By Beth Pinyerd

Memorial Day has come and gone and summer days are upon us, we can set the ground rules for each of our families to have an enjoyable, safe, fun-filled summer.

Classroom Observer has observed that the local churches are providing Vacation Bible Schools again during the day and in the evenings. Summer camps are being advertised all around town. It is so good amid what we have gone through with COVID, nation stresses and ongoing world stresses that we are beginning to get back to the family fun days with our children. We love to look forward to our water days, picnic days, watermelon days, cooking out days and ice cream days.

So, Wednesday, June 1, is a good day to celebrate “National Say Something Nice Day” in our families. Children truly need kindness, happiness and positivity to enrich their lives. One thing that I have written about before is the term “POP.” This does not refer to soda, popcorn or fireworks, but it refers to being Positive, Optimistic Peacemakers within our families. Even our youngest children can understand POP.

Explain to your children that “positive” is looking for happiness in our world and in each other. When we think of optimism, we think of hope and faith. Practicing peace cuts down on arguments and disagreements with families and friends and encourages everyone to try to get along.

Even though summer officially starts on Tuesday, June 21, this year we can already feel the seasonal summer heat, see honeysuckle flowers and smell their sweet fragrance, listen to the katydids at night, as well as listen to the dry summer wind rustling through a summer evening as the earth cools down from a hot summer day. It will be good for children to be able to play and enjoy being outside this summer. Here are a few simple summer safety tips I want to review as you take care of your children during the summer. These are gentle reminders.

1. When children are running and playing outside in the heat, it is so important for them to be dressed appropriately with light-colored and lightweight clothing. Clothing should allow the children to be cool.

2. In preventing heat stress in children, be sure he or she is very well hydrated. Encourage your child to drink as much water, juice and different flavored drinks as possible.

3. Have your children play quiet games, rest, read, look at appropriate programs on television, video or DVD during the heat of the day.

4. Have your child stay out of direct heat and try to find shade. Each child requires a different scale of protection according to the color of their skin and age.

5. During late afternoons or evening hours of summer, make sure your child is properly sprayed with insect repellant.

6. Please remember to put helmets on your young children when they are riding bicycles. Go over the safety rules your child needs to follow when riding a bicycle. 

7. When you are doing summer mowing, be sure your child stays at a safe distance from the lawn mower since the mower could kick up a rock or stick. 

8. Be sure to walk in safe areas in the woods, along lakes, ponds and oceans. I know we like to go barefoot in the summer, but it might be better to leave the shoes on until you can assess the safety of the area. 

9. Try to always have a first aid kit with you to pack basic supplies you will need before going swimming, playing, picnicking and having plain old summer fun outdoors. 

This month of June has many days for us to happily reflect back and remember. June 3, 1965, was our first walk in Space. Astronaut Edward H. White opened the hatch to the Gemini 4 and floated out of the cabin to be the first American to take a walk in space. 

Transportation has come such a long way. On June 4, 1896, Henry Ford test drove his “Quadricycle.” This was the first automobile he ever drove or designed. Wow. What would Henry Ford think of our automobiles today?

This Sunday, June 5, is National Gingerbread day.  Heat up the oven and bake some delicious gingerbread cookies accompanied by a cold glass of milk.

June 6 is recognized as National Yoyo Day. The first Yoyos were made out of wood, metal or even beautifully painted metal disks. On April 12, 1965, the Yoyo became the first toy to go into outer space. Have a Yoyo party. Baby Boomers can be kids again. We all remember the Yoyo tricks of “Walking The Dog.” Yoyos are great outdoor toys.

 June 6 is celebrated in America as the “First Drive-In Theater” day on the grounds of Camden Drive-In. It was in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Oh, in Opelika and Auburn, I can remember like it was yesterday that my Daddy and Mama would drive us out to the drive-in theater on 1470 Opelika Road. We had an old white Ford, but you would think we three children were riding in a limousine. No air conditioning except lowering of the window and letting the winds blow. Speakers were put in our car windows while we enjoyed a movie bigger than the sky. Buttery boxed popcorn and an icy cold soda were our summer treats. Thank you, drive-in theaters, for giving us summer family fun and community. This same idea can be adopted in your neighborhood by inviting friends to enjoy a good wholesome movie with families as you look up at the moon and the stars on a starry summer night. Here is to a fun-filled 2022 summer!

Classroom Observer

Beth Pinyerd