Welcome, June! Summer fun has arrived, but unfortunately, blazing summer temperatures have as well. Be intentional to make cool memories with the family that will warm your heart long into cooler days — those cool days that we’ll long for about halfway through the summer! Make every day a holiday with unique family celebrations and incorporate the weird, but wacky holidays below into the family festivities.
➤ Candy Month — Work together in the kitchen to make a chocolate chip cookie pizza dessert. Press a 16-and-a-half ounce tube of refrigerated cookie dough in a greased 12-inch round pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, until golden brown. While the cookie is baking, crumble and cut up favorite chocolate candy bars and line up other candy-coated chocolate or peanut butter pieces and sprinkles.
Remove the cookie from the oven when done and use a table knife to make indentions for pie-shaped slices. Let each person pick a pie slice and sprinkle candy on top. Place the cookie back in the oven for one to two minutes, just long enough to soften the candies. Remove the dessert from the oven and cool. Then enjoy dessert with a small scoop of ice cream or whipped cream on top, because, after all, June is also Dairy Month.
➤ Dairy Month — Throughout the month, snack on a variety of cheeses, especially types that you’ve never tried, and try new flavors of yogurt, too. And drink lots of tall glasses of cold milk! Read cow books like "Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type," "The Story of Ferdinand," "The Fed-up Cow," "Cows on the Farm" or "The Milk Makers."
➤ National Rivers Month — Make a recipe of salt dough to use for a river, craft-making project. Place these ingredients in a large bowl: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar. Use your hands to squish and mix together until a dough forms.
Spread the dough onto a piece of cardboard or the bottom of a shoebox. Rather than pressing the dough smoothly, be sure to add waves and ripples and rapids to the river. Paint the dough blue, and before the dough hardens completely, add fish-shaped, pressed candy pieces into the “river” dough, with fish faces sticking up above the water.
➤ National Pen Pal Day — Pick a school friend or cousin in another state or friend that’s moved away and write letters on hand-decorated stationary or paper. Drive to the post office and drop the letters in the mail and ask the letter recipient to join you in a pen pal writing adventure over the summer months.
➤ World Productivity Day — Before celebrating this odd holiday, make a list of summer projects that your family wants to tackle, like cleaning out a cluttered closet, sorting through toys to find unplayed-with ones, clearing flower beds and planting new summer flowers, cleaning out the garage or other large, time-consuming projects. Use more than one day this month to work productively as a family and mark the items off your list. Donate gently used, but no longer needed items to local nonprofit places of business so that others can enjoy your beloved treasures.
June is shaping up to be a stifling hot way to start the summer, but don’t let that hinder the family fun adventures. Plan to get outside early in the morning and later in the evening to enjoy the outdoors; make cool snack and salad and punch recipes to partake of, play in sprinklers on hot afternoons, read books on the couch during the hottest part of the day and make lots of memories with the ones you love during the month of June.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.