ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: May 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Conversation Starter Activity

Today was Memorial Day in the United States.  It is a day of rememberance for those who have died in service to our country. While my own children don't yet fully understand their freedom and the brave sacrifices that ensure it, we want them to begin to process the significance of remembering. 

In the midst of our yard work, camp fire, and family wiffle ball tournament we took some time to start an informal conversation about the holiday with a drawing activity.

White Paper
Colored Pencils
Kids will reflect on how and why we observe Memorial Day

 Cut pictures from a magazine
Attach magazine cut outs to white drawing paper with tape or glue.  Instruct children to create a scene showing what their character would be doing on Memorial Day based on their understanding of the holiday.  Let the brainstorming, drawing, questions, and conversation begin.
Share pictures and discuss the ideas the kids are trying to portray.  An obvious extension activity would be to write about the finished pictures or to add conversation bubbles to the pictures reflecting what the characters may be thinking or saying.

With our own children the outcomes included: thoughtful conversation about what it means to remember, an interesting discussion about the differences between days of celebration and days of remembrance.; a richer understanding of our own family history and our great grandparent's contributions to our country's freedoms.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Clever Father's Day Gifts to Make and Give

The air is warmer, the leaves are back on our trees, the kids are counting down the days until school gets out, the plans for Memorial Day festivities are ready to roll and my mind if full of ideas we'd like to add to this year's Summer Fun To-Do list. It doesn't hurt to start thinking about some Father's Day gift and card ideas either!  Here are a few cute suggestions to get your gears turning!
Turn your left over Altoid tins into adorable mini toolboxes like these from Alpha Mom.

Use the Soda Can Cover-up printables on The Idea Room to create a special case of cola and coasters for Dad.

Tatertots and Jello presents Dad with a tee-rific round of golf.

The kids at Four Crazy Kings used images from old magazines to make this Motor Trend Dad of the Year card.

Katherine Marie Photography has come up with some clever uses for chocolate on Dad's card.

Send your father's day wishes with a sweet treat in the form of Father's Day Candy Bars, Melissa from Max and Ellie has even made up a PDF for you to download filled with all the candy related messages and ready to print out on standard sized labels. Doesn't get much quicker or easier!

Kaboose has a cute I Love You Daddy poem and card idea.

Sarah at the Fifth Street Palace and her son made this fun fish gift bag, perfect for her fishing guru dad!

Ramblings of a Crazy Women shares the step by steps for putting together a Father's Day acronym card.

Mama Jenn made this decorative saying hanging with her daughter for her husband.

Dollar Store Crafts suggests an idea for framing a personalized word collage.

Running short of time? Try this Father's Day Coupon book from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Boys of all ages will love the outdoor adventure ideas in Jen Murray's new ebook, KidVentures!  Make it a Father's Day gift for dad and a summer full of fun for all the guys in your family!