Fruitcake Toss Day – January 3

Perhaps the “holiday” aspect of fruitcake toss day was invented because so many people do not like fruitcake. Did you have the opportunity to make or buy fruitcake last week on FRUITCAKE DAY? You need that fruitcake for today so you can toss it !!!

That’s the whole point behind Fruitcake Toss Day – to throw your fruitcake.

One of the largest fruitcake tossing events is held each year in Manitou Springs Colorado. If you can’t attend their celebration, or one in your area, why not host one of your own with your family, class or co-op?

There are some great activities you can do to make your toss an exciting event.

I would suggest if holding an event, you can have a tasting station. It’s fun to see people react to their first taste of fruit cake. You may want to have some milk on hand to wash down the fruitcake taste.

You can also have a catapult building station. Participants load a bit of fruitcake in their homemade catapult and see who can launch it farthest. Be sure to use equal size pieces (if you want to be very scientific, use a food scale).

You can even use a slingshot if you have one or want to make one of those.

See if you can hit a TARGET. Glue the printable i created for you FREE to a box and place it on a table for the competition. To avoid the target getting ruined quickly you can place it in a page protector. Otherwise, just print several copies to have on hand.

Download this free printable for your Fruitcake Toss day activities… or visit my TPT Store for all December 27 and January 3rd files TOGETHER!

Another great activity is the “traditional” distance throw. Simply cut a chunk of fruitcake, and see how far it goes.

Our family did the distance throw. We laid out a measuring tape along the front lawn as a reference for each toss. The “Bugs” had to see where their piece landed and record it on their data collection sheet.

Lauren launches her fruitcake first. I used the computer to circle it on the picture so it can be seen “flying” through the air.
Megan, ever observant, used what she saw happen with Lauren’s fruitcake to her advantage and tossed next.
Douglas may be small, but his toss was mighty!
This was our Fruitcake Toss 2010

There is plenty of math in this holiday!

After you throw your piece:

*convert the number of feet into inches (1 foot = 12 inches).

*Graph the distance the fruitcake is tossed for each family member (Use this handy PRINTABLE) … or visit my TPT Store for all December 27 and January 3rd files TOGETHER!

all printables available in my TPT Store for December 27 and January 3rd TOGETHER!

*Throw the pieces several times and calculate the average distance.

(Math refresher if you need it: the average is found by adding up the numbers from each toss and dividing by the number of times you tossed. For example, Toss 1 = 24 inches , Toss 2 = 55 inches , Toss 3 = 17 inches , Toss 4 = 87 inches and Toss 5 = 10 inches . Now find the sum of the numbers: 24 + 55 + 17 + 87 + 10 = 193. The fruitcake was thrown 5 times, so divide by 5 and the average is 38.6 inches. )

Who threw the farthest?

Who threw without breaking their piece?

Best 2 out of 3?

Let younger learners use a calculator – that is a very important skill and not at all cheating!

Whatever you decide don’t forget to recognize your participants. I created these great AWARDS for you to use. The packet includes: Fruitcake Tossing Champ, Best Average Distance, Throwing Fruitcake the Farthest, Hitting fruitcake Target, and a blank for your creative idea.

Sample Fruitcake Toss Day Award – FREE to download … or visit my TPT Store for all December 27 and January 3rd files TOGETHER!

If you are interested in ALL my fruitcake downloads in one handy spot, please visit my TeachersPayTeachers Store where for $1.50 you can get BOTH December 27th AND January 3rd printables in one convenient file!

I hope you’ll join us next time for another fun holiday.

I hope Fruitcake Toss Day is filled with FUN for you and your learners!

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

Sources:

January 2 – 55 mph speed limit day

Zoom Zoom – welcome to 55 mph day!

Driving may be a long way off for you – or just around the corner. Perhaps you have been driving for years and years. I bet whether you are a driver or an observant passenger you are aware of speed limit signs.

Did you know we have a National speed limit in the United States?  Well…we did from 1974 until  1995 when Congress gave control back to the individual states.

The EMERGENCY HIGHWAY ENERGY CONSERVATION ACT was signed into law on January 2, 1974 by President Richard Nixon. This lowered the speed limit to 55 MPH nationally in hopes drivers would be more fuel efficient.

The goal was to reduce gas use by about 2% and get gas prices lower. It was also believed the lower speed would make roads safer. – The jury is still out on if the 55 MPH law had an impact on prices or safety, but it does reduce fuel consumption.

Try it… With the modern technology cars come equipped with today it is easy to calculate how much fuel you use. On one tank, drive at your State’s posted speed limit. Record how many miles you are able to get out of a tank.  On the next tank, drive only 55 MPH and see how much MORE you get out of the tank.  This writer will admit there are many variables to this “experiment” – but faster speeds use more fuel.

Here are some activities you can do in your homeschool or classroom:

1. Map the speed limits for each state

2. Race die cast cars (brand name match box or hot wheels) and measure the distance traveled. Remember to keep the variables consistent. Ramps of same height for example.

