June - An Idea for Every Day - Week 3
This is it: the week of my birthday. It’s funny how when we get older, birthdays don’t mean us much. It’s just another number, another year, another day. But perhaps it does provide an opportunity to reflect. The first time I felt a loss to my youth was on my thirtieth birthday when reminded I was no longer a “twenty-something.” Then again as Harry Potter hit its 20th anniversary. Seriously, how has it been that long!?! Time passes so much faster as an adult. What makes you feel time’s speed?
Check out the line-up we have for you this week (click each link to jump to details about that day):
- Flag Day (6.14.2020)
- Electricity Day (6.15.2020)
- Fresh Veggies Day (6.16.2020)
- World Croc Day (6.17.2020)
- International Picnic Day (6.18.2020)
- Pets in Film Day (6.19.2020)
- Summer Solstice (6.20.2020)
And remember, we’re serving it to you several ways. Choose what works best for you.
- June Calendar: An at your fingertip reminder of what days are approaching with clickable links to the activities.
- Weekly Posts - Detail rich with bonus ideas.
- Subscribe to get them delivered right to your inbox (Click the yellow “subscribe” button above and to the left.)
- Browse the latest weekly posts (ideas never expire):
- Daily Reminders - Instagram and Facebook
- Extra Ideas - Pinterest
And now, without further ado, check out these ideas we’ve stewed on for you.
|Photo courtesy of Sharefaith via Pexels.|
We celebrate Flag Day on June 14th because, according to this History.com post, on this day in 1777 we officially adopted our nation’s flag. Before then, each regiment marched into war with their own version of the United States flag; doesn’t sound very ‘united,’ does it? Our flag’s birthday, June 14, 1777, was also the U.S. Army’s second birthday. So, when we celebrate Flag Day, we’re really commemorating two patriotic events.
To celebrate in 2020, you might:
- Join in on a virtual game of “Capture the Flag” with the National Constitution Center via social media.
- View National Flag Day Foundation’s program via their website, Facebook, or YouTube.
- Participate in a “Virtual Flag Day Festival” hosted by Blue Star Families. You simply register for each event you’d like to join, and they’ll email you relevant details. Check out the planned festivities:
- Opening Ceremony: Sidewalk Chalk Across America
- Keynote Speakers
- Stars and Strips Cupcake Baking Class with baker Ann Marie from Gladdened Heart Bites & Bakerie
- Pinata Making Class with Air Force veteran Mike Harasimowicz
- Happy Birthday Army Party where you’ll show off your festival creations, play games and answer trivia to win a giveaway.
- Hosting a festive food cookout. We recommend you check out:
- Food Network for “6 Star-Spangled Red, White Blue Recipes Tailor-Made for Flag Day.” Our favorite: “Star Studded Berry Tarts.”
- Family Fresh Meals, where you’ll learn how to make a “Taco Salad Flag.”
- Crafting. We think:
- How to Homeschool My Child has a great selection of Flag Day activities including making a paper chain flag and learning proper flag-folding techniques.
- DLTK-Kids is a rich resource for Flag Day Themed crafting and learning. The craft we’d do: the “Fourth of July Lantern.”
- Learning the history.
Electricity is so vital in our lives, it’s nearly impossible to imagine where we might be without it. The experiments we’ve rounded up for you include a look at various types of electricity. Check them out.
With Science Bob, your PreK-1 learners will race cans while learning about static electricity. All you’ll need is an empty soda can, a balloon and a head of hair. Race over to Science Bob and set the cans a-rollin’.
Have your Second to Third Grade learners craft a coin battery out of pennies. One thing I’ve discovered this year: a battery can be crafted from so many different materials! Even so, this is the first time I’ve heard of a coin battery. Using pennies, paper towels, lemon juice, sandpaper, tape, an LED light, time and attention to detail, your learner will soon have a small, portable battery with which they may light up their lives.
Invite your Fourth to Sixth Grade learners to choose from a list of projects from Sciencing.com. Ideas such as: comparing lightbulbs, creating a lemon battery, completing a circuit, and experimenting with static electricity.
Each one of these invitations to learn about electricity is sure to spark thinking in your learner.
Photo courtesy of Lukas via pexels.
