We are always looking for new and educational things to do with our children.
Here I have some ideas for the month of April. Read through and see which ones your family might like to celebrate.
I have added in some suggestions on how to celebrate a few of the days.
I encourage you to put your own spin on these celebrations for your family.
Celebrate April Days
National Love Our Children Day is observed annually on the first Saturday in April as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This day honors all children and encourages us to develop loving, respectful relationships with our children.
Love Our Children USA sponsors and promotes this day annually. This day focuses on prevention of child abuse and violence against children as well bringing awareness and helping put in place support tools and resources for communities.
Take time to make the life of a child better. Educate yourself on the prevention of child abuse. Teach your children to always tell you or another adult when they see someone hurting another child. Make sure they know not to go anywhere near them but to run and tell someone.
The first annual National Love Our Children Day was held on April 3, 2004, by Love Our Children USA. For more information visit www.loveourchildrenusa.org.
National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day is celebrated annually on April 2nd. This food holiday is a classic favorite of many. The average American will have eaten over 2000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school.
Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread”. That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe”.
It is thought to be that the first reference of peanut butter paired with jelly on bread, to be published in the United States, was by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined and the sandwich became very popular with children.
According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers military ration list.
In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product which combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.
It may be a good day to try something “outside the box”. Following are a few ideas to help you out!
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
- Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Donuts
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Fudge
National Find A Rainbow Day is observed annually on April 3rd.
There are people that see rainbows as an artistic masterpiece in the sky, to others it is a sign of hope and to many a sign of promise.
It can be all three; beauty, hope and promise. (Jill Magnus)
A spectrum of light in the form of a multicolored arc, appearing in the sky, is caused by both reflection and refraction of light in water droplets in the Earth’s atmosphere. These rainbows always appear directly opposite of the sun. The light is refracted (bent) when it enters a droplet of water, then is reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it.
Red is the color that is visible on the outer part of a rainbow and violet on the inside of a primary rainbow. Children learn in science class the mnemonic ROYGBIV to help them to remember the sequence of colors in a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Many forms of airborne water can cause rainbows including, rain, mist, spray and dew.
Find yourself a rainbow or use the garden hose or a prism to make one yourself.
National Walk Around Things Day is observed each year on April 4. This day is open to interpretation as our research found little information regarding this holiday.
This day may be looked at both figuratively and literally. Literally, one would not walk through a puddle of water or mud, one would walk around it. One would not walk under a ladder or over broken glass, one would walk around it.
Figuratively, one would “walk around” avoiding certain problems or potential problems. One would also “walk around” avoiding arguments, certain situations or unwanted or uncomfortable conversations.
Another possible intent of this day could very well be to walk around things such as a neighborhood, park or the shopping mall.
Make a point to walk around things today.
Annually, Read a Road Map Day is observed April 5.
The earliest road map, Britania Atlas, was drawn by cartographer John Ogilby in 1675. Fast forward a few centuries, and my how things have changed! With satellites, GPS and voice commands do we really know how we get anywhere anymore?
National Read a Road Map Day reminds us to take some time to sharpen those map reading skills. Take notice of your surroundings. Do you know north from east? If not, it’s a good time to learn.
Put away the electronic devices and unfold a traditional road map. Familiarize yourself with it and take a little trip. Do you have a knack for using a map? Teach someone else to read a map
Each year on April 6 is National Caramel Popcorn Day. In January, we celebrated National Popcorn Day. We now add delicious caramel popcorn to the calendar, one of America’s favorite snacks. For many people, this chewy caramel popcorn treat is an all time favorite.
Combining popcorn and molasses began in the early 1800s. Caramel was popular as well and with the production of Cracker Jack, the popularity was ever increasing.
There are many commercial brands and forms of caramel corn available in grocery stores, cinemas and convenience stores. There are also specialty brands available in stores, gift catalogs and online.
Give this recipe a try: Easy Caramel Corn recipe.
National No Housework Day is observed annually on April 7th.
Looking for an excuse to get out of doing housework? Well, here it is. On April 7th, do absolutely no sweeping, dusting, laundry, dishes and all the other items that fall into the housework category. Catch up on a book, have coffee with friends or anything else that you enjoy.
Do anything but housework today.
National No Housework Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy at Wellcat.com.
