A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘reading groups’

October 2015: Have Fun and Be Safe Awards

Posted by lindamartinandersen on September 30, 2015

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  “October 2015:  Have Fun and Be Safe Awards” by Linda Martin Andersen


Often parents send their kids off from home with this message:  “Have fun and be safe.”  That expression inspired this list for October 2015.  Enjoy these and other fun October celebrations.  (Awards selected by me for this site only.) Poster created at http://quozio.com/index.aspx

October is… National Bake and Decorate MonthTry something new or bake and decorate a family favorite.  Include some math fun if you have a “little helper.” National Book MonthHow high is your “To Read” stack.  Lower it a little by reading more this month. National Cookbook MonthHow can you tell a great cookbook from one rarely used?  The pages are stained,  dog-eared (do you know the meaning?), ripped out for a personal file, or have modifications written on them.  Name other ways to identify a great cookbook. National Dental Hygiene MonthCan you name your dentist and hygienist?  After all, you shouldn’t let just anyone dig around in your mouth.  😉 Thank them for helping keep your teeth and gums healthy. National Field Trip MonthName school field trips you’ve been on.  Can you remember the grade, teacher, something special from the trip, etc.?  Special moments become lifetime memories. National Popcorn Poppin’ MonthIn your opinion, what’s the right time for pop corn?  What’s your favorite flavor?  What’s your favorite salty snack?  Have you ever strung popcorn for holiday decorating? National Reading Group MonthReading groups aren’t just for kids.  Book clubs are popular with all ages.  Tell about a reading group/book club experience you enjoyed. Pizza MonthAre you a pizza lover?  When you hear “pizza,” do you think of fraction problems, pie charts, topping choices, cheese, meat, crust, friends, parties, or a combination of these?  Do you usually eat pizza at night or during the day?  On week days or weekends?  Do you usually take out or eat in?  Positive Attitude MonthWhat is an attitude adjustment?  If you are told you need one, is that most likely a compliment or a criticism/insult?  Give an example.  Special Weeks in October:

  • National Walk Your Dog Week: 1-7Do you walk a dog on a regular basis?  Where do you like to walk?  Have you ever jogged with your dog or had your dog follow beside along while you rode a bike? 
  • National Storytelling Weekend: 2-4Have you ever heard a professional storyteller?  Who do you like to have tell you stories?  Has anyone ever personalized a story for you where you are the main character?  Do you like to tell stories?  Do you like to act them out? 
  • International Post Card Week: 4-10When did you last receive a post card or send one?  What are “Save the Date” cards?  When are these usually sent?  Have you ever bought post cards of tourist sites instead of taking photographs?  Why?
  • Great Books Week:4-10What makes a book great in your opinion?  If I’m able to compare a book I’ve read to another one, it’s probably because it was great to me.  Maybe the author wouldn’t “see” the connection, but I do.  Sometimes, someone names an animal and you immediately think of a favorite book with that animal as a character.  A connection that sticks with me makes a book special, in my opinion.  What else makes a book great? 
  • National Carry A Tune Week: 4-10Just sing, whether you can carry a tune or not.  😉
  • Kids’ Goal Setting Week: 5-9Name a goal you set and reached.  What action helped you reach that goal?  Who encouraged you?  Who did you thank for helping you?
  • National Metric Week: 5-11Use metric units this week.  Look for them everywhere you go.
  • National School Lunch Week: 12-16Do you eat school lunches or bring lunch from home?  What is your favorite lunch?  Do you drink milk or bring a beverage from home? What’s a favorite cafeteria memory?
  • World Rainforest Week: 12-18Read stories about the rainforest.  Research and learn more about this special place.  Name animals and plants you would find there.
  • National School Bus Safety Week: 14-23What are some ways to keep your bus ride safe?  Who is your favorite bus driver?  I hope you’ll send that driver a card and thank him/her for keeping you safe. 
  • Teen Read Week: 18-24Name favorite teen reads.  Swap books with other teens.  Read extra this week.
  • World Origami Days: 24-11/11Have you ever made origami art?  What objects have you made?  What did you do with them?
  • Kids Care Week: 25-31Name some topics kids care about.  Do you do service projects?  How do these help others?
  • Red Ribbon Week: 23-31Does your school celebrate this week to encourage drug prevention?  If so, how?

