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Calendar of the Season

February 2017

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
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  • American Heart Month As Valentine's Day draws near we are surrounded by paper hearts of all sizes. Take a moment to learn about the heart that beats within us by clicking here.
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  • Groundhog Day In this fun tradition brought by German settlers, the groundhog is supposed to wake up on February 2nd and come up out of his burrow. If he sees his shadow, he will be startled and return to the burrow for six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, he remains outside and starts his year because he knows that spring has arrived early. In the U.S., the "official" groundhog is kept in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and is called "Phil." Learn more about Punxsutawney Phil. Learn more
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  • Endangered Species Act In 1973 the United States passed a law to protect animals that were in danger of becoming extinct. Tigers, elephants, otters, and mountain gorillas are all in danger of disappearing from the earth. Draw a picture of these animals, visit the zoo to see them, and learn more about endangered species.
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  • Super Bowl 2017 marks the 51th Super Bowl. It is being held at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Super Bowl is the annual American Football championship and a popular time for friends to gather in front of the TV. Learn more about football. Besides football fans, the show attracts watchers for the half-time musical entertainment and also for the ads! Wondering what that's about? See ads from the past several years
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  • Dental Health Month It is always important for children to brush their teeth, but here is a special reminder! Brushing should last 2-3 minutes; use a timer to see how long the children actually brush. Visit www.healthyteeth.org for information, science experiments (do you know what happens to bone if it is soaked in vinegar?), and games about teeth. This is a good time to read books about loose teeth or going to the dentist.
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  • Build a Playhouse Day Find a box from a large appliance and turn it into a playhouse to use indoors. Cut windows and a door. Furnish it and decorate it as you wish.
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  • Black History Month February is Black History Month. Look for books at your local library or exhibits at your local historical society. Read more about it at www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov
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  • Pancake Race The first International Pancake Race was held on this day in 1950 in Kansas. The women in the race wore dresses and aprons and covered their heads in scarves as they carried a pancake in a skillet. Each woman had to toss the pancake three times as they ran a 415-yard (380 meter) course. This would make a funny race for children with a shorter course and lightweight frying pans. Or you can tell them a story and make pancakes to eat, instead of racing with them!
    Try this recipe for Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
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  • Valentine's Day Through the ages, many cultures have paused to celebrate love and romance in mid-February, but Americans use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to tell almost everyone how much they care. Children usually exchange cards at school. Even more importantly, the observance of this day encourages a spirit of goodwill and respect for fellow human beings. Valentine's Day truly is a time of love, friendship, giving, and caring. Click here for Valentine's Day ideas and games.
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  • Galileo's Birthday Born in 1564, this Italian physicist and astronomer is famous for his experiments dropping objects from the leaning tower of Pisa. You can conduct your own simple falling object experiments using two items that are different in weight – a piece of paper, feather or cotton ball dropped at the same time as a crayon or a stone, or whatever you can think of. Try different combinations with the children and record the results. Be sure not to drop anything breakable or where another person might be standing.
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  • National Engineers Week Every day we use things that have been created by engineers. Sports equipment, high tech clothing, cars, planes, and even plastic bottles were all designed by engineers. Children in middle and high school can explore this fascinating topic. See how long a list of things you can make that wouldn't be in our world without engineers.
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  • Treasure Hunt! Pretend you are all on a deserted island looking for treasure. Make a map or place clues around the house leading the children through the hunt. This can be done with pictures for non-readers – draw a picture of the television, then at the television place a picture of the stove. At the stove place a picture of a bed, and so on to the end. The "treasure" can be a treat to eat, or a new game to play. Read books about pirates to add to the fun.
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  • Visit a Greenhouse Today! Find a local greenhouse to visit. Let the plants and flowers brighten your day!
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  • Mardi Gras Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for its celebrations.

Click on a day to learn more!

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!
Sandra, au pair
Sweden

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