The calendar proclaims a few days of springtime remain, but temperatures, beach trips and no homework scream summertime. Be intentional with summer family fun to create memories that endure for a long time to come.
Try celebrating some of the following holidays, or make up a few of your own to enjoy during the warm days ahead.
Aquarium Month — Have you ever visited the Georgia Aquarium, the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga or the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston? How about the Bo Ginn Aquarium at Magnolia Springs? Plan an excursion to an aquarium during the month of June and snap pictures of undersea creatures. Afterward, use crayons to color fishies and other exotic underwater creations onto white construction paper. Then, paint over the drawings with blue watercolor paint to give the impression of an underwater photo.
National Accordion Awareness Month — Seriously, this is really a holiday! Go online to watch YouTube videos or a documentary on the Smithsonian Channel webpage about some really gifted accordion players. You’ll learn about the musical instrument and appreciate awesome talent, too.
World Sauntering Day — The dictionary defines the word “saunter” as “to go for a leisurely stroll” or “to walk in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort.” Take some time this month to do just that. Find a new hiking trail and saunter down the path, admiring the beauty surrounding you. Take in the Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern, walk around the university’s campus, stroll through downtown, or trek through a field in the country. Saunter, stroll, relax, and enjoy the company of family members.
Shopping Cart Birthday — Where in the world would we be without this invention? Do you know when it was patented? In case you need this info for “Jeopardy,” “What is 1937?” is the correct response.
Play a game in honor of the birthday of the shopping cart. Have someone in the family name a category from a grocery store, like soup, detergent, meat or cheese, for example. Then, in 30 seconds, each person should write as many items that fit into that category onto a piece of paper. The person with the most responses is the winner of that round. (For younger kids, choose simple categories, and have the kids take turns shouting out the answers.)
National Fudge Day — Make a batch of this yummy hot fudge and dip some strawberries, banana chunks or pecan halves to celebrate the occasion. In a small saucepan, combine 6 ounces evaporated milk, 1 cup miniature chocolate chips, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring, 1/2 stick butter and 1 cup powdered sugar. Stir and cook on medium to medium high until mixture boils. Continue stirring and boiling for 3 minutes. Let fudge cool before dipping.
Find fun ways to enjoy all of June: Celebrate flag day, honor dads and special gentlemen, chase fireflies in the early evening, run through sprinklers, eat fresh vegetables, watch for falling stars, attend a local church’s Vacation Bible School, read books together, dance to accordion music and make incredible, warm memories to add to your family’s collection.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.