Special Days in October:

  • National Book It! Day: 1  Read, read, read.  Who can you read to?
  • National Diversity Day: 2  Name ways you include everyone.  Tell about a time you reached out to someone who needed a friend.
  • World Smile Day: 2  Name big smile moments.   What were you doing? 
  • World Card Making Day: 3  Who could you make a card?  Tracy Campbell is a friend of mine who makes cards.  See here:  http://www.tracycampbell.net/shop.html
  • Blessing of The Animals Day (aka Blessing of the Pets Day, World Pet Day): 4  Name ways animals bless us.  Ask if you can walk a dog for a family friend or neighbor.  Does your family have a pet?  How do you help care for the pet?
  • Balloons Around The World Day: 7  If you could send a balloon to another country, which country would it be?  Why?  Would you write a message on the balloon?  If so, what would it say?
  • You Matter To Me Day: 7 Name as many people as you can who matter to you.  Please tell them so today.
  • National Chess Day: 9  Do you know how to play chess?  Would you like to learn?  Ask your parents about it.
  • National Costume Swap Day: 10 Have you ever swapped costumes with someone?  What character would you like to be?  What if every student in a class brought in an old costume for dress up.  Describe that day.
  • Universal Music Day: 1Name your favorite song, dance, instrument, and a time you attended a musical performance. 
  • World Homeless Day: 10  Name ways homeless are helped in your area.  Do you know any students who are homeless?  How could your school help?
  • World Porridge Day: 10  What story comes to mind when you hear the word “porridge?”  Read that story or tell it to someone else today. 
  • National Face Your Fears Day: 13  Name fears you have.  Ask friends what fears they have.  Share yours.  What can be done about these fears?
  • Silly Sayings Day: 13  What do you consider a “silly saying?”  Name one and tell what you think it means.  Ask others to add silly sayings to your list.
  • National Bring Your Teddy Bear To Work & School Day: 14 Do you know an adult who has a Teddy Bear or other stuffed animal?  A friend gave me a beanie baby monkey named Grapes.  Can you guess what color he is?  I’m writing a story about zoo animals and she surprised me with a stuffed monkey.  When have you given or received a stuffed animal?  Have you ever taken one to work or school?  Have you ever given one to someone in the hospital?  Other times?
  • International Top Spinning Day: 14  Have you ever spun a top?  If not, try it today.  Try spinning plastic lids or pot lids.  What else can be spun?  What do entertainers sometimes spin?  Maybe you’d like to watch a video of a spinning act.
  • National Fossil Day: 14  Where can you see fossils today?  Name some educational websites with fossil information.  Did you know that public librarians can help you identify research sites?
  • National Cake Decorating Day: 15  Have you ever helped decorate a cake?  Could you decorate one today?  What themes can you name for birthday cakes?
  • National Grouch Day: 15 —Name two characters named Oscar who were grouches.  Does that mean Oscar Awards are for grouches?  Who are they for?
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day: 17  What does “gaudy” mean?  Check here:  
  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gaudy
  • Choose clothes you think would be considered gaudy if worn together.  Ask a parent’s opinion.  Maybe you could take a picture of yourself in this outfit and share it with friends.  Or perhaps friends would like to visit you in a gaudy outfit, just for fun.  You never get too old for dress up.  😉
  • Celebration of The Mind Day: 21  How could you celebrate your mind today?  Brainstorm?  Create something, etc?  I hope you will.
  • Make A Difference Day: 24  Name favorite famous people who have made a difference.  How can you make a difference at home, school, your neighborhood, your world?
  • Sourest Day: 25Name sour things.  What would you consider a “sour” day?  Write about it.  Please share a comment with us.
  • Howl at The Moon Night: 26What do you howl at?  Name characters that howl at the moon?  What emotions do you feel when you hear this sound?  Why?
  • Visit A Cemetery Day: 26  Have you ever visited family graves?  Have you ever taken a tour through a cemetery?  Some towns offer tours and ghost stories near Halloween.  Does yours?
  • Checklist Day: 30Do you keep checklists?  Daily?  What happens if you lose your list?  What do you do?  Make a To Do Checklist that’s all Fun–not chores.  What would you include for the week?
  •  Frankenstein Friday: 30  Have you ever watched a Frankenstein movie?  What horror movies do you like?  Do you like to read about zombies and werewolves? Others?
  • Haunted Refrigerator Night: 30 What items in your refrigerator could be frightful?  How?
  • National Candy Corn Day: 30Do you like candy corn?  Do you have a “sweet tooth?”  What is your favorite Halloween treat?
  • Books For Treats Day: 31Name books that would make great Halloween/Fall titles.  Plan to read these throughout the month.
  • Halloween or All Hallows Eve: 31Name your best and worst Halloween experiences.
  • National Forgiveness Day: 31Will you forgive someone who disappoints you or scares you or does something that upsets you today?  My friend Tracy Campbell, shared a blog post and art about forgiveness.  Enjoy:  www.tracycampbell.net/blog.
  • National Knock-Knock Jokes Day: 31What is a knock-knock joke you could share as you Trick or Treat?
  • National Magic Day: 31  Name a magician.  When you hear the word “magic,” what comes to mind?  Can you do any magic tricks?  Show someone a trick.  Learn a new one.  Read stories or books about this topic. 

