July - An Idea for Every Day - Week 5

As each new month approaches, I am convinced that it catches me by surprise every time. August looms leaders. We're here to help you get ready for it. Whether you're getting ready to go back into the classroom, begin a year of homeschooling or you're looking for activities for your learners to do today, we're stewing on resources for you. Our desire is to help breathe fun into learning and we attempt to achieve that goal by pairing daily holidays with activities for your Preschool to Sixth Grade learner. The activities chosen range from academic to social emotional to just plain fun, and we only choose activities that we would consider doing with the learners in our lives. We hope your learner loves them as much as we think our learners will. 

Check out the upcoming holidays ranging from July 26, 2020 to August 1, 2020 (click the link to "jump" to the correlating day's description).

  1. Aunt & Uncle's Day - Put on love.
  2. Bagpipe Appreciation Day  - Instruments, Music, Crafts, Noticing details, Forming descriptions, Following directions, Art, Fine motor skills, Festivals, Science (instrument mechanics), Bible integration (Daniel)
  3. Waterpark Day - Research, STEM design challenge, Drawing, Construction, Following directions, Biblical integration (themed planning)
  4. Rain Day - Earth Science (Water cycle), Art (Process, painting, crafting), Music (movement, traditions, instruments, dynamics)
  5. International Day of Friendship - Discussion, Writing, Models in literature and film, Digital booklist
  6. World Ranger Day - Earth science, Careers, Virtual tours, History, Writing, Literacy
  7. Disc Golf Day - Biblical experiential learning, Course finder, Variations
And check out all the different ways we're plating them for you.
And now, without further ado, check out all the ideas we've been stewing on for you.

Sunday, July 26, 2020 - Aunt and Uncle's Day

Show your aunt and uncle some love
Aunts and Uncles photo by Gustavo Frin via Pexels

Any relationship can be tricky, but sometimes family relationships seem trickiest of all. You want to know a secret of how to win at relationships? It appears in the Bible:

Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14 (CSB)

Above all. Not bitterness, judgement, jealousy, or approval. No. Above all, put on love. 

Aunts and Uncles sometimes get overlooked. Today's the day to show that Aunt and Uncle in your life that you love them. And maybe it's not hard for you. Perhaps the Aunt and Uncle in your life and you get along well. If so, splendid! If not, today's the perfect day to start anew. And here's how: choose to put on love, the perfect bond of unity. 


Monday, July 27, 2020 - Bagpipe Appreciation Day

Learning activity for your preschool to sixth grade learner.
Bagpipes by Pixabay via Pexels

You must bow down as soon as you hear the sound of all the musical instruments. When you hear the horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas, harps, bagpipes, and all the other musical instruments, you must worship the gold idol. Daniel 3:5 (ERV)

Hopefully you know we're not asking you to worship the gold idol, but rather to notice that bagpipes were an instrument of mention in the Bible. Bagpipes, an ancient instrument, retain popularity today. The Mr. would rather hear "Amazing Grace," on the bagpipes than on any other instrument. What about you? Do you like the bagpipes? Explore them with your learner and these activities we've been stewing on for you.

To begin, we recommend having your learner experience "Amazing Grace" played by the Bagpipe Master via YouTube. Invite them to offer statements and questions regarding the experience about both the physical appearance of the instrument and its sound.

Next, head over to Crayola to build a Bonnie Bagpipe. With construction paper, markers, paper bags, rubber bands, glue, scissors, paper towel rolls, string, and these directions from Crayola, your learner will craft their very own bagpipe. Crayola first offers a brief history of the bagpipe's mysterious past, suggests you listen to bagpipes played at an event (YouTube video of Deeside 2018 parade), explains bagpipe mechanics, encourages you to experiment with the creation process, and walks you through the steps of Bonnie Bagpipe formation. This project will build patience in your leaders; the directive to air-dry before proceeding to the next step appears several times in the process. A suggestion: consider gathering more bagpipe videos to share during each drying step.

Last, have learners read through (or read to them) this "How Bagpipes Work" article at Making Music Mag. Using their Bonnie Bagpipe and details from this article, have learners explain how a bagpipe works in their own words. 