Does the fight of getting your learner to eat veggies rage in your household? If so, maybe you’ll be able to pique their interest in fresh veggies with one of these activities:
Have your Preschool or Kindergarten learner create the Real Mr. Potato Head with fresh veggies, toothpicks, and these ideas from Green Owl Art. If you’re looking for a way to make fruits and veggies approachable, we’re thinking this may just be it!
Get your First to Third Grade learner busy in the kitchen making veggie pizza with a recipe courtesy of The Educator’s Spin on It. Also included with the recipe: a veggie book list. Check out the books from this list we found digitally:
- Oliver’s Vegetables by Vivian French (read aloud by Matthew Willsher via YouTube)
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons via Open Library or hoopla
- Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayers via YouTube by Katherine Ayers
- The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons via Hoopla Read Along by Dreamscape OR (YouTube read aloud by Ready Read Alouds)
- Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert via Open Library (YouTube read aloud by Dr. Weeks Elementary)
Make your 4th-6th learner take on more responsibility by planning and cooking the dinnertime vegetables for a week. We like this meal planner from Squawk Fox because of its simplicity, use of bright colors, and designated fields for grocery lists, inventory check, and daily slots for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s ideal for teaching your learner the procedure of recording their vegetable choices, checking it against inventory and making a grocery list, all in the convenience of one paper.
For vegetable inspiration while planning the week’s menu, we recommend directing your learner to Yummy Toddler Food’s “Master List of Vegetable Recipes for Kids.” Yes, it’s true that the site is called “Yummy Toddler Food.” Yes, it’s also true the list says, “for kids.” However, when we browsed the list, we found some recipes we wanted to try like, stuffed skillet peppers, broccoli tots, and sesame maple green beans. The “Master List of Vegetable Recipes for Kids,” is also categorized by vegetable; yet another win when vegetable dish planning. Between the planning tool (by Squawk Fox) and the vegetable recipe list (from Yummy Toddler Food), we think you’re setting your learner up for a week of vegetable-cooking success.
After reflecting on these ideas, we’ve developed a new appreciation for vegetables. We've seeing them as art, learning more about them, and feeling inspired to take on a new dish. What about you? How will you celebrate Fresh Veggies Day?
|Photo courtesy of miniformat65 via pixabay.|
“Tick Tock Croc,” “Crocodile Dundee,” “Brutus and Nero,” and “The Crocodile Hunter.” Each of these names hint at a shared fascination with crocodiles. A fascination with which we agree. I mean, don’t sign us up for crocodile adoption just yet; we prefer admiring these creatures from a healthy distance - as God intended. However, as we find them fascinating, we’re thinking there’s a good chance your learner might as well, and hope they’ll enjoy these activities we hunted up for them.
- Lyle, Lyle, Crocodileread aloud by Story Time with Nana
- How to Hide a Crocodile
- The Christmas Crocodile
- Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite!
- Easter Croc POP UP
- The Enormous Crocodileread aloud by Storyvision Studios UK
For your Second to Third Grade learners, we present a comparison opportunity: real life crocs Tick Tock Croc. Using EduPlace’s Venn Diagram, Science Kids’ article featuring fun crocodile facts, a YouTube clip of “Tick Tock Croc” in Peter Pan (uploaded by The Calcialo 69), and their own observations and critical thinking skills, leaners will compare and contrast a fictional crocodile to a real crocodile. After finishing the Venn Diagram, extend the activity by having them write a comparison sentence, paragraph or list of modification suggestions to make “Tick Tock Croc” more realistic without altering his role in the clip.
And, with Fourth to Sixth Grade learners in mind, we challenge them to convince us: Is a crocodile a dinosaur? To form a strong argument, they must first understand what a crocodile is and why anyone would think it’s a dinosaur. To aid them in this endeavor, we point them to the Kiddle article, “Crocodile Facts for Kids.” At Kiddle, they’ll uncover basic crocodile facts such as background information, a brief description, a list of differentiating features between alligators and crocodiles, and a compilation of crocodile pictures.
The Thought Co. article, “How Do Crocodiles Resemble Their Dinosaur Cousins?: Let’s Take a Look at the Ways They Do and Don’t,” reveals facts to support both sides of the debate. Facts such as, “toward the middle of the Cretaceous period, some South American crocodiles had begun to imitate their dinosaur cousins by evolving to enormous sizes,” and “prehistoric crocodiles…survive[d] the K-T extinction event that wiped the dinosaurs off the face of the earth 65 million years ago.”
