April - An Idea for Every Day - Week 3
I'm curious - what's been your favorite national day activity lately? Last week, my nephew and I engaged in (what he calls) mini-school. I seized that opportunity to try out some of these ideas for every day I've been blogging about. The activities we chose were to honor April Fools' Day and National Crayon Day. For April Fools' Day, he enjoyed learning (from History.com) that the first day of the year used to be in spring and to him (and me too, actually) this concept makes more sense.
For National Crayon Day, he tore wrappers off crayons until he realized we already had unwrapped, previously recycled crayons. With the recycled crayons, he made melted crayon rocks. This activity was a hit! He did it twice and prominently placed the rocks near the future locations of his seedlings. The melted crayon activity resides at Fakin' It and the instructions alone are a good read, even if you have no intention of completing the activity. So, please do truly consider heading on over and taking a look.
If you'd like the entire April calendar with clickable links, click here. Find April week one activities here and April week two activities here (no one says these activities expire). If you'd like daily reminders, consider following us on Facebook or Instagram. If you're looking for more ideas for each day, check out our Pinterest board. But for now, let us forge on to week three of our April ideas for every day.
April 12th - Easter
If you're like me, you're always looking for new ways to celebrate even the well-known holidays. Every celebration is likely to look different, so choose the link that speaks most to you!
If you're looking for family-friendly activities, check out DIY & Crafts. Once there, you'll find 20 Fun Family Easter Traditions and Activities. Choose from secular and religious activities. My favorite secular activity, is making bunny candy holders from toilet paper tubes and my favorite religious activity is an Easter scavenger hunt shared by Arabah Joy.
You're having an adults only Easter? Then Better Homes & Gardens holds 13 Easter games for you and your friends. Use raw eggs instead of darts, host a baking party or hold an egg-decorating contest. With ten more ideas, we're thinking there's likely one that will fit your adult get together.
You're flying solo this Easter? Then take care of your self! Make a self care basket! Visit Design Ideas for inspiration.
April 13th - Thomas Jefferson Day
For PreK-2nd grade learners, start by reading a book about Thomas Edison. Barbara Lowell offers a great list of Thomas Jefferson books for your consideration. For YouTube read alouds we discovered: Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything, Worst of Friends, and John, Paul, George and Ben. After reading the book, have your learners draw a picture in this picture frame to represent an interesting fact from the book or use these post-it notes to write four facts.
For learners in grades 3rd-5th, get creative by writing historical fiction with this lesson from Scholastic. First, learners research Thomas Jefferson using sources from Monticello.org, History.com, WhiteHouse.gov, Miller Center.org and SmithsonianMag.com. Then, they use their research to write a historical fiction piece from the viewpoint of a child living at Monticello with Thomas Jefferson. And finally, they polish it up with peer reviews and publishing.
Monticello.org offers a variety of lesson plans for learners in Middle School and High School. In Present Day Parlor Portrait Pix, learners discover the significance of objects in Monticello's parlor to Thomas Jefferson. Then, they are tasked to design a Monticello-inspired parlor representative of themselves and their values. Other lessons cover The Declaration of Independence, the Missouri Compromise, Jefferson's opinions on the press, Jefferson's views on slavery and more; so, be sure to drop by and pick one out.
April 14th - Look up at the Sky Day
Kristina Grant, via Teacher Pay Teacher, offers a Day and Night Flip Flap Book to get your younger learners (PreK-3rd) prepared for observing the sky. Using this book as an aid, learners will write and draw to describe their day and night discoveries.
For older learners (3rd and up), PBS.org is the website for which you're searching. Ask your learners who they would honor in the sky if we were to update the constellations. Or, make a star clock so they can tell time using the Big Dipper. There's more! We just chose these two to feature. So, if you want to find a different one, check out these Seeing in the Dark Activities at PBS.org.
April 15th - Take a Wild Guess Day
It really is okay, and encouraged, to just take a wild guess sometimes. It's amazing to hear the thoughts inside those heads when they realize you're not looking for a "right" answer. To help you get started, Parents Together has numerous posts of Questions for Kids. Each post features a question for every day of the week like, "If you could make the walls of your bedroom turn into a beautiful scene or landscape every night, what would they look like?"; or "What do you think is the most difficult job in the world? Why?" As you can see, these open-ended questions are designed to get kids thinking and there's no right or wrong answer. So, even if they "don't know," just encourage them to Take a Wild Guess!
Or, you could brainstorm with your learners. Check out Edutopia's post on this critical thinking tool. When you do, you'll find the elements of a perfect brainstorm so you and your learners can spark an idea (or two).
April 16th - Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day
Perhaps, with many of us currently working from home, you're already doing this. If you're not though, today's your day to put on your pajamas and work in comfort - and make a whole day of it. Invite everyone in your household to join in! Visit Homeschool 4 Me for some pajama day related activities and book lists, like learning how much sleep a person needs.
April 17th - Ellis Island Family History Day
To honor Ellis Island Family History Day you could host a simulation using ideas from Bubble Up Classroom. At registry they'll have to 'Americanize' their name, get a physical examination at medical, endure an interrogation at legal entry and either get welcomed to America or deported based on their results at each station at the final checkpoint. Head on over to Bubble Up Classroom for details on each station, decoration ideas and printouts.
Or you could go on a virtual field trip via Scholastic. During this field trip your learners will see historical photographs, film footage, and oral histories of actual immigrants. Scholastic arranged the activities to mirror the process an immigrant would follow when entering the United States. Ten stops exist on this journey from "The Passage" to "The Kissing Post."
Books always are a favorite learning resource and there is no shortage of books on this topic. This Library Thing page showcases books tagged Ellis Island. We're guessing there'll be one that intrigues you there. We found the following Ellis Island YouTube read-alouds: If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island, Dreaming of America, and Coming to America in case you can't get your hands on a physical copy.
April 18th - National Record Store Day
Today's a day to celebrate music. If you have vinyls, put your record on; if you don't, we have a few alternative ways to celebrate. You could brush up on your record history with Medium. Like, do you know the first song ever played on a phonograph? We do! And you will too after your visit to Medium.
After brushing up on record history, lose yourself in a movie featuring a record store. Spinster records suggests fifteen movies featuring records. Spinal Tap is the fifteenth... any guesses for the number one pick?
That wraps up the third week of our every day ideas for April. We'll see you next week for week four. Until then, we're sincerely hoping you are finding the joy in every day.
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