A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘writing prompts’

May Your Personal Space Reflect Christian Love

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 26, 2017


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A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “May Your Personal Space Reflect Christian Love”

 

 

 

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen

 

Three feet is often stated as the distance most people prefer to stand from someone else.  This distance is called “personal space.” Name ways you reflect Christian love while standing at a distance and talking to someone.  One example:  smile.

I try to reflect Christian love when I speak with someone.  I know I’m not perfect, so I’m sure my posture and mannerisms do not always seem as warm and friendly as they should.  I will strive to do better.

Another example of a personal space that can reflect Christian love could be your bedroom, your car, etc.  One personal space in my home is the sunporch where I often read and study God’s word.  After this room was remodeled, I had two blank walls to decorate.  I selected a Christian theme for this personal space.  Photos below reveals that one wall is decorated with bird items and the other with flowers. Why? Jesus teaches that God cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and he also cares for us.  Scripture:  Matthew 6: 25-34. By choosing to decorate my sunporch with this theme, my personal space reflects Christian love. I enjoy spending time in this space.

Discuss personal space and Christian love with your parents!  Perhaps you can work on a Christian themed decorating project as a family.

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen

Writing Prompts: 

  1. How does your personal space reflect Christian love? (your posture and mannerisms)
  2. How does a personal space in your home or car reflect Christian love?
  3. What could you write or draw to display to reflect your Christian love?
  4. What scripture passage(s) would you like to use to reflect a Christian theme?
  5. Name a family project that could reflect a Christian theme in your home.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

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Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Character Traits, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Posters, remodeling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Life with Beauty

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 10, 2017


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A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “Life with Beauty” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen. Poster template from Quozio.com

Copyright 2017. Linda Martin Andersen. Poster template from Quozio.com

 

Create your own Writing Prompts using words from the poster above:  believe, hang, and through.

Sample prompts:

  1. I believe in…
  2. Hang on to faith.  Hanging in there…
  3. Ways to go through life

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Character Traits, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Posters, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Pumpkins on My Mind

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 12, 2016


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A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart. “Pumpkins on My Mind” by Linda Martin Andersen

I’ve been noticing lots of pumpkin products for sale this fall…

When I went to mail a letter, a sign on the glass door advertised homemade pumpkin ice cream.  It’s served up by Andy, our local postmaster.  You can read your mail as you enjoy a cone.  Almost like being in Mayberry.  I like that about this place.

Recently, my niece ordered pumpkin pancakes at Cracker Barrel and raved about how good they were.  And she’s a finicky eater.  Another favorite I’ve seen on menus is pumpkin roll and of course pumpkin bread.

Most all of us are checking out the pumpkins in the grocery store or produce markets for carving, or just for decoration.  If you make homemade pumpkin pies, you’ve probably purchased pumpkin pie spices.

When I think of pumpkins, I am reminded of pumpkin patches and The Peanuts televised special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”  If you love Charles M. Schulz specials and great sized pumpkins, you’ll probably enjoy these links:

http://thefw.com/things-you-didnt-know-about-great-pumpkin/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-great-pumpkin-74423844/?no-ist

https://www.giantpumpkin.com/world_records.php

In fall, hayrides always come to my mind, especially those hosted by our family for the past ten years.  Until this year, that is.  The grandsons believe they’ve outgrown them.  Truth be told, most adults don’t seem to think they have.   The last few weeks, I gave away almost all our hayride decorations.  Thinking back on the one pictured below always brings a smile.  Although the photo doesn’t show this perfectly, the inflated pumpkin’s face is printed upside down.  No matter how we tried to hide it, the children always discovered the upside down face and turned it to the front.  It must have brought a smile to them too.  Not quite a perfect pumpkin, which most likely made it all the more fun.

Hayride 2012. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Hayride 2012. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

 Writing Prompts:

  • What brings a smile to your face this pumpkin season?
  • Tell about a hayride or other special fall event that you have experienced.  What made it special?
  • What are your favorite Halloween specials? Or horror movies?
  • Have you ever stuffed a scarecrow?  Tell about a time you decorated for Halloween or fall.
  • Have you ever created your own costume?  Do you remember Charlie Brown’s costume?