Each year on April 8, National Zoo Lovers Day is observed. This would be a perfect day to visit a zoo and be one of the millions of people who visit them each year. Enjoy seeing your favorite animals swinging from the trees or splashing in the water and have a fun-filled day.
A few zoo facts:
- The Vienna Zoo is the oldest existing zoo and was opened to the public in 1765.
- The United State’s first public zoo, Central Park Zoo, opened in 1874 in New York.
- There are 350 zoos in the United States
- Approximately 175 million people visit a zoo each year.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom has had more than 9.8 million annual visitors.
- More than 3.2 million people visit the San Diego Zoo each year.
Visit your local zoo with the family and teach them about all the animals.
National Name Yourself Day is observed each year on April 9. To celebrate, you are allowed to give yourself a new name for one day.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have a different name, this would be the day to find out. If you like your name and do not want to play along, you can try a nickname instead. The nickname might just stick with you.
Pick yourself a new name
Observed annually on April 10th, National Farm Animals Day was created as a day to raise awareness about the plight of slaughtered animals and to find a home for the abandoned and abused farm animals.
Take your child to a petting zoo and tell them a little bit about each animal that they see.
National Farm Animals Day was created in 2005 by Animal Rescuer, Vegetarian and Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert, Colleen Paige. For more information regarding National Farm Animals Day, visit www.farmanimalsday.com.
National Library Workers Day is observed annually on the Tuesday of National Library Week. This day is designated to honor all library staff and the valuable contributions that they make. This day is part of National Library Week sponsored by the American Library Association.
Libraries do so much more than house the books we can borrow nearly any time of the day or night. (Yes any time, day or night. Online reservation is highly popular.)
Today as always, library workers are masters of research. They can find the obscure quote (or partial misquote as the case may be) to help you correctly annotate your research paper.
Often, libraries are the keep of local history. The names of pioneers and settlers names are often recorded in books and newspapers of the era. Those books and papers are often still located at the local library.
Libraries are the champions of our youth. They foster creativity and are a wealth of diverse opportunities for growth.
Despite all libraries and their employees provide to their communities their budgets and salaries continue to shrink. This day is designed to bring awareness to this continuing trend.
Take your children to the library and make it a point to thank the librarian for her work there.
National Library Workers Day was first celebrated in 2004. It was started as a way to raise support for better benefits and salaries at a time when they had been stagnant for years. National Library Workers Day Continues to promote increased benefits and salaries for the services provided by library workers every day. For complete information regarding National Library Week and National Library Workers Day: http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks
According to food historians, cooked bread and cheese is an ancient food, enjoyed across the world in many cultures. The United States modern version of the grilled cheese sandwich originated in the 1920s when inexpensive sliced bread and American cheese became easily available. Originally it was made as an open-faced sandwich.
United States government cookbooks describe Navy cooks broiling “American cheese filling sandwiches” during World War II.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are versatile thanks to the ability to mix and match cheeses, bread, and seasonings. Adding sauteed vegetables or herb-infused oils can elevate this simple comfort food to a whole other level.
Enjoy the following tried and true recipes.
National Scrabble Day is observed annually on April 13th. Originally named Lexiko and then Criss-Cross Words, Alfred Mosher Butts eventually settled on the name Scrabble. The amateur artist and unemployed architect developed the word game in the midst of the depression. Still, it wasn’t until 1948, a final name change and a trademark that Butts finally began to produce the game.
Scrabble is played with two to four players who score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a game board marked with a 15 x 15 grid.
In the United States, the name Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Scrabble is sold in 121 countries with 29 different language versions. Worldwide, over One hundred and fifty million sets have been sold with sets being found in nearly one-third of American homes.
- 1984 – Scrabble became a daytime game show on NBC
- 2004 – Scrabble was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame
- Some cities sponsor Scrabble tournaments on the weekend closest to National Scrabble Day
- The word “scrabble” means to “grope frantically”.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Have a family game night and play a game or two of Scrabble along with a few of your other family favorites.
National Reach as High as You Can Day is observed annually on April 14th.
We can define “reach” many ways. Search Guinness World Records for ‘highest reach” and Guinness gives us 322 results. We can reach for our dreams or our goals. Reach for the stars or the sky. We can even reach for the balloon floating away from us much like the one that carried the Wizard of Oz away from Dorothy.
