Books by Dave Whitaker

Check out Toolbox Training books and more at or David L. Whitaker's author page at

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 20: Plain Yogurt Day

image from

Yogurt Pops


  • blueberries (1 cup)
  • strawberries (1 cup)
  • vanilla yogurt (8 ounces)
  • honey (1-2 teaspoons)
  • lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
  • containers with spouts (2)
  • blender
  • small plastic drinking cups
  • paper muffin cups
  • plastic spoons or popsicle sticks


  1. Put strawberries, yogurt, honey, and lemon juice in blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Pour into container with spout.
  3. Repeat this process with the blueberries.
  4. Pour mixtre in cups, alternating between the blueberry and strawberry.
  5. Place a muffin cup upside down on top of cup.
  6. Poke in a plastic spoon handle or popsicle stick through the center of the muffin top.
  7. Freeze.
Source(s):, adapted for the Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity B3).

Friday, June 19, 2015

June 19: Butterfly Day

image from

Kids can make their own butterfly feeders in honor of Butterfly Day.

Butterfly Feeder


  • small jar with a lid, such as a baby food jar or jelly jar
  • sugar
  • water
  • cotton
  • materials for decorating feeders if desired
  • means for hanging feeders


  1. Make a small hole in the lid of the jar.
  2. Make butterfly food by dissolving one part sugar in nine parts water.
  3. Fill the jar with butterfly food.
  4. Screw the lid tightly onto the jar and poke a small piece of cotton into the hole.
  5. Decorate jars with paint or decoupage. Butterflies locate their food sources by sight, so the more he feeder looks like a plant or flower, the better the chance of attracting butterflies. It may also help to cut out some fabric or plastic petals and fasten them to the lid of your feeder.
  6. Invert the jar and hang it in the garden.

Source(s): 100 Nature Activities for Kids (Activity H4)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 18: Go Fishing Day

image from

Kids can create their own fish bowls in honor of “Go Fishing Day.”

Fish Bowl


  • baby food jar
  • blue paint
  • paper
  • markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • something to poke holes
  • fishing line
  • tape


  1. Paint half of the jar blue so that if you were looking at the front of the jar all you would see is the blue from the other side.
  2. Cut out a fish shape and decorate as desired.
  3. Poke a hole in the top of the lid and through the back of the top of the fish.
  4. Put a piece of fishing line through the hole and back up to the lid. Make sure it isn’t touching the bottom of the jar.
  5. Tape the line to the top of the lid and your fish bowl is complete.

Source(s): 100 Construction Activities for Kids (activity H4).

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 17: Eat Your Vegetables Day

image from

Try these unique ways to grow vegetables!

Growing Vegetables


  • variety of fruit and vegetable seeds
  • small pots
  • good garden soil
  • avocado pits
  • toothpicks
  • glass jars
  • water
  • potato and sweet potato cuttings
  • carrot tops


  1. Plant seeds in pots with soil, about twice as deep as they are wide.
  2. Stick toothpicks in avocado pits to support them on top of a glass filled with water. The wide end of the seed should be just submerged in the water. Keep glass filled with water.
  3. For potatoes and sweet potatoes, make sure cutting has at least one “eye,” which is where the potato vine will grow. The eye needs to be out of the water.
  4. Carrot tops will also grow this way if the root end is kept submerged.
  5. All of these must be transplanted to soil eventually; water alone won’t keep the plants growing.

Source(s): Adapted from for 100 Nature Activities for Kids (Activity F5)

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 16: Fudge Day

image from

Of course you need to make fudge today in celebration of Fudge Day! Try this easy, no-bake recipe with a name that’s sure to catch kids’ attention.

Armpit Fudge


  • powdered sugar, ½ cup
  • butter, 1 tablespoon
  • cream cheese, 2 teaspoons
  • vanilla, a dash
  • cocoa, 2 teaspoons
  • sandwich-sized plastic zipper bag
  • “extras” like chocolate chips, raisins, peanut butter, and nuts
  • spoon


  1. Place all ingredients in plastic bag.
  2. Squeeze out all the air.
  3. Squish under the arm until all ingredients are well mixed and there is a creamy consistency.
  4. Add “extras” as desired.
  5. Eat straight from the bag with a spoon.
Source(s): A now defunct geocities website, adapted for the Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity H8).

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

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15: Ben Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment (1752)

image from

There is debate over whether American pioneer and inventor really conducted this experiment in which he attached a key to a kite and flew it during an electrical storm. You can read about it here. Regardless of what really happened or didn’t, this is a good time to let kids do some experimenting with electricity by making this homemade battery.

Homemade Battery


  • plastic cups
  • concentrated lemon juice
  • copper nails
  • aluminum nails
  • insulated wire
  • flashlight bulbs


  1. Fill each cup ¾ full with concentrated lemon juice.
  2. Several inches of wire will be needed for each battery.
  3. Expose the ends of the wire by cutting through the plastic insulation, but not the wire.
  4. Do the same in the middle of the wire.
  5. Wrap each end of the wire around the tops of the nails.
  6. Twist the mddle around the light bulb.
  7. The wire must touch the tip of the bulb’s end and the metal ridges around its base.
  8. Stick nails in lemon juice and bulb should light. If not, reattach wire and try again.
  9. Explanation: lemon juice is an acid and acts much like the inside of a dry cell to create a battery.

