Sunday, July 11, 2010

Celebrate August!

“There is no month in the whole year in which nature wears a more beautiful appearance than in the month of August. . . . It comes when we remember nothing but clear skies, green fields, and sweet-smelling flowers-- . . . what a pleasant time it is! Orchards and cornfields ring with the hum of labour; trees bend beneath the thick clusters of rich fruit which bow their branches to the ground; . . . A mellow softness appears to hang over the whole earth.”
- Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, Oxford: University Press, 1997, 208.

August is the last full month of the summer. Do you love it as much as Charles Dickens? Without any big holidays in August, sometimes it feels a little monotonous. Here’s a list of lesser-known holidays in August that might just be the pick-me-up you need this month. Maybe you need some fun ideas to help you survive the heat. Maybe you need some activities to keep your kids interested this month before school starts. Maybe you and your spouse or friends need some days of fun. Check out the following ideas and start celebrating August!
Monday, August 2 – National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
Buy and eat ice cream sandwiches, or make your own by layering ice cream between two homemade cookies.
Tuesday, August 3 – National Watermelon Day
Enjoy a watermelon today. Cut it in slices, or use a melon baller to make a fancy salad. Have a seed-spitting contest in the backyard.

Wednesday, August 4 – National Chocolate Chip Day
Make and enjoy a treat with chocolate chips.
Thursday, August 5 – National Waffle Day
Have traditional waffles for breakfast, then make waffle sandwiches for lunch by making grilled cheese using the waffle iron.
Friday, August 6 – Wiggle Your Toes Day
Paint your toenails, then paint a picture holding a brush with your toes.

Saturday, August 7 – National Mustard Day
Make homemade pretzels to dip in mustard, or enjoy other mustard-friendly meals like corndogs, hotdogs, or hamburgers.
August 9-14 – National Apple Week
Make and eat as many apple dishes as you can think of, such as sliced apples, applesauce, apple crisp, apple pie, apple butter, baked apples, or apple dumplings. Read books about Johnny Appleseed. Slice apples from the bottom to the stem to reveal the star inside. Have an apple sampling session by buying one of each type of apple at the store and taste-testing them as a family.
Monday, August 9 – National Rice Pudding Day
Make and eat rice pudding. Make it an all-out rice day by making fried rice and rice cakes too.

Tuesday, August 10 – S’Mores Day
Make s’mores any way you can—over the fire pit, a candle, or in the microwave.

Wednesday, August 11 – Play in the Sand Day
Find somewhere to play in the sand, such as the beach, a lake shore, a playground sand pit, or a sand volleyball court.
Friday, August 13 – International Left-Handers Day
Have fun trying to do things left-handed today (and lefties in your family get it easy today!).

Saturday, August 14 – National Creamsicle Day
Enjoy creamsicles today. Sample different flavors, such as orange, raspberry, and lime.
August 16-21 – American Dance Week
Set a time every afternoon when the family gets together for a dance party. Play different types of music and mimic different types of dancing each day.
Monday, August 16 – Roller Coaster Day
Make your own miniature roller coaster by taping together toilet paper and paper towel rolls and sending marbles through them.

Tuesday, August 17 – Davy Crockett’s Birthday
Celebrate the day that Davy Crockett was born in 1786 by reading books about Davy Crockett.

Wednesday, August 18 – Bad Poetry Day
Write bad (or good) poetry on post-it notes and place them around the house. Give each family member a different color of notes and see who can write the most poems.

Thursday, August 19 – National Aviation Day
Take a picnic to an aviation museum or memorial or an airport. Make and fly homemade paper airplanes. Read about how Orville Wright was born on this day in 1871. Also celebrate Potato Day by eating potato products today: hashbrowns, French fries, baked potatoes, etc.

Monday, August 30 – National Toasted Marshmallow Day
Toast marshmallows over a fire pit, a gas stove, or a candle. See who can toast the perfect marshmallow.

Tuesday, August 31 – Alan Jay Lerner’s Birthday
Celebrate how Alan Jay Lerner was born on this day in 1918 in New York by watching My Fair Lady (Lerner composed the music!). Eat trail mix as a snack to celebrate National Trail Mix Day.

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