A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘The Whistling Woman’

Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 1, 2015


  • A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Drop Everything and Read.” (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations” by Linda Martin Andersen

April 12, 2015 is Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.)  If you’re a kid, make time to read this day, just for fun.  If you’re an adult, do the same!  If you still have items on your “To Do List” by late afternoon that day, can you put it aside and read something for pleasure?  Will you?  Warning:  don’t get so engrossed in reading that you forget to pick up your child, forget to do your homework, or walk out in traffic, but do make time to read.

Other Special Days in April:

  • April Fools  or All Fools Day: 1  Do you have little brothers or sisters?  Teach them to tell an April Fool’s joke, if they don’t know how.  Demonstrate for them and then  let them practice on you before trying it out on someone else.  Have fun!
  • International Pillow Fight Day: 4  Would you rather have a pillow fight with a foam pillow, a feather pillow, or a bean bag pillow?  Why?
  • Passover: 4  Who celebrates this religious holiday?  Why is it remembered?
  • Easter: 5  Why is this religious holiday important to Christians?  Name three of your family’s Easter traditions?  Which one is most special to you and why?
  • International Whistler’s Day: 5  Name a time that someone tried to whistle and couldn’t.  Name a time someone whistled so loudly that people turned to see what was happening.  Can you whistle?  Who taught you?  If you’d like to hear a champion whistler visit Phyllis Heil, The Whistling Woman, on YouTube here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbrbCcNxRf4
  • International Beaver Day: 7 Have you ever seen a beaver?  What was he doing?  Have you ever seen a beaver dam?  How can beaver dams be harmful to property?  Research to learn about beavers, their dams, trappers, and more.
  • National Farm Animals Day: 10 Have you ever been to a Barnyard birthday party? I haven’t, but I know someone who organized one for her triplets’ birthday party.  What fun those kids must have had.  If you attended a barnyard party, what animals would you expect to see?  Name one or two you would be willing to pet. 
  • Safety Pin Day: 10  Have you ever seen a safety pin?  Have you ever used one on your clothing?  What is its purpose?  Have you ever seen jewelry made with safety pins?  You might want to try making some of your own.  Here is a step-by-step process for a safety pin bracelet:  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bracelet-out-of-Safety-Pins
  • Bicycle Day: 15 What did your first bicycle look like?  What tricks can you do on your bike?  Ask a friend to take a brainstorming contest with you.  Name as many types of bikes as you can in one minute.  What are some jobs that are done on a bicycle? 
  • Ellis Island Family History Day: 17  If you are an American, can you trace the way your family came to the USA?  How would you have liked to come? 
  • National Haiku Poetry Day: 17 Choose a nature topic for April.  Write a three-lined haiku poem of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables.  I’ll share one of mine if you will. 
  • Movie Theatre Day: 23  Do you love to go to the movies?  Who takes you?  How often do you go?  Name a movie you have seen several times.  Why did you agree to watch it so often?
  • World Penguin Day: 25  Have you ever seen a penguin?  Where were you? Was he taller or shorter than you
  • International Dance Day: 29  Is there an international folk festival in the area where you live?  What country’s dance would you like to learn? What dance costume would you like to wear?  What country could your family represent?  How can you find out? Describe that country’s flag.
  • International Guide Dogs Day: 29  Name a time and place you saw a guide dog or  a service dog.  What should you remember when you approach a service dog?  Do you know anyone who trains these animals?  Research to learn more. 
  • World Wish Day: 29  Name three wishes you would make for the world.  Why these?
  • Zipper Day: 29  When did clothing first use zippers?  Name something you own with multiple zippers.  A backpack, a purse, a suitcase, etc.  Do you know how to fix a zipper that gets stuck?  Can you sew zippers in clothing?  If so, you’d probably be called a seamstress.  What name can you make up that seems more appropriate for those who sew zippers? 
  • National Honesty Day: 30  “Honesty is the best policy.” Read Being Frank for a funny look on honesty.  It’s written by Donna W. Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani.  http://www.flashlightpress.com/Being_Frank.html

  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: 30  Do you have a favorite poem you could carry in your pocket on this day?  Who is the poet?  How did you find out about him/her?  Share one of your own poems with others. Special Weeks in April: 
  • National Robotics Week: 4-12  Where have you seen robotics at work?  Where did you learn about this?  If you could create your own personal robot, what chores would you program it to do?
  • Explore Your Career Options: 5-11  What grade do you select a career path in your school? What career do you plan to follow?  Have you ever observed someone in this line of work?  What skills are needed?  How many years of education? 
  • National Blue Ribbon Week:  5-11  In Fair Cow by Leslie  Helakoski, Petunia the pig, a blue ribbon winner at the fair, tries to coach Effie the cow so she can be a winner too.  A fun read. 

