In Season August 2013

Warm and creative ways to celebrate the month's holidays.

Kristan Morley

National Family Fun Month

Finish your summer off right, with your family. August is National Family Fun Month, and it is the last chance you get as a family to do fun things together before the start of the school year. Plan a picnic, book night, or family game night. Pick a weekend for camping, amusement parks, or one last trip to the beach. Select something that the whole family will enjoy, and remember to do it all together.

Frame Your Vacation

If your children are looking for the perfect way to spend their rainy day, help them make a Vacation Map Picture Frame. It is a great way to relive your vacation while giving your children a new picture frame for their bedroom. Look for more fun rainy day ideas at www.kaboose.com.

What you need:
• Maps of your vacation route or area • A wooden picture frame
• White acrylic paint • White craft glue • Water • Paintbrush • Scissors • Stickers relating to your trip • Acrylic sealer spray

How to make it:
Remove glass from frame and paint the outer and inner edges of the frame. Let dry. Cut sections of your maps. Lay sections over the frame, and be sure you don’t cut them too small. Overlap different sections to cover entire surface of frame. Once you have enough sections of the map to cover the entire frame, position them where you want and bend the excess map around the frame edge. This will create creases for you to trim with scissors. Trim the edges so that your map pieces fit perfectly onto your frame. Put some white craft glue into a small dish and add enough water to thin it to painting consistency. Working with one section at a time, paint a thin layer of glue mixture onto a small section of the frame. Lay the map for that section down on top of the glue mixture and add a little glue mixture on top. Continue this process until all map pieces have been glued down. Once all map pieces are dry, spray the entire surface with acrylic sealer. Add scrapbook embellishment stickers to decorate. Replace the glass and insert your favorite picture.

Mix It Up

August 31 is National Trail Mix Day. Instead of going to the store and buying a pre-made bag, here is a recipe perfect for a summer snack that your children will love and can help you make. Visit www.recipe.com for more trail mix recipes.

What you need:
• 1 c. bite-size fish-shaped crackers • 1 c. toasted oat cereal with nuts and honey • 1 c. pretzel sticks or twists • 1 c. raisins, dried tart cherries, dried cranberries, and/or chopped dried pineapple

How to make it:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Divide mix among eight snack-size re-sealable bags. Story at room temperature for up to two weeks.

National Watermelon Day

Keep cool as the summer comes to an end with homemade watermelon sorbet to celebrate the August 3 holiday. It is a delicious way to keep your children happy without having to run to the ice cream parlor. For more homemade sorbet recipes, visit www.allrecipes.com.

What you need:
• 4 c. diced watermelon • 1 c. white sugar • 3 Tbs. lemon juice • 1 dash salt • ¼ c. cold water • 1.25 oz. envelope unflavored gelatin • 1 c. heavy cream

How to make it:
Combine the watermelon, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Blend the mixture in a blender until smooth; return to the bowl. Pour the cold water into a saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water; let stand for one minute. Place the saucepan over low heat; cook for two minutes. Stir the gelatin mixture into the blended watermelon mixture. Add the heavy cream; beat with an electric hand mixer at medium speed until the mixture is fluffy. Transfer the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until it reaches “soft-serve” consistency. Transfer ice cream to a one or two-quart lidded plastic container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, ice cream should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Fan Off

Join your children for craft time and help them make funny face paper fans. It is a great way to fulfill your children’s time with creativity and laughter. For printable fans and a virtual guide check out www.mrprintables.com/summer-crafts-paper-fan.html.

What you need:
• Paper • Wooden dolly pegs (clothes pegs) • String or yarn

How to make it:
Use your favorite wrapping paper or scrapbook paper or draw your own fun faces on blank side. Make sure the paper is thin enough for easy folding. Start folding like an accordion. Fold the last strip each side backward and glued it so the end is stronger and not sharp. Hold the bottom of the accordion and insert about an inch deep into the wooden dolly peg, making sure there is a tight fit. Wrap the joint with the string and tie.

This column appeared in the August 2013 issue.