Of course, records can be set for the oldest or the youngest to reach a particular location, age, height or status.
While this day may not be about setting records, it is certainly about reaching high; higher than we think we can. We often become complacent. National Reach as High as You Can Day is just a reminder on the calendar not to let your dreams go adrift. Reach for them. Reach as high as you can!
Observed each year on April 15th is National Take a Wild Guess Day. This is a day you may want to guess how many jellybeans are in the jar or how many coins are in the tube. It is a day about hunches and guesses.
National Take a Wild Guess Day was created by Jim Barber (TheBarbershop.com).
National Bean Counter Day on April 16 is every accountant’s favorite day of the year. After the flutter and the flurry of preparing taxes right up until the stroke of midnight, these diligent number crunchers are well past due for a day off.
All the receipts have been tallied. All the various tax forms in duplicate and triplicate have been submitted. The last couple months have been a whirlwind of debits and credits. It is time for all bean counters to take a well-deserved break. April 16th is the accountant’s day to turn off the phone and return to a more normal routine.
Don’t call, text, e-mail or visit your accountant on National Bean Counter Day. If you are a bean counter, take the day off! If you happen to see one send a “thank you” his or her way.
For the kids…. make a game of counting and sorting different colors and types of beans.
National Bean Counter Day was founded by Kevin Wenig, a CPA from Trumbull, Connecticut, to insure April 16th is an official accountant’s day off.
April 17 recognizes the food holiday National Cheeseball Day. There are two ways a cheeseball can be served:
- A cheese spread in the shape of a ball served with crackers, most often around Christmas in the U.S. This cheeseball is commonly made with softened cream cheese and other ingredients.
- Cheese puffs, which is a puffed corn snack, coated with a mixture of cheese or cheese flavored powders. Cheese puffs are manufactured by extruding heated corn dough through a die that forms the particular shape, most likely a ball shape.
Celebrate National Cheeseball Day by making a cheeseball for friends and family. Remember to share a picture of your cheeseball on Social Media using #NationalCheeseballDay.
Easy Bacon Cheeseball recipe
2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese (softened)
2-1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 small pkg real bacon pieces
1 cup finely chopped pecans
In a medium bowl, smooth cream cheese. Mix and blend dressing mix, cheddar cheese, and bacon into cream cheese. Shape mixture into a ball shape. Roll into nuts until covered. Chill at least 2 hours. Serve with crackers.
National Animal Crackers Day is observed on April 18.
This day brings us back to our childhood memories and the many boxes of Animal Crackers we shared with our friends. Animal Crackers refer to a type of small cookie baked in the shape of a circus or zoo animal, such as a lion, tiger, bear or elephant. The most common variety are light-colored and slightly sweet. However, chocolate and frosted varieties are also available. Even though animal crackers are made with layered dough much like crackers, they are sweet like cookies.
National Animal Crackers Day is the perfect day to celebrate that childhood memory again. Pick up some animal crackers at your local grocery store and share them with family and friends. Share your photos of your Animal Crackers Day celebration using #NationalAnimalCrackersDay.
Our research was unable to find the creator of National Animal Crackers Day. It did locate information confirming in the late 1800s animal shaped cookies were imported to the U.S. from England. In 1902 animal crackers officially became known as “Barnum’s Animals” and evoked the familiar circus theme of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Later that year, the now-familiar box with a string was designed for the Christmas season made to hang from the Christmas tree. They were a big hit in 1902 and still are today. (http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/04/18/national-animal-crackers-day/)
Each year on April 19, Project Laundry List works with hundreds of other organizations to sponsor National Hanging Out Day. This day was set aside as a day to encourage communities to learn about the benefits, both financially and environmentally, of using a clothesline for drying laundry. According to Project Laundry Lists’ website, clothes dryers account for an astonishing six to ten percent of residential energy consumption. Hanging your clothes out has several benefits:
- Good for the environment.
- Saves you money
- It is therapeutic because being outdoors in the fresh air has benefits to your health.
Celebrate National Hanging Out Day by hanging out your clothes to dry with your little ones and teach them how the wind will dry the clothes.
Each year on the third Thursday in April, we observe National High Five Day. This is a fun day where you can “High Five” everyone that you see.
