June - An Idea for Every Day - Week 1

It's June, friends! Well, nearly June. June is a favorite month of mine.  School's out, meaning long, lazy days, sunshine, family, and, of course, it also helps that it's my birthday month. What do you love about June?

Look at the reasons we have lined up for you to celebrate this week (click on a link for more details):
  1. Smile Day(5.31.2020)
  2. World Reef Awareness Day (6.1.2020)
  3. I Love My Dentist Day (6.2.2020)
  4. Love Conquers All Day (6.3.2020)
  5. Cheese Day (6.4.2020)
  6. Hot Air Balloon Day (6.5.2020)
  7. Family Recreation Day (6.6.2020)
And, we're serving these ideas plated in various styles to fit your needs.

An Idea for (academic, social/emotional or entertaining) Every Day in June of 2020
Download Your June Calendar 
And now, without further ado, check out these ideas we've cooked up for you:

Sunday, May 31, 2020 - Smile Day

Start each day with a smile.
Photo by Nappy via Pexels

Why should you smile?  Well, here's a few reasons for you and we bet you've heard some of them already:
  • "Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day." H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • "Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart." Anthony J. D'Angelo
  • "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." Phyllis Diller
  • "Use your smile to change the world; don't let the world change your smile." Chinese Proverb
  • "All people smile in the same language." Proverb
Find more at Wise Old Sayings.

To help you remember to smile, get one of these songs about smiling stuck in your head:
  • "Smile" by Sidewalk Prophets 
    • "Smile, when you think you can't / Smile, get up and dance/ Smile, there's a bigger plan / The storm only lasts for a while / So smile"
    • "You can laugh or you can cry / When it all falls apart / But I believe the more you laugh / The more you heal your heart"
  • "Smile" by Nat King Cole
    • "If you smile through your fear and sorrow / Smile and maybe tomorrow / You'll see the sun come shining through for you"
    • "Smile, what's the use of crying? / You'll find that life is still worthwhile / If you just smile."
  • "I Smile" by Kirk Franklin
    • "I smile, even though I hurt, see I smile / I know God is working, so I smile"
    • "Sure would hate to see you give up now / You look so much better when you smile, so smile."
  • "When You're Smilin'" by Louie Armstrong
    • "When you're smilin', keep on smilin' / The whole world smiles with you"
    • "But when you're cryin' you bring on the rain / So stop your frownin', be happy again"
  • "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" by Sia
    • "Your clothes may be Chanel, Gucci / Your shoes crocodile / But baby you're never fully dressed without a smile"
    • "And if you stand for somethin' you can have it all / 'Cause if it's real your love will never die"
For more songs about smiling, head over to Spinditty.

What's your reason for smiling today?  We'd love to hear it in the comments.  And make sure to share that smile with the world. We need your smile.

Monday, June 1, 2020 - World Reef Awareness Day

Make a reef model, edible coral polyp or want ad for a symbiotic partnership.
Photo by Q.U.I via Unsplash

Coral reefs, sometimes referred to as the rainforests of the ocean, are a valuable ecosystem. Lucky for you, World Reef Awareness Day gives you the perfect opportunity to dive into reef learning with your learners.

Your Preschool or Kindergarten learner gets to sculpt their own coral reef ecosystem using play dough, Dory and Nemo printables, common art supplies, and directions from Preschool Steam.

First to Third Grade learners craft an edible coral polyp (links to PDF) using page 2 of The Coral Reef Teacher's Guide from Reef Relief. [If you prefer self-navigating to this resource, start here, scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the link, "Reef Relief Coral Reef Teacher's Guide (complete guide)," then skip to page 60.] With white chocolate, candiquik, (or frosting) marshmallows, toothpicks, licorice, sprinkles, and the directions from Reef Relief, your learner creates a coral polyp they could eat.  Don't miss the discussion prompt, simulation invitation, math-tie in and story-writing opportunities following step seven.

Fourth to Sixth Grade learners make a want ad for a symbiotic partnership (opens a PDF) using pages 4 - 6 of MacGillivray Freeman's Coral Reef Adventure Educator's Guide from Coral Film. (To self-navigate, click on the, "Teacher's Guide," link at Coral Film's education page.) They'll read want ads that request the aid of another organism and identify the pair using partnership cards. After matching the partnerships, they'll determine the type of relationship: mutualism, commensalism, or parasitism. Finally, prompt learners to write their own want ad for a different animal or one of the same.

No matter the age of your learner, you might consider heading over to the Coral Film website.  You'll find book recommendations for learners and leaders, games to playscreensavers and backgrounds to download, a virtual reef to visit and more.

If you want to see the Coral Reef Adventure movie, you can rent it from Amazon Prime for 3.99.

