In Season March 2013

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

Samantha Chan

Book Lovers Unite

March 1 is National Read Across America Day, also know as Dr. Seuss Day. Plan an event with families and friends, or simply enjoy the day reading with your little ones. Log onto www.nea.org for ideas on how to spend the day.

Once You Pop

Popcorn Loverís Day lands on March 14. Whether making it for an office or movie-night snack, indulge in the salty treat with added sweet butter. Feeling brave? Visit a local supermarket or specialty gift shop for tasty popcorn varieties.

Touch of Sweetness

On Passover, which begins the night of March 25, make this traditional apple-walnut charoset recipe from Epicurious with your kids.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1½ c. walnut halves, lightly toasted, cooled and coarsely chopped
  • ½ c. sweet red wine, such as Manischewitz Extra Heavy Malaga
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. packed brown sugar

Directions:

In large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Store mixture covered at room temperature until ready to serve.

Lucky Lads and Lasses

Celebrate St. Patrickís Day on March 17 with a kissed Blarney Stone using this craft idea from www.kaboose.com.

What Youíll Need:

  • Large and small paintbrushes
  • Rock
  • Pencil
  • White and green acrylic paint
  • Gold paint pen
  • White glitter glue

What to Do:

Using a large paintbrush, paint the rock white. Let dry. Trace a ďkissĒ lightly with a pencil onto the rock. Paint the lips green and let dry. Outline the lips with the gold paint pen. Use the gold paint pen to add other decorations to the rock, such as swirled lines and circles. Cover the entire rock with glitter glue and let dry.

Saving Time

Spring ahead on March 10 when Daylight Savings Time begins. Donít forget to set clocks ahead one hour, giving you more time to play with your kids in the daylight. Learn about this annual event at www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/.

Math-tastic

The fun never ends, and neither does the value of pi. On March 14, celebrate the number thatís often rounded to 3.14 with math activities. Log onto www.parentguidenews.com for information, articles and tips to hone math skills. You could also celebrate with an apple pie, cherry pie or any other pie you may be craving. Our recipes section has you covered on that front, as well.

Appreciating Mother Earth

Believe it or not, there are two chances to celebrate our planet and work together to preserve it. While Earth Day is in April, International Earth Day arrives on the vernal equinox on March 20. Take the time to make your home and lifestyle more eco-friendly by participating in a beach or park cleanup. Or, rid your home of harsh chemical cleaners and products. Kids can make bird feeders or research the importance of caring about the environment.

Egg-citing Crafts

Prep for Easter on March 31 by making yarn eggs and hiding treats inside them.

What Youíll Need:

  • Small sweets or toys
  • Water balloons
  • A small hand air pump (optional)
  • Yarn
  • Mod Podge
  • Water
  • Paper cup
  • Scissors

What to Do:

Place a treat or toy inside of the water balloon. Using your hand air pump, inflate the balloon until it reaches the desired size. Tie off and set aside. Wrap yarn around the balloon in a random pattern making sure that the openings are not big enough for the treat or toy to fall through. Mix two parts glue to one part water. Take the yarn and thoroughly soak in the glue mixture. Start wrapping around your balloon. Once completely wrapped, place the balloon on top of a paper cup to dry for at least 24 hours. Once dry, the yarn should feel stiff. Using scissors, pop the balloon. You now have a lovely yarn cage for your treat!

This column appeared in the March 2013 issue.