Earlier posts for October include:



For more celebrations this month, check here:  http://www.brownielocks.com/ I look forward to your comments.  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.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

October’s Activities–This Month’s Calendar Events

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 1, 2013

“October Activities–This Month’s Calendar Events 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.

What do you think of when you hear “October?”  My guess is that Halloween would be the number one response.  Why wait until the last day of the month to celebrate?  Check here for additional special days, weeks, and month-long celebrations. 

Special Days in October:

  • International Day of Older Persons:  1  How would you define an older person?  Name one older person you admire who lives in your area.  Name one person you admire who lives in another country.  How do you know this person?  Do these people know you admire them?  How do they know?
  • Techie’s Day:  1  What is a “techie?”  Are you one?  Would you want to be?  Why or why not?  How do you think a “techie” spends a typical day?
  • Balloons Around the World Day:  2  Brainstorm things with the balloon in their name.  Research balloon floats, how to make balloon animals, hot air balloons, balloon surgery, etc.
  • World Farm Animals Day:  2  What farmer’s name comes to mind when you think of an animal farm?  What are the first three animals that come to mind?  Have you ever lived on a farm?  What kind of farm work do you think would be the dirtiest job? 
  • Blessing of the Animals Day (aka Blessing of the Pets Day, World Pet Day):  4  Do you know an animal that has been blessed at church?  What kind of animal?
  • World Smile Day:  4  Smile.  Pass it on.  Smile.  Pass it on.  Smile.  Pass it on.  Keep going!
  • World Card Making Day:  5  When was the last time you made a card?  Who did you give it to?
  • World Teachers Day:  5  What is your favorite subject in school?  What is your least favorite class?  Who was your favorite teacher for each?  Give these teachers a big “Thank You!”
  • Intergeneration Day:  6  What does intergeneration mean?  Give an example.
  • Child Health Day:  7  Where could you go and what could you do this day to improve your health?
  • You Matter To Me Day:  7  Name three people you would say this to.  Why do these people matter?  Tell them.
  • National Face Your Fears Day:  8  Name a fear you have.  Find at least one book that addresses this fear.  Read it.  Did you find this reading helpful?  Why or why not?  Would you be willing to try this with another fear? 
  • International Newspaper Carrier Day:  20  Does your family subscribe to a local paper?  Do you ever read it?  What section do you choose to read?
  • International Day of the Girl:  11  Name a girl you admire and tell why.  What positive qualities does this girl have?
  • Columbus Day:  12  What year was his discovery?  What were the name of his ships?
  • Spider Man Day:  14  What do you admire about Spider Man?  What positive qualities does he have?
  • I Love Lucy Day:  15  Do you find these programs funny?  What makes some of the scenes funny?
  • National Grouch Day:  15  Who are some famous grouch characters in movies, books, television, and real life.  What causes the characters to be grouchy?
  • Dictionary Day:  16  Survey family and friends.  Ask:  How old is your dictionary?  How often do you use it?  Do you use an online dictionary?  How often?
  • National Fossil Day:  16  Research fossils.  Consider visiting a museum with fossils.  Have fossils been found in your area?  What kind?  Read a nonfiction book about fossils.  What do we call someone who hunts for fossils?  Read about one of them.  Read a fiction book about fossils. 
