National Watermelon DayA Summer Craft Recipe: Watermelon Magnets! Suitable for children ages three and older. Use these on the refrigerator or give them as gifts. Click here for instructions.
Happiness Happens Month"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." As you enjoy the warm days of summer, think about the ways you and the children can bring sunshine into the life of your household. With a fun activity, a happy song, a big smile, or a hug try to make happiness happen every day.
National Golf MonthAlthough too young to play regular golf, children over 4 love to play mini-golf or putt-putt. It's fun for grown-ups too! Ask your host parents if there is a mini golf course near you.
Friendship DayInvite a friend over to play. No friends available? For preschool age children you can have a picnic or a tea party with stuffed animal friends. Suggested books to read: “Best Friends for Frances” by Russell Hoban and “Frog and Toad are Friends” by Arnold Lobel
Sea Serpent Day
Sea Serpent DaySea serpents are not a part of our everyday life and so are fascinating to children. Have fun drawing your own ideas of fantastic sea serpents; remind the children that they can be friendly or scary but are not real. Two delightful children's books include sea serpents in the story: "Harry by the Sea" by Gene Zion and "The Mysterious Tadpole" by Steven Kellogg.
Smokey Bear was created in 1944 to remind us of the importance of outdoor fire safety and wildfire prevention. Visit
for online games, fun facts and important information about outdoor fire safety.
National Inventors MonthWe use inventions everyday to do all the things we need and like to do. Imagine being without some of our everyday inventions. Think about what new inventions there still might be. Learn about famous inventors at the library such as Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, the Wright Brothers, and George Washington Carver.
In 1870 the last spike was nailed to complete the coast-to-coast railroad. This train track helped to open up the western area of the US to development. Trains still hold a fascination whether it is Thomas the Tank, Brio or electric trains, children love to build tracks. Is there a train nearby that you could take a short ride on or watch go by? There are many children's books about trains "The Little Engine that Could" by Watty Piper is a charming story with an important message. Check
for railroad attractions in your state.
Joke DayCreate your own book of favorite jokes and riddles with your children ages 4 and up. Children love jokes and will treasure a collection to look at over and over. Write just one of two jokes on each piece of paper. If it's a riddle, put the answer on the back of the page. Draw colorful pictures to go with the joke.
Crockett was born in 1786 and is a symbol of the frontier in the United States. He was a hunter, a trapper, an explorer, a soldier, a State Legislator, and a Congressman. He was killed at the Alamo in the famous battle that helped to bring Texas independence from Mexico. The classic home in the frontier was a Log Cabin. You can make your own edible log cabin by following these easy directions.
National Potato DayIn the US we most often eat potatoes baked or fried. However, almost every culture has its own way of preparing potatoes introduce your family to potatoes as you know them. Potatoes are also useful for many craft projects. Cut one in half and carve a simple design into the cut end, then dip it in paint and use it for printing. Cut an end off a sweet potato and let it sit in shallow water for several days. It will start to grow into a beautiful vine.
Senior Citizens DayIn his 1988 Presidential Proclamation, President Ronald Reagan said, "For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older." Take some time to day to call the grandparents or visit elderly neighbors. Use your internet savvy to locate discounts and special offers for seniors today. They will appreciate it!
Tooth FairyIn the US when a child loses a tooth, the Tooth Fairy comes during the night to take the tooth and leave a surprise. The surprise varies by family. What is the tradition in your country when a child loses a tooth? There are some fun books about loose teeth. Sometimes loose teeth are exciting and sometimes children can become upset. Look for these books to help them with the experience: "Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth" by Lucy Bate, "Andrew's Loose Tooth" by Robert N. Munsch, "The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist" by Stan Berenstain.
Recycle StampsUse cancelled postage stamps to create an easy craft project, perfect for gift giving.
