April 2021 - Ideas for EVERY Day
We’re officially into spring now, never mind that we just dug our way out of our biggest snowfall yet. How are you feeling about spring? Are you ready for it? Are you looking for some fresh ideas to liven up learning? If so, we have a few sprouting for you.
Here’s a link to our April Idea for Every Day calendar (or use the embedded version below). Bookmark it, print it, pin it where you plan. Then, when you need a fresh idea, give it a glance. Hopefully you’ll find something there for you.
Below, we’ll go into detail about our five favorite activities for the month of April (or skip there now). But, if you’d like more ideas about other days to celebrate, here are links to our April 2020 “Idea for Every Day” blogs.
- April Fool’s Day (4.1.2021)
- World Autism Awareness Day (4.2.2021)
- National Find a Rainbow Day (4.3.2021)
- National Love Our Children Day (4.3.2021)
- National Go for Broke Day (4.5.2021)
- National Student Athlete Day (4.6.2021)
- National No Housework Day (4.7.2021)
- National All is Ours Day (4.8.2021)
- National Name Yourself Day (4.9.2021)
- National Encourage a Young Writer Day (4.10.2021)
- National Pet Day (4.11.2021)
- Easter (4.4.2021)
- Thomas Jefferson (4.13.2021)
- Look Up at the Sky Day (4.14.2021)
- Take a Wild Guess Day (4.15.2021)
- Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day (4.16.2021)
- Ellis Island Family History Day (4.17.2021)
- Record Store Day (6.12.2021)
- Hanging Out Day (4.19.2021)
- National Look Alike Day (4.20.2021)
- Library Worker Day (4.6.2021)
- Earth Day (4.22.2021)
- Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (4.23.2021)
- Teach Children to Save Day (4.22.2021)
- Kiss of Hope Day (4.24.2021)
- National Pretzel Day (4.26.2021)
- National Tell a Story Day (4.27.2021)
- National Superhero Day (4.28.2021)
- Zipper Day (4.29.2021)
- National Honesty Day (4.30.2021)
Saturday, April 3, 2021 - National Find a Rainbow Day
Yes, we know, rainbows are typically for St. Patrick’s Day and by April you’re done talking about them. But, come on. It's rainbows. There’s something magical in them. They represent a Biblical promise and hope. We think rainbows are for anytime of the year. And, with the weather getting warmer and rain more likely now than snow, you are more likely to see one. So put on your lab coats, don your safety goggles and get ready for some rainbow science.
With these colorful ideas from Little Bins for Little Hands, your Preschool to First Grade learners will create chemical reactions, play with polymers, dig in to density, and craft a crystal rainbow. Two I’d choose to do: the erupting rainbow and the Lego rainbow STEM challenge.
No rain in your forecast? No worries. Have your Second and Third Grade Learners make a Lawn Rainbow by following this guide from Exploratorium. All you’ll need is a hose that can spray (a sprinkler, or a fountain) and a warm, sunny day. Your learner will discover how to spot a rainbow and why a rainbow’s position changes relative to perspective.
This last rainbow activity is another one my nephew and I did together during remote learning last year and will work well with your Fourth to Sixth Grade Learners. Together, we read this Live Science article that explains how rainbows form and where to find them. Then, he wrote a “How-To Find a Rainbow Tutorial” with this how-to template created by Check into Teaching via Teachers Pay Teachers. He, of course, added his own spin on it (as he always does) by suggesting you make sure to walk to the end so you can find the pot of gold.
Sunday, April 4, 2021 – Easter
Celebrate Easter in your own special way.
For us, that means two Easters. This is the first Easter in quite a while that our nephew won’t be with us. Anytime that happens, we always have another holiday celebration with him. Included in our celebration will be finding any treasures the Easter bunny left behind (Our niece and nephew spotted THE REAL Easter bunny in our yard last year. Just so you know. 😊), decorating hard boiled eggs, and then our traditional Easter dinner of ham, baked beans, potato salad, and deviled eggs. It’s always the dessert portion that changes for us. In the past, we’ve done carrot cake and cheesecake nests that hold malted eggs. I think this year we might have Jell-o eggs topped with whipped cream. But I just might still make that carrot cake; it’s one of my favorites.
On actual Easter Sunday, our household will be split. I’ll be going to my parents’ house to engage in festivities there with more of my family also in attendance. We’ll dine on my mother’s home cooking and be entertained by our nieces and nephew.
Those of the Wolfe Stew household who remain will enjoy quiet time and relaxation.
As far as preparing ourselves spiritually, my nephew and I are working through Kids Corner’s Lent Bible Study. I’ve been “Breathing through Lent” with Matt Maher via the wonders of YouTube and our church is contemplating and applying the story of Esther (links to Bible Gateway where you can choose your own Bible version to read it in) to our personal lives. I know, at some point during the Easter weekend, we’ll attend our church’s service virtually.
What about you? How do you spend your Easter? What do you most look forward to every year? Or is Easter a holiday you hop right over. If you’re looking for some new ideas, we’ve stewed on some for you. From each subcategory, we’d love to share the one we’d choose.