  • Fossil (Eyewitness Books Series)                                                                              After the Dinosaurs: Mammoths and Fossil Mammals (I Can Read Book Series: Level 2)Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record (Ivy and Bean Series #3)
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day:  17   What does gaudy mean?  Where did you look it up?  Have you ever heard someone describe an outfit as gaudy?  Did you agree or disagree?  Why?
  • Information Overload Day:  20  What does it mean to have information overload?  Do you think a computer can experience this? Have you ever experienced it?  Write what a person might say who is experiencing this.
  • Celebration of The Mind Day:  21  What would be a great way to celebrate this day?  Name three things you are glad that you remember.  What does this expression mean:  Mind over matter? 
  • International Stuttering Awareness Day:  22  Research the cause of stuttering, what sounds are often stuttered, and ways to overcome stuttering.  People who pick on/bully a person who stutters might do this.  What?  How do people usually react to someone being picked on?  What will you do the next time you witness this?
  • United Nations Day:  24  What does it mean to be united?  Name an example of something good this organization has accomplished.  http://www.un.org/en/
  • International Bandanna Day:  25  What is a bandanna?  Who wears them?  Name two places on a body these are usually worn.  What gangs are known for wearing colors?  What colors?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerchief  What is a Psalm 91 bandana?  Do you know?  Who might wear one?
  • Make a Difference Day:  26  How have you made a difference?  What else would you like to do to make a difference?  Who would say you have made a difference?  Who would you like to thank for making a difference in your life? 
  • National Forgiveness Day:  26  What is your definition of forgiveness?  Who do you need to forgive?  Who will you ask to forgive you?
  • National Chocolates Day:  28  Make a list of your favorite chocolates.  Who manufactures the kind of candy you like?  Research and see what other products they make. 
  • St. Jude’s Day:  28  What is St. Jude’s mission?  Do you know anyone who has spent time there?  Why?  Who founded St. Jude? 
  • http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f87d4c2a71fca210VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD
  • Internet Day:  29  Name three wise uses of the internet.  Name three uses that are not wise.  What are some illegal uses of the internet?  Do you know anyone abusing the internet?  What can you do about it?
  • Visit a Cemetery Day:  29  Have you ever visited a family member’s grave?  Was a special message engraved?  Was there a marker?  A tombstone?  What is the difference?  Have you ever placed flowers on a grave?  Was the cemetery a private one, a church one, or a city owned one?  Is there vandalism in cemeteries in your area?  What has been done about it?  What else can be done?
  • Halloween:  31 Do you participate in Trick-or-Treat?  Do you wear a costume?  Do you hand out candy?  Do you decorate your home and/or yard for Halloween? Do you go to costume parties?
  • National Knock-Knock Jokes Day:  31  Find copies of joke books.  Ask a friend to join you.  Take turns looking for knock-knock jokes and sharing them.  Have fun!
  • National Magic Day:  31  Do you know any magic tricks?  Check out books on magic tricks or books about magicians.  If you found a magic lamp, what would you wish for?

Special Weeks: 