From here, it’s up to them: will they argue that the crocodile is or is not a dinosaur? After choosing their side, give them this “Plan to Persuade” template from The Curriculum Corner. We like this one due to its straightforward outline. It includes space to think through the topic, opinion statement, three reasons (with supporting evidence) and conclusion sentence in a streamlined format. Whichever side your learner takes, we think a compelling crocodile case is in your future.
And now, we humbly ask, how do you think croc learning will fare with your learners? Will it receive a wide-toothy grin or a rapid, water retreat? We’re hoping for the first, but after learning some facts, wouldn’t be surprised to hear it’s the last. One thing’s for sure, these animals definitely demand a heavy dose of respect.
|Photo courtesy of Britt Gaiser via Unsplash.|
Maybe picnics are already a routine for you; you are a master in the art of picnicking. If so, we hope you still might find some new ideas here. If picnicking is not a regular habit among you and yours, we hope these resources give you the confidence to give it a go.
For planning tips, we like How Does She’s post on “Simple Kid-Friendly Picnic Favorites.” With suggestions from freezing oranges to hosting a picnic dip and roll, we think you’ll plan a few picnics just to try out some of these kid-friendly tips.
Picnic plans settled, My Kids’ Adventures will help you prepare for picnic spontaneity. You’ll find a recommended supply list and five easy steps toward making your picnic a success. Our favorite supply is “a pinch of creativity,” and our favorite step is “keep a ready-go bag.” For more detail on each step, be sure to stop by My Kids’ Adventures.
You’re planned and prepared. All that’s left: to have your picnic. And, if your picnic could use some added entertainment, Noshing with the Nolands has a list of the “Best Picnic Games.” We especially like the sound of the picnic basket race; the combination of clean-up and competition sounds like a win-win to us.
These tips now part of your picnicking repertoire, we sense more picnics in your future. Whether spontaneous or planned, picnics bring bonding, fresh air, food and fun, which when combined add up to a recipe for lasting memories.
|This Photo licensed under CC BY-NC-ND|
To assist in movie selection, we’ve sorted Time Out’s recommended best animal and pet titles for kids by streaming service:
- Hulu Plus
- The Adventures of Milo and Otis (Rated G)
- Fly Away Home (Rated PG)
- Disney Plus
Which movie will you watch? We’d choose The Adventures of Milo and Otis, a favorite childhood movie that we would love sharing with our learner. After you watch the movie, while enjoying your snacks, it’s time to discuss. The direction of the discussion really is up to you, but here are several suggestions to get you started:
- Opinion conversations:
- Who was your (favorite, least favorite, most relatable, etc.) character?
- Which scene was… your favorite? Least favorite? One you’d like to step into?
- Comparison conversations:
- Name another story (book or movie) like this one. How are they the same? Different?
- Think about what you already know about (animal in movie). How does this movie reflect what you already knew to be true of (featured animal)? How is it different than what you know about (featured animal)?
- Creative conversations:
- How would the movie be different if it were a (replace featured pet/animal with a different one, i.e. elephant instead of a dog).
- What if you woke up as (choose a character)?
- Evaluative conversations:
- If you were to (write your own story/make your own movie) what can you take from this movie to improve your (story/movie)? Consider any feature: dialogue, music, emotions, story details, twists, etc.
- If this were your (story/movie) what one thing would you (write/film) differently?
- Argumentative conversations:
- Would (the featured animal) make a good pet for our household? (Each person in the discussion takes an opposing viewpoint).
- Was every decision the main character made the right one? Why or why not? (Each person in the discussion takes an opposing viewpoint).
After the official conversation ends, we hope it resurfaces in the upcoming days. And, we consider it a real win the next time your learner asks to discuss a movie with you.
It’s the official first day of summer! Put on that sunscreen and soak up some rays to celebrate. Then, maybe run through a sprinkler (or two). In the Wolfe Stew household, we love summer because of fewer obligations, more grilling opportunities, camping trips, and outdoor waterplay (sprinklers, water balloons, slip and slides, etc.) What about you? What do you love about summer?
Before You Go,
We’d Love to Know:
- Which activity most interests you?
- What other ideas do you have to add to any of these days?
Until next time, leaders, know we’re praying that you find the JOY in every day.
At Your Service,