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Bring in spring with kites, walks and butterflies
Fun with the Family
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

The old saying about March winds, “In like a lion and out like a lamb,” or the opposite, “In like a lamb and out like a lion” indicate the month will be rife with breezy days, one way or the other. 

Whatever the weather, let the winds of change that blew in a new month give you ample opportunity to make memories with those you love. Incorporate some of the silly, but actual holidays below into your family schedule and make it a merry month of March! 

Take a Walk In the Park Day — With the official launch of spring later this month, take advantage of pleasant temperatures to get outside with the family. Visit local parks for treks, nearby parks for hikes, and start planning now to take in a few new parks sometime this month. Watch for the changing of the seasons as you hike and snap photos on a cell phone of wildlife that you encounter. See how many animals you spot along the walk, but spend some time walking silently and just listening for wildlife in the area. Consider keeping a log of your steps for each park this month and tally the number at the end of the month.

Fence Day ­­— Look for the chapter book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" to read together, one chapter at a time. Then make this craft together as a family to use as placeholders at the dining room table. Have each person lay four wooden craft sticks vertically. Glue two wooden craft sticks horizontally across the vertical ones to form a fence design. Once the glue has dried completely, paint the fence white. When that paint dries, glue on some craft foam decorations to the fence. Be sure to sign your name with a black marker on the bottom, horizontal craft stick. Use a dab of modeling clay or dough pressed into the bottom of each vertical craft stick to allow the “fence” to stand up. Then place each one at the proper place at the dining room table to use as placeholders. 

  ➤ Spinach Day  — Work together in the kitchen to make this warm spinach dip. Thaw a 10-ounce package of frozen, chopped spinach. Squeeze the excess water from the thawed spinach. Set spinach aside. Soften one package of cream cheese until room temperature. Stir in 1 cup of ranch dressing. Add the squeezed, drained spinach, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup chopped, rotisserie chicken breast meat. Stir all of the ingredients until well blended. Place mixture in a 6-cup baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with crackers or raw vegetables. Enjoy!

Learn About Butterflies Day — Spring on the horizon means butterflies will soon be prominently visible around vegetation and flitting about. Check out books from the library and research online to find out some plants that might entice even more butterflies to visit your home. Then look for some of those particular shrubs to purchase and plant them at home, preferably near a window so you can peek at the butterflies throughout spring. Learn to recognize the common butterflies in your area and have fun identifying them as you spot them in just a few weeks or more.

Napping Day — Read books together aloud sometime during the day other than nighttime bedtime. After you’ve read a lot of books together, then take a family nap with pillows on the floor or inside a tent made with sheets thrown over some chairs. Look for some of these books to read aloud: "I Am Not Sleepy" by Markita Staples-Green, "No More Naps" by Chris Grabenstein, or "The Napping House" by Audrey Wood. 

Make March a magnificent month of celebration and merriment with the family. Pick out fun activities that will make a mountain of memories with the kids. Fly kites. Make a spring diary by journaling the signs of spring you spot as well as the day those signs of spring appear. Take the pets in for their spring haircut. Play with parachute toys on a breezy day. Find any activity that includes the promise of wonderful memories made with the kids. Enjoy each new day in March, and make it a great month!  

Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender loves encouraging families to make memories filled with love and fun. She compiled 365 of those suggestions into a book, called "365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories," available where books are sold.

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