In 2002, college students at the University of Virginia, Conor Lastowka (San Diego, CA), Sam Miotke (Corvallis, OR) and Wynn Walent (New York, NY) together created National High Five Day.
The National High-5-A-Thon For Cancer Research: http://www.nationalhighfiveproject.org/
National Jelly Bean Day is observed each year on April 22.
While candies made in a similar manner existed before the jelly bean, Boston confectioner William Schrafft made them popular during the Civil War. With their firm exterior, jelly beans were the first candies to be sold by the pound. Schrafft encouraged his customers to send them to Union soldiers.
During the 1930s, jelly beans became closely associated with the Easter holiday but are now enjoyed year round. Jelly Beans were Ronald Reagan’s favorite treat.
Enjoy a handful of your favorite jelly bean flavor with the kids and ask them to tell you the different colors. Have them try each one and pick their favorite.
April 23rd is a day for everyone to enjoy a meal outside. It is National Picnic Day!
There are a variety of ways to take part in a picnic. This meal hearkens back to mid-18th century al fresco French dining when all you needed was a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, some cheese and fruit and you could have a party under the sky.
From the French, for piquenique, picnic means a meal eaten outdoors.
From barbecues to simple cold plates, picnics are light informal affairs meant to be relaxing and fun for everyone to enjoy the day.
Celebrate this day by having a picnic of your own. If the weather does not cooperate, have a picnic in your home on the living room floor!
On April 24, observe National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day with just a few ingredients.
Celebrated across the world, the term often refers to a variety of different dishes. In the United States, Pigs-in-a-Blanket are often hot dogs or sausages wrapped in biscuit or croissant dough and baked. Pigs-in-a-Blanket are generally served as an appetizer or as breakfast. However, it can be served any mealtime!
Share your version of Pigs-In-A-Blanket with the kids.
On April 25th, we observe National Telephone Day.
The correct answer to a trivia question like “Who invented the telephone?” is the name on the patent. In this case, the whole world knows the answer is Alexander Graham Bell. Had his attorney been delayed by foul weather or poor planning, the answer may be a different name.
It was February 14, 1876, when Marcellus Bailey, one of Bell’s attorneys rushed into the US Patent office in Boston to file the patent for what would be the telephone.
Later the same day, Elisha Gray filed a patent caveat for a similar device. A caveat is an intent to file for a patent.
There is also a third contender. Antonio Meucci filed a caveat in November of 1871 for a talking telegraph but failed to renew the caveat due to hardships.
Because Bell’s patent was submitted first, it was awarded to him on March 7, 1876. Gray contested this decision in court, but without success.
Born March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Bell was an instructor at a boys’ boarding school. The sounds of speech were an integral part of his life. His father developed a “Visible Speech” system for deaf students to communicate. Bell would later become friend and benefactor of Helen Keller.
Three days after the patent was approved, Bell spoke the first words by telephone to his assistant. “Mr.Watson, come here! I want to see you!”
By May, Bell and his team were ready for a public demonstration and there would be no better place than the World’s Fair in Philadelphia. On May 10, 1876, in a crowded Machinery Hall a man’s voice was transmitted from a small horn and carried out through a speaker to the audience.
One year later, the first telephone was installed in the White House. The telephone revolution began.
Bell Telephone Company was founded on July 9, 1877, and the first public telephone lines were installed from Boston to Sommerville, Massachusetts the same year. By the end of the decade, there were nearly 50,000 phones in the United States. In May of 1967, the 1 millionth telephone was installed.
Celebrate National Telephone Day by having your child call someone and wishing them Happy National Telephone Day!
National Pretzel Day is observed annually on April 26. A bag of nice crunchy, salty pretzels or a big, warm, soft, cinnamon pretzel is the question of the day. Either one is an excellent choice.
There are a few different accounts of the origin of the pretzel. Most people agree that it does have a Christian background, and they were invented by the monks. According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, “an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, pretiola (little rewards).”
Another source puts the invention in a monastery in southern France. The looped pretzel may also be related to a Greek Ring bread from the communion bread used in monasteries a thousand years ago. In the Catholic Church, pretzels had a religious significance for both ingredients and shape. The loops in pretzel may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in Job Berckheyde’s (1681) painting.
