The beginning of July marks the official halfway point of the year. How many memory-making events took place with your family during the first six months of 2018? Lots and lots, hopefully. Big adventures, small adventures and every size of fun in-between. Start planning now for the second half of the year, with loads of activities to treasure for months to come. For the exceptionally hot days of July, try some of these cool activities or make up a few celebrations of your own.
➤ All American Pet Photo Day — Take the family pet on an adventure. No family pet? Then have the kids pick out a favorite stuffed animal for the celebration. Explore the back yard or go for a walk on a new trail or take a field trip to a pet-friendly store. Take photographs and selfies along the way with various family members and the family pet.
➤ World Snake Day — Thisssss one isn’t a favorite day to celebrate for many, but even if you dislike the slithering creatures, study them from afar and learn to appreciate their beauty and benefits. Learn about the snakes in Georgia by reading about them in encyclopedias or online. Did you know there is no such thing as a poisonous snake? Technically, the dangerous snakes are called "venomous" snakes, not "poisonous" snakes. Poison and venom are not interchangeable nouns. Learn the difference while researching the snake population in Georgia. Then create a fun craft by rolling clay into a snake shape. Shape one end to resemble the head of the snake. Pinch the clay to form eyes, nostrils and a mouth. Then paint the clay snake to look like one of the snakes you researched.
➤ Drive-Thru Day — Plan a family picnic and pick up the snacks at a restaurant with a drive-thru window. As an additional treat for the celebration, pay for the person in the drive-thru line behind you. You’ll make someone’s day by that special favor!
➤ World Jump Day — Have a marathon jumping afternoon to honor this holiday. Be sure to have plenty of drinking water handy for the celebration and consider ending the festivities with playtime in an outside sprinkler or swimming pool. Take turns jumping rope to see who can jump the longest without snagging the rope. Place objects in the grass and have a jumping obstacle course. Jump backwards to a finish line. Link arms with a partner, like square dancers do, and jump to a finish line — it’s amazing how difficult it is to jump without using the arms!
➤ Baked Bean Month — Celebrate baked bean month with a baked bean buffet. Gather the family in the kitchen to prepare the buffet. Open a can of baked beans and heat in the oven according to instructions on the can. While the beans are cooking, prepare the buffet items. Brown small amounts of ground beef and sausage and place in serving bowls. Steam wieners or sausage links until completely cooked, and slice into small pieces when cooled. Place favorite shredded cheeses, like cheddar and Parmesan cheese in serving bowls, and offer bacon bits, too. Sauté small bits of onion and green pepper together. Warm and simmer a small can of crushed pineapple. Once the beans are cooked, let each family member dish up a small bowl of beans and then add ingredients from the buffet for a one-bowl dinner night.
Enjoy fresh vegetables and summertime fruits in the month of July. Watch fireworks and dress in red, white and blue clothing. Jump in a few puddles and make homemade ice cream. Find cool, refreshing ways to enjoy the heat of the summer with those you love and make the most of July days.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.