July - An Idea for Every Day - Week 2

You're here because you're looking for activities for your learners; we're here because we want to help. We've been stewing on ideas for every day of this next July week and hope you find one (or two) engaging for you (and your learner). Look at all the different ways we're serving them:

Check out this week's line-up (click the link to "hop" to the mentioned day's description):

  1. Apple Turnover Day - Three recipes from which to choose.
  2. International Kissing Day - Research skills, reading, writing, chronological order, and history.
  3. Macaroni Day - History, art, and cooking skills.
  4. Freezer Pop Day - Reading, science, research skills, writing functional text, innovation, design, problem-solving, art.
  5. Call of the Horizon Day - Art (types of line, horizontal/vertical, horizon line, rule of thirds and photography).
  6. Kitten Day - Reading, art, science, following directions, problem solving, research skills, writing, drawing.
  7. Blueberry Muffin Day - Three recipes from which to choose.

And now, without further ado, check out the ideas we've been stewing on for you.


Sunday, July 5, 2020 - Apple Turnover Day

July 5, 2020 - three recipes with distinct variations.
Apple Turnover image by Niborobin via Pixabay

Do you love apples in baked goods too? They are among my favorite! I love any and all things apple. If you're here, and chose to look at this day, my guess is you (or someone else you love) have a fondness for them too! I'm glad to be in good company. To aid you in your Apple Turnover Day celebrations, we've rounded up a few recipes for you in a couple of different styles. Of course, if you’d prefer not to bake, you could always run out and buy a few. But, if you would like to enjoy the process, here’s three different variations for your consideration.

Classic Turnovers with Store Bought Puff Pastry

For these turnovers, we invite you into Natasha's Kitchen. She'll lead you through the turnover making process in both video and written formats. And not only does she provide the recipe, but also tips for storage, background information, tricks of the trade, and more apple-licious ideas. The tip we like best: how to keep the turnover from leaking. Who knew there was even a trick to this? Not me! I always just thought leaking turnovers were a byproduct of being homemade. Well, now I know. Anyway, if the idea of a classic apple turnover, drizzled in glaze and easily made with store-bought puff pastry makes your mouth water, we leave you in Natasha's more than capable hands.

From Scratch Turnovers with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Are you ready for a baking challenge? Would you prefer not going to the store to buy puff pastry and have all the other ingredients on hand (flour, sugar, salt, butter, lemon juice, four apples, salt and cinnamon)? Are cinnamon sugar topped apple turnovers the taste you crave? If any (or all) of these apply to you, then you want to visit the Brown Eyed Baker. Not only will she give you the recipe and guide you through the process, but she also suggests how to break up the project over two days and suggests another related recipe. So if from scratch apple turnovers with a cinnamon sugar topping just made your baking list, head on over and get the Brown Eyed Baker's recipe post haste.

Caramel Apple Turnovers

Caramel plus apples equals divine inspiration. Period. If you agree, run (don't walk) over to Sally's Baking Addiction now. Sally will tell you about her shared love of apples and walk you through her (self-proclaimed) simple recipe, complete with detailed pictures. Her pictures alone leave my mouth watering. Sally's recipe also uses store-bought puff pastry, but she suggests her homemade pie crust as an alternative if you'd prefer to make them completely from scratch. After tasting these, perhaps Sally's Baking Addiction will also pass on to you - for caramel apple turnovers at the very least. 

As you sit back to enjoy that apple turnover, consider the following verse: 
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken at the right time. Proverbs 25:11 (AMP)
Let that sink in as you’re eating your golden delicious apple turnover set in crispy perfection on the outside and luscious, gooey goldenness inside. That apple turnover symbolizes well-placed words. It’s undeniable, our words have power. When I think of the power I’d like my words to have, I think apple turnover power sounds divine.

Monday, July 6, 2020 - International Kissing Day

July 6, 2020 - related academic activities
Siblings Hugging image by Elly Fairytale via Pexels

Greet one another with a holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJV)
Kissing, as a greeting among friends, was common in Biblical times, but today is generally reserved for romantic love and familial relationships, yet not globally. Enter into the world of kissing with your learners by looking at the ways animals show affection with your longer learners and kissing history with the older ones.

To learn about forms of animal affection, we point you toward this Chicago Tribune slideshow. If you only have time to check out one slide, the cuddling koalas are our favorite (slide 8). Inspired by the slideshow, it's now time to make a picture book with your Preschool to Second Grade learner. Simply fold paper in half, draw affectionate animals on each page (or print, cut and paste), and write a sentence (or two) about the picture. After the pages are complete, make a title page on another folded piece of paper (consider making it on construction paper or cardstock for durability). Then, slide the title page over the outside of your book and staple along the folded edge. Voila! You have your very own picture book. You could make the book collaboratively by working together on each page or divvy up the pages among participating contributors. If you don't want to make a book, your learner might make an animal affection poster featuring one animal or thumbnail sketches of several. A PowerPoint slide would also make for a great digital option.

