30 Happy Days of April Challenge!

As we stare down the month of April, facing 30 more days of being at home, it can be more challenging than ever to keep our spirits up. Feelings of fear, being overwhelmed, and sadness can threaten our well-being. That is why I believe it is more important than ever to seek out things that make us happy every day.

So I have created this challenge filled with ideas to spark YOUR happiness!

I think challenge #1 is important: make a playlist of songs that make you feel GOOD! Music is a powerful mood-lifter! You can use it all month long.

Other than that, you can do them in any order you like! I’ve created a calendar if you want to follow the challenges by day. Or you can download a set of cards. Print them out, cut them up, and put them in a bowl or jar to choose a challenge at random! (scroll down for the PDFs to download)

Do one. Do them all! There are no shoulds here!

I tried to create the challenges for anyone to do. They are family-friendly. Or you can do them alone.

Don’t like a challenge? Make up your own! The point is to do something fun, silly, different, whatever! Something that makes you feel GOOD. Something that makes you SMILE. Something that makes you HAPPY 🙂 Let us know what you do in the COMMENTS below!

Care to share? Use hashtag #30HappyDaysofApril

  1. Make a playlist of your favorite songs – but only songs that make you feel GOOD. There are lots of beautiful songs out there that can also be sad or melancholy. Go for the tunes that get you going, make you want to dance or sing! Here is my list on Spotify – it’s a work in progress! Check it out for some inspiration 🙂
  2. Take a picture of every kind of flower in your yard. Repeat at the end of the month to compare!
  3. Watch a comedy movie – one that brings on a real belly laugh! How about one from your childhood to share with the kids? Like The Love Bug (G) or The Shaggy Dog (G). Or a newer film, like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day (PG). I haven’t seen it myself, but a friend recommended it. Some of my favorites for a laugh are All of Me (PG), My Cousin Vinny (R), and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (PG). Or how about a real classic like Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn (NR)? (Links take you to Common Sense Media, a site that helps you choose wisely for your kids.)
  4. Bake something yummy! Get out a tried & true recipe. Or bake something new that you’ve always wanted to try. Not a baker? How about a no-bake cookie recipe with just a few ingredients?
  5. Go on a nature scavenger hunt! There are plenty of free printables to be found online. Maybe try this one with your children or this one that involves your senses, too!
  6. Make a card and send it to someone. Maybe someone who is alone this month? Not artistic? Find a pretty picture in a magazine and glue it to the front of a card. Everyone appreciates a handwritten letter!
  7. Sing in the shower! Too shy? Remember that playlist you made on Day 1? Turn it up and sing along. No one will know 🙂
  8. Make a video of yourself reading a children’s book. Send it to a child. (Don’t post on YouTube, unless it is a copyright free story.) If you don’t have any books at home, there are lots available online! Fairy Tales, such as the ones found here, are a great idea – usually copyright free, too.
  9. Do a science experiment. Did you ever make a volcano erupt? It only takes some baking soda and vinegar. Put the baking soda in a cup. Pour some vinegar over it and watch the volcano explode! Add a little food coloring for added fun. See what happens if you add some liquid hand soap. Try different shapes and sizes of cups. Which ones work best? Don’t want to make a volcano? There are lots of cool experiments to find online!
  10. Make an Easter decoration. Whatever Easter means to you – create something in spring colors to cheer up your space!
  11. Take a walk outside on a new trail. Some trails are still open, as long as you keep your distance.
  12. Pamper yourself! Take a bubble bath. Paint your nails. Give yourself a facial using ingredients you have in your fridge. Soak your feet in warm water & Epsom salts if you have them; then give yourself a foot rub.
  13. Make a Pollock painting! Grab a canvas – or some paper – and some paint, head outside and start flinging!! Don’t have art paints? How about a leftover paint can from painting your house?
  14. Be an armchair traveler and go on a beautiful journey. Pick a place you’ve always wanted to go and start doing some research. Some places are offering virtual tours. Or just do an image search and enjoy the pictures.
  15. Watch a feel-good musical. How about Singing in the Rain, Oklahoma, or The Sound of Music?
  16. Dig in the dirt! Plant some bulbs or seeds if you have them. Or just dig a hole with a spade, shovel, or a spoon. See what you find!
  17. Cook a new dish. There are only about a billion recipes online these days. Here is a site that will give you recipe ideas based on what’s in your fridge.
  18. Make a collage. Print out pictures of your loved ones and start cutting and pasting. Cut up old cards or Christmas cards. Or find beautiful images in a magazine.
  19. Learn a new language! Okay, not the whole language. Learn three basic phrases: Hello, Thank you, and I don’t speak [whichever language you picked]. Write them out and post them on your fridge or bathroom mirror, or both. Bonus: Learn to count to 10. I can count to 10 in 8 languages. Maybe I’ll go for 10!
  20. Learn a new card game. If you don’t have cards at home, maybe the grocery store has a deck you could pick up? Check out the Bicycle website for rules on all kinds of games.
  21. Have a dance party! Remember that playlist you made on Day 1? Hopefully you’re enjoying it! Turn up the volume and dance like no one is watching 🙂 Or test your moves with a video from Just Dance!
  22. Draw a map of your yard or inside your home. Turn it into a treasure map for someone else at home. If you’re on your own for now, save it for a fun activity when all the stay-at-home ban is lifted. What treasure will be found under your X?
  23. Draw a self-portrait. Try looking at yourself in the mirror as you draw. Or just draw what you think you look like. Or try drawing with your non-dominant hand. Or try drawing a picture of an image, but turn the image upside down while you draw it!
  24. Sit outside and be absolutely still for 5 minutes. Listen. Then write down everything you heard.
  25. Make a target course outside. Pick a number of different targets – it could be like a mini golf course with 9 or 18 targets. Then grab a ball – or many – and see how well you do. Maybe try hitting the targets from different distances.
  26. Make a book. Pick an object – a stuffed animal works great. Then take pictures of that object around your house and/or yard. Put the pictures together to tell about the object’s adventure!
  27. Read an uplifting book. Try something new, like the family novel Becoming Jesse. Or an old favorite, like Charlotte’s Web. Or something literary like Pride & Prejudice. I also love The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim – appropriate for the month!
  28. Watch some old comedy shows, like The Muppet Show or Bugs Bunny. Or old episodes of Johnny Carson.
  29. Make ice cream in a bag. You only need a few ingredients. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve always wanted to!
  30. Make a video to tell about all the things you did this month to make YOU happy! Show off some of your creations. Tell a funny story about what you did – or what you tried that did not turn out so well 🙂 Tell about the things you learned this month. Tell about the many things for which you are grateful.

