Happy July! How did we get here already, right?! I mean, everyone always says that the Fourth of July marks the beginning of the end of summer – the “back to school” aisles return to the department stores, and the fun feels like it’s over.
But being the rebel that I am, I refuse to believe that.
Summer is most certainly NOT over. There are plenty of ways we can slow down, enjoy the little things, and drink every last drop of this magical season of summer. Yes, we can. Let’s talk about one way: celebrating obscure July holidays!
They’re awesome, and they deserve some celebrating. Plus, adding these fun little days to your calendar will make your summer extra memorable. Here are some holidays in July worth noting (besides Independence Day, because – duh):
July 7th: Chocolate Day!
This is a holiday I can get behind. Plan to add a little sweetness to every meal on Chocolate Day. Maybe some chocolate chip pancakes, chocolate milk with lunch, and chocolate cake for dessert.
Talk about where chocolate comes from. (We are homeschoolers after all.) Sample several types of chocolate or make a fancy chocolate dessert!
July 11th: Cheer Up the Lonely Day
What a great opportunity to teach your kids to do good to others. We all know someone who lives alone or is going through a hard time. Bake some cookies or a pie and stop over unannounced to say “hi.” You’ll make somebody’s day for sure.
Another idea is to visit a nursing home. The elderly love to visit with children. Have your little ones make some bouquets of flowers (or weeds – no one cares) and put them in inexpensive Mason jars. Drop them off at some of the elderly residents’ bedsides and visit for a few minutes. The smallest things can make someone’s whole week!
July 19th: National Ice Cream Day
I don’t know many kids who wouldn’t want to celebrate this holiday. President Ronald Reagan declared the 3rd Sunday of July National Ice Cream Day (because he’s cool like that) in 1984.
Study the history of ice cream. There’s a little controversy over who actually invented the ice cream cone, so dig into that with your kids (while eating ice cream of course!)
July 24th: Amelia Earhart Day
July 24th is Amelia Earhart’s birthday. What an amazing person to study for a day (or a whole week)! Amelia Earhart was brave, iconic, and a strong voice for both men and women to challenge themselves. Amanda Bennett has written a unit study based on Earhart’s life that would be great to incorporate. You could watch a documentary about her, read books and biographies, or write a timeline of her life.
Help your kids prepare a meal from the time Amelia Earhart lived. In the 1930s, baked ham with potatoes and cheese were common dinner options. Make a Jell-O molded salad for dessert. Dress like an aviator of the 1930s and have your kids to a quick recap of what they learned about Earhart that day.
July 30th: International Day of Friendship
Created to mend bridges between countries and cultures, this holiday was declared official way back in 1919. The United Nations made it fit the “international” realm in 2011.
To put this on a more individual level, have your kids focus on their friendships – friends that live near and far away, family friends, and friendships between siblings!
Write out little cards or letters or send a fun package in the mail. Did you know you can send all sorts of things through the mail without a box? Like Frisbees and flip flops? Just slap a label on it, and away it goes!
Have fun celebrating the little things this great month of July. These little things count! And they make great memories.
What are some of your favorite ways to slow down and enjoy the fleeting days of summer?
updated from an article originally published July 9, 2015