A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Summer Vacation Souvenir Survey–Your Favorites and Theirs

Posted by lindamartinandersen on August 9, 2012


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

Question:  What do these words have in common?  Souvenirs, tourists, gifts, mementos, collections, and budget. 

Answer:  Vacation.

Every fall when school starts back, teachers ask students to write about “What did you do over summer vacation?”  Why not approach this assignment in a unique way this year? Survey friends and family members about vacation souvenirs to discover what was received or purchased and which were favorites.  Then when you return to school you can answer, “I conducted a survey about vacation souvenirs.  Here are my results.” 

Brainstorm about summer vacation souvenirs and then you’ll be ready to conduct a survey.  I have created a sample.  I hope you find it helpful.

Name some summer vacation souvenirs you have received or collected.  Make a list.  Divide the items into Purchased Souvenirs and Free Souvenirs.

Name some summer vacation souvenirs you’ve purchased for others.  Make a list.  Divide the items into Purchased Souvenirs  and Free Souvenirs.

Survey your friends about souvenirs received and purchased.  Tally the results.  What was the most popular souvenir?  What was the least popular?  Group surveys by age.  Consider these groupings:  Under 6, 6-12, 13-18, and Over 18.

 Survey of Vacation Souvenirs 

Age Group:  ____(under 6), ____(6-12), ____(13-18), and ____(Over 18)


For Self

For Others


One For Self


One For Others

T-shirt or other clothing





Mug, refrigerator magnet, etc.





Photographs or postcards





Toy or stuffed animal





Ticket stub





Shells, rocks, etc.





Snowglobe, Replica of Place,etc. 















Number 1 most frequently received–is it a T-shirt? 

As for me, I’d rather get photographs or postcards, if I can’t go along on the trip.  Some people call that taking an “armchair vacation” because you can enjoy the beauty without leaving your oversized comfy armchair.  Here are a few photographs from friends who traveled far and wide. Can you find these locations on a world map or globe?  To visit the photographers’ blogs/websites, click the links below:



www.joanyedwards.com (Joan’s photographs are not available here, but activities for children are)

Columns built for Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Copyright © 2012 Maureen Wartski

Fountain in Versailles, France.  Copyright © 2012 Maureen Martski

Clear Creek River Georgetown, Colorado, taken from Georgetown Loop Narrow Gauge Train Ride. Copyright © 2012 Joan Edwards

Tambopata Research Center in Rainforest of Peru. Copyright © 2012 Joy Acey

Howler Monkey in Rainforest of Peru. Copyright © 2012 Joy Acey

Mt. Rainier near Washington Route 7, about 25 miles south of Puyallup, Washington. Copyright © 2012 Joan Edwards

All photographs were used with permission by the owner.  Thank you to my friends who shared these interesting scenes.  Thanks to all the readers who stopped by to visit “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please leave a comment and come back soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Games, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

May 2012 Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 30, 2012

“May 2012 Activities” by Linda Martin Andersen

  “A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find word play, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

“April showers bring May flowers.”



May Activities

“April showers bring May flowers.”
Think:  What else do April showers bring?  April showers bring May fever.  April showers bring May pollen.  April showers bring May trips to the garden center for ________________,    _______________, and  _______________.  What other thoughts come to mind about May?

Special Days in May:

  • Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 13)
  • Memorial Day (Monday, May 28)

Special Weeks in May:

  • Be Kind to Animals Week (5-12)
  • Children’s Book Week (7-13)
  • Teacher Appreciation Week (7-11)
  • Reading is Fun Week (13-19)
  • Universal Family Week (12-19)
  • Emergency Medical Support (EMS) Week (15-2l)

May is…

  • Get Caught Reading Month
  • National Military Appreciation Month

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for May celebration information.  For more May observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/may.html.  Then try these:

  • Name an observance that made you chuckle. 
  • Name one that is new to you.
  • What is an observance you would propose be added?  Why?

Brainstorm about May:
Think: May and keywords for the month–quotes, May flowers, books with “May” in the title.

Think: May observances and related words such as Mother’s Day, Mother, May I? (game).

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters below and leave a comment…

1. When you think of May, what quotes come to mind?  Example:  “Bloom where you’re planted.”  What does that mean?  Who do you know who blooms where he/she is planted?  Tell why.

2. What flowers bloom in May in your area?  What about other areas?  What is blooming now in Spain, Japan, London?  Choose another location if you’d like.  Find these places on a globe or atlas.

3. Do you have a favorite flower?  What is it?  Do you have a special memory that comes to mind when you see, smell, or think of this flower?

4. Search for books with “May” in the title.  What titles did you found?  Select one from the library.  Do you know how to do a book search from the library’s online listing?  Tell about any “May” books you’ve read.  For example:  I recently read May B. by Caroline Starr Rose.  It is written in verse, a type of poetry.  Have you ever read a book in verse?  May B  is a historical novel about a girl abandoned on the Kansas prairie.

5. Create a special Mother’s Day card (Grandmother/Aunt/Foster Mom).  Write a message about a special Mother’s Day memory or thank your mother for something she has done for you.

6. Did you know that there is a flower that is called a “May Pop?”  What do you imagine it looks like?  How do you think it got its name?  Search and see if you are correct.

7. What is a May Pole Dance?  Find pictures, watch a video, or try the dance with others.

8. When is “May Day” used as a distress call?  Can you name a movie that used this call?

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

*Resources:  htttp.//www.vertex42.com (calendar)

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen


Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

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