For learners in Third to Sixth grade, this "How Kissing Works" post by Tracy V. Wilson at How Stuff Works ought to be an intriguing read, once they get done with the exclamations of "eew" and "gross," that is.  In the article, they'll learn kissing origin theories, the effects of kissing (including biological, social and psychological viewpoints), kissing history (spanning 1500BC to 1990AD), and kissing physiology (including potential for disease transmission). 

From this article, we recommend focusing in on the history of kissing (pages 2 and 3) and using the information to make their own "History of Kissing Timeline." We like this timeline from eduplace as a printable option. However, it's really just as easy to make your own. A preferred method of ours is to record facts on sticky notes or notecards as you read the article, then stick or glue them to larger paper (construction, butcher, parchment, etc) or even a wall (with removable adhesives, of course) in chronological order. You might even break this project up over a period of days or sessions: reading the article, taking notes, mixing the notes up then reordering them chronologically, building the timeline and adding in pictures. Whatever your method, we're certain it will make for a lip-smacking good timeline!

After all the work on affection, we are certain your learner is prepared to rephrase the above mentioned verse to match modern day expectations. First, have them consider leaving the initial part and altering the last: "Greet one another with...." What is a socially acceptable way to greet friends today? Then, leave the end part and change the first: "...with a holy kiss." Who might you greet with a holy kiss? It might even be fun to have younger learners recreate the phrases with animal affection actions.

In the end, one thing is crystal clear: we as humans (even as animals) enjoy giving and receiving affection - with varying levels of tolerances and preferred methods, true. But, universally affection is desired.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - Macaroni Day

July 7, 2020 - related academic activities
Macaroni image by Ensar Bostanci licensed as CC0 via Public Domain Pictures.

wine to cheer us up, olive oil for our skin, and grain for our health. Psalm 104:15 (CEV)
And there you have it: a three-step recipe for the good life. I feel like I need to keep this verse posted somewhere as a reminder to quit overcomplicating things. Today, take a look into that “grain for our health bit” with your learners. It is Macaroni Day, after all.

First, embrace the beauty of pasta by creating some pasta art with The Artful Parent. Add her open-ended approach to pasta art to your child's endless creativity and the pasta-bilities are endless. The Artful Parent first teaches you how to dye the pasta, thereby adding more options to your child's art. She next describes the process for creating two suggested activities: pasta sculptures and a pasta mandala collage. At the bottom of The Artful Parent's post, you'll also find 14 additional activities, just in case you're hungry for more.

With a newfound appreciation of pasta beauty, your learner might be ready to indulge in a little bit of pasta history with Kid Cyber. We like this article because it has short, attention-keeping bullet points, followed by more detailed text; so you can easily pick and choose which route to take depending on the needs of your learner. They also included a link showing you how to make your own pasta at home.

Now enriched by pasta history and artistic pasta-bilities, head into the kitchen to make one of these fun pasta dishes for kids from Delish. Yes, we realize that not all the recipes feature macaroni specifically. For some of you, it won't matter, for others it will. So, if it does matter and you need a macaroni-specific recipe, rest assured, a few of these exist here too. The recipes we'd choose: Pizzagna (for those who do not require macaroni) and Mac and Cheese Waffles (for those of you that must use macaroni).

When you go to serve your creation, consider pairing it with wine, olive oil and the above verse. It’d serve as a good reminder of God’s provision for us. He knows what we need, even when we don’t.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - Freezer Pop Day

July 8, 2020 - related academic activities.
Homemade Fresh Berry Ice Pops by Jira via Rawpixel

They will never be hungry or thirsty. Sun and desert heat will not hurt them, for they will be led by one who loves them. He will lead them to springs of water. Isaiah 49:10 (GNT)
While we admit it won’t be the same, you too can lead them to your own form of refreshing springs of water with these freezer pop activities on a day full of sun and desert heat.

Begin freezer pop learning by introducing them to The Boy Who Invented the Popsicle (links to hoopla) by Anne Renaud and Milan Pavlovic (also available as a YouTube read aloud by Tiffany Toups). 

Now inspired by innovation and determination, prepare them to create their own recipe by investigating other recipes (find more than 40 at Country Living) to determine the necessary components and processes, and then jotting down a few potential recipe ideas.

Test out their proposals, by experimenting with potential freezer pop ingredients. Beyond the Chalkboard invites your learner to investigate freezing rates of various liquids with the help of ice cube trays, learner-chosen liquids, a freezer, timer and recording tools. After making observations on the freezing rates and end quality of proposed ingredients, have learners integrate this knowledge into their own freezer pop recipe (with the help of this Twinkl template). Then, invite them to test it out and suggest possible alterations.