Make Your Own FossilMix together 1/2 cup of plaster and 1/4 cup water in a clean plastic container (or follow package directions). Cover a seashell with petroleum jelly (Vaseline). When the plaster begins to set (thicken and harden slightly), press the shell into the plaster. Let it dry overnight and then remove the shell (it should slide out easily). Use the plaster mold to make clay fossils. You can also use plaster to preserve a child's hand or footprint. The plaster washes off skin easily with warm water, but make sure you run lots of water down the drain! Handprints make wonderful gifts for parents and grandparents.
Dream DayNot everyone remembers their dreams, but if the children are old enough to tell you about their dream, it might be fun to create a dream log with words and or pictures. Children who have scary dreams may be helped by reading "There's a Nightmare in my Closet" by Mercer Mayer, "Jessica and the Wolf" by Ted Lobby, "Bebe's Bad Dream" by G. Brian Karas, or"The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream" by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
National Toasted Marshmallow DayToasting marshmallows at the end of a long stick over a campfire is a summertime treat. This may not be possible at home, but you can still make 'smores, a messy, gooey, sweet summertime delight.
In a bowl mix 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup salt. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1/8 cup warm water and 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring. Blend well and knead 20 times. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
In another bowl mix 1/3 cup flour and 2 1/2 tablespoons salt. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, 3 teaspoons warm water and a few drops of green food coloring. Blend well and knead 20 times, adding more flour if necessary.
Mold the red dough into flat circles and roll the green dough into a long snake shape and wrap it around the edges of the red circles. Press the two colors together so that they stick to each other
Cut each circle in half and press 5 or 6 real watermelon seeds into the red part of the dough
Bake the finished watermelon slices at 200 degrees for 2 hours. Turn them over and bake for 12 hours more until completely dry.
Glue a small magnet to the back of each.
Joke Day Book
Step 1: Get two pieces of thin cardboard at least 5.5 x 8.5 inches (14 x 22 cm), to match the size of the paper.
Step 2: Gather the following: ribbon, string or a stapler, crayons or markers, or if you want scissors, glue, white paper or colored construction paper.
Step 3: Cut the cardboard into the size you want for your cover. Cut two pieces: one for the front and one for the back. Make two holes along one of the long edges, in the same spot on both pieces. Your ribbon or string will go through here to hold your pages together. (You can also staple the pages together if you want to keep it simple.)
Step 4: To decorate the covers: Draw right on the cardboard or create decoration using glue, paper and whatever else you might have around the house (magazine pictures, material, pressed flowers, old buttons, etc.) and place them in a design on the cover.
Step 5: When you have the items placed where you like them, then take your glue and start gluing the items down. Continue gluing until you are done. Set it aside and let it dry for a few hours.
Step 6: Punch holes in the paper you've written the jokes on to match the holes in the cover.
Step 7: Take your covers after they have dried and put the joke papers between the covers. Take your ribbon and thread it through the holes of the covers and the matching holes in the paper. Tie the ribbon into a knot or a bow. You can always add more pages later.
What You Need:
Small wooden or cardboard box with lid
Canceled postage stamps
Paint brushes (older ones for spreading glue)
Liquid Tempera or acrylic paint
Paint brushes for paint
1/2 cup of whipping cream
Mixture of 60% water 40% glue
What You Do:
Step 1: Glue overlapping canceled stamps all over the lid of the box.
Step 2:Brush the glue on with a paintbrush and make sure to brush some glue lightly over the stamps once they are glued down. This will prevent any stamps from peeling away from the box
Step 3: Paint the remaining area of the wooden box or if you wish, glue more stamps on the box.
Step 4: When the glue and paint are dry, cover the box with a glue/water mixture.
2 graham cracker squares
1 large marshmallow
Handful of chocolate chips, or half a chocolate bar
2 tablespoons melted butter
Place the marshmallow and chocolate between the two graham crackers (like a sandwich) and wrap in tin foil. Place in a toaster oven or under the broiler for 23 minutes, and voila gooey treat!
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I really feel like I have a family in America after being an
au pair. My host family is going to visit me and my family in
Sweden this winter and I cannot wait to see them!