The month of love just got a little lovelier on the calendar with the addition of an extra day this year. Leap into all sorts of ways this month to convey love to your family with fun activities and memory-making opportunities. Make warm memories during the cool days of February with some of the wacky, but real, holiday ideas below or create unique ones that fit your family perfectly! But whatever you do, share love to those around you!
➤ Great American Pie Month — Create this delightful chocolate chip cookie pie with the family for dessert. Melt 1 cup of butter and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, beat two eggs until frothy. Add 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Beat with mixer until well-blended. Blend in cooled, melted butter. Add 1 cup of miniature semi-sweetened chocolate chips. Pour into a deep-dish, uncooked pie shell and bake for one hour.
➤ National Bird Feeding Month — Work together to make this bird feeder for the back yard. Punch four holes near the edge of a paper plate, at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 marks if viewing the plate as a clock. Place the plate inside a wicker paper plate holder, found at most dollar stores. Cut four 18-inch length pieces of sturdy twine. Tie a knot in one end of each piece. Thread the unknotted end through the bottom of the wicker holder and through each hole. Pull until the knot is touching the bottom of the wicker paper plate holder. Gather the four unknotted ends and tie together in a tight knot. This serves as the hanger for the bird feeder. Work on a flat surface and spread peanut butter over the paper plate with a spatula and then sprinkle wild bird seed over the peanut butter, pressing in gently with the palm of the hand or fingertips. Hang the feeder outside on a low-hanging limb. Spend some bird-watching time outside as a family over the next couple of days and try to identify the winged visitors.
➤ Valentines Day — Let each person in the family draw large hearts on construction paper in a variety of valentine-like colors. Cut out the hearts and write love notes to family members on the hearts. Also, pick "points" to write on each heart, like 1, 2, 5, 10 or 20. Use masking or painters tape to stick the hearts to the floor in a large, open room. Then take turns tossing bean bags or rolled up socks onto the floor, attempting to land the bean bags or socks onto a heart. Tally up the points for each person for bean bags or socks that touch a heart and decide on a winner. Let the winner pick a valentine dessert treat for the family to share!
➤ Random Acts of Kindness Week — The name of this holiday is self-explanatory, but should be encouraged way-longer than a week! Work on kindness acts throughout the whole month and start an attitude of kindness for every day. Brainstorm as a family some things to do that would show kindness to family members, neighbors, friends, schoolmates, church friends or total strangers. Plan to accomplish lots of the ideas this month together as a family, and encourage each family member to do some of the suggestions individually, too.
➤ Library Lovers Month — Take a family field trip to the library and pick out a new chapter book to read together. Start the first chapter in a cozy spot in the library and then complete the book by reading a chapter each night at home.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender celebrates with husband David and children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.