Source(s): 100 Science Activities for Kids (activity H7).

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14: Caldecott Medal first awarded (1937)

image from

According to the official Caldecott Medal page at, the Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.”

Caldecott Celebration


  • Caldecott-winning books (find a full list here)


  1. Collect as many Caldecott-winning books as possible. Work with your local or school library to see if you can check them out or come see them at the library.
  2. Kids can do their own contest to vote on which they think has the best illustrations. Get discussion going about why they like the illustrations that they do.
  3. How many of the books have the kids in your group read? You can see which child has read the most or see how many the group has read collectively.
  4. Which books look the most interesting just based on the cover?
  5. Ask the kids for other ideas for activities to do with the books.

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 13: Weed Your Garden Day

image from

Here’s an activity kids can do with weeds:



  • plant/weed guide book
  • small bags
  • paper
  • writing and drawing instruments
  • crayons without paper for rubbings


  1. Find weeds growing around your program area.
  2. Collect them to bring inside and compare.
  3. Check your local library or the Internet for plant guides to see if you can identify the weeds.
  4. See if you can find out how different weeds may be useful. For example, dandelions were brought to the United States from Europe for salads, soups, and as a coffee substitute.
  5. Children can also draw the different weeds or try to do rubbings with them.

Source(s): 100 Nature Activities for Kids (Activity F2). Adapted from Kathleen Carroll’s A Guide to Great Field Trips (Zephyr Press, 2007)

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

Friday, June 12, 2015

June 12: Magic Day

image from

In celebration of Magic Day, let kids put on a magic show!

Magic Show


  • Resources for magic tricks
  • Props as dictated by the tricks kids choose


  1. What kind of magic show will this be? A one-person show or several people performing?
  2. Does a one-person show require assistants?
  3. Look at your library or do online searches for tricks. Kids may also know tricks they want to perform.
  4. Have performer(s) determine what materials are needed for the tricks and who needs to provide them. (Will the kids bring them? Do they need the program to provide materials? Are these materials at the site? Is there anything which needs to be purchased? Do you need to post lists for families of supplies you need?)
  5. Is this show just for other kids in the program or for a wider audience? Do kids need to make invitations or announcements about the show?
  6. Where will the magic show be performed?
  7. Practice, practice, practice! In practice, watch to see if kids are giving their secrets away. Also check to make sure they can be heard. Is a microphone available?

Source(s): 100 Drama Activities for Kids (activity J4)

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 10: First tornado ever recorded (1682)

image from

In 1682, the first recorded tornado occurred in New Haven, Connecticut. Kids can make tornadoes to gain a better understanding of how they work.



  • tall, clear plastic jars
  • aluminum foil
  • clear liquid soap
  • water
  • food coloring
  • teaspoon


  1. Discuss what a tornado is and if children have ever seen one.
  2. Place a teaspoon of clear liquid soap in a plastic jar.
  3. Roll foil into 4-6 tight, small balls and place in jar.
  4. Fill jar with water.
  5. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring.
  6. Rotate the jar in a clockwise direction and water will begin swirling.
  7. The model represents an actual tornado.

Source(s): 100 Science Activities for Kids (activity D12).

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 3: First U.S. Space Walk (1965)

image from

In celebration of the first space walk from an American – Ed White – kids can make their own space helmets.

Space Helmets


  • Grocery bags
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Construction paper
  • Junk art


  1. Each child receives a bag.
  2. Child cuts a window in the bag for his or her face.
  3. Decorate helmet with junk art and other materials.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s 100 Art Activities for Kids (activity D4).

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

Monday, June 1, 2015

June Holidays and Activities

Listed below are interesting holidays, celebrations, important dates, and events for June. 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.


Children's Day (International)

Stand for Children Day

Family Day

Wishes for Cancer Survivors

Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch's Birthday

Comic book debut of Superman (1938)

Dare Day


Radio patented (1896)

Dinosaur Day

Rocky Road Day

American Indian Citizenship Day (Congress granted American Indians U.S. citizenship in 1924)

Frozen Yogurt Day

Three-Ring Circus Day (In 1835, P. T. Barnum ran the first major three-ring circus in the United States)


First U.S. Space walk – Ed White (1965)

Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ Birthday (1808)

Cancer Survivors Day

Repeat Day

Egg Day

Casey at the Bat Day (poem written in 1888)

Itch Day

Tattoo Day


First Ford car made (1896)

Cheese Day

Birth of the shopping cart (1937)


World Environment Day

First Hot Air Balloon Flight (1783)

Children's author/illustrator Richard Scarry Birthday (1919)

Gingerbread Day

Attitude Day

Safety cap for medicine bottle patented (1984)