A winning formula deserves eye-catching packaging. Once their recipe is perfected, issue a design challenge drawing on packaging design criteria from 99Designs that overcome frozen food packaging challenges from Graco. 

Feel satisfied, having not only led them to refreshment from the sun and desert heat, but also through activities full of engaging, purposeful learning across multiple subject areas. All because of a God who loves them and shows it by giving them a leader like you.

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - Call of the Horizon Day

July 9, 2020 - Related art activities
Green Field and Blue Sky via Rawpixel

He draws the horizon like a circle on the water at the place where light and darkness meet. Job 26:10 (EXB)
God is an artist. All you must do to see that it's true is examine that horizon line, and invite your learners in on it as you do.

Your Preschool to Second Grade learner is ready to differentiate between horizontal and vertical directionality. KinderArt's "Lines of All Kinds," lesson combines horizontal and vertical line differentiation with types of line experimentation. They'll draw five types of lines in the direction you indicate (horizontal or vertical) to create a fun, colorful and unique illustration. Indeed, an illustration so colorful and fun we wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a frequently repeated art activity. All you'll need is paper, oil pastels, tempera paint, the provided handout and Kinder Art's instructions.

Show Third to Sixth Grade learners how to draw one point perspective by introducing the artistic concepts of "horizon line" and "vanishing point" with this step-by-step guide from Art Projects for Kids. In nine steps, your learner will draw a vanishing road in a mountain landscape with visual references and guidelines.

If you're looking for more of an open-ended horizon line art lesson, That Artist Woman's lesson on mini landscapes has you covered. It's an artistic experimentation on horizon lines where you'll paint the same horizon from four different perspectives and combine them on one panel. Embedded in the lesson is the artistic 'Rule of Thirds," which will challenge your learner to see that a perspective is often more appealing with an offset horizon line.

Horizon lines are also interesting to study in photography. Before taking pictures of the horizon, visit I Photography where you'll learn the importance of taking the time to straighten the horizon line in your camera shot. This post argues the case for a straight horizon line in photography with plenty of photographic evidence to support their case. They round up the article with tips for straightening the horizon digitally. After studying examples of the effects of horizon line in a picture, head outdoors with your learners and have them experiment with straightening the horizon line in their camera shots. Remind them that even though the goal is for a straight horizon, the horizon need not be centered in the camera shot. Encourage them to play with the rule of thirds. How does the effect on the picture change when the horizon is in the lower third of the picture? The upper third? Right in the middle?

What did you learn about God as an artist through these activities? Does the study of line help you see the world differently? Does it help you think about art differently? 

Friday, July 10, 2020 - Kitten Day

July 10, 2020 - Related academic activities.
Kitten Image by Quangpraha via Picabay
because every forest animal already belongs to me, as do the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every mountain bird; even the insects in the fields are mine. Psalm 50:10-11 (CEB)
God’s clearly a cat person. No question about it! Of course, He’s an “every creature” kind of person. And, yet, it certainly doesn’t diminish His fondness for kittens. They’re so cute and cuddly; even if you don’t like cats, surely a kitten softens your heart. Endear them to your learners too using these activities we’ve been stewing on for you.

Preschool to Second Grade learners will love the story of Kitten's First Full Moon (via Open Library) by Kevin Henkes (YouTube read aloud by author Kevin Henkes). In the story, the kitten keeps trying to get closer to the moon, which he is certain is a large bowl of milk. You'll enjoy joining kitten's sheer determination as he problem solves through the obstacles of getting to the moon, and rejoice with him during the satisfying ending. 

When the story ends, the learning doesn't need to - Kitten's First Full Moon activities at Mom's Tot School are waiting for you. First on the list is a crayon resist painting. "Mom" drew the cat and had her daughter paint it, but, if you think your learner is ready, they could draw the cat and paint it. For a cat drawing tutorial, head over to Art Projects for Kids, and you'll have a cat in eight steps.

Mom's Tot School's next activity for Kitten's First Full Moon resides at Modern Parent's Messy Kids. It's Magic Milk Paint. For this activity, you'll need milk, food coloring, dish soap and a toothpick. That's it! After filling the bowl with milk, you add a drop of food coloring, dip your toothpick in the soap, then read on at Modern Parent's Messy Kids to discover the "magic" part. Let's be honest - we know you're itching to try it. We certainly are! 

Next on Mom's Tot School's agenda is making a cat mask from Woo Jr. Woo Jr. makes cat mask crafting easy! All you need to do is choose the cat color, print, cut and lace string through the holes to make the mask wearable. Perhaps you might consider wearing the mask during the final activity.

