The month of August generally welcomes annual back to school sightings, like bright yellow, unsharpened pencils stacked on store endcaps and even brighter yellow school buses zipping down the road. And, school clothes and uniforms marked down with special discounts. And lunchboxes with iconic characters teasing from the store shelves.
Unfortunately, the unwelcomed and ever-prevalent virus brings about additional back t school restrictions and changes. Even though life looks differently right now, we can still find much to be grateful for and lots to celebrate. Choose some of the holidays below to create lasting memories with those you love or create unique family ones of your own.
➤ National Bow Tie Day — If you have a bow tie, be sure to sport it on this holiday. To add to the celebration, use bow tie pasta to create a delicious mac and cheese recipe. Work together in the kitchen to prepare this recipe: bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook 8 ounces of bow tie pasta according to the package directions; drain and set aside. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir using a whisk until smooth, about five minutes. Slowly pour 2 cups of milk into the butter and flour mixture; stir continuously until mixture is smooth and bubbling. This will take about five minutes. Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese to the mixture and stir until cheese is melted. Fold the cooked bow tie pasta into the cheese sauce and stir lightly until pasta is coated completely.
➤ International Bat Day — Create a fun craft to celebrate the day. Working on a covered table, paint an empty toilet paper roll with black paint. Let dry completely. Cut a sheet of black construction paper in half to have a piece approximately eight-and-a-half inches by five-and-a-half inches. Fold the paper, accordion style, so that each strip is around one-half inch in width and eight-and-a-half inches in length. Staple the sheet in the middle, to keep it folded, then unfold each end to give the appearance of two wings. Glue the stapled area onto the toilet paper tube, about one-third of the way from the top. Glue on triangular-shaped, black construction paper ears and circular-shaped, white construction paper eyes.
➤ Pony Express Day — Keep the kiddos’ brains working with a bit of history lesson to celebrate this holiday. Find information online about the history of the Pony Express and check out books from the library with additional information. Use a map to find the route that riders took to accomplish the task.
➤ National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day — Clean out the dresser drawers and closets in preparation for a new school year. Set aside outgrown clothing and share the gently-used items with others in need by donating to a thrift shop, church clothing pantry or other non-profit organization.
➤ National Water Balloon Day — Don’t let the summer slip away without one more water balloon day on a warm, sunny afternoon. Fill balloons and toss at each other or at targets in the back yard to see who has the best aim.
For those meant to burst easily, fill the balloon to capacity. Also fill a healthy portion of balloons with less water, not to capacity, and these balloons won’t burst easily and can be used for relay games or basket tosses.
Enjoy August with family fun activities and make the most of every day. Look for fun activities to enjoy the lingering days of summer and spend as much time outside as possible. Create lasting memories with loved ones and make every day a holiday.
Statesboro native and author of the forthcoming "365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories," Julie Lavender enjoys making memories with hubby, David, four grown kids, one son-in-love, and one precious grandson. She shares memory-making ideas to celebrate with kids on her Facebook page, 365 Ways to Love Your Child, and would love to connect with you there.