Extend this lesson into a unit of learning by studying each instrument in the verse (horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas and harps) and Daniel's story (links to story at Bible Gateway). End the course of study by having your learner infer the choice of these particular instruments, or choose which one they would play, detailing their reasons. Perhaps, even consider reenacting Daniel's story, being sure to bow as soon as you hear the sound of the instruments. With younger learners, make it into a "Simon Says" type game, where you get thrown in the "lion's den" if you don't bow. For older learners, add in other instruments. Their goal: to only bow at the sound of the instruments described in the verse.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - Waterpark Day

Related learning activities for preschool to sixth graders.
Waterslide photo by zxoravecz via Pixabay

In the heat of the summer, passing through waters is more than an ideal way to cool off, it's sought after. Use this to your advantage with these two waterpark activities we've been stewing on for you.

We think you and your learner will have a splashing time when you design your own waterpark.  To get the ideas sliding, go on a virtual tour of Zume Flume and view the interactive map of Waterworld. Then, visit Green Kid Crafts for a STEM challenge of building a water slide. With the insights gained from these experiences, draw out a map of your own waterpark.

Alternately, visit BobVila.com for ideas to turn your backyard into a waterpark

As you're drying off, wrapping up in that big beach towel, wrap up the learning by reading and talking about this verse:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; 
And through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.

Next, ask your learner to imagine a waterpark designed around its description. You pass through waters, overwhelming rivers, and scorching fire. Ask your learner to design a waterpark ride that fits the description. Bonus points for finding ways to remind the riders that God is with them every step of the way.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - Rain Day

Related learning activities for preschool to sixth graders.
Raindrops photo by Diego Torres via Pixabay

Rain. We need it. Our crops need it. The animals need it. Life on this planet would cease to exist without rain. Throughout history various cultures engaged in rituals and superstitions in effort to summon this valuable, beyond-our-control resource. Discuss the significance of it with your learners with the help of these resources we've been stewing on for you.

Of course, anytime you study rain, you'll naturally want to study the water cycle. In Justin Case: Rules Tools and Maybe a Bully, by Rachel Vail, Justin's sister, Elizabeth (a first grader), has a song she learned in school to remember the stages of the water cycle. It goes:

Precipitation
Evaporation
Condensation
Begin again
(page 44)

And with Science Sparks, you'll learn precisely these stages when you make a mini water cycle using a plastic bowl, saran wrap, a mug, string, and water. Or, if you prefer each learner makes their own, Science Sparks suggests making a water cycle in a bag.

For art activities with your Preschool to Second Grade learner, try splatter painting with Little Page Turners. You'll position food coloring (other bloggers suggested dry kool aid powder, chalk and washable markers) on white paper and carefully take it outside to a flat surface where it's gently raining. Once your artist deems the artwork "done," carry it inside and let it dry.

Your Third to Sixth Grade learner will watch in awe as the rain forms in this rain watercolor resist painting featured at Elementary Art Fun. What you'll need: thick, white paper; crayons; watercolors and paintbrushes. Draw the rain using a white crayon and add details with other-colored crayons.  When finished, paint using hues of blue and black to illustrate a rainstorm. As your learner paints, the white raindrops emerge. Visit Elementary Art Fun for step-by-step directions with pictures and extension ideas.

Why not perform a rain dance? This music and movement lesson at Scholastic (ideal for your Preschool to Second grade learner) focuses on reenacting rain's movement and moving to its changing rhythm. While this Teacher's Net lesson plan (Third to Sixth Grade Learners) explores the Native American tradition of rain dancing and dynamics of music. You might also consider making a rain stick (using recycled cardboard tubes, aluminum foil, glue, tissue paper, tacks, and rice - or other fillers) with Happy Hooligans to use in your rain dances.

May the clouds in the skies above pour goodness on the earth like rain. May the earth open up to let salvation grow. And may goodness grow with that salvation, which I, the Lord, created. Isaiah 45:8 (ERV)
 

Thursday, July 30, 2020 - International Day of Friendship

Related learning activities and digital booklist for preschool to sixth graders
Friendship photo by Cherylholt via Pixabay

You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (CEV)

Explore this verse with your learners. Is it true? Are we better off with a friend than alone? What if the friend is not a good friend? Explore these questions and more with these activities we've been stewing on for you.

Teach kids about friendship with this post at Raising Lifelong Learners. You'll discuss the characters of a good friend, role play tough friendship situations, and find encouragement to model being a good friend to others. Raising Lifelong Learners even offers Netflix show suggestions about friendships and a printable for your learner to express their appreciation to a close friend of theirs. If you prefer reading a book to watching a movie, Mommy Shorts suggests fifteen books on the topic of friendship for you. Of the suggested books, we found the following digital options.

