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May Abacus: STRETCH

Giants and Pilgrims’ “Abacus” is a creative home curriculum centered on a monthly theme. This month’s theme is STRETCH! Think all things stretchy, the “final stretch”, and stretching your body. With your stretching, you need a good yoga clothing that will go along with your movements in an ideal way, you will like some clothes to help you relax while practicing yoga.

Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.

Below is our comprehensive activities list. Choose a couple to do with your kids to enrich the month or try to accomplish the whole list! What would you add? I would love to hear your ideas and plans for the month.

Dates in May to take note of/celebrate:

May 1 = May Day
May 4 =Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you)
May 5 = Teachers Day
May 5 = Cinco de Mayo
May 9 = Lost Sock Memorial Day (poor poor socks…)
May 9 = National Train Day (if you are in greeley, how about a trip to the Train Museum!) – We have an epic adventure planned on this one….
May 10 = Mother’s Day
May 14 = Dance Like a Chicken Day
May 15 = National bike to work day
May 25 = Memorial Day (we love to go to the Bolder Boulder – even if just to observe)

May is also National Bike Month and National Barbecue Month – both of which we plan on taking full advantage. For all the Graduations, print out our free Graduation card. Also, I just discovered it is national physical fitness and sports month – perfect for our “Stretch” theme!

Our List of “Stretch” Activities:

P.E.:

The number one thing I want to do this month is follow this weekly family workout calendar I made. May just seems to me like a get up and move kind of month.

Monday: Family Run – for us, this looks like one person running with the stroller. We shall see if it works or not…

Tuesday: Fitness Blender (a workout video website)
We will either do this stretching one (although it does cost 6.99) or this one that is free 🙂

Wednesday: Morning walk

Thursday: Bike Ride – still working on this one too since Harriet can’t quite ride by herself. Ideas?

Friday: Outside Workout – I think we will do this one.

Saturday: Morning Kids Yoga – our girls LOVE these yoga videos from Cosmic Kids Yoga.

Here is a quick printable reminder card:
May weekly workout

Head to an outdoor running track and play – races, pretend track meet events, etc.

Practice the girls dances for their recital (and mine!)

WATCH:

Family inspirational Sports Movies that deal with the “Final Stretch”:

Cool Runnings
Sea Biscuit
Chariots of Fire
National Velvet
The Karate Kid
A League of Their Own
may movies

 

SCIENCE:

Make all the slimes! Bouncy balls, silly putty, slime, gak, and goopy stuff (learn about the properties of polymers)

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how-to-make-a-bouncy-ball-the36thavenue.com_

Get this make your own chewing gum kit
make-your-own-chewing-gum-kit-with-contents

 

IN THE KITCHEN:

Make Pizza dough
BASIC_PIZZA_DOUGH

Make homemade saltwater taffy

Make homemade mozzarella cheese

MUSIC:

Make different kids of rubber band instruments 

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Get some instruments into the kids hands to just get a feel for them – Trombone (Trombone Shorty, etc.), etc.

ART/CRAFT:

Visit the Denver Art museum (now free for kids) to see the Joan Miro exhibit with studio time (through June 28) – “stretching” your imagination
MIro_logo_hero

Make balloon string balls

173-unicorns-and-rainbows-party-part-1-the-details1

Paint Stretch Wrap watercolor paintings

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READ:

Shel Silverstien – Twistable Turnable Man
shel_silverstein
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Maniac Mcgee by Jerry Spinelli
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (for me)

51Jl3mguADL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Maniac_Magee_cover url-1

PLAY:

Fly a kite

Play Twister (I like this outside garden version!)
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Play with Slinkys 

BUILD:

A rubber band nail board (pre drill holes for fun hammering practice)

geoboard-

Make a Sling Shot
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Some of these might be a bit of a “stretch”, but we are pretty excited to jump in and start May.

FREE Download: Graduation Card Designed by Betony Coons

A FREE Download for you from Giants & Pilgrims matriarch, Betony Coons. Feel free to print it out and it give to a graduate.

Here’s to small provisions for the fields ahead.

graduation card
Design © Betony Coons 2014

 

May Theme and Poem: “Prize”

We have been choosing a theme every month for our Giants & Pilgrims “Almanac”. We’re hoping the pages we’re posting each around these themes enliven your season, enrich your days and bring focus to where you’re at in the month. It’s been doing that for Betony and I.

May’s theme is “prize”. For us, it always feels like May is a big push of business before the season of summer hits. It’s good to know what you’re racing for; keeping your mind on the prize… Here’s a poem fleshing out those ideas in broad, not-too-obvious ways.

PRIZE

May is a finish line

The last push for the work in the fields,
tired hands planting the final seeds

So the school year has closure
the wedding planning is about done

the spring season brings
projects to an end
and people look to summer traveling

Because go, go, go is best followed with

rest

and a sense of completion,
a Voice that says job well done,
and permission to breathe deeply

Spring Playlist: April Showers

This month is a great time to gather and listen to songs about rain. Wonderful music has been dedicated to these themes of storm clouds and pouring skies. Here’s a collection  featured for April.

For an even more expansive list check out Betony Coons’ spotify. It’s 35 + songs that were found by crowd-sourcing (posing the question on Facebook, “What are great songs involving rain”?)

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head • Burt Bacharach & B.J. Thomas
No Rain • Blind Melon
Singing in the Rain • Gene Kelly
Thunder Rolls • Garth Brooks
Little April Showers • from Bambi
Umbrella • Rihanna
Somewhere Over the Rainbow • Judy Garland
Riders on the Storm • The Doors
It Never Rains in Southern California • Albert Hammond & M. Hazelwood
Shelter From the Storm • Bob Dylan
November Rain • Guns N’ Roses
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
Holy Sunlight • Steve Doupolous