July 4th parades in


I used to hear my grandmother say when July comes in that we are celebrating the “Dog Days of Summer.” The Farmer’s Almanac has named the 40 days from July 3 to Aug. 11, when we feel the hot, sultry days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, as the Dog Days of Summer. A little bit of history indicates this period of higher-than-normal temperatures interacts with the brightest proper star Sirius, which rises and is called the Dog Star.
During all the seasons of the year we are reminded in Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.” We want to have fun in the sun during the summer, but we need to use precautions to protect our children. Be sure your children drink plenty of water and fluids during this time, stay in cool shady areas during the day, try not to get out during the hottest parts of the day with your children, be sure to apply the appropriate sunscreen and dress your child with light-colored and lightweight clothing.
This week, July 4th rolls in, when we celebrate the birth of our country. Don’t you just love the holidays during the year? No matter what culture, family or tradition, each holiday provides many learning experiences for children. I know especially young families are on tight budgets, and Lee County offers so many community activities we can celebrate from our homes and backyards.
It is important to celebrate the fact that a diverse group of people came together to form the United States of America. It is important that we declared our independence on July 4.
Celebrate the red, white and blue colors of our flag — red represents bravery, blue signifies perseverance and white represents purity. These are three strong principles that our country is built on.
Here are a few simple ideas I’d like to share with families that I hope will help your July 4th celebration one to remember.

  1. Make red and blue Kool-Aids with your child and freeze the different colored drinks in ice trays. Your young child will love putting red and blue ice cubes to his lips on a hot summer day.
  2. Another simple food that children enjoy are red and blue Jello-Jigglers that can be cut out into simple shapes. Children love the texture bouncy texture.
  3. Tuesday, July 9, is National Sugar Cookie Day, which is a day we satisfy our sweet tooth. The creator wanted to remind everyone to enjoy a sugar cookie any time of the year, not just Christmas. Fun together time can be celebrated by baking sugar cookies, spreading them with white icing and sprinkling them with blue and red sprinkles. Children love to do this.
  4. Having your children help you make July 4th cupcakes with seasonal strawberries and blueberries is another delicious dessert. A variation of this is to sprinkle blueberries and strawberries into vanilla ice cream.
  5. Build excitement with your children by including them on July 4th picnic preparations. Color Styrofoam cups with red and blue stripes. This can also be done with white napkins as well as white paper plates. Share with them the different foods you are going to cook, grill out or buy.
    On July 5, we celebrate the birthday of P.T. Barnum, an American politician, showman and businessman, but with children he is remembered for the founding of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Children love to pretend and celebrate different animals, trapeze artists, clowns, etc., from the circus. I can remember when living in Mobile, it was such a big hit for our family when the circus rolled in on their trains. In years gone by, the circus tent was pitched on the grassy field near the USS Alabama. Thank you, P.T. Barnum for providing such wonderful memories.
    Saturday, July 6, is “National Fried Chicken Day.” Ask your children about their favorite fried chicken restaurant.
    July 6 is also National Kissing Day. On this day, enjoy a chocolate kiss.
    I highly recommend for families to read to their children this summer. There are so many wonderful children’s authors who know how to relate to young minds. Librarians are helpful in making recommendations for age appropriate and subject interest books. After reading, your family may want to act out the stories for entertainment.

Beth Pinyerd has taught many years and holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.