The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced pretzels to North America in the 19th century. At this time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania and their popularity quickly spread.
It was in the 20th century that soft pretzels were very popular in areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York.
- Today, the average Philadelphian consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average.
- Pennsylvania is the center of American pretzel production for both hard and soft pretzels, producing 80% of the nation’s pretzels.
- The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million.
- The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds of pretzels per year.
- Philadelphia opened a privately run “Pretzel Museum” in 1993.
- Hard pretzels originated in the United States in 1850.
Following are a few “tried and true” recipes for you to enjoy:
National Tell a Story Day is observed in the United States each year on April 27th. People of all ages are encouraged to share all kinds of stories on National Tell a Story Day. Whether it’s read from a book, one from your imagination or an actual story from a childhood memory, April 27th is the day to gather friends and family and share those stories.
Libraries around the country participate in National Tell A Story Day with special story telling times for children.
Storytelling is an ancient practice used to hand down knowledge from one generation to the next. It’s a wonderful way to pass on family traditions, histories, and long told tales and can be entertaining as well as educational. Some of the very best stories come from real life experience.
Many people enjoy listening to their grandparents share their stories about when they were growing up (back in the day). Spending time telling stories with family, friends and loved ones is a time for all to learn from each other, to remember and to grow closer together.
On National Tell A Story Day, it does not matter if the story is a short story or a long story, fiction or nonfiction, a tall tale or folklore. This is a day for them all. We encourage you to tell your stories
National Teach Children to Save Day is observed every April.
Bankers across the country volunteer every year to teach children to save. Developing these habits at a young age creates a foundation for a lifetime of saving.
Teach your children the value of money and how to save it. Use #TeachChildrenToSaveDay to post on social media.
Sponsored by the American Bankers Association, National Teach Children To Save Day has been helping young people since 1997 when the program started.
For more information, go to Teach Children to Save
This is also…
National Superhero Day to honor superheroes, both real and fictional.
Batman, Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Hulk, and Spiderman are just some of the superheroes whose names we recognize. Even though they are fictional, these superheroes are great role models for our children. They serve and protect while fighting evil.
Our real-life superheroes may not have super powers or wear capes, but they are also great role models who serve and protect while fighting evil. Military personnel, police officers, and firefighters are just a few of the heroes who protect us on a daily basis.
Take your favorite superhero to lunch and say thank you for all they do. Ask your child who is their real life super hero, make sure they know it doesn’t necessarily have to be you or dad.
National Zipper Day is observed each year on April 29th. This day celebrates something that we often do not think about and just automatically take for granted.
It was first in 1851 that Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine, received a patent for an “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure”. Howe never made an attempt to market his invention and missed the recognition he may have received.
Forty-two years later, Whitcomb Judson began selling the “Clasp Locker”. Being very similar to Elias Howe’s patent, this device served as a more complicated hook-and-eye shoe fastener. Judson started the Universal Fastener Company where he manufactured his new device and debuted it at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 but was met with little success. Because Judson put his invention before the public for sale, he earned credit as its creator.
In 1906, Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer, was hired to work Universal Fastener Company. He was highly skilled and known for his devotion to the company. In 1913, he invented the modern zipper. The patent for the “Separable Fastener” was issued in 1917.
By 1923, B.F. Goodrich popularized the word zipper as it applied to use in the boots and pouches it made. The company even copyrighted the name for a time.
April 30 is National Honesty Day in the United States.
We know the different kinds of lies. We’ve spared someone’s feelings or fudged the truth just a little or maybe told an all out whopper. Unless we walked on water, we’ve all told a lie or two. National Honesty Day challenges us to be truthful in all we do.
Celebrate National Honesty Day by answering questions truthfully all day long.
The author of The Book of Lies, M. Hirsh Goldberg, created National Honesty Day in the early 1990s. Former press secretary to a Maryland governor selected the last day of April in contrast to all the foolishness the first of the month brings. National Honesty Day is often used as a campaign for prevention against the most deceitful lies in history. This day also urges politicians to stay away from lies and tell the truth.
I hope that you and your family have some fun when you Celebrate April Days. Look out for next months post! National Days of May.
Do you do anything special with your family in April?
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Hope you have a wonderful week!