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PICTURE-PERFECT JUNE

Glowing brides, beaming graduates, proud fathers, and excited school-aged children are some of the people who will be in the limelight in June. Photographers, both professional and amateur, will be busy capturing lots of special moments for families during the month. Invite your group to usher in summer with some activities and images that reflect a picture-perfect day in June. Take a look at the suggestions below.

  • JUNE CELEBRATIONS: Create a picture collage of the month of June, using magazines and catalogs. (Examples: baseball game, high school graduation, wedding ceremony, Flag Day celebration, family picnic) Ask: What do you like about the sixth month of the year? What special June memories do you have? Sing songs that you might hear during the month. (Examples: “Here Comes the Bride,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Pomp and Circumstance,” “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”)
  • START OF SUMMER: Gather your group for a picturesque photo on the first day of summer. Encourage participants to wear/hold a summer prop for the photo – sunglasses, beach ball, golf club, baseball hat, garden tool, suitcase, fishing pole, picnic hamper. Ask group members to finish this line: Nothing screams “Summer!” like….
  • WEDDINGS: Invite a June bride from the 1940s/1950s to show photos of her wedding day. (Note: Some of your group members may have June wedding pictures to share.) Talk about wedding dresses/gowns, flowers, music. Ask why June is such a popular month for weddings. Watch the 1948 movie June Bride, starring Robert Montgomery and Bette Davis.
  • BALLOONING: Decorate the activity room with colorful posters of hot air balloons against a blue sky. Invite a speaker to talk about hot air ballooning. Listen to the song “Up, Up, and Away” from The Fifth Dimension. Ask: Has anyone ever taken a ride in a hot air balloon? What did you like about the experience? Do you know anyone who has tried hang gliding, parachuting, or parasailing? Do you enjoy flying in airplanes?
  • BUTTERFLIES: Gather pictures of butterflies, lighting on flowers. (Check National Geographic magazines.) Read some butterfly poems by Emily Dickinson (ex: Complete Poems – Part Two: Nature-Poem 7 “From cocoon forth a butterfly”). Talk about the butterfly’s stages of development. Explain the benefits of butterflies in a garden and what types of flowers attract butterflies. Make a clothespin butterfly craft (see detailed instructions in Crafts Through the Year, a featured product for the month). Decorate butterfly-shaped cookies.
  • GRADUATION: Show photos of participants’ high school graduation – or their children or grandchildren. List words associated with graduations (ex: commencement, tassel, degree, valedictorian); then share recollections about graduation day. Ask for volunteers to assume the role of commencement speaker at a high school graduation.  Give a short presentation to the group, sharing your best advice on how to succeed in life.
  • GARDENING: Listen to the Oscar Hammerstein song “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over.” Display photos of local flower gardens, and ask participants to describe what they see in the photos. Suggest captions for the pictures. Talk about favorite summer flowers. Name some popular flower songs. (Examples: “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” “Yellow Rose of Texas”)  Assemble a bouquet of fresh flowers – peonies, irises, daylilies, poppies.
  • GARDENING: Celebrate National Rose Month: Show photos of prize-winning roses. Ask group members to say one word that describes each rose – radiant, captivating, elegant, delicate, flamboyant. Create special names for roses. Make paper or silk rose corsages for staff. Apply rose-scented hand lotion. Sketch a single rose petal. Learn the meaning of rose colors.
  • GARDENING: Display photos of a family picking strawberries in a patch or field. Reminisce about summer berry picking. Ask: Did your family have a tradition of picking berries? What kind? Where did go to pick? What did you do with the fresh berries? Sample some strawberry shortcake.
  • GARDENING: Invite staff and family members to show pictures of their gardens – vegetables, herbs, fruits. Identify items from the garden by taste or smell (ex: spring onion, basil, cucumber, mint, raspberry). Talk about easy and difficult vegetables and fruits to grow in a garden.
  • FATHER’S DAY: Provide carnations for the men to wear. Feature pictures of the men with their children. Discuss the joys (and pitfalls) of fatherhood. Ask participants to share a memorable Father’s Day. Enjoy an outdoor game, like horseshoes, croquet, bocce ball, miniature golf. Create ice cream sundaes. (For more ideas, see the ElderSong resource Barbers, Cars, and Cigars, a featured product for the month.)
  • POETRY: Listen to the audiobook version of A Child’s Garden of Verses, written by Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1885. (Note: Some people in the group will be familiar with the poems in the book.) Ask the group to close their eyes and create a mental picture as the poem is being read. (Example: “The Swing” – images of children on swings, laughing, other kids enjoying the outdoors) Share images with the group.
  • FLAG DAY: Give your group small flags to wave and sing “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Take a group photo for Flag Day. Talk about occasions for flying the American flag.
  • FASHION: Show vintage photos of 1950s summer fashions – capris, full skirt dresses, swing skirts – and ask which ones have come back in style today. Invite some teens to model 1950s-style fashions. Pass around samples of summer fabrics, and ask participants to identify them (ex: gingham, seersucker, linen, silk). Create a scrapbook page with the theme “Fabulous Summer Fashions.”
  • JUNE WARMTH: Show a funny, cute, or whimsical photo of an outdoor scene in warm weather. Using lead-in questions, ask participants to tell the story behind the photo. (See the NEW ElderSong product Story Lines, Volume 1, for color photos and companion questions.)

SNAPSHOT OF JUNE TRIVIA QUIZ

  1. How many days are in the month of June? 30
  2. When does the summer solstice begin in North America? June 21
  3. Which song is usually played while graduates are marching in for a commencement ceremony? “Pomp and Circumstance”
  4. Who composed the song “It’s a Grand Old Flag”? George M. Cohan
  5. When is Father’s Day celebrated each year? On the third Sunday in June
  6. June is a popular month for weddings. What is it called when a couple runs away to get married? Eloping
  7. Which sport are you playing if you use a racket, a birdie, and a net? Badminton
  8. According to the song, if you “take me out to the ball game,” what will you buy me? Peanuts and Cracker Jacks
  9. What is the birth flower of June? Rose
  10. If you plan a June vacation to the Grand Canyon, where will you go? Arizona

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

“And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days.” ~ James Russell Lowell in The Vision of Sir Launfal

“PICTURE-PERFECT JUNE” written by Sue Hansen. © 2013 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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