There’s more to February than groundhogs, valentines, presidents and Mardi Gras!
Have you ever considered celebrating all the other weird and wonderful days that happen in February with your kids? Some of these days are a great opportunity to do something you’d never normally do (see National Serpent Day), and others are a great opportunity to raise your kids’ awareness about certain topics (see National Organ Donor Day).
On February 1, National Serpent Day, consider wandering through The Life Sciences Center, also known as A Wing on ASU’s Tempe campus. This collection of nearly 45,000 species of Arizona snakes and lizards began in the 1960s and includes such oddities as an albino diamondback snake and a pickled Gila monster.
National Wear Red Day is the first Friday in February every year. This year it is on the February 5. The goal of Wear Red Day is to raise awareness about how heart disease and stroke kill one in three women, yet it is 80 percent preventable, according to goredforwomen.org. Let’s unite to prevent heart disease and stroke. Use this day as an opportunity to do something heart healthy with your kids and wear red!
We all know and love Valentine’s Day, but February 14 is also National Donor Day. This is a day to increase the awareness about how organ, tissue, blood, eye, platelets and marrow donations can save lives. In the United States, according to donatelife.net there are more than 100,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ donation at any given time. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ and tissue sign-ups across the nation. If you can peel your love-crazed 16-year-old away from their valentines and chocolate on this day, take the opportunity to talk to them about the organ donor box on the driver’s license form.
If you’re Italian, or love all things Italian, then you’ll relate well to February 7, 9, 13 and 18. These are National Fettuccini Day, National Pizza Day, National Tortellini Day and National Drink Wine Day, respectively. Celebrate with build-your-own-pizza night or offer more than one kind of sauce on the pasta days for an at-home pasta bar.
Did you know that February 9 is also National Toothache Day? I’m not sure why we would celebrate a toothache, but maybe this could be a good day to talk about all the ways to prevent a toothache. Naturally, National Tooth Fairy Day follows on February 28. Obviously, both of these are unofficial national days, but it’s never too early, or late, to talk about dental health with your family.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams.
Possibly one of my favorite days, National Random Acts of Kindness Day, is February 17. This day originated in New Zealand and grows in popularity every year. Some years ago I was at school drop-off on a Monday morning. I was lamenting having to go home and do a bunch of laundry. The mom I was talking to said, a “delicious giant iced tea gets me through those kinds of days.” We talked about what places had the best iced tea. On the way home, I decided getting an iced tea was a great idea and pulled into a drive-thru to order. When I got to the window, I learned that the driver of the car in front of me paid for my iced tea. Turns out, it was the same mom I had talked to at school. It totally made my day! I easily got through the laundry and I have never forgotten that random act of kindness. Consider sharing this quote – it’s one of my favorites – from Mark Twain with your kids: “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Encourage them to think of a kind, random act they can surprise their siblings or friends with on this day.
February is also the month of National Love Your Pet Day, National Walk Your Dog Day, National Spay Your Pet Day and National Dog Biscuit Day. I found the cutest set of dog biscuit cookie cutters on Amazon that were pretty inexpensive and adorable. I plan to gather the rather simple ingredients from one of many dog treat recipes available online and bake dog treats with the kids that day. I can’t wait, and neither can Buddy!
I bet you don’t know what month National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day falls in. Yep! February.
Craving a warm, bready breakfast? You’re in luck - February 21 is National Sticky Bun Day.
And finally, February 29: Leap Year Day. This day only comes every four years. After you’ve explained why this happens and the science behind it, celebrate with a few fun, simple activities. Make origami frogs, they actually hop! Send a friend a leap year e-card. Make a frog puppet out of a paper bag. Play Ribbit, Ribbit, Hop instead of Duck, Duck, Goose!