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Fun with the family by Julie Lavender
Start summer off right in June
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    Recitals ... vacations ... sleeping in ... oh my! June is here in all its warmth and splendor! Have you a made a list of “fun things to do this summer”? Don’t hesitate – the days will speed by and you’ll wonder what happened to the long days of summer. Use those extra minutes of sunshine each day to create a summer your family will treasure. Start with some of these creative ideas for family fun.  
    American Rivers Month – Do you know where the Canoochee, Ogeechee, Ohoopee, and Savannah Rivers are? Have you picnicked at or fished in one or all of these great American Rivers? Help your children locate these rivers on a map, then visit at least one sometime this month. Take pictures, make a collage, and read a book from the library about a river, like, The Story About Ping or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
    Father’s Day – Make dad’s favorite meal, create homemade cards, rent daddy’s favorite movie, play dad’s favorite board game. Make Father’s Day special for that special someone. Make it a day he won’t forget or even a week he won’t forget. Remind him how much you care for him and appreciate him.   
    National Rose Month – Take the family to a garden center to purchase a rose bush for the yard. Check out how many beautiful shades of roses are available, and select a favor color to brighten your yard. Plant the bush, then enjoy roses for more than just a month!  
    National Candy Month and Gingerbread Day – Why save gingerbread houses for Christmas-time? Make a homemade gingerbread house (or use graham cracker squares “glued” around a small milk carton with frosting). After the frosting has hardened and the house is set, continue using frosting as glue to add candies all around your house. Snack on a few leftover pieces, but remember to brush your teeth afterwards!      
    National Pink Day – How many pink items can you find in your house? Around your yard? In your neighborhood? Go on a pink scavenger hunt. Take pictures with a digital camera or camera-phone. Wear pink all day. Drink strawberry milk and eat bagels with pink-tinted cream cheese.
    First Hot Air Balloon Flight Anniversary – If you’ve never taken a ride in a hot air balloon, go for a pretend flight with this balloon craft.
    (As always, never allow young children to play with balloons without adult supervision.)
    Inflate a balloon and tie enough fishing line around the knot to use later for hanging. Tape four pieces of yarn around the outside of the balloon; tie the other ends of the yarn pieces to the corners of a light-weight, small basket that can be found at a craft store. Hang the balloons from the ceiling. Lie on the floor underneath your hot-air balloon festival and talk about what you can see from your own balloon-ride.
    May your days be filled with celebrations, sunshine and special memories.
    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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