An aside–my thoughts and prayers go out to all who were effected by Hurricane Matthew.  I hope you’ll find a way to celebrate fall, even during this difficult time. 

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, creative play, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Nothing Says Joy in the Morning Like…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on September 21, 2016


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A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “Nothing Says Joy in the Morning Like…” by Linda Martin Andersen

Personal grief hit me hard in June.  It left me too sad to do some things I enjoy, such as making small home decorating changes.  Fortunately, my  creativity is returning.  This brings me great joy!

Yesterday, I decided to replace the coffee station in my kitchen.  I purchased a bamboo napkin holder and serving tray to hold my coffee maker and condiments.   This simple decorating change filled me with joy.  Now as I pour myself a cup of coffee, I’m reminded to start my day with joy.  I was also reminded of two Folgers’ coffee jingles:  “Nothing says morning like Folgers in your cup. ” Also:  “The best part of waking up in Folgers in your cup.”

These jingles influenced my writing and this blog title.  Writing and word play bring me joy.  Choosing to change my coffee station brought me two joys:  creative decorating and writing.

What caused this positive change?  Time for a moment of truth…I added too much water to my coffee pot which caused it to boil over and ruin my  tray.  Cause and effect.  That’s one accident I’m glad happened.  😉  It started positive wheels turning.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7LXSQ85jpw

These jingles influenced my writing.  Can you recognize their influence in my blog title?  Writing and word play bring me joy.

What brings you joy in the morning and throughout the day?

Bamboo Coffee Station. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen.

Bamboo Coffee Station. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Look around your bedroom and locate things that bring you joy.  Write or tell about them.

2.  Look for things that bring you joy on your ride to school.  Write or tell about them.

3.  Begin a Joy Journal.  Record things that bring you joy throughout the day.

4.  Write an acronym for JOY.  Here is a site for word suggestions:  http://www.enchantedlearning.com/phonetic/y.shtml

Example of an acronym for  JOY:  J–Jump  O–orbit Y–yell

5.  Write a phrase acronym for JOY.  Example:  J–Jump  O–over  Y–yokes (burdens).  Discuss the meaning of this phrase with an adult.

6.  Do you know someone named Joy?  Tell ways this person brings joy to the world.  Example:  Joy Acey:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2016/09/sharks-and-minnows.html

7.  Do you know a song about Joy?  Change some of the lyrics to include things that bring you joy.

8.  Complete this writing prompt:  Nothing says joy in the morning like…

9.  Here are two Folgers’ coffee jingles:  “Nothing says morning like Folgers in your cup. ” Also:  “The best part of waking up in Folgers in your cup.”  Use these jingles as writing prompts to create your own personal jingle or slogan.

10.  What is your definition of joy?  Expand your definition with personal examples.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Character Traits, crafts, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, humor, music, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Who’s Coming to Town?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on August 2, 2016


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A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart
“Who’s Coming to Town?” by Linda Martin Andersen

In summer, many families travel to visit relatives or vacation out-of-town.  This summer, an author friend is coming to town.  She was invited to do a book signing at Ft. Bragg, NC.  I hope you can stop by to see her and check out her latest book, as well as some short stories.

Who is this author who is coming to town? 

Sandra Warren. 

When is Sandra Warren’s book signing? 

Friday, August 5, 2016 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and

Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 9:00 am – 12:00 am.

We Bought a WWII Bomber

 

Where is Sandra Warren’s book signing?

At the PX

 5050 Butner Rd, Fort Bragg, NC 28307  

Sandra Warren will be signing copies of We Bought A WWII Bomber, Hidden Casualties: Battles On The Home Front and When Duty Called: Even Grandma Had To GO.  Watch a book trailer here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUmxqhIpadI

Hidden Casualties and When Duty Called are nurses stories about serving in Desert Storm.
 
Sandra Warren didn’t stop here.  She found a way to turn her research and photos into another format.  See here:

http://sandrawarrenwrites.blogspot.com/2016/05/got-left-over-research-photos-put-them.html

Sandra Warren also shared how to create a book trailer.  See here:

http://sandrawarrenwrites.blogspot.com/2016/01/book-trailers-made-easy.html

Come out and meet Sandra Warren.  You’ll be glad you did.  If you don’t live in the area, Amazon carries these and more titles in various genres.  See here:

https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-Warren/e/B00L4BPF2M/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1470137498&sr=1-2-ent

Everyone knows that one of teachers’ favorite back-to-school writing prompts is:  What did you do over summer vacation?

