Another month blew right off the calendar when we weren’t looking and spring hopped onto the page. Make the most of a new month with lots of family time. Get outdoors and look for signs of new life bursting forth. Crisp new buds and shoots on trees and shrubbery. Pastels popping out to say hello on plants and flowers. Baby bunnies, tiny toads, fluffy kittens. And butterflies flitting about. Find all the gorgeous signs of spring each time you venture outside. Celebrate Easter with family and give praise for the Risen One. Make memories to treasure for a lifetime with the ones you love most.
And while you’re celebrating, add in some of these silly celebrations below and create a few unique family ones, too.
➤ International Guitar Month — Find some time this month to listen to guitar music in various genres and celebrate accomplished guitarist. Read some of these books to add to the festivities. “Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes” by Eric Litwin and James Dean; “Wild Symphony” by Dan Brown; “Little Rosetta and the Taking Guitar” by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow; and “This Magical, Musical Night” by Rhonda Gowler Greene.
➤ Car Care Month — When’s the last time you gave your car a good bath? Take time to wash off another layer of pollen with a family car wash day. Spend time together cleaning the inside of the car and then squirting and sudsing the outside of the vehicle.
Then, for an added bonus of fun, treat someone you know who isn’t capable of washing their vehicle to a clean car. Either with a gift certificate to a carwash or borrow their car briefly, take it to your house and give it a good shine before returning it.
➤ Library Snapshot Month — Make a point to visit the library several times this month. Take a selfie in several sections of the library with a new book you plan to check out. Try out some nonfiction, early readers, picture books, kids’ magazines, graphic novels, early chapter books, rhyming books, poetry, biographies and many more. Take a snapshot in each section with a new book or magazine to read. Check out some to take home each time, and read a few in a comfy chair before leaving the building. Make sure to thank a librarian before you leave!
➤ World Hula Week — Try your hand at hula dancing. Before you watch videos to learn the techniques, make a hula skirt to wear for the celebration. To make two grass skirts, you’ll need two plastic rectangular tablecloths of different colors, preferably two shades of green or green and one other color. Cut each tablecloth in half. Working with one piece at a time, fold it horizontally. With the folded edge at the top, fold it vertically a couple of times until you have about eight inches to work with. Starting from the unfolded end, cut two-inch wide strips into the tablecloth, stopping with six inches left from the folded edge.
Once you’ve made all the cuts, unfold the vertical folds, but leave the horizontal fold. Follow the same instructions for the other pieces of tablecloth. When all four pieces are cut, lay one cut piece on top of another piece, mixing colors, to have two grass skirts. Carefully fold the uncut edge over three inches, then another three inches to form a thick waistband. Use hot glue to seal the fold closed. Measure the grass skirt around the wearer and cut off excess.
Attach stick-on Velcro circles or strips to each side of the skirt to help secure it around each wearer’s waist. When the grass skirts are ready to wear, watch some hula tutorials online to get the hang of the motions and movements. Then, find some Hawaiian music online, and try out a dance!
➤ National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day — Celebrate this sweet holiday with a cookie recipe for the family to enjoy baking and eating while working together in the kitchen. In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside while mixing the other ingredients.
In a different large bowl, blend 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1 cup peanut butter until cream. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar, blending until smooth. Add 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, beating well after each addition.
Add the flour mixture slowly and beat just until combined. Form balls of dough, about 1 1/2 tablespoons in size, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Use your index finger to press a hole into each ball of dough. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of grape jelly into each hole. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Cool a few minutes on the pan, and then cool completely on a cookie rack. Just before snacking, dust lightly with powdered sugar shaken on top with a small strainer.
Look for signs of new life and springtime everywhere you go this month. Enjoy a traditional or unique egg hunt with the family and dress in your finest duds for church on Sunday. Give thanks for family, friends, beautiful weather, new life, and a Risen Savior. Happy Easter, y’all!
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender loves encouraging families to make memories filled with love and fun. She is the author of “365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories” and “Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime.”