  • Universal Children’s Week:  1-7 Name famous children in movies or TV.  Name children who have made a difference in sports or mission work, etc.  Name children you know who you admire?  Why? 
  • World Space Week:  4-10  Brainstorm space words.  Research at least one of them.  What movie, TV show, or book comes to mind when you think “space?” Perhaps you could have a “Space” family night.  Each family member selects a favorite DVD or TV program to watch.  Space documentaries could be viewed too.
  • Fire Prevention Week:  6-12  My last post was about chimney safety and fire prevention.  Check here if you missed it.  I hope you’ll try writing a riddle of your own.  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/what-if-firefighters-teamed-up-with-santa-for-national-chimney-safety-week/
  • Great Books Week:  6-12 Name a great children’s book you would recommend to someone your age.  What was a great one from when you were a very young child?  Have a discussion with friends at the lunch table or on the playground about a favorite book.  Ask about theirs.
  • Mystery Series Week:  6-12  Do you read mysteries? Name some famous ones.   Look for them at the library.  Ask a friend for a suggestion.  Ask a librarian. 
  • Astronomy Week:  7-13  What astronomy questions come to mind?  For example, About how many stars are there?  Research your question. Did you find the answer?  If not, who can you ask for help?
  • Kids’ Goal Setting Week:  7-11  What goals do you have set for yourself?  Would you like to add others?  What steps will you take to reach your goals.  Talk to your parents about goal setting. 
  • World Rainforest Week:  7-13  Read about the rainforest.  Watch a documentary.  What animals live there?  Are any endangered?  What would you like to know?  Research it.
  • Earth Science Week:  13-19  Brainstorm earth science topics.  Which would you like to learn more about?  Do it.
  • National School Lunch Week:  14-18  Do you eat school lunch?  Which is your favorite?  What is one of your favorite items served?  Do people who bring their lunch sit together at your school or may they sit anywhere?  What food would you like to see served more often?  Less often?  Name children’s books that show cafeteria ladies or cafeteria scenes.
  • The Cafeteria Lady from the Black Lagoon                                                                                 
  • National Character Counts Week:  20-26  Brainstorm a list of character traits.  What do you think is the most important character trait?  Why? 
  • National Forest Products Week:  20-26  What are national forest products?  List the ones you know.  Research to learn more products.  Why are some forests preserved as National Parks?  Name one.
  • National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week:  20-26  What is lead poisoning?  Is this still a threat?  In what ways?  Research.
  • Red Ribbon Week:  20-26  What is Red Ribbon Week?  Why is it celebrated?  Does you school celebrate?  How?
  • National School Bus Safety Week:  21-25  Check here for a link to North Carolina Bus Safety information.  Enjoy tips and games:  http://www.ncbussafety.org/ncbussafety.html  Research to learn about bus safety in your area.

October is…

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month Think Pink!  Have you ever participated in a walk to raise funds for cancer research?  What other ways can you show support?
  • Bullying Prevention Month  Who can you talk with about bully prevention or bully problems?  What programs are in place at your school to keep you safe?
  • Blindness Awareness Month  What eye diseases cause impaired vision or blindness?  Have you ever known a child who had to have large print materials for school?  Do you know any adults who need large print?  Do you know anyone with a service dog?  Did you know that many public libraries carry machines that enlarge printed material?  What other tools are available?
  • Celebrating The Bilingual Child Month  What is bilingual?  Do you know someone who is bilingual?  What books can you name that are intended for the bilingual market?   
  • Children’s Magazine Month  When you get a chance to browse in the library, which is your favorite children’s magazine?  What do you enjoy most about it?  Do you receive any magazine subscriptions?  If so, which ones?  What would you recommend for someone younger than you?  Why?  Talk magazine talk with a friend this month.
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month  What is Down Syndrome?  Do you know someone with this?  Does the person attend regular classes or Special Education Classes?  Does the person live at home or in a Group Home?  What questions do you have about Down Syndrome?  What  more would you like to learn about Down Syndrome? 
  • Dyslexia Awareness Month What is dyslexia?  Do you know anyone who has this?  How does it affect his/her learning?    
  •  National Popcorn Poppin’ Month  Serve popcorn with a movie.  Do you pop your own?  What flavor do you prefer?  Have you ever seen popcorn growing?  Research to learn more. 
  • National Reading Group Month Does your school have reading groups, whole class reading, book clubs, independent reading and tests on books read?  What do you read for fun?  How could you increase the amount of reading you do?
  • National Roller Skating Month  Do you roller skate?  Is there a night each month for beginners?  Consider a family skate night.
  • Photographer Appreciation Month Who is a photographer in your family?  Would it be possible to have this person teach you a few tips? 
  • Pizza Month  How could you celebrate this month without eating pizza every day? 
  • Positive Attitude Month Name a way to turn a “frown upside down.”
  • Squirrel Awareness Month Watch squirrels closely this month.  What new fact did you learn?  Research for more.
  • Tackling Hunger Month  How would you tackle hunger?  Is that being done?  Research to see what else is being done.  Read about “Stop Hunger Now.” http://www.stophungernow.org/
  • Talk About Prescriptions Month Check with your parents about the proper use of prescription drugs. 
  • Vegetarian Month  What is a vegetarian?  Are you one?  Who do you know who is? How does a vegetarian get the protein needed in a diet?

What will you celebrate this month?  What will you research?  What will you read about?  I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Please note:   Children 13 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon and bring a friend. 

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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