One must wonder why the calendar month dedicated to love and mushy sentiments, hearts, candy, chocolate and romance has the fewest days of any month. Remedy that colossal calendar calamity with extra-special quality time with those you love this month. Plan strategically to incorporate much fun and celebration, using the holidays below, or create a few of your own to cherish with the family during the month of February.
National Weatherman's Day - What are the chances Punxsutawney Phil or General Beauregard Lee accurately predicted the arrival of springtime? Only time will tell, but while anticipating the delight of spring, learn some weather predicting of your own. Study online the types of clouds and what each cloud formation says about upcoming weather phenomena. Have some fun with cotton balls and blue construction paper: pull gently and stretch cotton balls to form various types of clouds. Glue the clouds onto construction paper and label the cloud formation. Using the craft pages as reference, tune into a weather update online or on a television station. Watch as a family the predictions for the day, then compare the cloud pictures you made with the sky outside. Do they match? Will the weatherman's predictions for the day come true?
National Tortilla Chip Day - Celebrate this day with a homemade salad bar. Let each person prepare his or her salad, choosing from a selection of lettuce or other greens, cheeses, raw vegetables, nuts, raisins, deli meat and dried fruit pieces. Let each person place a small handful of tortilla chips in a re-sealable bag. Encourage each person to seal the bag, then crush the chips into fine pieces. Open the bag and sprinkle atop the salad just before drizzling with a favorite dressing. Enjoy!
Valentine's Day - If your children are old enough to play with balloons without causing a choking hazard, play some balloon games to celebrate the holiday of love. Purchase red and pink balloons. Inflate a balloon for each person and tie the end closed. Give each person an empty paper towel cardboard tube or a wooden spoon. Play the game in a room with lots of open space. On ‘go,' each person bops his or her balloon into the air and then must keep the balloon in the air by bopping it with the paper towel tube or wooden spoon. The person keeping the balloon in the air the longest, without touching the floor, is the winner.
For another active game, choose partners and use one balloon for each pair. One person bops the balloon to his or her partner and the partner must catch the balloon before it touches the floor. For a final balloon game, each player assumes a ‘crab race' position - hands and feet on the floor with tummy facing up - and holds a balloon between his or her knees. On ‘go,' contestants race across the floor to a pre-marked finish line without dropping the Valentine-colored balloon. A lost balloon sends the contestant back to the starting line. The first person to cross the finish line is the winner. After completing the balloon relays, snack on sandwiches fashioned into heart shapes using a cookie cutter and made with peanut butter and strawberry jam.
Pay a Compliment Day - Celebrate this holiday for more than one day this month. Attempt to pay a compliment to each family member every day of the month. Vary the method of compliment delivery - write notes, send texts, draw pictures, sing a silly ditty or use words in person. Remind each person, through compliments, of the many reasons you think he or she is special to the family.
National Tell a Fairy Tale Day - Check out a compilation of Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales from the local library to have handy for this event. Gather everyone in the den to celebrate the holiday. Take turns acting out a favorite fairy tale; use only actions or motions, no words. The person who guesses the enacted fairy tale first gets to take a turn sharing a different fairy tale. Once everyone has taken a turn with their charade attempt, read a couple of fairy tales from the library book before turning in for the night.
Roses are red; cherries are too. Write Valentine riddles that say ‘I love you!'
Share lots and lots of love and fun times throughout the month of February. Make warm memories for the cold days, cool ones when the temperature soars, snuggly memories for the rainy days and soothing ones to weather anything that comes your way. Until next month...
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.