The beauty of springtime pleases the senses as April moves in with great fanfare. Blossoms in every shade and color invite a second glance and tease the nostrils (though we won’t talk about what the springtime pollen does to those same nostrils). The sounds of birds chirping in the mornings and frogs singing in the evenings delights hearers with their sometimes cacophony of notes. And the taste of early wares from the farmers’ fields causes the palate to anticipate future offerings from the market.
Celebrate every day; choose some of the celebrations below or create unique family festivities of your own.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day — Get creative with today’s celebration. Offer a variety of cheeses and different types of bread. Work together in the kitchen to create new grilled cheese sandwiches and cut each sandwich into four or more pieces so that each person in the family can sample the selections. Which cheese did your family like best?
Carrot Day — Make "carrot" treat bags for someone special by filling cake-decorating, disposable clear bags with some type of cheese doodles or crunchy cheese ball snack. Seal the top of the triangular-shaped bag closed with a piece of green ribbon. After preparing the treat bags to give away, use real carrots to paint an abstract masterpiece. Slice the top, larger end of a carrot into several pieces. Use the smaller end like a paintbrush. Dip the cut pieces into various colors of paint to print on a large sheet of construction paper and dip the tip of the "paintbrush’" piece of the carrot into paint to paint on the paper, too.
Read a Road Map Day — With GPS apps readily available on devices these days, many kids (and young adults) have never followed a paper map before. Locate a map of a local trail and take a family walk following the map. Or, plan a weekend adventure and let the kids direct you by following a road map only — no devices allowed.
National Animal Crackers and Zoo Lover’s Day — Combine these two festivities and begin the celebration by reading some zoo books from the library. Read some all-time favorites and classics, like, "If I Ran the Zoo," "Put Me In the Zoo," "Good Night, Gorilla" and "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?"
Then make an edible zoo for fun using such items as animal crackers, stick pretzels, graham crackers, colored cream cheese or frosting for a base. Spread a layer of green or brown frosting or cream cheese onto a cakeboard for a base, then stand the animal crackers in the base and use the pretzels and graham crackers to build zoo pens around the animals.
Sky Awareness Week — Decide to make this an ongoing celebration this month and be deliberate with sky observations throughout the month. Check out the sky during the day on a number of occasions. Do you see cirrus clouds, cumulus ones or stratus clouds? On a breezy and particularly cloudy day, lie on a blanket and watch the clouds. Use your imagination to ‘see’ pictures or objects formed by the clouds.
And on a clear night, lie on the blanket again and watch the stars twinkling. See how many constellations you can find and hope for a falling star to wish upon.
Make every day a holiday this April. Find something to treasure and celebrate each day with those you love. Create lasting memories and unique experiences that your family will remember long after 30 April days have passed.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.