June - An Idea for Every Day - Week 2

Welcome back, friends!  What a start June got off to, am I right? Someone mentioned that if the events of 2020 were submitted as a screenplay proposal, it likely would end in rejection - too unbelievable. It's true. The events through which we're living feel like the plot of a novel packed with one unfathomable event followed by another. But, you're here, reading this. I'm here, writing this. We're in this together. And together we can move forward seeking the joy in each moment, choosing to act in love and learning to forgive - even when forgiveness seems impossible. 

This morning I read this Proverb:

Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.

Photo by Jess Bailey via Pexels


I don't know what you're going through. I don't know the bitterness in your heart. I don't know how extremely difficult it might be for you to forgive. But there's this truth: forgiveness is not for others. It's not about saying what they did was okay - NOT AT ALL. Forgiveness is for ourselves. Forgiveness is letting go of the hurt, choosing to release some of the bitterness stored up in our heart, so we can begin replacing it with joy. Picture your heart as a container, partially filled with bitterness and partially with joy. The more bitterness that there resides, the more pain you endure; yet, joy acts as a tonic for this pain.

Science backs up this theory.  In "Forgiveness: Letting Go of Grudges and Bitterness," a Mayo Clinic article, the staff shares that bitterness leads to unhealthy relationship patterns, an inability to experience joy in present circumstances, depression or anxiety, lack of purpose or spiritual wellness and loss of connectedness to others. Psych Central points to physical effects on the body such as affected metabolisms, immune systems, organ function and physical disease.  

Alternately, joy promotes a more healthy life, as summarized in the Time article, "It's Official: Happiness Really Can Improve Health." There are physical impacts such as improved cardiovascular and immune systems, better hormone and inflammation control, and quicker healing times. But, evidence also suggests joy leads to an overall healthier lifestyle.

I wish to reiterate, I do not know the levels of joy or bitterness in your heart. And it's not for me to decide what you let in your heart; that's up to you. I'm just here in an attempt to encourage you to choose joy - especially when times are tough. So, if you're feeling hurt and you feel you need to stay there for awhile - I get that. I've been there. You know your heart. Do what you feel you need. But, when you're ready to let go - choose joy. Choose forgiveness.

So, use your feelings as an indicator. If you're not happy, and you want to be, evaluate your levels of bitterness. Is there someone or something you can forgive so you can make room for joy in your heart?

Wow! That was a lengthy intro. But, there's a lot on my mind, just as I'm sure there's a lot on yours. Now, on to next week's "Ideas for Every Day." Folks, we do choose these with the hope that they bring joy into your day, and we're praying that they do exactly that: bring you joy.

Take a look at all the ways we're serving up these daily ideas:
Check out this week's list of joy-seeking opportunities (click on a link to jump to more details):
  1. Frozen Yogurt Day (6.7.2020)
  2. Upsy Daisy Day (6.8.2020)
  3. Donald Duck Day(6.9.2020)
  4. Herb and Spice Day (6.10.2020)
  5. Corn on the Cob Day (6.11.2020)
  6. Magic Day (6.12.2020)
  7. Weed Your Garden Day (6.13.2020)
And now, without further ado, check out the ideas we're serving up to you:

Sunday, June 7, 2020 - Frozen Yogurt Day

June 7, 2020 - indulge in a creamy, cold, delectable treat.

Photo courtesy of orentodoros via pixabay.


Might I mention Menchies? It's a favorite of ours. Have you been? You grab a cup, choose your yogurt flavor(s), pull the lever down to fill your cup, then head over to the topping bar. That's right; it's like a salad bar, but for toppings. There's fresh fruit, candy, syrups, nuts, and whipped cream. Pretty much anything you'd ever think of (and some you wouldn't) putting on your frozen yogurt. After topping your yogurt, you place your carefully hand-crafted treat on a scale and pay by weight. Guess who's cup always weighs the most? If you said the smallest person's cup, you'd be right. Our nephew's cup, without fail, always weighs more than the rest of ours. I think it is because of the toppings piled on top. In fact, I'm convinced that's his favorite part of going to Menchies - the topping bar. If you don't have a Menchies near, hopefully you have another favorite frozen yogurt place. But, if you don't, or if you'd just prefer to make your own, we found some homemade, no-machine-required recipes for you.

At Just a Taste you'll find "5-Minute Healthy Greek Frozen Yogurt," courtesy of by Kelly Senyei in the following flavors: strawberry, peach, peanut butter and variation suggestions. If this frozen yogurt is anywhere near as good as it looks in the picture, you're in for a real treat! Oh, the best part? It only requires four ingredients: frozen fruit, yogurt, vanilla, and honey. So, if you have all the ingredients, and you have five minutes, you have the ability to enjoy this summer treat in no time. You might even consider whipping it up for picnic day (June 18th).

