Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21: Strawberries and Cream Day

image from runtvapor.com

Not only is today Strawberries and Cream Day, but May is Strawberry month. Here are some fun facts about strawberries, according to MacaroniKid.com:

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
  • Each strawberry contains approximately 200 seeds.
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in spring.
  • Strawberries are low fat, low calorie, high in Vitamin C, fiber, folic acid and potassium.
  • There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.
  • The average person in the United States eats 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries every year.
  • 23,000 acres of strawberries are planted in California each year, which equals around 1 billion pounds!
You can make this dessert with strawberries and cream to celebrate the day:


Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Materials:

  • Crushed pretzels, 1 ½ cups
  • Sugar, ½ cup
  • Butter, 1/3 cup
  • Microwave-safe 9” x 13” pan
  • Cool Whip, 1 9-ounce package
  • Cream cheese, 8 ounces
  • Powdered sugar, ½ cup
  • 8-cup microwave safe container
  • Strawberry gelatin, two 3-ounce packages
  • Frozen strawberries, one 16-ounce package (don’t drain)
  • Crushed pineapple, 1 cup drained

Directions:

  1. Melt butter at 100% power for 30 to 45 seconds.
  2. Combine butter with sugar and pretzels and spread in pan.
  3. Microwave uncovered at 70 to 80% power for 2 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Mix cream cheese, Cool Whip, and powdered sugar.
  5. Spread over cooled crust s and place in fridge to partially set.
  6. In container, heat 2 cups water and add gelatin; heat 1-2 more minutes at 100% power to dissolve gelatin.
  7. Add strawberries and pineapple.
  8. Pour on top of other 2 layers and refrigerate until set.
Source(s): cooks.com, adapted for the Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity H5).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20: Weight and Measure Day

image from easyloss.net

According to Answers.com an international treaty was signed on this day in 1875 to establish the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. It was founded on international territory at Sèvres, France. Here are potential activities to celebrate the day:


Weighing and Measuring Activities

Materials:

  • Rulers
  • Tape measures
  • Yardsticks
  • Scales
  • Strong stick
  • String
  • Cups
  • Books on animals’ lengths and weights
  • Containers and cups of varying size

Directions:

  1. Provide various rulers and scales to let kids do their own weighing and measuring. Kids can guess items’ weight or length.
  2. Make a scale with a strong stick, some string, and cups. Tie a string from each end of the stick and attach a cup to the other side. Balance the stick and load materials in the cups.
  3. Find books that tell how long different animals are and how much they weigh. How many kids would equal an elephant’s weight? A whale? How many kids would equal a giraffe’s height?
  4. Have kids measure off various distances by walking toe-to-toe. They can then measure their feet and figure out how long that means the distance is that they walked.
  5. Provide cups and containers of various sizes along with measuring spoons and cups. Let kids compare how same amount of liquid looks different in different-sized containers.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s book 100 Science Activities for Kids (activities F1-F10).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19: Ringling brothers founded their circus (1884).

image from JoyBaker.com


The Circus Game

Materials:

  • Hula hoops

Directions:

  1. One person is picked as the lion tamer.
  2. This person has a hula hoop.
  3. Another person is picked to be a clown.
  4. The clown tries to tag the players (lions).
  5. Tagged lions must sit down.
  6. The lion tamer can bring the hula hoop to the lions. Once a lion passes through the hoop, it can return to play.
Source(s): 100 Game Activities for Kids (activity A7)


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18: Museum Day

image from stiuunloc.ro


A Museum About Our Program

Materials:

  • Posterboard
  • Markers
  • Magazines for cutting up
  • Other materials for decoration

Directions:

  1. The kids can make their own museum about your program. Ask kids to consider what children in 100 years would be interested to know about the program.
  2. Ask kids what they think will be different in 100 years and what might be the same.
  3. Kids can make exhibits about the foods they eat, the toys they play with, the activities they do in the program, the music they like, the shows and movies they watch, and the kinds of clothes they wear.
  4. Kids can display their exhibits around the program space (kind of like a science fair) for parents and visitors to see. Maybe you can even plan an event night around the museum!

Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May 16: Love a Tree Day

image from nestinggypsy.com


Measuring the Height of a Tree

Materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Yardstick

Directions:

  1. Use the tape measure to measure off exactly 25 feet from the tree you wish to measure.
  2. With the zero end of the yardstick downward, hold the yardstick exactly 25 inches from your eye.
  3. Line up the bottom of the yardstick with the base of the tree.
  4. Note which inch line marks the top of the tree. Each inch equals one foot of the tree’s height.
  5. If the tree is taller than the yardstick, stand 50 feet away from tree. Follow steps 2-4 again, but this time double the final number. If still taller, than back away 75 feet, follow steps 2-4, and triple the number. For 100 feet, 4x the number, etc.
Source(s): BizarreLabs.com; featured in Toolbox Training’s 100 Nature Activities for Kids card set (activity F4). You can also check out activity B7 from 100 Construction Activities for Kids to see how to make a tree from rolled up newspapers.


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15: Chocolate Chip Day

image from proteinpow.com

In honor of Chocolate Chip Day, there are a number of desserts and snacks one could prepare. Here’s one of the best-known snacks with chocolate chips.


Trail Mix

Materials:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanuts (if kids aren’t allergic)
  • Raisins
  • Cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Mini-marshmallows
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Small paper cups
  • Spoons
  • Bowls

Directions:

  1. Children can prepare the different ingredients in a variety of cups or serving bowls.
  2. Children can then chose which ingredients they wish.
  3. For the best mix, they should take one spoon of an ingredient at a time.
  4. Stir!
Source(s): Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity F6). Other recipes in the book which use chocolate chips include activities B5, F5, F7, F8, H2, H9, I9, and I10.


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 14: Clean Up Your Street Day

image from nj.com


Clean Up Time

Materials:

  • Trash bags

Directions:

  1. Children should work in small groups or pairs, each group with a trash bag.
  2. Warn children not to pick up broken glass.
  3. Have kids collect trash outdoors.
  4. Have children divide trash into categories (paper, aluminum, plastic, etc.).
  5. Which category has the most trash? Why do the kids think that is?
  6. What could be done to cut down on trash?
  7. What can be done in general to keep the environment clean?

Source(s): 100 Nature Activities for Kids


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book: 100 Nature Activities for Kids

These activities focus on rocks, leaves, plants, animals, and other aspects of the outdoors. On many of the projects, kids can observe and experiment. Some activities bring in an art element while others, such as the camping activities, lend themselves to dramatic play. These 100 activities have been compiled and edited with school-agers (5-12 years old) in mind, but can be adapted to other ages.. Catalog number: NTBK0515; Price: $9.95

Also available from Amazon.com.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 12: Limerick Day

image from holidaysinyear.com

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Writing utensils
  • Books with limericks

Directions:

  1. A limerick has five lines - lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme and lines 3 and 4 rhyme. The last line is generally funny See if kids can write some.
  2. Have a limerick guessing contest. After kids write their own limericks, put them in a box. A child can draw one out, read it, and then the group can guess who wrote it.
  3. Kids can also read some limericks other kids have written. Go to brownielocks.com for some samples of perfectly clean, safe limericks.
  4. Kids can go on a limerick hunt. Go to the library and let kids search for books and other sources with limericks. Kids can work in groups with each group bringing back one limerick source.
  5. Make a limerick bulletin board. Post the kids’ limericks that they wrote as well as limericks found on aforementioned website or from other sources the kids found.

Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11: International Strange Music Festival

image from strangemusicinc.com

What is “strange” music? Each person has his or her own tastes and what sounds wonderful some may seem strange to others. This is a great opportunity to teach youth about different kinds of music.


What Genre Is It?

