Happy New Year! What big plans do you have for the dawning of a new decade? A lot of blank squares fill the calendar, blanks just waiting to be filled with family activities and fun. Be intentional this year to make lots and lots of memories with the ones you love.
Start a unique family hobby, find new parks to visit, start planning the summer vacation, watch old movies together, volunteer together as a family, try a new recipe each week, dance in the den and camp in the forest. Try out some of the fun holidays below, create some of your own, and make every day worth celebrating with the ones you love.
➤ Whipped Cream Day — Celebrate the day with artwork using Cool Whip tinted with food coloring. Finger paint on waxed paper or a used shower curtain liner. End the winter day with a cup of hot cocoa topped with whipped cream.
➤ Apple Tree Day — Have fun with this holiday and cook up a batch of homemade applesauce. Peel and slice 3 pounds of red apples. Place the apple slices in a crock pot. In a separate bowl, stir together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and stir until the apples are well-coated. Add 1/2 cup water to the crock pot. Cover and cook on high heat for four hours.
At the end of the four hours, use a potato masher and then a whisk to soften and smooth the applesauce mixture. Snack on the applesauce while warm, and store leftovers in the refrigerator.
While the applesauce is cooking, read some fun books about apples, like, "Ten Apples Up On Top!" by Dr. Seuss; "Apples, Apples Everywhere!" by Robin Koontz; "Apples: by Gail Gibbons; "Applesauce Day" by Lisa Amstutz; and "Apple Trees and the Seasons" by Julie Lundgren.
➤ Penguin Awareness Day — Create a colony of penguins with this fun family craft. Spread out a large sheet or white art paper or freezer paper. Let each person in the family take turns stepping into a shallow pan of black, washable paint with one bare foot and pressing the footprint onto the paper, toes pointed down for the feet of the penguin. Place and lift carefully so as not to smear the print.
When the paint is dry, let each person glue onto the heal of the print two wiggle eyes and an orange construction paper triangle to represent the face. Cut out a white construction paper oval and glue into place for the penguin belly. Lots of penguin books are available for kids. Check out and read some of the fun books like, "Tacky the Penguin" by Helen Laster or the chapter book, "Mr. Popper’s Penguins" by Florence and Richard Atwater.
➤ Squirrel Appreciation Day — Go for a family walk on a warm afternoon or bundle up and head out on a cold afternoon. Hike with the intention of searching for squirrels. Watch the scampering rodents search for acorns or show off their agility in the treetops. How many squirrels did you see by the end of the trek?
➤ Compliment Day — Though this holiday should be celebrated and implemented more often than one day a year, take the opportunity to be intentional with compliments for everyone in the family. Try to give five compliments per family member by the end of the day and make a mental note to compliment those you love regularly.
Though the confetti is cleaned up and swept away, find something fun to celebrate with each new day of 2020. Make lots of memories with the ones you love this year, and fill January days with fun and adventure.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender celebrates with husband David and children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.