tin?
Inauguration Day: 20  Have you ever watched a presidential inauguration?  What was special about it to you?
National Hugging Day: 21  Who or what would you like to hug?  What is a tree hugger?

Squirrel Appreciation Day: 21  Dogs like to chase squirrels.  People like to watch them.  Some even hunt them to cook squirrel stew.  What’s a squirrel story you could share?  Any favorite books with squirrel characters? 
National Pie Day: 23 
 Have you ever participated in a pie throw?  What is your favorite experience with a pie throw?  Do you bake pies?  What is your favorite.  Bake one today!
Belly Laugh Day: 24 When did you belly laugh last?  What made you laugh?  Did you cry tears too?
National Compliment Day: 24  What was one of your most treasured compliments?  Why?
National Peanut Butter Day: 24 What is your favorite way to eat peanut butter?  Try a different way today.  I recently tried it with pretzels.  Good!
Opposite Day: 25  Play a modified version of April Fool’s jokes today.  Say the opposite of what you mean.  Then call out, “It’s Opposite Day.” 

National Peanut Brittle Day: 26  Have you ever made peanut brittle?  I love eating it.  To me, it’s like potato chips, in that “it’s hard to eat just one.”
Holocaust Memorial Day: 27 Have you ever visited a Holocaust memorial?  What books have you read on this topic?
National Puzzle Day: 29 What type puzzles do you like?  Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, life’s puzzles (real and in fiction stories)?  Tell about your favorite.
Seeing Eye Dog Day: 29  Like to read dog books?  Look for one on this topic. 
Inspire Your Heart with Art Day: 31  Do something artsy today.  How about every 


Here’s wishing everyone a super start to a brand spanking new year!  I’d love to hear your comments.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

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


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Is it Time to Share That Story Stuck in a Drawer?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 23, 2013

“Is it Time to Share That Story Stuck in the Drawer?” 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.

I recently  visited “Pencil Tips Writing Workshop” blog  and read a post entitled, “Writing Connections with Debbie Levy by Mary Quattlebaum.”  In an interview, Levy stated that something her mom had saved and brought with her as an immigrant to America, told of her days as a Jewish girl in Nazi Germany in 1930.  This reading led Levy to write a book .  Do you have a story or mementos stored away that needs sharing?  Check out this site to read about Debbie Levy’s experience.  http://tinyurl.com/m44vymc

Levy’s finished product is a historical novel in verse called The Year of Goodbyes.   

After reading this post, I was reminded of the current issue of  “Talking Story,” a quality newsletter written by Joyce Hostetter and Carol Baldwin.  Its current theme is immigration.   View it here:  http://www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/p/talking-story.html 

Learn more about these authors at their blogs.  They have discovered that items of historical  interest can be right around the corner or in their neighborhood:

http://joycemoyerhostetter.blogspot.com/  Joyce writes middle grade historical fiction–sometimes local community sites.  She lives in Hickory, North Carolina.

Carol is writing a middle grade novel called Half Truths about local historical events that took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives. http://www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/p/half-truths.html

Carol Baldwin and Joyce Hostetter also offer giveaways at Talking Story.  I just won a copy of The Amazing Harry Kelly Great American Magician by Gail Jarrow.  Lucky me!  I hope you’ll check out the great newsletter and register for future giveaways too.

Here’s another immigration resource from May 22, 2013:  On this day in history “The Great Emigration” departed for Oregon in 1843.  Learn more about it here:  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/great-emigration-departs-for-oregon

Do you have an immigration story you’d like to share here?  Maybe you can turn it into a published story too!

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Hula-Hoop History

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 5, 2013

“Hula-Hoop History” 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.

Hula-Hoop History…read all about it.

Joyce Hostetter, a historical novel author and friend, introduced me to www.history.com.  If you haven’t checked it out, today’s an extra fun day to do so.   I subscribe to their e-newsletter that spotlights things that happened this day in history.  Today’s news headline caught my attention.  I hope it catches yours too.   Hula-Hoop–give it a whirl, at home, on the playground, even at work.


Thanks to Wham-O, who brought us all the Hula-Hoop.  Please share your favorite Hula-Hoop story or other comments.  What other famous toy did Wham-O develop?  Read to see.  Just for fun, how many hyphens do you see here?

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Cow Appreciation Day and a free meal from Chick-fil-A

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 11, 2012

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Is Friday the 13th lucky or unlucky?  Why not make your own luck this year.  On July 13, 2012 you can dress up like a cow, visit Chick-fil-A, and get a free meal.  After all, it’s Cow Appreciation Day.

Thanks to my friend, Joyce Hostetter, for passing on this information.:

For one day only, black and white spots, cow bells and furry ears will be appropriate attire at Chick-fil-A restaurants all across the nation. In celebration of July 13, Cow Appreciation Day (an unofficial yet nationally recognized holiday), Chick-fil-A will award a FREE Meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who comes to one of our 1,600+ restaurants fully dressed as a cow.

Need some more inspiration?  Check out the adorable pictures Joyce shared of her family in their cow costumes. http://www.joycemoyerhostetter.blogspot.com/2012/07/cow-appreciation.html

Joyce has challenged me to toss my jester’s hat and put on my cow ears.  How about you?  If you take pictures, please share them here.  We’ll pass them around at “A Writer’s Playground.” 

Enjoy Cow Appreciation Day and have fun “til the cows come home.”

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen


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