Materials:

  • Music player or radio
  • Various kinds of music

Directions:

  1. Gather up a variety of music or simply tune in to various music radio stations.
  2. Ask kids to determine what musical genre different songs belong to (rock, rap, R&B, country, jazz, orchestra, etc.).
  3. When kids categorize the songs, ask them why they think that song belongs to that particular genre. What sounds or instruments do they hear? What voices? Are some genres easier than others to identify?
Source(s): 100 Music Activities for Kids (activity B3)


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May 10: Clean Up Your Room Day

image from holidaysimages.com

Materials:

  • Rags
  • Squirt bottles with water and soap
  • Tools for fixing broken toys
  • Boxes and bags for sorting materials to be thrown or given away

Directions:

  1. It doesn’t sound like an easy sell to kids, but you can get volunteers (don’t expect all kids to do this) to help in a nice spring cleaning.
  2. Kids can sort through toys and throw away broken toys or weed out toys that aren’t used anymore.
  3. Kids can also help clean tables, chairs, toys, and other materials in the program.

Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 9: Windmill Day

image from uwyoming.org

In celebration of Windmill Day, why not make your own windmill, er, pinwheel?


Pinwheels

Materials:

  • paper
  • straight pins
  • scissors
  • pencils with erasers (one per child)

Directions:

  1. Cut paper into 4” x 4” squares.
  2. Fold a square diagonally twice, creating an X on the paper.
  3. Mark the center of the square with a pencil.
  4. Cut along the folds of the paper to within 1/2” of the center.
  5. Fold every other point to the center of the paper.
  6. Use a straight pin to poke through the four folded corners, the center of the paper, and finally into the pencil eraser.
  7. The pinwheel should now spin when you blow on it.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s 100 Construction Activities for Kids (activity A2). In honor of Lost Sock Memorial Day – also today – you can also check out activities J4 and K5 from the same book.


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Friday, May 8, 2015

May 8: Coca Cola first sold to the public (1886).

image from dcgazette.com

In celebration of Coca Cola, why not take a stab at making cola?


Make Your Own Cola

Materials:

  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered cinnamon
  • Sweetened lime juice
  • Club soda
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Ice
  • Glasses
  • Other brands of non-diet cola
  • Blindfold
  • Straws

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, ½ teaspoon sweetened lime juice, and ½ cup club soda.
  2. To make it more fun, get several kinds of store bought colas and do taste tests.
  3. Ask kids if they think it tastes the same as the other colas. Why or why not? Can they identify different colas if they taste them blindfolded?
  4. Another possibility is to mix the cola with different amounts of ingredients than what is indicated above. What happens? How does it change the cola?
Source(s): SolarNavigator.net. Featured in Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity A5).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 7: Potato Day

image from freshfoodcentral.com


Potato Activities

Possible Activities:

  • Try an interactive online Mr. Potato Head at SchoolExpress.com!
  • You can also get Mr. Potato Head kits and real potatoes. Also consider how you can make facial features for real potatoes or carve them like pumpkins.
  • Would you believe you can use a potato as a battery? Check out kidzworld.com for directions to make a potato clock.
  • Try familiar relays with potatoes – like passing it from one person’s neck to the next, rolling it on the floor with your nose, or over one person’s head, under the next’s legs.
Source(s): Check out the Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids for directions on baked potatoes (activity G2) and 100 Science Activities for Kids for directions on growing sweet potatoes (activity E6).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 6: Beverage Day

image from slushiespot.com


Blender Slushies

Materials:

  • Unsweetened Kool-Aid drink mix
  • Pop of your choice
  • Water
  • Sugar, ½ to ¾ cup
  • Ice, 4 cups
  • Blender – best to have one with an ice crushing feature
  • Cups
  • Straws

Directions:

  1. Combine Kool-Aid or pop of your choice with water and sugar and blend.
  2. Add the ice and blend again.
  3. Pour into cups.
  4. Add straws and drink!
Source(s): FamilyCorner.com. Featured in Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids. Check out activities A1-A7 in that book for even more drink recipes.


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 5: Scrapbook Day

image from galleryhip.com


Program Scrapbook

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Stickers
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Photos
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Directions:

  1. The kids can make a scrapbook of what they’ve done in your program this year. It could be a great way to show parents, program visitors, and others what your program does.
  2. Provide photos of activities throughout the year (if available), and let kids decorate pages as they wish.
  3. It will be easier if you provide kids with individual pieces of paper that can later be assembled into a scrapbook.
  4. Also, allow kids to make individual scrapbooks if they don’t want to contribute to a group scrapbook.

Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4: Orange Juice Day

image from organicfacts.net


Making Orange Juice

Materials:

  • Oranges (two per 8-ounce serving)
  • Strainers (to lessen the amount of pulp)
  • Paring knives
  • Pitcher
  • Drinking glasses
  • Spoon

Directions:

  1. Squeeze oranges repeatedly to soften them.
  2. Wash thoroughly.
  3. Cut into halves and remove seeds.
  4. Carefully cut circularly around the edge of an orange half, slightly separating the fruit and peel.
  5. Grip the orange half tightly and squeeze into the pitcher.
  6. Continue squeezing and periodically rotate the orange until liquid is no longer produced.
  7. Scrape the orange with a spoon and add fruit directly to the juice for additional pulp.
  8. Put the juice through a strainer for less pulp.
  9. Repeat with the other orange halves.
Source(s): From ehow.com; featured in Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity A3).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 3: Sun Day

image from miriadna.com


Sun Visors

Materials:

  • Paper plates
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • String or yard or elastic
  • Stapler
  • Markers

Directions:

  1. Placd two paper plates on top of each other so the tops face each other.
  2. Cut the two plates in a quarter moon shape to form the visor.
  3. Add a few simple pictures on the plate and then cut them out.
  4. Trace the same designs on the bottom plate and cut.
  5. Staple the outer edges of the plate together.
  6. Staple the string onto one end of the visor. Adjust to fit your hand and staple the string to the other end.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s 100 Art Activities for Kids (activity C2).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2: Space Day

image from aces.edu

Space Day was started in 2001 by astronaut John Glenn. This is an opportunity for the kids to learn about space – specifically the stars – by making planetariums.


Planetariums

Materials:

  • star guides
  • photocopied pictures of constellations
  • boxes
  • nails
  • hammer

Directions:

  1. Use star guides for ideas for constellations or let kids make up their own.
  2. Kids can photocopy pictures of constellations and use them as stencils for where to nail holes.
  3. Poke holes in a box with hammer and nails to create constellations and other maps of where stars and planets are in the sky.
  4. To get kids planning, ask questions like: Are these real constellations or made-up constellations? What are their names? Which direction is north? South? East? West? How does the summer sky differ from the winter sky? Spring? Fall? Can we see the planets in this planetarium? If so, how many? Which ones? Where would the moon be?
  5. When finished, take box into a dark room and shine the flashlight through it to see constellation.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s 100 Construction Activities for Kids (activity D9).

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1: Plant a Flower Day

image from musingsfromoz.typepad.com


Milk Carton Gardens

Materials:

  • variety of seeds
  • milk cartons or egg cartons
  • potting soil
  • spoons
  • water
  • water can or cups

Directions:

  1. This activity can be done in or outdoors. If done inside, use plenty of newspaper underneath.
  2. Discuss different types of seeds. See if children can guess what grows from each kind.
  3. Let children choose which kind of seed they would like to plant.
  4. Put small holes in the bottom of the cartons.
  5. Children should label their carton.
  6. Fill the cartons with potting soil and then plant the seeds.
  7. Water and place in a sunny spot.
  8. Observe the seeds over the summer and discuss any changes that may occur.
  9. Don’t forget to water periodically!
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s 100 Nature Activities for Kids card set (activity F4).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

May Holidays and Activities

Listed below are interesting holidays, celebrations, important dates, and events for May. Icons indicate an activity from one of Toolbox Training’s 100 Activities series of books. Hover over the icon for specific references to exact activities.

You can also click on links for additional information on dates. Many of these connect directly to activities on the Toolbox Training blog, but some are off-site links.

