EVERYTHING FAMILY &
"Mother of Family Ideas"
Celebrate January Holidays!
New Year's Day
Have FUN with planning
a BRAND NEW YEAR
Plan some highlights for the year together as a family. Sit down with a
2007 calendar and write in all the family birthdays and anniversaries.
Talk about ideas for celebrating them. Mark all the holidays that are
observed by your family. Write in events that you know about for school,
church, work and organizations, clubs, classes etc. Pick a couple of
days during the year for "mom/kid day out" and/or dad/kid day out.
Pencil in events like vacations, camping trips or special local events
you might like to attend.
Listen to ideas from family members about things that they would like to
try to do, places they want to visit or events they would like to see.
Maybe you can choose a couple of possibilities and write them on the
If children have special things they would like to try, see if there are
ways of making one or two of them happen. These can be relatively small
events like seeing a movie or visiting a pet store to trips like
traveling to another city to visit someone. Set a few realistic family
goals and put them on the calendar. Remember a goal without a date is
merely a dream.
J.R.R. Tolkein's Birthday
Bake Bilbo's Tea-Time Bread
Read a little of "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkein or enjoy watching a DVD
of Lord of the Rings if it is available. Hobbits loved to eat and over
the years, we adopted the following recipe as our own version of "Hobbit
Bread". It's just seemed to have ingredients that we thought Bilbo
would enjoy at tea-time.
Bilbo's Tea-Time Bread
1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 package yeast
Cover and wait till mixture is bubbly.
Beat in (use a whisk):
1 tablespoon salad oil
Stir in (with wooden spoon):
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
or 1/2 teaspoon of poppy
Add, if necessary, enough flour to make dough easy to handle.
Knead on floured board until dough is satiny and bouncy.
Let rise till double in bulk.
Shape into a ball and place in lightly oiled baking pan.
Bake at 350°
for about 25 minutes.
Serve warm or toasted with
butter and honey.
Recipe from Cappy Gallant
National Bird Day
Birding is a special way to spend time together as a family. You can
begin by simply looking for birds while taking a walk oar sitting
outdoors. Listen to bird songs and look for birds. Notice the sounds,
the colors, the shapes and even the activities of the birds you see.
Over time, if you are interested, you can get a simple guidebook of
birds that are commonly found in your area and try to identify those
that you see. Make a list of birds you see on each outing. You can even
make a "life list" of all the different kinds of birds you see
throughout your life. It can be exciting to add a new bird to that list.
Along the way, you might pick up a pair of binoculars to make
identifying birds easier. Walking together and sharing conversations
along the way is part of the joy. When we first started this activity
with our children, we walked near a field with a few cows and
immediately, one of the children identified them as "big brown birds".
It stuck. Cows are now always big brown birds to members of our family!
Make it fun! Learn
something. Make some memories.
Winnie the Pooh Day
Decorate a red balloon for Eeyore
Read a Winnie the Pooh story (by A. A. Milne). Eeyore's favorite color was
red and the red balloon hi friends were going to give him for his birthday
burst before he could enjoy it. Decorate an un-inflated red balloon with
markers. Inflate the balloon and play "keep it up". See how long you can
keep it in the air by hitting it to one another. (Of course, always be
cautious with balloons around children. Un-inflated balloons or pieces of
balloons are a serious choking hazard because the filmy plastic can block
the windpipe if swallowed.)
Old Rock Day
Discover the Rocks in Your Neighborhood
Kids can have a great adventure with rocks! (My husband insists that our
house will fall though to China if we collect any more of them!) Rock are
fun to climb. Go boldering or rock climbing.
As long as you are not in a place (such as the Petrified Forest or private
property) where collecting rocks is prohibited, you can pretty much collect
rocks anywhere. Learn to identify them. Find out the difference between the
three kinds of rocks (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic). Make a
collection and identify rocks along with the date and place they were found
or display them in a basket, just for fun.
Polish rocks. Find geodes (or purchase one at a rock shop) and cut them open
to show the crystals inside. (Our oldest son went through a period of trying
to cut every rock in half and we finally bought a geode and invited him to
"try this one". It was a big hit!) Discover what everyday items have rocks
for ingredients. You'll be surprised to find out what is in baby powder,
cosmetics and even toothpaste!
Celebrate old rocks! We have even found fossils, fool's gold, real gold,
silver and copper ore and some semi-precious gems like garnet in our
National Apricot Day
Bake Apricot cookies
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 cup half and half (milk)
1 package dried apricots
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat over to 375°.
flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter. Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Beat
egg yolks in a separate bowl. Add milk-yeast mixture and eggs to flour. Mix
well. Refrigerate for several hours. Cook dried apricots in water and sugar
for 15 minutes. Run through a food processor to make apricots into a paste.
Spread sugar on a flat surface and roll the dough out thin--1/8". Roll in
sugar instead of flour. (If it is too sticky, mix a small amount of flour
with the sugar on the rolling surface.) Cut into 2" squares. Place a dab of
apricot paste in the center of each dough square. Fold over two opposite
corners of dough to overlap the apricot filling. Bake for about 10 minutes.
Edges will just begin to turn brown. Store open to air to prevent cookies
from becoming soggy.
Rubber Duckie's Birthday
Float Your Duck!
If you have a rubber duck, let him float in some water today. Play with
him in the bathtub or make a "duck only" bubble bath in the kitchen
sink, a large bowl or a bucket! If, perchance, there are puddles
outside, give duck a real treat and let him float in a puddle. Watch
kids around water and have some silly fun.
Make popcorn balls
20 cups (5 quarts) plain popped corn
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Set popcorn aside in a LARGE bowl.
Combine other ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir until blended and boil
the mixture. Continue cooking to the hard ball stage (250°
or about 10 minutes.) Pour heated mixture over popcorn, slowly, stirring
until the popcorn is covered. Let it cool just until it can be handled and
then use plastic bags on your hands. Butter the bags and collect the sticky
popcorn and make it into ball shapes. Wrap them with plastic wrap.
Put the FUN in Parenting!
Ultimate Collection of Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy
Ideas for Tots through Teens
By Kas Winters
Kids' Craft of the Month
For more family activities and winter fun, check out Kas
Winter Fun for Families.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Celebrate Cultural Diversity
about a culture other than your own. Do some research at the library or
on-line or talk to a friend who is from another culture and ask your
friend about it. Then try something that you have learned. Taste a food
from a different culture that you have not tried before. Read a story,
play a game or play with a toy from a different culture. (Some examples
of stories might be Elephant's Child by Rudyard Kipling, Five
Chinese Brothers or perhaps Phyllis Karow Trella's book I Got the
Giggles, which features drawings of children from different races
interacting with one another. (It can be ordered by clicking on the
cover below.) Listen to music from another culture such as
Navajo flute music,
music, or sing some songs from one. The more we know
about one another, the easier it can be to get along in harmony, despite
Some other January Days that you might want to celebrate:
Some of these holidays vary a little on the specific day each year, but
you can look them up in on-line searches or celebrate on the "wrong"
day. As long as you are having a good time, the date really doesn't
Measure Your Feet Day
National School Nurse Day
Third week in January