If you're looking for more unique flavors, then you'll want to head over to Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking where she's turning out flavors like strawberry, pineapple & coconut, chocolate & banana, mango & lime, and cake batter. I could sure go for a chocolate & banana frozen yogurt right now. Yum! What about you? Which flavor would you choose? 

Frozen Yogurt Day - now, that's a way to start the week off right!

Monday, June 8, 2020 - Upsy Daisy Day 

Start the day on a positive note.

Photo courtesy of JillWellington via pixabay.


The idea behind this day is to start each day with joy. If you'd like some ideas of how to do that, you might consider heading over to The Positivity Blog where Henrik Edberg offers seven tips to start each morning. The habit I'm adding is building a "right thing string" (that's step seven). Which one will you add? Which tips are already part of your routine?

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - Donald Duck Day

Get artsy with Donald on June 9, 2020.

This Photo is licensed under CC BY-NC


Donald Duck made his debut on June 9, 1934 in the Silly Symphony and remains a well-known cartoon character to kids today. To help you celebrate this popular, multi-generational cartoon figure, we've rounded up a few art activities.

With Coloring Squared, your Preschool to First Grade learner practices number recognition, color sight words, and fine motor skills as they complete a Donald Duck color-by-number grid-style.

Your Second or Third Grade learner follows video or written instructions to draw Donald Duck. Our third grade (yikes, fourth grade) learner prefers video instruction; I prefer written. I've provided both to use at your discretion. If video drawing instruction suits you, then check out this front profile Donald Duck drawing tutorial by Cartooning Club via YouTube. If written instruction is your preference, then head on over to Easy Drawing Tutorials and complete your side profile Donald drawing in sixteen steps.

And Fourth to Sixth Grade learners craft a corner bookmark using Crafty Chic's Blog's tutorial. With plenty of pictures and detailed instructions, your learners will practice reading and following directions, using precise measurements, and showing creativity as they create a bookmark which resembles Donald's collar.

If you complete any of these Donald Duck inspired projects, we'd love to see it! Share it on social media or shoot us an email (mr@wolfestew.com or mrs@wolfestew.com). You'll definitely add joy to our day when you do!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - Herb and Spice Day

Encourage your learner to experiment with herbs and spices.

Photo courtesy of Monicore via pixabay.


Herbs and spices are the heart to the art of cooking, and are also used medicinally and aromatically. Imagine our life without these minute details which add a world of difference. Our nephew gets one cook day a week. Once, during his cook night, I encouraged him to add seasoning to his chicken. He insisted he didn't like spices and refused to add any. Meeting his refusal with a compromise, I asked that he smell all the herbs and spices in our cupboard and choose at least three to add. Instead of three, he chose five. And the combination he chose, well, let's just say, I thought the chicken would come out awful. Truth is, it didn't. It wasn't bad, just not what I would have chosen. The activities we've selected for you invite you to explore herbs and spices with your learners in a variety of ways. We have structured, open-ended and from-the-roots options for you today.

The more effort we expend on something, the more we value it. So, if you want your learners to truly value herbs and spices, grow them. To assist you in this endeavor, we suggest you visit Herb Society's "Resources for Kids," area. You'll find an herb plant list divided into categories of: container herbs, herbs that attract butterflies and birds, sensory herbs, and ones that are easy to start from a seed. After you choose the herbs to plant, they provide you with a resource list (both print and digital ) so you and your learner can research its specific needs. Of the print resources, we found the following books digitally:
Herb Society's "Resources for Kids," page also suggests several "investigative herbal adventures" in the areas of math, science, language arts, social studies, health, and cultural arts. From each subject area, we'd choose the following activities:
  • Math - "Predict when a seed would need to be planted in order to be ready for a chosen holiday."
  • Science - "What is pH? - how does pH affect the smell and taste of basil, sage, and oregano."
  • Writing/Language Arts - "What role have herbs played in the development of modern day medicine? - have the students interview a pharmacist about the role of herbs in the development of medicine; have them write a written report or give an oral report to share what they have learned."
  • Social Studies - "How are herbs and spices used around the world?"
  • Health - "Do herbs have nutritional value?"
  • Cultural Arts - "Does basil like Beethoven? - learn how music affects plant growth and behavior."
If you're interested in extending the learning into these academic fields, you'll definitely want to swing by Herb Society's website as they have another resource list (including both print and digital resources) exclusively for these investigative adventures. Herb Society rounds out their "Resources for Kids" section with ideas for funding a school (or large scale) garden and an extensive resource list.