Of the recommended books, we discovered the following digital versions:

Learner Books

Leader Books


Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - I Love My Dentist Day

Learn about good tooth hygiene with your learners.
Art by Mohamed_Hassan via Pixabay
Dentists are important people; they take care of our teeth.  And, while most people dread going to the dentist, the reality is: they make our lives better.  We rounded up some activities to help your learners realize how and why they need to care for their sparkling whites.

In Preschool and Kindergarten, learners perform an experiment on an egg to demonstrate the effects of liquids on teeth with Study at Home Mama via Pre-K Pages. Your learners soak eggs in varying liquids overnight, make predictions, then return the next morning and observe the results. A couple variables on which they'll report: how difficult it was to return the egg to its original color and what the required materials were to effectively do so.  

First and Second Grade learners write a how-to guide on caring for teeth using this writing pack from Susan Jones via Teachers Pay Teachers. Included in the download is an open-ended brainstorming page, a guided four-section thinksheet featuring usage of dental hygiene tools, a sequenced writing organizer for drafting their writing, and a mini book template for the publication stage.

To demonstrate the effects of sugar on teeth (opens as a PDF), Third and Fourth Grade learners will perform an experiment using a bottle containing yeast, sugar  and water with a balloon hooked on top. The balloon is their mouth and the bottle is ingested sugar. This guide, from Kool Smiles, includes kid-friendly directions and a leader-friendly guide. 

While Fifth and Sixth learners explain the value of their teeth (opens a PDF) in the lesson, "Teeth to Treasure!" a part of the Smile Smarts Curriculum. They'll decide whether or not teeth are a good quality product, simulate cavity formation, review correct tooth brushing techniques, determine when to replace a toothbrush, review flossing techniques, create a balanced menu, and discuss the effect of food and snacks on teeth.

Regardless of the age of your learner, you may wish to head over to Kool Smiles where 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - Love Conquers All Day

Look inward and outward with your learners using these activities.
Photo from Ylanite Koppens via Pexels
Love is what makes the world go round. A lot of good happens when we choose to love - to love ourselves and to love others. These activities focus on both areas.

Your Preschool to Second Grade learners will make a map of their heart with the help of The Curious Kindergarten. Using My Map Book (links to a YouTube read aloud by Zoe-Asha Williams) by Sara Fanelli, The Curious Kindergarten's learners focused in on Fanelli's heart map. They discussed what Fanelli had on her heart and what they might include on their own heart map. Next, during a planning phase, learners jotted down ideas, noting that some ideas (like family) would take up more heart space than others (like flowers). Ideas on paper, learners headed to their "Art Studio" where they drew a heart with black marker and sectioned it out to include room for all the things that are in their hearts. To add color, learners utilized the aid of watercolors. Head over to The Curious Kindergarten to see their final results, after which we'll be shocked if you aren't inspired to add a heart mapping event to your list of activities.

Inspire your Third to Sixth Grade learners to write from the heart in a similar activity from Scholastic. In, "Writing from the Heart," learners create a list of on-their-heart topics to later inspire their writing. You'll find the directions for this activity more structured, so if that's the type of leader you are, this is the type of lesson you'll need.  The author writes out step-by-step instructions for heart map creation from modeling to presentation. Some notable differences between this heart map and the above heart map are words vs. pictures, color-coded vs. free coloring choices, importance to person determined by placement vs. size of section. What they both have in common includes getting learners to think about what they value, what is important to them, what makes them unique, special, interesting and loved.

And, if you're looking for some Christian-based inspiration (I know I always am) check out some of these great ideas based on I Corinthians from Rotation.org. Rotation.org serves as an open forum where Sunday school teachers and church staff share ideas. Check out a few ideas from this site:
  • Neil MacQueen suggests using Kid Pix (or other digital art platform or paper and art supplies) to create illustrations for each verse in 1 Corinthians 13 (links to passage at Bible Gateway). But it doesn't stop there, they also get to add in sound effects that compliment the verse (if using paper and pencils use write the noise in speech bubbles). 
  • Stephanie Smith offers an open-ended activity where learners first list out each characteristic of love from the passage (patient, kind, not envious, etc), then match each characteristic of love to a selection of seemingly unrelated objects. After the matches are made, learners explain their matches. To reflect, they journal about what object will help them to remember the meaning of love.
  • Lisa Adlem created a game for learners to play while learning about love. As they race around the board, they'll have opportunities to act out love characteristics (i.e. "Persistent - You miss a turn, but don't give up!") and to determine whether a scenario shows love or not (i.e. "You held the door for someone who had their arms full of packages."). This game has fast-paced and extra options.
Whether learning love for others or love for self, we know love is powerful - it conquers all. We're positive your learners grew in self-respect and respect of others by engaging in these activities.

