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Fun with the Family - Julie Lavender
Be sure to keep the summer fun happening
Julie Lavender
Julie Lavender

Just a couple of days ago, we watched fireworks light up the sky in the Boro. The centerpiece of summer, Fourth of July celebrations bring families together across the country to make new memories to treasure. 

July 1 marked the halfway point of the year. Here’s hoping the first half of 2023 was filled with fun and festivities for your family with lots of laughs and love for the good times and even more love and support for the challenging ones. Flip the calendar, begin the second half of the year and make incredible memories with the ones you love best. 

➤ Rabbit Week — Celebrate this adorable, furry mammal with a fun craft for the little ones. Start with two paper plates. Use one plate for the bunny’s face. Fold the second plate in half and make a curved cut on one edge to form two ears. Leave enough of the paper plate in the middle, folded part to form a bow tie when unfolded. Glue the ears in place at the top of the plate used for the rabbit’s face. Squish two sheets of pink tissue paper somewhat, then glue one sheet in the center section, lengthwise, of each ear. Paint or glue large wiggle-eyes on the face. Glue a pink craft pom pom in place for the nose and craft chenille sticks for whiskers. Decorate the bow tie with puffy paint and glue it in place or cut to make a smaller hair bow to glue onto one ear after decorating. 

➤ National Moth Week — Go for early evening walks throughout the month of July and search for flittering moths. You might want to research beforehand to note the differences between moths and butterflies. Snap a few pictures of the ones you find and see if you can identify them by name using encyclopedias, other books and the internet. See if you can spot a large luna moth flapping and hovering around street lights, too!

➤ Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day — A perfect treat for a hot summer day, enjoy an ice cream festivity in your own kitchen. Start with plain ol’ chocolate and vanilla ice cream chilling in the freezer and spread a buffet of flavors and toppings on the table to use for new creations. Place different ice cream syrups, like chocolate, strawberry and caramel on the table. Then add bowls of sprinkles, marshmallows, chocolate chips, small candies, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, chopped chocolate candy bars, raisins, crushed nuts, chopped fruit pieces, and anything else you can think of to add to the buffet. Let each person create their own flavor for dessert and celebrate the day together with a cool and yummy treat.  

➤ Teddy Bear Picnic Day — Take favorite stuffed animals on a backyard picnic date. Spread out a large blanket or quilt in a shaded area of the yard. Work together in the kitchen to make sandwiches, collect pretzel or chips, slice fresh fruit, and grab lemonade or water bottles. Enjoy an late afternoon picnic together, with stuffed friends, and perhaps end the meal with a few favorite books. Read "Where’s My Teddy" by Jez Alborough, "The Teddy Bears’ Picnic" by Jimmy Kennedy, "Corduroy" by Don Freeman and "The Teddy Bear" by David McPhail.

➤ National French Fries Day — Who makes the best French fries? Mom or Dad? Grandma or Grandpa? Or a favorite restaurant? Take a poll of family members to find out likes and dislikes. Thick, steak fries? Skinny, crunchy ones? Long, mushy ones? Throughout the summer when visiting your favorite fry places, pick up coupons or gift cards at each establishment. Keep coupons and cards in the car to share with someone you encounter who could use a little extra help, cheering up, or just a special treat.

Use every hot moment this summer to make warm memories with the ones you love. Play in sprinklers, visit water parks, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, nibble on boiled peanuts, drink lemonade on the front porch, stay up late to watch a favorite family movie, read a chapter book together, look for lightening bugs at dusk, take a long vacation or make short day trips or pretend to be a tourist right here in the Boro and find hidden gems to explore. 

Make every day a holiday throughout the summer with family and celebrate the ones you love the most. 

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."        

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