May DayMay Day is a spring festival celebrating the renewal of nature. May Day was especially popular in England during medieval times. The most popular activity was dancing around the maypole. In some countries May Day features military parades; it is internationally thought of as a working class holiday. Click here for a May Day activity.
National Good Car Care MonthTake this opportunity to clean out the inside of the car, and if it's a nice day, school-age children might enjoy helping to wash the outside! Or get a large cardboard box and make a pretend car for younger children to play in. Cut out doors and windows and put chairs inside. Think of all the places you can travel to in your imagination. "Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car" by John Burningham is a favorite book for preschoolers about a car ride.
Children's Book Week
Children's Book Week
Every day is a good day to read to the children.
for literacy ideas to make reading even more fun!
Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark Expedition Started
In 1804 Lewis and Clark started on an expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. They traveled eight thousand miles by foot, boat, wagon and horse discovering parts of the West previously unknown to anyone but the native Americans. School age children will enjoy
learning more about their adventures. Pretend you are going on your own grand discovery trip without the help of modern maps and communication. Think with the children about all the important things to pack. Go on a short discovery trip in the neighborhood and look for things you may have never noticed before.
Red Cross Day
International Red Cross Day
The Red Cross offers a wide range of health and disaster relief services all over the world. School age children can learn more about their work at
www.redcross.org. Au pairs can register for CPR and first aid classes by calling their counselor. Today is a good day to check your first aid supplies in the house. Young children might want to play doctor with their dolls or stuffed animals.
Pen FriendsDo you have any friends or relatives back home with children close to the age of your school age children? You can encourage them to exchange letters (or emails). Simple notes or even pictures arriving by overseas mail are very exciting for children (and au pairs).
House of Cards
House of CardsIs there a deck of cards around the house that is missing a card or two? Here's a perfect use for the cards you have. Use scissors to make a 1-inch cut in the middle of all four edges of each card. Join the cards together by interlocking the slits to build towers, tunnels and bridges. How high can you build?
In 1870 the last spike was nailed to complete the coast-to-coast railroad. This train track helped to open up the western area of the US to development. Trains still hold a fascination whether it is Thomas the Tank, Brio or electric trains, children love to build tracks. Is there a train nearby that you could take a short ride on or watch go by? There are many children's books about trains "The Little Engine that Could" by Watty Piper is a charming story with an important message. Check
for railroad attractions in your state.
Many countries celebrate a special day for mothers - some on this day, some on others. Help the children make cards or gifts or plan a special meal or other surprises for Mom. Read picture books to young children about mothers such as "Are You My Mother" by PD Eastman, "Little Bear" (an I Can Read Book) by Else Holmelund Minarik, or "Just Me and My Mom" by Mercer Mayer. You'll find many other choices in your local library. Click here for more Mother's Day activities and surprises.
Chocolate Chip Day
National Chocolate Chip DayTry this delicious recipe. Be sure to let the children pour and stir ingredients, but don't let them near the hot oven! Get the recipe!
International Museum DayVisit a local museum such as a museum for children, a science center or an art museum. Even a quick visit to the local historical society gives an opportunity to see some objects of interest and learn more about where you are living. When visiting a museum, talk to the children about the exhibits and help them to discover interesting facts. Many museums have special guides for children, so be sure to check at the information desk. You can also create your own adventure in any museum; in an art museum you might hunt for pictures with animals in them or a favorite color.
ActingMany children love to be the center of attention, so being on stage is natural for them. Choose four or five things that don't go together and put them in a bag. Work with the children to make up a story to act out using the things in the bag. It can be very funny! Be sure to join in the fun with them, and give them a chance to choose objects for the bag for you. (Suitable for children 7 and up.)
Wait Staff Day
Waiters and Waitresses Day Teach the children about the importance of a good waiter or waitress. For lunch or dinner have the children pretend they are waiters and waitresses. Remind them to always be polite and say "please" and "thank you" when out at a restaurant.
Mary Had a Little LambThe 19th century American nursery rhyme was written by Sarah Josepha Hale, who turned to writing in 1822 as a widow trying to support her family and who eventually became an influential editor and arbiter of American taste. Thomas Edison recited part of the poem to test his invention of the phonograph, and a host of musicians have recorded versions of it. Click here for the lyrics to the song.
The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holiest month of the year. During Ramadan many Muslims fast from dawn until sundown, abstaining from food and drink. The fast is for self-purification and renewal.
for more information.
May FlowersThe saying goes that "April showers bring May flowers." Grow your own flowers indoors. Marigolds and Morning Glories grow quickly from seed and can be planted outdoors in the garden after they are a few inches tall. Use a flower pot or even an old yogurt container, follow the directions on the seed packet and don't forget to water the pot! Read the fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" to find out what happened when Jack planted his seeds.
Memorial DayMemorial Day started in 1868 after the Civil War ended. Dead soldiers from both the north and the south were honored as a way to try to heal the nation. Now all past soldiers are honored. It is also a day that is considered to be the start of the summer season. Many people celebrate with a cook-out or even a trip to the beach. Many towns have a Memorial Day parade, which would be fun to watch, or even to march in.
First Daily Newspaper
Introduce your children ages 5 and up to news on the Internet by
visiting a site
designed just for children.
May Day Activity
To watch the renewal of nature at home, have your child put three toothpicks in an onion and suspend the onion over a small glass of water so that only the bottom of the onion is in the water. Remind the child to check it every day so that it has enough water. Put the glass in a sunny window. Soon the onion will send up leaves.
To make a simple paper ct you will need:
thin colored paper such as origami paper
tissue paper or a second colored paper
glue or rubber cement
Fold one piece of paper in half. The fold will form the center of the design, so you will be drawing only half the picture.
Draw your design using the fold as the center. Keep the design simple. Try a tree, a face, or a snowflake.
Carefully cut out the design with scissors.
Open the paper and press the design flat
Cover the back of the design with glue or rubber cement
Place the design on the center of your other piece of paper. If you use tissue paper for the second piece, light will come through and you can hang it in the window for decoration.
National Chocolate Chip Day
Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies
21/4 cups allpurpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups (12oz. pkg.) SemiSweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional ask about allergies)
Heat oven to 375 °F.
Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
National Salad Month
Fresh Fruit Salad
1 peeled orange or tangerine
berries, grapes, or melon (optional)
3 tablespoons of plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cut up one banana, one apple, and a peeled orange or tangerine. You can also add (or substitute) berries, grapes, or melon. Mix 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and pour it over the fruit.
Click on a day to learn more!
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