YOU DID IT!!

Have your own ideas? Feel free to comment with more suggestions!

Download your CALENDAR here: 30 Happy Days of April Calendar

Download your ACTIVITY CARDS here: 30 Happy Days of April Cards

30 Happy Days of April-page-001

Disclaimer: If I have provided a link, it is just for an idea. I did not have time to thoroughly check them all out or test them. And I receive no compensation.

SL: Dornröschen / Sleeping Beauty VIDEO

Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite fairy tales – at least of the Disney fairy tales! It’s the first movie I ever saw. Even though it frightened me when Maleficent turned into the dragon, I still loved it.

Today I am telling the version of the story that is closer to the one collected by the Brothers Grimm. Here we do find a vengeful fairy, however she is not called Maleficent. She is simply the 13th fairy – yes, there were 13 fairies in total!

The title Dornröschen does not translate to “Sleeping Beauty.” It literally means “little thorn – or briar – rose.” Listen to the story to find out why the young princess is called Dornröschen.

Instructions for TWS students:

  1. Watch the video (below)
  2. Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
  3. Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video and email it back to me.
    • Retell the story to someone in English – take a video or make an audio recording.
    • Write a summary of the story in English – take a picture of it or record yourself reading it.
    • Draw your favorite scene from the story. Remember to put the story title on it! Take a picture.
    • Watch the video again and read along. (See the text below) Take a picture of your log, so we know you heard the story.

* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!

