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Fun with the family by Julie Lavender
Shower your family with April activities
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    Let the rains begin ... well, at least showers of activities with those you love. Welcome April and the signs of spring by taking a walk to admire the beauty and fragrance that only comes this time of year.
    Have you noticed all the colors of azaleas? Have you taken a whiff of the lavender-colored wisteria?
    Have you looked closely at a dogwood blossom? Who has the greenest grass in the neighborhood?
    Try to ignore the pollen and instead breathe in the beauty that surrounds you this month. Then, include your family in a few of these wild and crazy celebrations.  
    - High Five Day – Try to give high-fives to at least five people today. Sometime during the day, have each person trace his handprint onto poster board. Leave the poster on the table and encourage each person to write accolades under family members’ handprints. Share the results at the end of the day.  
    - National Garden Month – Spend an afternoon visiting local nurseries or garden centers as a family and choose various colors of flowers to plant for a flower garden. Let each person choose their favorite color to enhance the yard, then work together to plant the flowers. Help younger children make a flower craft by gluing unpopped popcorn kernels or sunflower seeds in the middle of a colored cupcake liner. Then glue that liner onto a flattened cupcake liner of another color. Glue the resulting flower blossom near the top of a white sheet of construction paper and use markers to add a stem and leaves.  
    - Eraser Day – Purchase a large pack of pencil erasers to enjoy for this day’s celebration. Hide the erasers in the house for the children to find, like a belated Easter egg hunt. Try an eraser-and-spoon relay. Turn a large spoon over and balance the eraser on the top. Then have two people race to the finish line to see who can get there first without spilling the eraser. Also, try standing over a plastic cup and see how many erasers you can drop into the cup. Or, toss erasers at a bucket to see who can get the most in the bucket.      
    - Straw Hat Month – Buy a straw hat for everyone in the family. Personalize each hat by weaving colored ribbons into the holes in the hat (put a safety pin in the end of the ribbon to act as a needle) or use fishing line to tie trinkets on the hat. Have a hat fashion show, then take a walk on a sunny day with your new spring hat.
    - Bedtime Story Month – Check out a new chapter book from the library for the family to read together. Curl up in the biggest bed in the house at bedtime and read a chapter or two. For the creative ones in the bunch, make up your own bedtime stories. Let one person start the story with two to three sentences. Let another family member add on a few more sentences; keep the story going until each person has had several chances and the story comes to a riveting ending. Then give hugs and kisses, say prayers, and curl up for a good night’s rest with sweet dreams of fun family times.
    Shower your family with activities and attention during April. Take time this month to watch your children grow – you’ll be glad you did.

    Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.
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