D-Day Anniversary

YMCA founded (1844)

Coca Cola label registered (1887)

First drive-in movie (1933)

Cake Day

Applesauce Cake Day

Gardening Exercise Day


Native American Appreciation Day

Family Recreation Day

Freedom of the Press Day

VCR invented (1971)

June Bug Day

Cheer Coaches Day



Best Friend's Day

Abused Women and Children Awareness Day

Ice Cream Day (first sold in New York City in 1786)

Watch Day

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Birthday (1867)

Ocean Day

Vacuum cleaner patented (1869)


Best Friend's Day

Profess Your Love Day

Cuddle Up Day

Animated character Donald Duck's Birthday (1934)


U.S. Capital Day

Iced Tea Day

Yo-Yo Day

Ballpoint pen patented (1943)

First zoo in the world opened in Paris, France in 1793)

Children’s author Maurice Sendak's Birthday (1928)

First tornado ever recorded occurred near New Haven, Connecticut (1682)


Hug Holiday

Gasoline-powered automobile patented (1895)


Red Rose Festival

Machine Day

Magic Day


Lobster Day

Kitchen Klutzes of America Day

Weed Your Garden Day


Flag Day (USA)

Family History Day

Caldecott Medal, children’s picture book award, first awarded (1937)

Strawberry Shortcake Day (dessert not character)

"Pop Goes the Weasel" Day

Sandpaper invented by I. Fischer Jr. (1834)

Creation of the United States Army (1772)


A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed Day

Smile Power Day

Fly a Kite Day (Ben Franklin's kite experiment – 1752)

Electricity Day


Fudge Day

Introduction of Cracker Jacks (1893)

Fresh Veggies Day

Hollerin' Contest Day

Birth of the Pepsi Cola Company (1903)

Birth of the roller coaster (1884)

Birth of the helicopter (1922)

No Orange Clothes Day


World Juggling Day

Violin Day

Eat Your Vegetables Day

Atari’s “Asteroids” and “Lunar Lander” are the first two video games registered in the Copyright Office (1980)


Go Fishing Day

Splurge Day



Butterfly Day

Eat an Oreo Day


Vanilla Milkshake Day

Bald Eagle Day

Plain Yogurt Day

Telegraph patented (1840)


First Day of Summer

Birth of soft drink Dr. Pepper (1857)

Birth of the Ferris wheel (1893)

Peaches and Cream Day


Chocolate Eclair Day

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Birth of Dairy Queen (1940)

Birth of the doughnut (1847)


Marble Day (June 23-24)

Hula hoop patented (1964)

Typewriter patented (1868)

Pink Day


Marble Day (June 23-24)

First documented UFO sighting (1947)

Mid Summer Day

Museum Come to Life Day


Log Cabin Day

Children’s author/illustrator Eric Carle's Birthday (1929)

LEON Day - LEON is NOEL spelled backwards. It means six months until Christmas.

Birth of the tennis shoe (1947)

Basketball patented (1929)


Bicycle patented (1819)
Toothbrush invented (1498)
Rose Day
Beauticians' Day
Chocolate Pudding Day

Candy Land game trademarked (1951)


Special Recreation for Disabled Day/Helen Keller's Birthday (1880)

Happy Birthday to the melody for the song "Happy Birthday" (written 1859)


Paul Bunyan Day

Let It Go Day (whatever has been bothering your, let it go!)

World War I Commemoration


Camera Day Juicy Fruit chewing gum trademarked (1915)


Sky Day

Meteor Day

Floating Holidays:

Marriage Day (2nd Friday)
Race Unity Day (2nd Sunday)
Children's Sunday (2nd Sunday)
Casual Day (Friday before the summer solstice)
Father's Day (3rd Sunday)
Great American Picnic Day (last Saturday)

Specialty Weeks:

1st week (1st full week):
America the Beautiful Week
Family Week
Fishing Week
Fragrance Week
Headache Awareness Week
Hug Holiday Week
Safe Boating week
Step Parents' Week
Teacher Thank You Week
Volunteer Week (International)

2nd week:
Clay Week
Email Week
Flag Week
Graffiti Week
Pet Appreciation Week

3rd week:
Amateur Radio Week
Forgiveness Week
Grasslands Week
Little League Baseball Week
Roller Coaster Week
Take Your Pet to Work Week
Tennis Week

4th week:
Camping Week
Deaf and Blindness Awareness Week
Eye Safety Awareness Week

Specialty Months:

Accordian Awareness Month
Adopt A Cat Month
American Rivers Month
Black Music Month
Cancer Awareness Month
Candy Month
Dairy Month
Drive Safe Month
Fireworks Safety Month
Flag Month
Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month
Frozen Yogurt Month
Happy Women Month
Iced Tea Month
Patriots Month
Recycling Month
Rose Month
Safety Month
Seafood Month
Summer Vacation Month
Tennis Month
Turkey Lovers Month
Zoo & Aquarium Month

Check out other months
or return to activity calendar page.