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Make cool memories on hot summer days
Fun with the Family
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

Today marks the halfway point of our trip around the sun for the year 2022. What has the first half of the year looked like for your family? Have you made a lot of fun memories to cherish thus far? Never fear — you’ve got the same amount of time ahead of you as behind you, so make plans to create lasting memories with those you love.

Cool off with ice cream or popsicles while you reminisce about favorite memories of the last six months. Include lots of water activities this summer on hot, steamy days. Water balloons, sprinkler fun, trips to the lake or ocean, or an afternoon at the water park. Read chapter books on the back porch and watch old movies in front of the fan. Plan and execute cool memories to take with you into the next half of the year. 

Try out some of these zany, but actual, holidays to liven the festivities this month, and create some unique family ones, too. 

➤ Garlic Days — Try out this creamy, cheesy dip recipe to accompany the menu with breadsticks or to add as a topping to French fries.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and heat for two minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and sauté, stirring constantly for one minute. Add 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour and cook for one minute, stirring. Add 1 cup of milk and stir. As the sauce thickens, stir in another cup of milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and heat gently for three to four minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add 3 cups of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup at a time, and stir. Add 3 ounces of softened cream cheese and stir until melted. Serve with bread for dipping or potatoes as a topping.

➤ Mechanical Pencil Day — Give each person in the family a brand new mechanical pencil, preferably sporting their favorite color. Have each person pick a family member or friend who doesn’t live close by and write a letter to that person, catching up on all that’s happened so far in 2022. Seal the letters in envelopes and address the outside. Add a stamp to each one and take a family field trip to the post office to drop them in the box. Then, go out for ice cream to celebrate the holiday just below!

➤ Cow Appreciation Day — Make a fun craft of cow faces for each family member. Stretch out a strip of freezer paper on the floor with enough space for each person to have a spot to work. Give each person a white paper plate to glue in place on the freezer paper. Let each person add eyes with a marker to the plate. Have each person cut one or two cow “spots” from black or brown construction paper and glue them onto the face. Add a pink construction paper nose to each one and brown ears. Once the glue dries, display the udderly-artistic masterpiece and snack on milk and cookies. 

  ➤ Paper Bag Day — Locate a large paper bag or two and let the kids decorate the outside of the bag with markers or crayons. Sign the outside of the bag with each family member’s name (or choose to stay anonymous). Fill the bag with fresh vegetables purchased at a local farmer’s market and deliver the summer veggies to a neighbor, new mom, single mom, or senior friend that you know who might need a special treat. 

➤ Tape Measure Day — Create an indoor scavenger hunt for entertainment on a hot afternoon or evening. Write a few instructions on a page, like, “Find something that's ten inches” or “Find something that’s 23 inches.” Write five or seven instructions, depending on how long you want the game to last. Then give each person or a pair of people a tape measure, and then send them on their way to find objects in the house that meet the criteria of the list. Have the teams or individuals write down their answers for each entry and see who can fill out the form first. 

Summer is a great time to create new, unique, fun, adventurous memories with family members. Make use of all the extra daylight hours and no homework and make memories to treasure for a lifetime. Stay cool, be cool, and make cool memories! 

Statesboro native Julie Lavender is the author of "Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime" and "365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories" and loves to make memories with her family. 

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