Dictionary Day

Happy Dictionary Day!

dictionary

Today celebrates the birthday of Noah Webster born in 1758. Noah Webster is considered to be the Father of the American Dictionary. The objective of this day is to emphasize the importance of dictionary skills and to improve vocabulary.

To honor this fun day, pick up a dictionary and find a new word or two to learn today!

Happy reading and learning!

White House

Happy 229th anniversary to the White House!

Construction started on this iconic building back 229 years ago in Washington DC. Every President except George Washington has resided here since 1800. The White House stands about 55,000 square feet, six floors, and has 132 rooms.

A few fun facts about the White House:

• John Quincy Adams established the first flower garden.
• There are 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators in the White House.
• It would take 570 gallons of paint to cover the entire outside surface of the White House.
• A swimming pool was added to the White House in 1933 to help polio-stricken Franklin Roosevelt exercise his upper body.  In 1969, Richard Nixon had the pool filled in to create an area for press to gather. Gerald Ford had an outdoor pool built in 1975.
• President Carter had the first computer and laser printer installed in the White House in 1978.
• The White House has a bowling alley, flower shop, dentist office, and carpenter’s office located on site.

Happy 229th!

Mad Hatter Day

“A land was full of wonder, mystery, and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.” ~ Mad Hatter, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Happy Mad Hatter Day! Yes, it’s a day! It’s a day set aside to bring out your silly side. Today, October 6th, matches the label tucked in the Mad Hatter’s hat that reads “In this style 10/6.”

To celebrate this fun holiday: enjoy some tea; read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; tell some fun riddles or puns; wear a hat; or watch the movie Alice in Wonderland.

My daughter and I are enjoying this classic novel together at the moment.

Happy Mad Hatter Day! Enjoy an excuse to act silly! 😉

Dinosaur National Monument

What do you call a T. Rex who hates losing? A saur loser! 🙂

Happy 106th anniversary to Dinosaur National Monument!

A few years ago, we traveled from California to Colorado. We really enjoyed this national monument! From the Quarry Visitor Center, we took a shuttle up to the Quarry Exhibit Hall. In this hall, you can see approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones.

In addition to this hall, you can check out carvings in the rocks, called petroglyphs, left by the Fremont people nearly 1,000 years ago. You can also take a hike, go camping, go fishing, or watch wildlife like elk or bighorn sheep there.

Definitely check out this national monument if you’re in the Utah or Colorado area.

To celebrate this anniversary or if you can’t wait to visit there, click here and check out their Junior Ranger activity book. 

National Trails System Act

The National Trails System Act created the National Trails System back today in 1968.  The Act created national trails to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access. The Act established four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and side or connecting trails.

The first two national scenic trails established under the Act were the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest trails. These two trails cover almost 5,000 miles between the two trails and go through some of our nation’s most beautiful areas. Today, the system consists of more than 60,000 miles.

Enjoy a fun map! Click here for a map of all the trails in the system.

To celebrate this 53rd anniversary, go and get out on a trail today!

Devils Postpile National Monument, CA

Banned Books Week

“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular,” as stated on the American Library’s Association (ALA)’s website.

Here is the list of the top 10 most challenged and banned books of 2020 and the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
    Reasons: Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

To celebrate this week, add some of these books to reading your list! As the theme of this week says, “Books unite us. Censorship divides us.”

Sequoia National Park

Happy 131st anniversary to Sequoia National Park! On this day, President Harrison signed legislation creating America’s second national park. It was the first national park created to protect the giant sequoia trees from logging. 

At this time, the KNP Complex fires are still growing in the national park and the surrounding areas. Lightning caused these two fires back on September 9th. As a result of the fires, the parks evacuated employees from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the parks are closed to the public. 

John Muir reflected that giant sequoia groves are “not like places, they are like haunts.”

To celebrate this anniversary and help the national park at this time, you can make a donation to the Sequoia Parks Conservancy. As stated on their website, donations to this fund will support sequoia conservation, lost habitat restoration, repairs to damaged historic and cultural sites, trail work, and wildfire mitigation efforts.

Park Ranger Generator

Park rangers are the key people responsible for protecting our great national parks. Their duties range from law enforcement to education to many other responsibilities. They keep these amazing national parks going every day.

In my new children’s book, Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel, Reese and Dean experience park rangers in the magical national park.

Today, you can create and draw your own park ranger. Every park ranger needs a national park with animals and items to use. Find out your location, animal with you, and accessory using this Park Ranger Generator. You can even draw and make your generated park ranger on this pdf.

Click the link below for the pdf or visit the blog’s section, Future Park Rangers Fun, for this pdf and some other fun activities. Have fun!

For my park ranger generator, I am a park ranger in a valley surrounded by bighorn sheep and with a book. 🙂 What did you get? Share your drawings with me as I’d love to see your park rangers!