If I were writing in response to this prompt, I’d tell about Sandra Warren, the author who came to town.  Here are other prompts for you to consider.

Writing Prompts:

  1. Who came to visit you this summer or who did you visit?
  2. Write interview questions for a favorite relative.  Ask the person to respond.
  3. What family projects did you do this summer?
  4. What tips can you pass along on how to keep cool?
  5. What books did you read for pleasure?  Tell about them.
  6. How would you organize a book review panel?

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Book Launch, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Reading, Social Studies, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

The Last Cherry Blossom–Coming Very Soon!

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 29, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart
“The Last Cherry Blossom–Coming Very Soon!” by Linda Martin Andersen

NO, there’s no real danger to cherry trees that provide us so much beauty.  No threat to them in that way.

So what is this post about?  A new book called THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw.

Burkinshaw, Kathleen wnba                    THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw

Photos used with permission.

THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM is a book you don’t want to miss.  What have you heard about it?  If you don’t know about this debut book due to launch on August 2, read more here.

Earlier posts I hope you’ll choose to visit/revisit include…

  • One of my earlier posts:

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/the-cherry-blossoms-in-washington-d-c-remind-me-of/

Two posts to follow by Carol Baldwin:

  1. “Carol Baldwin’s blog:  Meet Kathleen Burkinshaw–Debut Middle Grade Author” posted at

https://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/kathleen-burkinshaw-debut-middle-grade.html

2.  Carol Baldwin also posted a review of THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM.  See here:

https://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-last-cherry-blossom-review-and-arc.html

  • Here’s a Kirkus review too:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/kathleen-burkinshaw/the-last-cherry-blossom/

If you want to order a copy of this book before August 2, here’s one place to do so: 

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Cherry-Blossom-Kathleen-Burkinshaw/dp/1634506936/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469710602&sr=8-1&keywords=Kathleen+Burkinshaw

I’m so happy for my writer friend and her writing journey!  What a great gift to readers everywhere.

Readers, I hope you’ll try some writing of your own..

Writing Prompts:

  1. Tell about a time your life changed for the better.
  2. Tell about a time your life changed for the worse.
  3. What helps you to handle things when life turns worse?
  4. How do you like to celebrate when life changes for the better?
  5. Who helps you through life events when you face changes?

I hope you’ll look for and read THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Book Launch, Environmental Concerns, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Reading, Social Studies, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

The Last Cherry Blossom–Carol Baldwin Interviews the Author

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 21, 2016


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A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “Carol Baldwin’s blog:  Meet Kathleen Burkinshaw–Debut Middle Grade Author” posted at

https://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/kathleen-burkinshaw-debut-middle-grade.html

Posted by Linda Martin Andersen

 

Have you ever been so excited for someone that you couldn’t stop thinking about it?  Have you ever known something was special before others declared it so?  If this isn’t making sense, I hope it soon will.

Please take time to read Carol Baldwin’s interview with a special debut author, Kathleen Burkinshaw.  Enjoy!

https://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/kathleen-burkinshaw-debut-middle-grade.html

More posts to follow about Kathleen Burkinshaw and her debut book, THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM.

Writing Prompts:

  1. Tell about meeting an author or illustrator for children’s books.
  2. Write a letter to a favorite author or illustrator.
  3. Interview someone who is special to you.  Share your interview with others.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Reading, Social Studies, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

A Game Played with Erasers

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 14, 2016


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A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “A Game Played with Erasers” shared with permission from Renee at

https://godselfie.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/do-not-erase/

Posted by Linda Martin Andersen

 

Thanks, Renee for allowing me to share your post, “Do not Erase.”

https://godselfie.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/do-not-erase/

I loved learning of this simple eraser game and the players’ creativity.  I hope this post inspires you to play something similar.  Or perhaps this post will bring back memories of childhood games you loved.  Share some of your favorite games or playful memories here!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Writing Prompts:

  1. Favorite Childhood Game
  2. A Time You Made a Friend When Playing a Game
  3. A Lesson Learned While Playing a Game.

Choose a writing prompt about playing games or create your own.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, creative play, Family Discussions, Games, History, Homeschool Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

S is for Sock, Squirrel, and Sanctuary

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 22, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “S is for Sock, Squirrel, and Sanctuary” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 S is for Sock

Have you ever blamed the dryer for eating a sock?  Next time, check the sheets.  I believe they have a craving for socks.  I’ve also discovered that t-shirts stash away socks, perhaps for late night nibbling.  Poor dryer, always blamed and perhaps never actually gets a bite.

