A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Story starter idea’

Lost and Found–What Have You Lost and Where Was It Found, Or Was It?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 8, 2014

“Lost and Found–What Have You Lost and Where Was It Found, Or Was It?” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

Lost and Found

At Schools:  Have you ever checked for a missing item in the Lost and Found collection?  Be prepared to find a closet stuffed with anything from bats (baseball) to hats, shirts to coats,  a single earring to sunglasses.   Some schools donate remaining items to local charities at the end of each year.  Usually before doing so, items are placed on display.  Most of the time, names haven’t been written on inside tags and few pieces are ever claimed.  Are kids too embarrassed to pick from the collection or don’t they recognize their own things?  Wonder how a kid would respond to that?  To me? To another friend?  Different responses, I’d say.

At Motels and Cottages:  Have you ever stayed in a motel or cottage during a vacation and left something behind?  What was it?  Did you get it back?  Did the shipping cost you more than it was worth?

At a gymnasium:  My husband recently had a double lung transplant (for real) and he attended pulmonary rehabilitation while in Durham, NC.  I chuckled at the basket of lost things displayed on a counter there.  Items not claimed were donated at the end of each month.  This was a gym for adults.  Probably some of the adults with lost items at the gym were guilty of having scolded a child long ago for the same offense. This shows we all lose things.  And as you will see in the next  two sections, I’m guilty too.

At a Furnished Apartment:  My husband and I stayed at a furnished apartment for seven months while he was in the Lung Transplant Program at Duke Hospital.   The household furnishings were somewhat limited; so, I supplemented with favorite housewares from home.  Someone asked me shortly after we moved in, “How will you remember what’s yours?”  Surely, I’d remember, I thought.  But after a while, my memory did get somewhat dull.  Many of the housewares seemed like mine.  Mine for there or mine for home?  Mine for temporary or mine for permanent?

Long Story Short: When it was time to pack up to move back home from our temporary apartment stay, I was missing three items:  a fork, a pillowcase, and a dish towel.  Was I sure the inventory was complete when I moved in?  Not really.  When people help you move, you don’t call out, “Stop!  Let me check the inventory before you start putting our things away.”  Now it’s possible that I accidentally put the fork in the trash, but how do you misplace a pillowcase and a dish towel?  Hmmm…What did I do?  I replaced them.  I had brought extra silverware from home since the apartment only furnished a place setting for four. Thank goodness I didn’t mind leaving one of my forks behind.  I bought a matching dish towel to replace the one I couldn’t find.  I also left behind one of my own white pillowcases as a substitute.

Story Starter Idea:  A missing fork, a pillowcase, and a dish towel.  Could you write a detective story with this story starter? An adventure story?  A fantasy?  Could you write a story about a lost item at school or of finding an item?  What about a story of a recent find?  For example, I found a sock that had been missing for a while, one I had probably blamed the dryer for eating.  The sock was in the lining of my lightweight jacket, stuffed near the cuff.  I laughed at the silliness of it all.  Have you ever forgotten to take an item out of a pocket and washed it by mistake?  I set a rule in our house when our sons were small: any money left in pockets was mine if I found it in the laundry.  I never found much!

I hope you’ll share a lost and found story that comes to mind for you.

If you’d like some activity ideas for celebrating October, check these posts from earlier years:



Please share  ways you will celebrate October.  To learn about other special days this month, visit http://www.brownielocks.com/october.html

Thanks for visiting.  Come back soon and bring a friend. 

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