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Fun with the Family - Julie Lavender
Plan some cool family fun for the hot days of July
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

Can you believe that the year 2021 is halfway over? July 2 is the official half-way mark of the year. Which also means a new school year is right around the corner! 

Find fun ways to make summertime family memories throughout the month of July. Spend quality time and quantity time to make memories to last long after summer passes. 

Try some of the zany celebrations below and create some unique family ones, too! Stay cool and fun throughout the month of July.

➤ National Blueberry Month — Snack on blueberries throughout the month of July. Add blueberries to cereal in the morning, on top of ice cream for an afternoon snack, and with yogurt for a midnight snack. Freeze blueberries whole for a refreshing snack right out of the freezer or add frozen blueberries to lemonade to serve as iced chillers. 

To celebrate the day with a craft, create this project with the kids. On a large sheet of white construction paper, make a blueberry bush with handprints. Let each family member dip a hand in green paint and make a print on the paper in the shape of a blueberry bush. Allow the paint to dry. Then let each family member dip the pointer finger in blue paint to make fingerprint blueberries on the green bush. 

And, lastly for the celebration, find a copy of the Caldecott Honor book, "Blueberries for Sal" by Robert McCloskey. Enjoy the book together while snacking on blueberries!

➤ National Doghouse Repairs Month — If your doggie house needs repair, by all means, make the necessary renovation updates this month! 

If that’s not necessary — or in addition to the family project — create an edible doghouse using graham crackers and frosting. Using frosting to “glue” together four graham crackers in a square shape. Allow time for the frosting to harden, then attach two square graham crackers on top for a roof. 

Snack on extra crackers and frosting while reading some favorite dog books together. Read picture books like, "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy" by Mo Willems; Clifford books; Spot books; "Good Dog Carl" by Alexandra Day; "Harry the Dirty Dog" by Gene Zion; "Go, Dog, Go!" by  P.D. Eastman;  "The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog" by John R. Erickson; "Just Me and My Puppy" by Mercer Mayer; or the new nonfiction book about dogs just released, titled, "Woof! The Truth About Dogs" by Annette Whipple. 

And, if you’re looking for a doggie devotional for kids, check out "Puppy Dog Devotions: 75 Fun Fido Facts, Bible Truths, and More!" by Michelle Medlock Adams. 

➤ National Picnic Month — Now this one’s an easy holiday to plan for the month! See how many picnics you can execute over the month of July. Picnic in the back yard, front yard, front porch, and even on the den floor. Picnic on a blanket and have a feast at a picnic table. Picnic at the beach or on the side of a mountain sometime this month. Have a breakfast picnic, lunch picnic, dinner picnic, or late-night-snack picnic and gaze at the stars. Keep a photo collection of summer picnics by snapping selfies at every munching location. 

➤ National Make a Difference to Children Month — Donate back-to-school supplies to the YMCA to start off a child’s school year just right! Call for details and shop together as a family for the necessary supplies, then drop them off at the YMCA.

➤ World Jump Day — Play jumping games outside to see which family member has the best jumping skills. Have a jump rope contest or a jumping relay across the front yard. Make an obstacle course in the back yard with small items like balls or bean bags or paper plates. Have the kids take turns making their way through the obstacle course and jumping over each item as they run along the path. Jump to the mailbox together or jump in a puddle after a rain shower. 

Or, try to jump over puddles after a rainy afternoon without getting your feet wet! 

Find lots of cool activities to do as a family to chase away the heat of the summer. Get outdoors as much as possible, but stay hydrated while enjoying that outdoor time. 

Linger longer with summer activities, and make cool memories with the ones you love this month! Happy July!

Statesboro native Julie Lavender loves encouraging families to make each day a celebration and make family memories to treasure for a lifetime. She compiled lots of ways to make memories in her newest book, "365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories." 

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