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Offbeat Ideas for Peculiar Occasions

Celebrate unusual holidays year-round with these outlandish activities! Everybody celebrates the Fourth of July. But when was the last time you did something special for National Anti-Boredom Month? If it’s been awhile here’s your chance to get your kids excited about the “wallflower” holidays.

Betsy Ross was born on January 1. So celebrate her birthday with these flag activities:

  • Group Flag – Give kids rolls of red, white and blue crepe paper. Designate some who have white as the “stars.” Have kids form a giant flag while seated on the floor using the crepe paper. Then take a picture from a chair or ladder looking down on the flag.
  • Flag Hunt-Use a flag theme for an indoor scavenger hunt. Form two teams and appoint a captain for each one. Call out flag-related items one at a time. When a team member has an item have him or her give it to the team captain who’ll run it to you. The team that brings the most items wins.

    Some examples:

    • a shoe with blue in it
    • a star
    • a pair of white socks
    • a picture with red in it
    • a person wearing red, white and blue
    • someone with the initials B.R.
    • something patriotic

February is when we celebrate Groundhog Day.

  • The Shadow Knows – Bring a sheet and a large flashlight. Form groups of no more than four. Give groups each a scene to act out behind the sheet casting shadows on the sheet to tell the story. Some examples: someone slipping on the ice kids walking against the wind an operation a stickup an unusual meal being prepared and served or a boxing match. Have other groups guess what the shadows depict.

March is the month for National Shoe Week. It’s also National Peanut Month.

  • Shoe Enough – Form two teams and assign a captain for each one. Have teams sit at one end of the room. At your signal have the team captains line up his or her team members’ shoes in an end-to-end chain to the opposite wall. The first team to complete the chain wins.
  • Peanut Putter – With a golf putter see who can putt a peanut into a cup in the fewest strokes. Then serve peanuts, peanut butter sandwiches and peanut butter cups.

April is Mathematics Education Month.

  • By the Numbers – Form equal teams and have them line up side-by-side. Write numbers on sheets of paper and give teams each one consecutive number for each team member. Have kids pin or tape the numbers to their shirts. For example a six-member team should have numbers 1 to 6. When you call out a number have kids on each team figure out whose numbers when added together equal the number you call out. Have those kids jump to the front of their team. For example when you call out the number 14 kids with the numbers 6, 5 and 3 could jump forward. The first team to do it correctly wins that round.
  • With an advanced group try the game with subtraction division or multiplication.

Celebrate National Pet Week in May.

  • Pet Project – Give kids each a photocopy of the following story and a pencil. Explain that 14 pets are hidden in the story. Have kids circle the pet names they find. (The hidden pets are bunny, hawk, chicken, snake, cat, hamster, turtle, gerbil, dog, duck, horse, fish, parrot and pony.)

    “It was a lovely spring day in the park in Albun, NY. Vendors were hawking their wares convertible tops were down and Chic Ken’s boutique was selling swimsuits. Suddenly I was accosted by a policeman who asked if I’d seen anything unusual streak by. At first I thought he meant someone was naked but he told me of another catastrophe.

    “A worker at the pet store had turned up his ‘Wham’ stereo as a distraction. Then that worker Mat Urt let all the pets loose to get back at his manager Bill. ‘Are you sure?’ I questioned. ‘Yes’ he answered dogmatically. I said I’d help. I’ve never been one to duck an assignment. The truth is I abhor selfishness and want to keep everything on par rotten as the world may seem.

    “Maybe you can help too. Just keep on your toes and watch carefully.”

Your kids will howl over National Adopt-a-Cat Month.

  • Cat-egories – Create a quiz using short definitions of words beginning with “CAT.” Leave space for kids to write their answers. For example:
    • Do this when something’s thrown… (cat ch)
    • Use this to ride the waves… (cat amaran)
    • A beautiful place to worship… (cat hedral)
    • Find these on farms… (cat tle)

July is (yawn) National Anti-Boredom Month.

  • National Boredom Awards – Have kids cast votes for the most boring class in school, time of day, month, TV show, movie, politician and sport. Count the votes and present awards.

Canadians celebrate the Chocolate Festival every August.

  • Candy Quiz – Call out the following clues and see who can match them with candy names:
    • A distant planet…(Mars)
    • Don’t try to spell words with these letters… (M&M’s)
    • Small laughs… (Snickers)
    • A heavenly display… (Milky Way)
    • An underfoot, snowy sound… (Nestle’s Crunch)
    • You can’t drink from this… (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup)
    • It’s great but don’t try to spend it… (Pay Day)
    • What a slugger… (Baby Ruth)
    • Add “er” and pretend you’re in Scotland… (Heath)

Believe it or not the first woman telephone operator was Emma M. Nutt and September 1 is her birthday.

  • Look It Up – Form teams of two or three. Give each team an old telephone book. Explain that this is a telephone-book scavenger hunt. The first team that finds what you’re asking for wins that round. Some examples:
    • Someone with the middle initial “Q”
    • A last name containing five vowels
    • Someone who lives on Main Street
    • Someone with the first name Emma
    • An address with the number 26 in it
    • A telephone number with four identical digits
    • Someone with an animal name such as Fox or Bird
    • A telephone number whose numbers added together total 37.

October boasts an interesting holiday: National Liver Awareness Month.

  • You Don’t Say? – Interrupt your meeting often with little-known facts about liver gleaned from an encyclopedia. Serve liver and see how many kids eat it.

November is the month we celebrate Sandwich Day.

  • Leftovers Jubilee – Let everyone know a day or so in advance that your meeting will feature a competition for the greatest new sandwich creation. Tell kids each to create a totally new sandwich. The only rules are that sandwich creators each may use only leftovers in their refrigerator and must be prepared to eat half of their sandwich at the meeting.
    Have kids each describe their sandwich eat half of it and give the other half to the judges.

December is when we celebrate the Snowflake Festival.

  • Create-a-Flake – Make a giant snowflake by folding a huge sheet of newsprint and having kids cut out pieces along the folds. Then open the snowflake and hang it on a wall.

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Offbeat Ideas for Peculiar Occasions

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