Whether March stirs with gentle breezes or wild winds, let the swaying trees and bouncing leaves be a reminder to have blow-out fun with the family this month. Blow bubbles in the breeze, fly a kite to the sky on a gusty day, lie on a blanket in the grass and watch the clouds make fun shapes and pictures, and toss parachute toys or paper airplanes into the air to chase across the yard. Find lots of ways to frolic and make merriment throughout the month of March with those you love. Add some of these festive and actual holidays to make extra memories with family.
➤ National Frozen Food Month — Make soup together on one of the cooler evenings this month with this simple recipe. Using a large pot, sauté 2 teaspoons of minced garlic just until fragrant in 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add 1 quart chicken broth, 1 cup heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste and 30 ounces of shredded hash browns. Bring to a boil, then reduce head to medium. Simmer until thickened, stirring frequently. When potatoes are softened, about 15 minutes of cooking, add 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Serve soup in bowls, topped with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and crumbled, cooked bacon.
➤ Mad For Plaid Month — Is anyone in your house mad for plaid? Pull out plaid articles of clothing and have a family fashion show. You can make it a silly event by switching clothes and letting the kids wear dad’s plaid shirt or mom’s plaid skirt. Let the kids have fun making a crafty plaid square by cutting a six-inch square from construction paper. Fold the square in half.
On the fold, measure and mark off each inch. Start cutting at the fold and make five slits, but stop cutting with one inch left on the other end.
When you unfold the square you’ll have a inch border surrounding the cut marks. In different colors of construction paper, cut strips 1/2 inch by six inches. Show the kids how to weave the strips into the slits, threading the strip through using over, under motions. With the next strip, thread going under, over.
Continue varying the over, under threading pattern until the square is filled in. Ta-da! A plaid construction paper square. To keep the fun going, make enough plaid squares to glue together like a quilt to hang as a wall decoration.
➤ Sing With Your Child Month — Turn up the radio and sing loudly with your kids this month. Or download a music app and create a playlist of your favorite songs and sing together on the front porch. Learn new songs in new genres or make up some of your own. Use a familiar tune, change the words, and create a unique family song. You might even make up a silly song and add motions to fit the words.
➤ Save a Spider Day — Learn to watch out for spiders when you’re outdoors this spring and into the summer. Be on the lookout for webs up high and down low and avoid wrecking a spider’s web while taking a family hike. Stop to peak into the web, at a safe distance, and look for the occupant. Appreciate their beauty, and then duck out of the way of the web.
Read some of these great spider books to celebrate the day: "National Geographic Readers: Spiders" by Laura Marsh; "All Things Spiders for Kids" by Animal Reads; "The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle; "Are You a Spider" by Judy Allen; "I’m Trying to Love Spiders" by Bethany Barton; "Pete the Cat and the Itsy Bitsy Spider" by James Dean, and one of my favorites, "Scutty! The Truth About Spiders" by Annette Whipple. And, don’t forget the chapter book, "Charlotte’s Web" by E.B. White.
➤ World Sparrow Day — To celebrate this one, take a field trip to the store as a family to purchase birdseed with sparrows in mind. Look for safflower seed, thistle seeds, cracked corn and sunflower seed to scatter in your front and back yard. Sparrows enjoy nibbling on the ground, and you’ll attract a host of these little guys in no time. Take some time to sit outside and watch the feathered friends dine on your offerings. Sometimes, you’ll have too many to count as they flit around searching for seeds to nibble on.
Look for sparrows elsewhere this month, too. Go for a walk in the woods or on a nature trail and search for sparrows and other birds. Listen first for their calls and songs and see if you can spot them on the ground or in nearby trees.
Hang on to your hats, because if you’re not careful, March will blow through the calendar before you can say leprechaun! Find plenty of ways to make family memories with outdoor adventures, inside fun, and everything in between. Make memories to treasure for a lifetime throughout the days of March and make every day a holiday with the ones you love.
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."