Build your own car with this cool kit: 

This kit come with 3 vehicles, a train, plane and a car… you attach the axles and wheels to make working vehicles, then decorate. Building a pinewood derby car is not for the faint of heart – but a worth endevor! This book has patterns to start from scratch, and great tips.

Visit a car museum in your area. Here are links to a few in major cities. If you can’t visit, use this links to do a virtual tour of their websites and online exhibits!

The Henry Ford – Dearborn Michigan

Petersen Automotive Museum – Los Angeles 

Gilmore Car Museum – Barry County Michigan

National Automobile Museum – Reno Nevada

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum – Indiana

The Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Want to find more? Here is a Google search for Car Museums. Along the top it has images of many many museums!

A few more activities you can do related to the day:

Depending on the ages of your learners – take them out for a drive, or display a speedometer so they can see how it tracks how fast a car goes!

Design a Speed Limit sign for your Home or School based on the vehicles used there (bikes, trikes, toy cars, etc) . Download the DIY worksheets below.

If you would like the COMPLETE set of January 2 worksheets: Map, State mph facts, answer key and design your own Speed Limit signs, they are available in one handy download for just $1.25 in my TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS Store.

Click here to Purchase the complete set – Maximum Speed Limits in the United States

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Sources: Chickiday.com

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

January 1 – Apple Gifting Day

Hello and Happy Apple Gifting Day! 

Somewhere it became tradition to give apples to teachers…but today apples are for everyone. Kindness matters and an easy way to spread kindness is with a simple gift, such as an apple. 

Perhaps giving an apple symbolizes your wish for the recipient to have good health and a fruitful year. 

Start off your day by bringing apples to your neighbors, a retirement community or Veteran’s center. You can even bake apple pie or make homemade apple sauce. 

If you would like to learn about apples in your homeschool or classroom Johnny Appleseed is a great starting point. 

If you are looking to add to your library here are some personal recommendations: 

This book is a rhymed text with illustrations that relate the life of John Chapman, whose distribution of apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him the legend we know as “Johnny Appleseed”. Part of the “WHO WAS” series – this book is sure to be a favorite for multiple ages. This Tall Tall adaptation was a FAVORITE in both my home and classroom. If you are looking for a little science behind apple growing for the younger learner: Or perhaps you would like to begin growing them at home! What a great idea!

At the very least, remember it is APPLE GIVING DAY, so please visit your local store, pick up some apples and give them away!

Here are FREE TAGS you can print (I suggest printing on cardstock) to help you accomplish that goal!

Punch a hole and attach to your apple with a cute ribbon.

I hope to see you tomorrow for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

December 31 – Calendar

Is it the end, or is it the beginning? New Year’s Eve is such a perfect day! I hope you are counting your blessings and preparing for another year of goodness in your classrooms, homeschools and family life.

Calendars hanging on the wall may not be as popular as they once were now that we have electronic calendars. I have more than 10 different Google calendars to keep track of things!

When did we begin to use calendars? I’d say since the beginning of time! A calendar is simply a way of timekeeping, of keeping track of days. Days are the space between sunrise and sunset.

Archaeologists have discovered things they “think” are ancient calendars such as the holes in Warren Field in Scotland or Stonehenge. But since we can’t ask the ancient peoples who created these, we are guessing. It’s cool to think about!

Watching the stars, and the behavior of the moon has also acted as a natural calendar for centuries. Eventually as technology got better and better it was discovered the length of a year is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be precise. This causes some crazy things to happen over time. Hello Leap Year!

I bet you knew that January 1 wasn’t always the “First Day” of the new year. Ancient Romans began their year in what we call March. The Romans also gave us the names for some of the months of the year. (The Romans took their calendar from the Greeks and the Greeks based their calendar on ….we can go back to prehistoric times, so for the purpose of this blog post I chose to begin with the Roman calendar, progress to the Julian Calendar and end with the current, Gregorian calendar.)

The Roman year began in March – possibly because of the vernal equinox.

March is named for MARS, the Roman god of war

There is no clear answer regarding the origin of Aprils’ name, only several theories. It could come from the latin word for second, because at the time April was the second month of the year. Perhaps April got its name from the goddess Aphrodite. Still a third theory proposes the name came from yet another latin word: “aperire” . This word means open. April is a spring month in which many flowers and plants are “opening”. What do you think is the reason April was named? You can leave your answer in the comments or you can email me using the CONTACT ME form.

May is said to be named after the goddess of growing plants: Maia

The Roman god and patroness of marriage and weddings is named Juno. That’s how June got its name. Do you know anyone who has an anniversary or is planning to get married in June? You can leave your answer in the comments or you can email me using the CONTACT ME form.

The Romans called the 5th month Quintilis, that’s latin for 5th. It was later renamed July in 44B.C. after Julius Caesar.

Another Caesar,this time Augustus Caesar, is responsible for the name August. Previously, the Romans called it Sextillia, which is Latin for 6th.

Now we enter the “ber” months. September is derived from septem, Latin for Seven. October is from octo, latin for eight. November, takes it name from novem which is latin for Nine. Finally we have December which is named from the Larin word for ten, decem. (This is leading me to lean toward a particular theory for April, how about you?)

