Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April Holidays

After reading, consistently referring to and really loving the post on Homeschool Classroom talking about all the crazy different holidays in March, I thought I'd do a little of my own reconnaissance for April.

Oh my heavens.  There are a ridiculous number of recognized days, weeks and different things we're supposed to be "aware" of for the entire month.  A lot.  I really mean it.  I'm going to mention just a few here, but if you want to see the whole list, go to Holiday Insights.  It's a pretty fun website.

April is....

National Humor Month
I would suggest going to the library and picking out one of the many, many joke books (or one for each member of your family).  Then, pick out your favorites and have a joke-a-thon night.  A comedy night.  Host your very own comedy club in your home, taking turns to see who can get the biggest laughs.

Looking around, I also found this really fun book called Just Joking by National Geographic.  It not only has fun jokes, it also has some pretty cool animal pictures and facts.  My soon to be 12 year old loves silly jokes almost as much as she loves animals and I'm thinking this would be a perfect birthday gift. 

National Poetry Month
We've been reading poetry every day for the last month or so and I've been wanting to have my kids pick out and read some of their favorites, I'm thinking April will be the perfect time for this.  I'll check out a few different poem compilations and have the kids read in them for 10 minutes-ish every day.  Fridays we can take turns reading our favorite finds from the week.  I think it would be even more fun if my kids try to get into it, I'm always trying to get them to read with emotion and this would be a really fun way to do that.

There's also a pretty great website called Read Write Think where you can print out some simple worksheets for a few different poem types that work perfectly with my simple and easy approach.  Although, if you want to dig a little deeper, they have that too.  There is so much information on all kinds of writing, making this website a really great resource.

Stress Awareness Month
I am a natural stresser.  It's sort of what I do, in fact, my husband will often tell me to "just not worry."  I'm pretty sure it's not possible, but I am much better than I used to be (not with not stressing at all, but with forcing myself to let go...most of the time).  Even though I do know some ways to relieve my stress, I've been thinking about learning more about other methods and I think it would be fun to use April to work on that with my kids.

My kids aren't overly stressed that I've noticed, but life is stressful and it's something they will face as they grow up.  Like any other emotion, I want them to learn about how it can be both good and bad and different tactics to deal with it.  So, we'll talk about stress and practice ways to relieve it: talking, exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer...  If you have any favorite books or websites about any of these, I would love to hear about them!

1 April Fool's Day
This is going to be so much fun, I can't hardly wait.  I've never done much for April Fools before...that's about to change.  There are so many fun ideas out there.  I found a blog on Pinterest that has lots of fun ideas, like covering every item in your fridge with eyes, so when you're kids open the fridge, everything is staring back at them.  Hehe, it makes me laugh just thinking about it.

2 Children's Book Day
Read your kids favorite books.  Better yet, have them make their own children's book!

7 Caramel Popcorn Day
Um, yum!  I love caramel popcorn.  I love caramel.  Unfortunately, caramel does not love me.  I'm a pretty decent cook.  I can make just about anything with a recipe in my hand.  Not just make it, but make it taste good.  I can.  Really.  Everything except caramel corn.  I don't know what it is.  I just can't do it (it crystallizes every time).  Luckily, my husband can.  In fact, he makes some pretty darn good caramel corn with the recipe in our old falling apart Better Homes and Gardens red and white cookbook. 

In case you're like me and can't make caramel corn you can join me in making trying out some 6 minute microwave caramels my sister has been eating for days.  She's told me they're amazing and because I'm so trusting, I'm willing to give it a try. 

9 Name Yourself Day
Now, this one's just funny.  Have your kids pick a name, any name.  A funny name or their real name or just another name they like and then call each other by your "name" for the day.  You could even make name tags and pretend you're meeting for the first time (or for mom's like me, so you can remember their new name).

10 National Siblings Day
This is a perfect day for simple acts of kindness and love.  Challenge your kids (and yourself) to make everyone else feel great for one whole day. 

13 Scrabble Day
Play scrabble!  Or one of the scrabble-like games floating around out there.  We have bananagrams and my kids LOVE IT. 

Or you could take your scrabble tiles (if the game is lying around with dust on it because you never use it) and make it into something else.  A tile pendant, coaster, frame or something else fun.

14 International Moment of Laughter Day
This would be the perfect day for your comedy club night.

16 National Librarian Day
We LOVE our local library and it just so happens that this holiday falls on our normal weekly library day.  We'll be doing something nice for our librarian.  Something simple like a thank you card and maybe some homemade treats.  If you have any good ideas, I would LOVE to hear about them!

22 National Jelly Bean Day
I love jelly beans.  Not the colored but all taste the same variety, the ones that taste like stuff.  Although, I'm not a huge fan of jelly bellies because you have to eat those one at a time (I'm not that patient).  Have you ever noticed there are some flavors that really don't go well together?  My favorites are the starburst and lifesavor variety.  I'll go pick up a few bags after Easter when the candy is getting clearanced. 

We'll also learn how they're made by watching a video on youtube.  My kids are obsessed with how to videos.

25 World Penguin Day
We'll watch another video or two about penguins like this one on youtube and check out books on and about penguins.  My kids love all animals, so this holiday will be a winner!

A few months ago I came across a really great website call Confessions of a Homeschooler.  She's amazing and very creative.  She made a unit study with a lap book to go along with the book Mr. Popper's Penguins.  It would be fun to read the book, watch the movie and do some (or all) of the activities leading up to World Penguin Day.

26 National Pretzel Day
The crispy pretzels are good, but my favorites are the soft variety.  If you're not a fan of cooking, you can buy the frozen sort from the grocery store, all you need to do is heat them up and add butter, salt or cinnamon and sugar.  Yum.

If you like cooking, there are tons of recipes that use pretzels, soft or crunchy.  Oh my heavens, I can't wait to make these.  They look AMAZING!!

If you're craving something sweet, I'd go with either Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies or Caramel Pretzel Brownies.  They both sound amazing.  I bought ingredients to the cookies a few weeks ago, but I keep forgetting to make them.  Crazy, I know. 

If you're not much of a sweets person (or if you like everything like me), you can go with Soft Pretzel and Cheese Sauce or Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites.  We'll probably turn the ham and cheese ones into pepperoni and cheese because we're pretty big pizza fans around here, but you could stick just about anything on them and I bet they'd turn out yummy.

There's also a fun video on YouTube about where pretzels came from and how they're made you can check out.

30 Hairstyle Appreciation Day
One of the things I miss getting to do with my kids now that they're not in public school is crazy hair day.  I love doing their hair in all sorts of nutty styles and they think it's pretty fun, too.
These are from a few years ago and I'm excited to try something new and crazy at home this year.
That wraps up my favorites from April, did I miss one your yours?  What are your favorite April holiday/recognition days and what do you usually do for them?

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