1

May Day

Mother Goose Day

School Principal's Day

Plant a Flower Day

Loyalty Day

Hawaiian Lei Day

2

Baby Day (Dr. Benjamin Spock born 1903)

Brothers and Sisters Day

Space Day (started in 2001 by John Glenn)

3

Sun Day

4

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Movie Day

Orange Juice Day

5

Cinco de Mayo

Children's Day (Japan)

First American in Space – Alan Shephard (1961)

First perfect baseball game pitched – Cy Young (1904)

Chocolate Custard Day

Scrapbook Day

6

School Family Day

Baseball player Willie Mays' Birthday (1931)

No Diet Day

Beverage Day

7

Nurse Day

Potato Day

Tuba Day

8

V-E Day (1945)

President Harry S Truman's Birthday (1884)

World Red Cross Day

Have a Coke Day (1886 – Coca Cola first sold to the public)

No Socks Day

Coconut Cream Pie Day

Song “White Christmas” registered by Irving Berlin (1942)

9

Receptionist Day

Lost Sock Memorial Day

Windmill Day

Barbie doll trademarked (1958)

10

Clean Up Your Room Day

11

Twilight Zone Day

Eat What You Want Day

Strange Music Festival (International)

12

Nurse Florence Nightingale's Birthday (1820)

Nonsense Day

Limerick Day

Kite Day

13

Native Apple Pie Day

Leprechaun Day

Tulip Day

Velcro trademarked (1958)

14

Beginning of Lewis & Clark Expedition (1804)

Clean Up Your Street Day

Stars and Stripes Day

Crazy Day

Dance Like a Chicken Day

15

Police Memorial Day

No Excuses Day

Chocolate Chip Day

Hug Your Cat Day

16

Animal Day

Love a Tree Day

Wear Purple for Peace Day

Pickle Day

17

I Am an American Day

Cherry Cobbler Day

Pack Rat Day

Amusement Ride Day – birth of the merry-go-round (1620)

18

Goodwill Day

Museum Day

Visit Your Relatives Day

19

Ringling Brothers founded their circus (1884)

Neighbor Day

Frog Jump Day

20

Flower Day

Be a Millionaire Day

Weight and Measure Day

21

Waitresses/Waiters Day

Strawberries and Cream Day

22

Vanilla Pudding Day

Buy a Musical Instrument Day

Orville and Wilbur Wright receive patent for a “flying machine” (1906).

23

Penny Day

Sea Turtle Day

Taffy Day

24

Brothers Day

25

Women's Day

Tap Dance Day

Sing-Out Day

26

Space Shuttle Astronaut Sally Ride's Birthday (1951)

27

Golden Gate Bridge opened (1937)

Masking tape patented (1930)

Grape Popsicle Day

Piano patented (1796)

28

Amnesty International Day

Hamburger Day

Whale Day

29

President John F. Kennedy’s Birthday (1917)

Ancestor Honor Day

30

First Indianapolis 500 car race (1911)

Water a Flower Day

31

No Tobacco Day

Save Your Hearing Day



Floating Holidays:

Kentucky Derby (1st Saturday)
Teacher's Day (Tuesday of the first full week)
Child Care Provider Day (Friday before Mother's Day)
Mother's Day (2nd Sunday)
Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday)
Backyard Games Week (last full week before Memorial Day)
Memorial Day (last Monday)


Specialty Weeks:

1st week (1st full week):
Be Kind to Animals Week
Cartoon Appreciation Week
Child Care Awareness Week
Computer Education Week
Family Week
Music Week
Nurses Week
Postcard Week
Raisin Week
Safe Kids Week
Teacher Appreciation Week
Tourism Week
Wildflowers Week

2nd week:
Bike Week
Hospital Week
Nursing Home Week
Pet Week
Police Week

3rd week:
Art Week
Astronomy Week
Buckle Up America! Week
New Friends, Old Friends Week
Running and Fitness Week
Transportation Week

4th week:
Pickle Week
Shoe Week


Specialty Months:

Asian/Pacific Heritage Month
Asthma and Allergry Month
Barbeque Month
Better Speech and Hearing Month
Bike Month
Duckling Month
Egg Month
Family Support Month
Flower Month
Graduation Month
Hamburger Month
Modern Dance Month
Older American's Month
Photo Month
Physical Fitness and Sports Month
Promote Your Ideas Month
Safety Month
Salad Month
Scrapbooking Month
Strawberry Month
Transportation Month


Check out other months
or return to activity calendar page.