Preschool to First Grade

  1. Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won via Hoopla
  2.  My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems via Open Library (YouTube read aloud by SnuggleBug StoryTime)
  3. Be a Friend by Salina Yoon a YouTube read aloud by Liz Capone
  4. The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld a YouTube read aloud by Shon’s stories
  5. One by Kathryn Otoshi a YouTube read aloud by The Storybook Show

Second to Third Grade

  1. Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller a YouTube read aloud by PV Storytime
  2. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig a YouTube read aloud by Mr. Baker’s Bookshelf
  3. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead via Open Library (hoopla or You Tube read aloud by StoryTime at Awnie's House)
  4. Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts via Open Library (YouTube read aloud by OBKidz)
  5. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson a YouTube read aloud by Camryn Manheim via StorylineOnline
Fourth to Sixth Grade (Read Brightly booklist)
  1. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh via Open Library
  2. Holes by Louis Sachar via Open Library
  3. My Last Best Friend by Julie Bowe via Open Library (hoopla)
  4. Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper via Open Library
  5. Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker via Hoopla 

It is our genuine hope that at the end of these activities your learners better understand what it means to be (and to choose) a good friend.  


Friday, July 31, 2020 - World Ranger Day
Related learning activities for preschool to sixth graders
Ranger photo by skeeze via Pixabay

Then God said, "Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth." Genesis 1:26 (CEB)

If I were to be a ranger, I think this would likely be the verse I would live by. We were charged with being "masters" over the animals and the earth itself. It's no small task! Rangers choose to devote their lives to this end: to watch over the animals and the earth itself. Explore who rangers are and what they do with these activities we've been stewing on for you.

Why not become a Junior Ranger with the National Park Service? I mean, the program is already all lined out for you. And, if you can't make it to a park, no worries, there are more than enough online activities to keep your Junior Ranger candidate occupied. Choose from online activity guides (includes interactive guides and printable activities), parks through your screen (includes virtual tours, videos and web cams), Junior Ranger Books,  a Virtual Junior Ranger program, descriptions of parks with Junior Ranger programs, or do it all!  If you decide to "do it all," we guarantee this site has enough to keep you (and your learner) occupied for hours.  If we were choosing, we'd choose the following activities from each category:
But please, check the site out for yourself.  There are MANY more options from which to choose! Also, if your learner is a fourth grader, make sure you pick up their free pass for fourth graders only at Every Kid Outdoors (year spans September 1st through August 31st).

And, if your learner aspires to be a ranger, check out the Student Conservation Association's post "Everything You Wanted to Know About Park Rangers... But Were Afraid to Ask." The article is split into two sections: What do park rangers really do? and What does it take to be a park ranger? So, if ranger aspirations lie in your learner's mind, read through and see if being a ranger is something they still wish to do.

Even if your learner has no desire to be a ranger, it's still important that they consider, what kind of master am I to the animals around me? To the earth? How might I be a better master? Am I caring for the blessings God's given me?

Saturday, August 1, 2020 - Disc Golf Day

Biblical experiential learning idea, disc golf course finder and variations.
Disc Golf photo by Jato Create via Pixabay

Everyone who enters an athletic contest goes into strict training. They do it to win a temporary crown, but we do it to win one that will be permanent. I Corinthians 9:25 (GW)
What a great experiential way to explain this verse! Start by announcing you'll have a disc golf tournament on date in the future. Mark it on your calendar. (Use DG Course Review to find a new course, if desired.) Encourage everyone who's participating to practice daily. Consider even practicing together. However, don't force it. If a participant doesn't want to practice, allow them that choice. (If you're looking for some ways to spice up your disc golf play, visit disc golf action for twenty variations.)

Then, when the day comes, hold the disc golf contest with your learners. 

Award the winner with a crown. The crown might be of flowers, paper or plastic; whatever you have on hand or might easily make. Ask participants why they think the winning participant won. Did the winner do anything differently than the other participants? Contrast the likelihood of a person with strict training winning a tournament to a person with lazy training. Finally, connect this with our training for the permanent crown. What is our training? Is it intentional or accidental? What will our crown be? How is it permanent?

Before You Go

We'd love to know:
  1. Which activity do you think your learner will most enjoy?
  2. What sets the friend in your life apart from everyone else?

That wraps up this week's ideas for every day. Until next time, leaders, we sincerely hope you find the joy in EVERY day.

At Your Service,
Created to do good works. Ephesians 2:10

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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