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Fun with the Family - Julie Lavender
Bring on that summer fun with the family
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

The official opening of summer begins in a few short weeks. What summer fun do you have in mind for the family? Plan lots of water activities and outdoor fun. Binge-read several chapter book series together as a family. Plan outdoor picnics. Try out new recipes. Pretend to be a tourist and find new sights to see downtown or close by. Take a much-needed vacation. 

Find some really cool ways to make a ton of family memories this month and throughout the summer. Enjoy every day with the family and be sure to include some of the zany, but actual, holidays below. 

International Mud Month — After a summer shower, pull on galoshes and head outside with plastic digging utensils or small garden tools and play in the mud. Add small washable animal toys to the mix and let the imaginations soar. Once you’re back inside and all cleaned up, mix up a package of chocolate pudding by following the directions on the package. 

While the pudding is chilling, let the children make “dirt” with Oreo cookies. Have the kids place the cookies in a resealable bag. Let them crush the cookies using a rolling pin to press and roll and crumble the cookies. Then spoon some “mud,” i.e., pudding, into a cup, and sprinkle “dirt,” i.e. crushed cookies, on top. Enjoy a mud dessert to celebrate the day!

National Pollinator Month — Bee thankful for the pollinators of the world and your show your appreciation with a fun bee craft. Start with a yellow disposable plate. Let the kids cut strips of black construction paper to add stripes to the “bee” plate. Glue three or four stripes horizontally through the mid section of the plate. Glue on large plastic eyes above the stripes. Glue a construction paper, triangular-shaped “stinger” near the bottom of the plate. Add black construction paper antennae on top and two white wing-shapes on each side of the bee. Watch for pollinators while taking summertime walks outside. Look for bees, butterflies, moths, flies, and other insects and even hummingbirds! 

International Clothesline Week — Find a place in the kids’ rooms to stretch out a length of string to form a clothesline. Place small clothespins on the string. Hang the kids’ craft pictures on the clothesline throughout the summer. Also add some family photos to the clothesline. Sneak in several times a week to pin a lovenote on the clothesline. 

Change out the notes periodically and leave blank pieces on the clothesline as a hint to encourage the kids to write you a lovenote, too!

Flip a Coin Day — Teach the kids to flip a coin. Show them how to place a penny on their thumbnail, with the thumb tucked slightly under the pointer finger. Teach them to snap the thumb up and away from the pointer finger, to flip the coin into the air. See which side the coin lands on, heads or tails. Once the kids learn how to flip their coin, play several rounds of guessing which side the coin will land on. Who gets the most right answers? 

National Black Bear Day — Read lots of books with bear characters. Choose from these and add more to the reading collection, too. "Read, Corduroy" by Don Freeman; "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin Jr.; "Polar Bear, Polar Bear" by Bill Martin Jr.; "Winnie the Pooh" by A. A. Milne; "We’re Going On a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen; "Blueberries for Sal" by Robert McCloskey; "The Bear Ate Your Sandwich" by Julia Sarcone-Roach and "Paddington Bear" by Michael Bond.    

Plan to enjoy every minute of the summer with the family. Find unique ways to make a memory and revisit familiar memory-making, warm weather events, too. Collect a treasury of happiness this month that will make this the best summer ever for those you love. 

Statesboro native Julie Lavender, author of "365 Ways to Love Your Kids: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories" plans to make lots of summertime memories with family this month.  

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