  • National Library Week: 12-18   The library has a calendar full of free fun events for people of all ages.  What programs will you attend this month? 
  • National Park Week: 18-26  This fall, all 4th graders in the US will receive a one-year free pass for families to the US National Parks.  The program is called “Every Kid in a Park.”  Now that’s a great gift! See here:  http://www.nationalparks.org/ook/every-kid-in-a-park
  • National Playground Safety Week: 20-24  Have you ever found a loose bolt on a piece of playground equipment?  Have you ever torn your clothes on a piece of equipment?  Who services the playground equipment in your area?  Do volunteers help keep the grounds clean?  What can you do?

April is…

  • Celebrate Diversity Month  Let’s celebrate how we are alike and how we’re different.  How can we do that? 
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month  Every child should have a safe home environment.  Some do not.  Why? 
  • Frog Month  My husband loves frogs and he has an April birthday.  Good reason to spotlight him.  He has frogs that are stuffed animals, ceramic, and metal.  Frogs can be found throughout our house.  Who has a special collection at your house?  Do you?  What is it?
  • Jazz Appreciation Month–I’m taking a workshop this month called “Picture Books and All that Jazz.”  Does the word “jazz” in the  workshop title mean the same as “Jazz” here?  What is the difference, if any?  What is Jazz appreciation?  What does that mean? 
  • Keep America Beautiful  Lately, I’ve noticed more and more paid workers picking up litter along the roadsides.  What can be done to build up community pride to keep America beautiful? 
  • Month of the Military Child  Do you know a child with a parent in the military?  How many times has this child moved in his/her life?  Why do you think there is a month to celebrate the Military Child?
  • National Kite Month  Which would you rather ride:  a kite, a hot air balloon or a magic carpet?  Have you ever flown a kite with a group of people?  On the beach?  in an open field?  On a school yard?  What experiences can you recall  about flying a kite?
  • National Pet Month  Name the type pets you’ve had.  Which was your favorite?  Which one got in the most trouble?  What did he do?
  • National Poetry Month  What is your favorite type of poem?  Do you like poems that rhyme better than ones that don’t.  What could you write a poem about today?  Any special reason?  Write another poem tomorrow, and the next day, and perhaps  the next.  I have a friend who posts a poem every day on her blog.  Please visit Joy Acey who writes “Poetry for Kids Joy.”  See here:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2015/03/having-fun.html

For more ways to celebrate this month, see here:  http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon 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

Posted in Calendar Events, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

“A Writer’s Playground” Welcomes Phyllis Heil, The Whistling Woman, and Offers a CD Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 8, 2012


Raise your hand, if you can whistle.  Keep your hand raised if you ever entered a whistling contest.  Continue to hold your hand up if you won a whistling contest.  Congratulations whistlers! 

Now, put your hands together and give a loud clap or whistle if you’d rather, to welcome a champion whistler.  Well recognized on the stage of the International Whistlers Convention http://www.whistlingiwc.com/, I’m proud to introduce Phyllis Heil from Hickory, North Carolina.

My first opportunity to hear Phyllis whistle was at a patriotic celebration.  So, I’ve invited her to “A Writer’s Playground” in honor of Flag Day, on June 14.  Today, she’s here to whistle “The Grand Old Flag.” 

Here’s Phyllis…

http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/sounds/grand_old_flag.mp3

International Whisting Champion

http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/ 

Welcome Phyllis.  Thank you for agreeing to an interview at “A Writer’s Playground.”

1.  Phyllis, how old were you when you learned to whistle? Around 7 or 8.  Who taught you?  One of my older brothers.   What instructions did you get? To insert my little finger (pinkie) into my mouth, tighten my lips around my finger, pull my finger out of my mouth (holding the round opening it made) and blow.

2.  Who did you share your new whistling skill with and what was the person’s reaction?  I whistled for my mom and she said, “A whistling woman and a crowing hen always come to some bad end.” So out of respect for my  mom,  I didn’t whistle in public for many years.

3. Years later, when you whistled in public who was it  for and what was the reaction? The first public whistling was at a funeral where I was also singing with a quartet. The mourner’s became calm as they listened to me whistle.  How did the reaction change things for you? As my husband was working in the sound booth that day, we both realized that there was a use for whistling and that it has great power to calm people.

4.  Describe the different types of whistling.  Pucker whistling, teeth whistling, hand whistling, throat whistling and probably other styles I don’t even know about.

5.  Are your whistling instructions for a beginner different than the ones you were first given?  If so, how?  No, except I observe the pupil’s position of the lips and chin.  Sometimes I can have the person move his/her chin forward, if it appears the “air” coming out needs a better direction.