I enjoyed creating a name for this photo.  Write a caption of your own or tell a sock story you especially like.

Sock in a Sheet by Linda Martin Andersen. Copyright 2016.

Sock in a Sheet by Linda Martin Andersen. Copyright 2016.

S is for Squirrel

Diane Weiden shares a delightful and informative post about squirrels here:

http://dianeweidenbenner.com/z-challenge-quite-hardworkers-squirrels/

When my husband and I lived in an apartment in Durham, NC, we were given a bird feeder.  We hung it from our small screened-in porch.  A squirrel hopped from a tree to the porch roof and then onto our hanger.  See below:

Squirrel caught in the act by Linda Martin Andersen. Copyright 2016

Squirrel caught in the act by Linda Martin Andersen. Copyright 2016

What squirrel stories do you have to share?  Most of us probably have dozens!

S is for Sanctuary

Even before I learned of bird sanctuaries, I worshipped in our church sanctuary.  From movies, I knew that sometimes people sought sanctuary in a church.  In recent years, Fayetteville posted this sign downtown.  I hope the soldiers stationed here feel that Fayetteville is a sanctuary for them.  I will say we know some who chose to retire here.  What comes to mind when you hear sanctuary?

Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

 

What “S” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, Environmental Concerns, Family Discussions, History, Homeschool Activities, humor, Reading, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

M is for Monkeys, Mamas, and Manuscripts

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 15, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “M is for Monkeys, Mamas, and Manuscripts” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Believe or not, monkeys, mamas, and manuscripts are connected in my mind.  I have two manuscripts out at this time.  One is about monkeys and other zoo animals.  The other is loosely based on a character who reminds me of my mama.

If you’re a writer, I challenge you to…

think of two or more “M” topics you have written about in manuscripts.  If that’s too restrictive, you chose what to share.

M is for Monkeys

Monkeys are fun.  Curious George, a famous monkey, was one of my children’s favorite book characters.   Maybe that’s one reason I chose to include monkeys in a manuscript.  Plus, I always loved the song/book “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  Maybe you’d like to hear it too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSGxfOojzE8

When my friend, Joan Edwards, invited me to spend a weekend with her, she surprised me with a beanie monkey to keep me motivated while writing my zoo manuscript.   MOTIVATED–another “M” word.  Here’s the monkey’s photo.  I have him displayed on my mantle, among cork framed sculptures and looking down on my writing desk.  I appreciate Monkey cheering me on.

Monkey from Joan Edwards. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Monkey from Joan Edwards. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

 

M is for Mamas

My mother has always been very supportive of my writing.  She has read rough drafts for me and let me know where things needed clarifying.  I decided to write a story loosely based on her as a child.  I am waiting to hear back on that submission.  My mama’s not your typical Mama.  Proof is in the pictures.

Gayle Martin on a zero-turn mower. Copyright 2014. Linda Andersen

Gayle Martin on a zero-turn mower. Copyright 2014. Linda Andersen

Gayle Martin on a mission trip to Haiti. She paints, she builds benches, etc.

Gayle Martin on a mission trip to Haiti. She paints, she builds benches, etc.

M is for Manuscripts

I keep sending them, and they (publishers) keep sending them back.  Actually, I’m joshing/joking a little.  I have sold some magazine stories, articles, activities, and poems.  I’ve had teacher guides published too.  So, I’m not really complaining.  Rejections happen, just like life happens.

Who else has manuscripts out there that you’re waiting to hear back from?  Good luck!  So what are you doing in the meantime?  Writing something else, I hope.

What “M” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  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, creative play, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, humor, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

 
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