Thursday, June 4, 2020 - Cheese Day

Oh the cheesy activities that await you and your learner.
Photo from Foodie Factor via Pexels

At the Wolfe Stew Household, cheese is a big deal. Every time our niece visits, she exclaims about the drawer in our refrigerator devoted to cheese; and it's not a little drawer folks. So, when we saw a cheese day existed, we could not ignore it. Just check out some of these cheesy activities we have in store for you. 

Preschool and Kindergarten learners watch this YouTube video from Highlights Kids that shows how cheese is made. Then, use the acquired knowledge to write (and/or draw) a how-to guide using this template from Check into Teaching via Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Invite your First through Third Grade learners into the kitchen to make three ingredient mac and cheese from Kid Spot. Make sure they record the recipe using this fun template from twinkl and store it in a safe place for future reference.

Fourth through Sixth Grade learners explore the history of cheese in this YouTube video from Ted-Ed, then order cheesy events on a timeline. Teacher Planet hosts several types of timelines suited for this purpose. For direct links to PDFs, we suggest this printable version from Eduplace and this digital version from Scholastic. 

If June 4th passes you by and you don't get the opportunity to engage in these activities, just remember: like cheese, they get better with age.

Friday, June 5, 2020 - Hot Air Balloon Day

Experiment, create and engineer with your learners.
Photo from Pixabay via Pexels 

Up is one of our favorite Pixar movies. Well, at least the first few moments of it that showcase the love between Carl and Ellie; it elicits an emotional response every time. A reflection of love, what it means, how we cling to it, the ache of losing it and the hope of finding it elsewhere. Forever now, hot air balloons embody all the emotions of Up to me. So, if nothing else, watch the movie Up today. Or, start there, then dig into one (or all) of these STEAM-powered activities.

Your Preschool through First Grade learners experiment with effects of air temperature in this Turtle Diary activity. All you'll need is an empty bottle, balloon and hot water. All they'll need is a can-do attitude and a curious mind. You may also wish to check out TinkerLab's "Flying Tea Bag Hot Air Balloon" experiment.  Which also demonstrates the effect of air temperature.

Second and Third Grade learners create a hot air balloon using a bag (opens a PDF) in this NASA activity. First, gather a plastic bag, paper clips, decorations, string, a hair dryer and party balloons. Next, follow this lesson plan step-by-step through background, preparation, creation, discussion, assessment and extensions. NASA's hope is that by activity end your learner will explain why their hot air balloon rises as they demonstrate it in action.

Throw down a STEAM challenge with your Fourth through Sixth Grade learners to engineer a hot air balloon that carries cargo with this activity guide from the Utah Education Network. After studying hot air balloon designs (with an emphasis on what makes them work), learners design a balloon (supported by their research) that they believe will fly. Learners compare individual designs and collaborate to develop a group design. Next, the group calculates a budget for their design (based on an included, priced supply list) to be used as a tie-breaker for successful balloon designs. Upon design approval, learners receive supplies based on their order forms and begin building. With balloons finished, learners test their designs, then complete an included project conclusion sheet.

While we realize none of these activities will lift you and your house up and away to an adventure, we do believe an adventure still exists in each experience. 

Saturday, June 6, 2020 - Family Recreation Day

Enjoy time together as a family.
Photo from Teddy Rawpixel via Rawpixel

I don't know what it's like where you live. Perhaps everything around you is open and there are no restrictions on the type of recreation in which your family engages. However, where we are, restrictions still exist. In light of varying recreation activities across the country, we rounded up both types of ideas for you: out-and-about and at-home-only.

For less restrictive activities, Lifehack suggests, "25 Fabulously Fun Family Activities to Bring You Closer Together." Suggestions such as enjoying a hot air balloon trip (extension to yesterday's learning, anyone?), going treasure hunting, or taking on an epic jigsaw puzzle here exist. As you see, activities include both stay-at-home and out-and-about ideas; so be sure to check this site out.

Perhaps your family requires more stay-at-home activities. If so, you'll want to check out the Mission Oaks Recreation & Park District website. They've put together a treasure trove of virtual ideas for you organized in the following categories (with suggestions for both kids and adults): health and fitness, educational, creative, social, and virtual trips. From each category we'd choose:

Ultimately, the most important part of family recreation day is having fun as a family. So do whatever that means for you and yours. But if you're looking to breathe some fresh life into your stash of family recreation ideas, we hope some of these helped.

Before You Go

We'd Love to Know:
  1. Which day is most interesting to you? Why?
  2. What activity suggestions do you have for any of these days?
Well, that's all for this week, leaders. Until next time, we're sincerely hoping you find the JOY in every day!

At Your Service,
Created to do good works.

Interested in even more educational resources?  Then stop by our Learning Lab.  It's here where we store all the educational resources we've cooked up to date.  



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