Fun with the Family – Julie Lavender


Fierce, gusty winds blew the last day of March right off the calendar, and April trickled right in. Let’s hope the rain that accompanied the stormy weather washed away the pollen, too. March winds and April showers help usher in springtime, though, and brilliant blossoms show their appreciation. Watch for gorgeous displays of springtime with your family. Hunt every blossom and pastel color in your neighborhood and watch as greenery wakes up from its long winter’s nap. 

Enjoy the beauty of spring, incorporating fun adventures with those you love. Celebrate the season with some of the silly holidays below, and create unique family ones, too. Make memories to last a lifetime and enjoy the time together. 

Go Birding Day — Celebrate this holiday seems self-explanatory, but enjoy the festivities throughout the month, and not just for one day. Purchase a couple of bird guide books and check out the resources online. Study some of the birds that hang out in your neck of the woods this time of year. Make a chart of all the familiar birds, and the not-so-familiar ones, too. Take lots of walks this month and look for winged creatures with each trek. Keep a record of bird sightings and see which ones are the most populous this time of year. Try to spot each one on the list sometime this month. And take lots of pictures, too. 

International Macaroni Day — Have fun with a crafty, pasta collage. Purchase boxes of pasta in a variety of shapes. Pour dry pasta into a gallon bag, about 2/3 full. Prepare a different bag for each pasta shape. Add 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and several drops of food coloring into the bag. Seal the bag; then gently shake the bag so that all of the pasta is covered with coloring. 

Lay each bag flat and let them sit for 15 minutes. Line a large jellyroll pan with a piece of old cardboard and top that with paper towels. Pour out the contents of each bag, and spread the pasta. Let dry for a couple of hours. Using liguid glue, add the pasta shapes to construction paper to create a pasta collage or design.  

World Wish Day — If you could wish for anything in the world, what might that be? Talk with the family over mealtime and let each person share wishes and dreams. Guide the conversation to one of gratefulness for the tangible, and non-tangible blessings your family shares, despite “wishes” for more! 

Then talk about others who might be less fortunate or going through a challenging time and talk about what their wishes might be. Out of that discussion talk about how you can help someone’s wishes come true. Think of some of the great service organizations here in the Boro and talk about their wishes. You might even want to reach out with a phone call and ask about needs and wishes. 

For example, a recent Facebook post listed these needs and wishes for the homeless who are served at Open Hearts Commu-nity Mission: edging a small flower bed and cutting the grass, preparing Easter baskets for four children, donating plastic eggs and items to stuff in them for an Easter egg hunt, volunteer to lead Thursday night Bingo, prepare Saturday breakfast once a month, and become a mentor who will spend a little time with some of the residents. Hopefully, those ideas will stir the imagination for other wishes you can grant for the community. 

Hair Style Appreciation Day — Have you thought about a new hairstyle recently? Take turns styling a family member’s hair in a different way. Learn to appreciate all sorts of hairstyles, and read these books aloud to encourage that appreciation. “Crazy Hair Day” by Barney Saltzberg, “I Love My Curly Hair” by Kiara Wilson, “My Mystical, Magical, Shrinking Hair” by Sherry Y. Smith, “The Hair Book” by Graham Tether, “Claire Blair’s Unruly Hair” by Tara Cavoisie, “Spike: The Penguin With Rainbow Hair,” “Hair Love” by Matthew, “Hair Like Mine” by LaTishia M. Perry and “My Hair is Magic” by M. L. Marroquin.  

Oatmeal Cookie Day — Try out this recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies and share a delicious treat with the family. Mix together 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of margarine, 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix in 1 1/2cups of oatmeal. Add the combined dry ingredients to the margarine mixture and blend well. Stir in one package of chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.   

Enjoy every moment of springtime in the South. Take in all the sights and sounds and aromas of the season and make every day a holiday with the ones you love.

Statesboro native Julie Lavender, author of “365 Ways to Love Your Kids: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories” and “Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime” enjoys springtime in the Boro with family.  


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