The last activity at Mom's Tot School is to make your learner take the place of kitten by hiding a "milk bowl" in different locations, and challenge them to problem-solve their way to get to it. 

Invite your Third to Sixth Grade learners to make a book on varying cat breeds. Make the requirements more or less challenging based on the needs of your learner. Some variables you might consider altering: number of breeds in book; amount of facts per breed and hand drawn pictures or cut and paste pictures. To aid them in the research process, we like Family Minded's post of  45 friendly cat breeds by Briana Hansen. Two cats we'd be sure to include are the Main Coon and the Himalayan.

We're curious: how would you rate your fondness of kittens? Did these activities endear them to you any more?

Saturday, July 11, 2020 - Blueberry Muffin Day

July 11, 2020 - Three variations from which to choose.
Blueberry Muffins by Imogenco via Pixabay
Take fine flour and bake twelve cakes using two tenths of a measure for each cake. Leviticus 24:5 (ISV)
While the directions in this verse would make for a mammoth muffin, (one version translates as a gallon of flour per cake) we like where it’s headed. It’s amazing the specificity of directions which God provided His people. Details matter. Get in the spirit of Blueberry Muffin Day and connect with God as you consider this verse while you bake. If all that’s stopping you are those specific directions, we have a few variations for your consideration (arranged from most blueberries added to least).

Jordan March (Classic) Blueberry Muffins with Sugar Topping

Apparently (previously unbeknownst to me) a department store in Boston existed with much loved muffins. King Arthur Flour hosts the recipe for these famous muffins. What you'll need: butter, sugar, eggs baking powder, salt, vanilla, flour, milk, and blueberries. Make sure you read the tips from bakers at the bottom before you set out baking. 

Streusel-Topped Blueberry Muffins

Perhaps streusel is more your thing. If so, you want Sally's Baking Addiction's recipe. This lady has a passion for muffins, and we understand why: muffins are delicious! Sally tells you what sets her muffins apart from the rest, gives you general muffin making guidelines, tricks of the trade for tall muffins, and tips on freezing (so you can make them ahead). This recipe even includes a secret ingredient, which out of respect for Sally, we won't reveal here. So, if streusel-topped muffins are your thing, Sally's got a recipe for you!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Maybe you live on the edge and want something slightly unexpected. Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking hears you. Gemma's lemon blueberry muffin might just offer that slightly unexpected something you need. And, in our household, the combination of lemon and blueberry is always a win. We do notice, however, that this muffin lacks any topping. So if no topping's your thing, this is perfect for you. However, if you love a muffin with topping, you could always consider adding sugar or streusel before you bake it (using the streusel recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction). 

Or, if we were making these, we'd whip up a lemon glaze to drizzle over the top when they come out of the oven. For the lemon glaze, all you need to do is add a tiny bit of milk (~1 tsp) to a small amount of powdered sugar ( ~ 1/4 cup) with lemon zest (start at 1 tsp, then add more or less to taste), and mix until it falls gently from a spoon. You don't want the drizzle to pour like milk or clump like mashed potatoes. You want it somewhere in the middle, maybe like honey. Even slightly thinner. To get the drizzle to the desired consistency, simply add teeny tiny bits of milk (if thick) or powdered sugar (if thin). Taste test it also to make sure you have the right amount of lemon zest (to your liking). Then, when the muffins emerge from the oven, simply drizzle your glaze over the top. Yum! 

As you bake, immerse yourself in the process. Ponder the verse. Take your time delighting in the fine flour, the wonder of an egg, the freshness of blueberries, the miracle of transformation that comes from patience and heat.  And, when your twelve mini cakes emerge, savor each bite as you taste and see that the Lord is good, (Psalm 34:8) rejoicing in His infinite provision.

Before You Go

We'd Love to Know:
  1. What would you pick: apple turnover OR blueberry muffin?
  2. What other activity would you add to this list?
That wraps up this week's ideas for every day, leaders. Until next time, we're sincerely hoping you find the JOY in every day.

At Your Service,
Created to do good works.



Comments

  1. OMG love this list! Great way to remember to celebrate all the little things in life!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear you love it! Yes, we agree, celebrating the small things helps make life so much more enjoyable. Thanks for dropping in!

      Delete
  2. Wow this is impressive, you are SO organized!

    I really ♥️ how you combined research skills, the scientific process, and a little entrepreneurship in your popsicle day. All while the kids are having fun. So hands on, I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much, Clarissa, for all your kind words. It's comments like these that keep me running.

      Delete
    2. This looks delicious. I definitely want to try it but the calories keep me away.

      Delete
    3. No doubt you're right, Addy. Neither apple turnovers nor muffins are low in calories. What alternatives do you suggest when calorie counting? Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete

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