The Roman Calendar ended after 10 months initially. February and January were added about 700 BCE (Before Common Era)

February was named after the festival Februa. And January was named after Janus the god of beginnings and endings.

The Romans simply ignored 61 days in the winter. Imagine that. This went on for quite some time. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar proposed a reform of the Roman calendar. This reform was designed with the help of some pretty skilled Greek astronomers of the time. It took effect on January 1, 45 BC (remember when we calculate BC years we are counting down to 0 which is said to be the year Jesus was born, so 45 BC is indeed AFTER 46 BC when the calendar was proposed.)

The Julian calendar introduced Leap Years, however they were calculated incorrectly and eventually things were out of whack. Important religious holidays we not in line with equinoxes and solstices.

In 1582 Pope Gregory created what we now know as the “Gregorian calendar” in which most (but not all) western nations began celebrating the start of the year on the 1st of January. It recalculates the year accurately, including leap years, and our 7 day week.

When the calendar was first introduced, not all countries adopted it, It was not until 1752 that the British and their colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar for use. When they converted they had to drop 11 days from September to make it work! In September 1752, September 2, 1752 was followed by September 14, 1752. How Crazy is that??? I wonder when they celebrated their birthdays that year…

Here is a FREE PRINTABLE for you to help you remember how many days are in each month. It also has a page you can trace the poem to help it “stick”.

I also have a GREAT Calendar resource for you called THE PASSAGE OF TIME!

Check out my TeachersPayTeachers store for the Complete notebook!

This Calendar notebook is a fantastic resource for your learners to record memories of the day, look at the months of the year, see how their writing develops over time and more. This is a GREAT item to put in a TIME CAPSULE.

Here is your free sample:

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

A few books you may find inspirational relating to this topic:

Sources:

https://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-did-the-months-of-the-year-get-their-names

The History of the Calendar

https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/gregorian-calendar.html

https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/julian-calendar.html

http://libguides.ctstatelibrary.org/hg/colonialresearch/calendar

13 Months in Malesso: 13 Months in Malesso’ captures a distinctly CHamoru sense of time and place, and beautifully illustrates the many ways in which the island of Guam nourishes and sustains its people.

The Romans and their many Gods:

National Fruitcake day – December 27th

The Christmas rush is through… take some time today to make (or buy) a fruit cake. Trust me…you will NEED it for January 3rd.

Fruitcakes sometimes have a bad reputation. They are re-gifted 30% of the time. If you lived in Ancient Egypt, chances are you would be buried with a fruit cake. It was believed a fruitcake was essential for the voyage to the afterlife.

It is believed the Ancient Romans were the first to bake this fruit and seed laden loaf.

If you bake your own, you can make it more enjoyable by using fruits and nuts everyone will enjoy.

Fruitcake is really just like any other quick bread or loaf cake, only with a lot more fruit and nuts added. You make a simple cake batter, stir in the fruits and nuts, and bake until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

The resulting cake is dense and looks like a beautiful mosaic when sliced, with fruits and nuts in every bite. (Tip: Toss the fruits and nuts in flour before mixing them into the batter. This will help keep them evenly distributed throughout the cake during baking.)

Easy “Fruitcake” Cookies

  • Recipe adapted from thespruceeats.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (need a substitution? Use 1 cup buttermilk = 1/4 cup milk PLUS 3/4 cup sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cup candied cherries
  • 1 cup raisins

Steps to these easy cookies:

  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease them lightly.
  3. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended.
  4. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl to toss with the fruit.
  5. Combine remaining flour with salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk.
  6. Toss fruits in bowl with the reserved flour. Fold the floured fruits and chopped walnuts into cookie batter.
  7. Drop onto prepared baking sheets with a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between cookies.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Actual baking time depends on size of cookies.
  9. Cool and enjoy!
  10. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Variations

  • Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each of allspice and nutmeg to the batter for a spiced cookie.
  • Make the cookies with all or part brown sugar.

Other Activities:

Research other Ancient Egyptian beliefs regarding the afterlife

Survey friends and family about their opinion regarding fruitcake. Graph the results.

Use this WORKSHEET :

Read Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake

If you are interested in ALL the downloads for BOTH today (December 27 and January 3rd – Fruitcake Toss Day they are available in one easy file from my TeachersPayTeachers Store.

I hope Fruitcake Day is filled with FUN for you and your learners!

I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

Sources:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/fruitcake-cookies-candied-fruit-nuts-3054014

https://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/who-invented-fruitcake

https://www.checkiday.com/

Welcome to Homeschool Holiday of the Day. The site for anyone in education who wants easy, fun curriculum to spice up the mundane. From Fruitcake toss day to Halloween we have you covered! Please visit our START HERE page for ideas on implementing the resources found on this site in your education setting (whatever it may be).

This site is a labor of love and will grow and grow. Is there a Holiday you would like to see featured? Contact us and we will do our best to make it happen! We are glad you are here and hope you enjoy learning and celebrating in your home, classroom, car…wherever you are!

  • Christy AKA “Mrs. Crabtree” and the Happy Hive Education team