 6.  What are some simple tunes you would suggest for a beginner?  “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Amazing Grace, Jesus Loves Me, theme from Mayberry or some song easily recognized.

 7.  Phyllis, I know you’re not one to brag, but please share some of your whistling accomplishments.  Count your plagues, trophies, and ribbons.  It’s time to shine.  Mention special appearances, also. 

 

  • Placed in Grand Championship at my first competition in 2004 and again in 2005. 
  • Named International Whistling Entertainer of the Year (female) in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010.
  • I have competed in the Unifour Senior Games, Silver Performing Arts, received the first place gold medal several times, was once chosen as Best in Show to represent Western NC at state level, where I received the gold medal for my whistling.
  • I appeared/whistled on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. I have been asked to whistle on stage at two Gaither Homecoming Friends concerts. Have been on several TV shows, radio shows and online “shows.”
  • I have performed at many churches, seniors & ladies events, benefits, High Point University (four times in 2012), Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mt. Airy, and traveled from Pennsylvania to Florida performing.
  • Our State magazine, WNC magazine (May, 2012), and “Old Farmer’s Almanac” (New Hampshire)
  • I have been asked by three families to whistle for a relative who was being cared for by Hospice.  I was honored to be a part of that time in the life of a family.

 8. Where is the International Whistlers Convention held?  Founded and held in Louisburg, NC since 1973, except for 2 years when it was held in Japan and China.  What competitions exist for children? Teens and children may compete in the same categories as adults.  Those age groups perform their music on Saturday.  When is the next International Whistlers Convention?  April 2013.

 9. What advice would you give children who want to compete as whistlers?  Find a song you enjoy whistling; get a good, but simple soundtrack for accompaniment and practice, practice, practice. Practice sometimes in front of a mirror to see how you present yourself on stage.

10.  Who do you credit for your ability to whistle?  God and my family who always sang when I was growing up and instilled in me the love of music.

11.  Why do you whistle?  It comes from the joy within and also to uplift those who hear me.

12.  How has whistling brought joy to others?  It seems to have touched many hearts through the years as I’ve observed tears, smiles, and sometimes received standing ovations at the end of concert.

 13.  How did you get your nickname as “The Whistling Woman?”  The manager at a local grocery store used to say, “There comes the whistling woman” when I would be in the store shopping. I often am not aware that I am whistling.  I do it subconsciously.

 14.  What did you want to be when you grew up?  Everything from a nurse to a hair dresser.  What career did you choose?  I was in retail management for many years; then I worked in medical offices and business offices at a local furniture manufacturer.

Thank you, Phyllis, for joining us and for sharing your whistling experiences. 

Readers, did you know that most present and future adults will hold more than one career in their lifetime.  I’m so glad Phyllis decided to include whistling as one of hers.   Aren’t you?  Phyllis gives “Whistle While You Work” a new twist.  She works while she whistles. 

New CD

Click on the link below to hear Phyllis Heil whistle a tune that’s available on the giveaway prize.  http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/sounds/great.mp3 

Here’s a contest everyone can enter, whether you can whistle or not:

A complimentary copy of Phyllis Heil’s CD entitled I’ve Got Joy (Still Whistling His Praises) is being offered as a giveaway to one lucky follower. 

 To enter: 

  • For contact purposes, please list your email address if you are not a follower.
  • Leave a comment about whistling.  Name a tune you can whistle or tell about a whistling experience. 
  • If you are a child, or registering for a child, mention that information and you will receive an extra entry. 
  • Please let me know if you post this contest to Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc.  You will receive an extra entry.
  • International entries will be accepted in honor of the international whistling competition.
  • Contest ends at midnight, June 20, 2012.  The winner will be announced on June 22.  Thank you for participating.

I am pleased to announce that Phyllis Heil’s story, written by Linda Martin Andersen (that’s me), will be published in the November 10, 2012 issue of Guide magazine (Christian Fun for Kids—ages 10-14).  All stories in this magazine are nonfiction.  Visit http://www.guidemagazine.org for more information about Guide magazine.  I hope you will on the lookout for the story about Phyllis Heil. 

Phyllis’ story is something to crow about.  Even the hens think so.  Listen. 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=crowing+hens&view=detail&mid=7FB48989A58087B3F4697FB48989A58087B3F469&first=0&qpvt=crowing+hens

One last thing to crow about… a new series of books by McFarland and Company called Joining the Military, written for teens and young adults who are considering a military career.  Snow Wildsmith, the author, is interviewed on Carol Baldwin’s blog where she is offering a set of the books to be donated to a library.  Learn more at  http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/gift-your-librarian.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FDtis+%28Carol+Baldwin%27s+blog%29  Enter the contest now.

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

 
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