Perhaps you want to delve into application with your kids. If you're seeking a more structured approach to spice exploration, head over to Teach Beside Me. With Teach Beside Me, you'll make a "Guess the Spice Chart." On the top of each flap, you'll sprinkle spices on glue. Under the flap, you'll write the answer. Have your learners smell each spice and try to identify it. With older learners, you might consider giving them a guessing sheet and gluing spices directly on the paper without the flaps. Teach Beside Me also encourages you to learn the origin of each spice.

If an open-ended approach to spice exploration is more your style, check out this Weber post. Jeff Swearingen, the author, describes the process he undertakes to make spice blends with his kids. While the end goal is a blend, his process makes sure learners take the time to appreciate the uniqueness and contributions of each addition of herb or spice.

Upon completion of these activities, we're thinking even you, leader, will walk away with a greater appreciation of the contribution herbs and spices make in our lives.

Thursday, June 11, 2020 - Corn on the Cob Day

Learning activities using corn on the cob.
Who knows, maybe one of the herbs and spices of focus from yesterday's activities will nicely flavor the corn on the cob you devour in honor of Corn on the Cob Day. In reality, eating them is not on our official list, but it's always on our unofficial one. Instead of (or perhaps rather, in addition to) eating corn on the cob, we rounded up math, science and art activities for you.

For math corn on the cob festivities, head over to Bedtime Math where you'll first learn some facts about it. Facts such as why it's a naturally mathy food, the world record for number of ears grown on a stalk and some of the many uses of corn. After reading corny facts, your  learner will practice counting (PreK-K), differentiating between odd and even (1st-3rd), using critical thinking skills (1st-3rd), and multiplication and division skills (4th-6th) all while solving problems in context. You'll find the problems increasingly difficult and labeled toward the generally intended audience.

Next, head over to the Wonder of Science, where you'll witness corn cobs sprouting in water in a time lapse video. They suggest using the video to prompt a discussion about a plant's needs with Next Gen Story Lines. We suggest trying it out on your own and seeing how long it takes your cob to sprout.

With Artsy Craftsy Mom, you'll create corn on the cob fingerprint art using thick yellow paper, scissors, green crepe paper, paints, a glue stick, and your fingers (of course). Artsy Craftsy Mom guides you through each step with pictures along the way. As an added bonus, encourage your learners to reflect their math and science learning in their art project.

After these activities, we're thinking you'll look at corn in a whole new way, now knowing even food has cross-curricular potential.

Friday, June 12, 2020 - Magic Day

Pick up a new trick, or try out illusioneering.

I just love the movie, Now You See Me. It's one of the few movies that took me by surprise; I really had no idea what was coming. Magic shows often have the same effect on me. They're mesmerizing and leave me wondering, "How did they do that?" Well, with these activities, your learner will experience both sides: being the magician and figuring out the magician's tricks.

The Spruce Crafts showcases "6 Science Magic Tricks to Learn," by Wayne Kawamoto. When learners engage in these magic tricks, they'll also learn the science behind them. Take for instance, "the steel straw," which uses air pressure and good aim to push a plastic straw through an apple. If your learner enjoys learning the science behind these six magic tricks, consider also checking out Wayne's own site, Magic Teaches Core Subjects, and browse magic tricks by science, math, language or uncategorized.

Or, check out Illusioneering. Illusioneering offers ten magic tricks in printable and video form. You'll get a description of what the audience sees, a break down of how to perform it, hints and tips for success and education on the science behind it.

For each of these tricks, we suggest the leader first performs them (or finds a video of the trick) while the learner observes. Then, have the learner describe what they think is happening, perhaps even trying out a few of their theories. After a few attempted trials, reveal the trick.

Saturday, June 13, 2020 - Weed Your Garden Day

Tricks and tips for weeding.


Perhaps your garden is already perfectly weeded, and if it is, we appluad you! But, if it's not, today's the day to get out there and work at it. And, if you are in need of some helpful weeding pointers, HGTV has them for you. What I like best about these tips: they use common household items and offer simple solutions. For instance, did you know it's best to weed right after it rains? Or to use a screwdriver to help get weeds out of cracks. Honestly, weeding is not something I love. Indeed, just today I battled with a weed, and the weed won; I fell flat on my back. So, if there are tips to help with this daunting task, I'm all about reading them. It's a jungle out there, friends. One which I'm determined to get under control!


Before You Go

We'd love to know:
  1. Which of these days seems most exciting to you?
  2. What activities would you add to any of these days?
That wraps up our ideas for the second week in June. As always, know we're praying that 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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