With our family, we’d love to do this Easter countdown. You write out actions or prayers on paper, cut them up and put them in plastic eggs. Then, as you countdown to Easter, you open one each day. As a family, you encourage others to perform the action or pray together. Get your Easter countdown printable from Happy Organized Life. Or, if you are just looking for something to do on Easter day, add Arabah Joy’s Bible verse scavenger hunt into your festivities. You’ll look through scripture for clues and document your findings with photos. At the end, come together and tell the Easter story using the help of the pictures. For 18 more family Easter ideas, visit DIY & Crafts.
If you’re gathering with friends, Better Homes & Gardens put together a list of suggested activities for you. Our favorite idea is to have all your friends bring their favorite springtime recipe on enough cards for each person. Then, have a cook-off. Enjoy each other’s cooking and take the recipes home to add to your collection. For other adult-friendly Easter celebration ideas, visit Better Homes & Gardens.
Maybe you’re celebrating solo this year. If so, do consider putting together an Easter basket for yourself. Visit Design Ideas for inspiration. Alternatively, if you know someone who is celebrating alone, consider using these ideas for making an adult Easter basket to make one to leave on their doorstep.
Monday, April 12, 2021 – Drop Everything and Read Day
Tuesday, April 21, 2021 – Thank You for Libraries Day
Is it obvious that we’re a book-loving family? Libraries rock. Seriously. Anything you’re interested in you can find information on it at a library. If you’re not sure you want to invest in a book, check it out at the library first. Or, if you just want to broaden the range of literature you read, the library is the place for discovery. To learn more about libraries with your learners, check out these resources and ideas we’ve stewed on for you.
First, for Preschool through 6th, we’d suggest reading The Efficient, Inventive (Often Annoying) Melvil Dewey (links to its GoodReads page). In a well-written and illustrated picture book (written by Alexis O’Neill and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham), your learners will discover who he was and what he accomplished for our libraries. Here’s a hint: it’s more than just the Dewey Decimal System. After reading the book, have your little learners (Preschool-2nd) work in teams to devise, employ, and share a system of organization for books. Have older learners (3rd-6th) learn about the Dewey Decimal System in this lesson plan from Education World. Using the IPL Dewey Decimal Classification guide, and a narrative provided in the lesson plan, your learners will determine where to reshelf books on a given list.
Friday, April 30, 2021 – National Honesty Day
After watching the new Wonder Woman movie: WW84, my favorite superhero changed. Why? Because I love that Wonder Woman stands for honesty; she wields it as a weapon, literally. Honesty in building relationships is fundamental. You have nothing to stand on if it’s not built on honesty. Teach your learners about honesty and the benefits therein using these resources we’ve stewed on for you.
Invite your Preschool to Second Graders to read books, sing, play games, and be rewarded for their honesty with these honesty teaching ideas from Rockin’ Resources. There, three book, song, and activity recommendations await you. Of each resource type, we’d choose the following:
- Book – We think the classic, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, is always a good choice for teaching honesty, especially at this age level (but we may be biased). The link above will bring you to a YouTube read aloud (from StoryTime with Ms. Cece) of The Boy Who Cried Wolf by B.G. Hennessy and illustrated by Boris Kulikov.
- Song – The Truth Song by Have Fun Teaching blends rap and pop styles to remind kids to speak the truth. I love this lyric “I have no shame in the words that I say because I speak the truth.” The chorus rings, “Honesty is what I need…the truth will set me free,” a message kids certainly need to hear and with this catchy song, one they might even find themselves singing.
- Activity – At We Have Kids, they suggest playing a game called “Remember the Lie” to teach about honesty. You show a picture, lie about it, and pass it to the next person who adds another lie about it. As the picture passes around the circle, continue adding and repeating previous lies until someone tells a truth or forgets a lie. For the second round, repeat the procedure only this time telling the truth. At the end, discuss which was easier to remember and why. For more activities, songs, books, and coloring pages about learning honesty, visit We Have Kids.
For older learners (3rd – 6th Graders), engage them in a game of snakes and ladders with this plan from Teacher Planet. First, your learners will listen or retell the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf (Wow, we really are biased!) and determine the moral. Then, they’ll role play a potential integrity showcasing scenario which will help them discuss values tested, their response, and alternate outcomes. Using the discussions of the book and roleplays, your learners will compile a list of integrity questions for use in game play (examples provided). Options for diving into the questions before gameplay are also provided. Finally, your learners play snakes and ladders answering an integrity question every time they get to a snake or ladder. If they answer with integrity, they are rewarded while a dishonest answer results in a negative consequence.
Before You Go, We'd Love to Know:
What do you love about spring?
A favorite Easter memory of yours.
That wraps up this month’s “Ideas for Every Day.” We hope you are hopping right into spring and managing to find the JOY in every day. Until next time, leaders, keep leading those littles with joy in your heart and a song in your step.
At Your Service,