To read along:

SL: Der sĂĽĂźe Brei / The Sweet Porridge VIDEO

Today’s story comes again from the collection of Grimm’s fairy tales. It’s a shorter story today.

This story is not as well-known here in the US. It’s about a girl who is given a magic pot that cooks sweet porridge. My students have heard it before, so I hope they enjoy it again.

I don’t love the ending. I think it is a bit confusing. Basically it says that whoever goes into the city had to eat their way through the sweet porridge. But that is not the easiest thing to understand. Maybe one day I’ll come up with a different ending….

Instructions for TWS students:

  1. Watch the video (below)
  2. Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
  3. Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video and email it back to me.
    • Retell the story to someone in English – take a video or make an audio recording.
    • Write a summary of the story in English – take a picture of it or record yourself reading it.
    • Draw your favorite scene from the story. Remember to put the story title on it! Take a picture.
    • Watch the video again and read along. (See the text below) Take a picture of your log, so we know you heard the story.

* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!

 

 

If you are a teacher looking for some materials to go with the story, you can find some in this post!

To read along with the story, here is the text:

SL: Aschenputtel / Cinderella VIDEO

Today I’m telling the well-known story of Cinderella. In German she is called Aschenputtel. Asche means “ashes” – or “cinders”.

But listen carefully! This version is closer to the original that we find in the collection of the Brothers Grimm! Can you find the differences in this version?

Instructions for TWS students:

  1. Watch the video (below)
  2. Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
  3. Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video and email it to me!
    • Retell the story to someone in English – take a video or make an audio recording.
    • Write a summary of the story in English – take a picture of it or record yourself reading it.
    • Draw your favorite scene from the story. Remember to put the story title on it! Take a picture to post.
    • Watch the video again and read along. (See the text below) You could answer the questions below or take a picture of your log, so we know you heard the story.

* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!

 

 

Did you hear the differences in this version? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does her father die?
  • What does she have to do before she is allowed to go to the ball?
  • How does she get her dress and shoes?
  • What color are her shoes?

To read along with the story, here is the text:

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/453228988/Aschenputtel

SL: Rotkäppchen / Little Red Riding Hood VIDEO

I’m SO excited! The 3rd & 4th graders have just started a unit on traditional literature, and they are beginning with fairy tales! This is perfect for Story Listening! So I am planning to tell a fairy tale every day for the rest of the week.

Today’s lesson is Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood). I recently told the story to the 3rd graders, so it would be more of a review for them.

Instructions for TWS students:

  1. Watch the video (below)
  2. Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
  3. Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video and email it back to me.
    • Retell the story to someone in English – take a video or make an audio recording.
    • Write a summary of the story in English – take a picture of it or record yourself reading it.
    • Draw your favorite scene from the story. Remember to put the story title on it! Take a picture.
    • Watch the video again and read along. (See the text below) Take a picture of your log, so we know you heard the story.

* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!

 

 

Here is the text, if you would like to read along with the story:

SL: Pflaster / Bandages

The next story for my 1st & 2nd graders is called Pflaster. I got it from one of my own 1st-grader’s early readers. In English it’s called Bandages, but I translated “Pflaster” as band-aids when I told the story.

Instructions for TWS students:

  1. Watch the video (below)
  2. Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
  3. Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video to post on SeeSaw.
    • Go back to the end of the video and choose three words to draw and label.
    • Tell the story to someone at home (in English).
    • Download the following PDF and choose ONE worksheet to complete: Pflaster Arbeitsblatt – GitA

* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!

 

The worksheets look like this:

Bonus: Go to the previous post and watch the video with the song on washing hands! Do you remember it?! “Hände waschen”!

Enjoy the story! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!!

Hände waschen! / Wash Your Hands!

We all know how important it is to wash our hands right now! And lots of people are talking about singing a song while you wash to make sure you wash long enough. There is a cute song in German about washing hands. It says that every child must wash hands until they are clean. But once they are clean, there is no towel! So they must shake, shake, shake their hands. If you sing the whole song while washing (including the part about shaking them dry), it’s about 24 seconds. Perfect!