10+ Simple, Free (or Next to Free) Ways You Can Celebrate Special Days in April

A delightful way to easily create joyful days in your home is to frequently celebrate. We have a calendar which tells us the special day each day. Sometimes, it’s something like “Pet your Dragon Day”, or “Clean out Your Computer Day”, but often it’s something we can do to create special memories without any or much expense or effort, such as “Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast”.
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I love doing simple and free activities to make the day to day more fun. I love not making much of an effort, and still sharing something special. I know you will too!

I love having the calendar hanging in the kitchen. I usually check what “day” it is first thing in the morning to see if there is an activity we can spur-of -the moment add into our day. You don’t have to have a calendar though because there are a bazillion options at Days of the Year.   If you’re like me, however, you’ll forget to check. I recommend the calendar.

April 2- National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

Obviously, you can celebrate by making a basic PBJ. Or you can kick it up a notch with these incredible twists on a classic from my childhood.

The Heffner Special- Make a regular PBJ. Now French toast it! Yes, dip it in egg, on both sides. Grill it to perfection in a buttered cast iron skillet. Enjoy warm. Savor the delectable taste.

Uncle Bob’s Special- Make a regular PBJ. Don’t put the two sides together. Fry an egg. Slap that baby in the middle. Eat that scrumptious sandwich with vigor.

April 7 National Beer Day

Beer day unequivocally calls for a beer. Now, you can enjoy something like a nice Spring Ale from the store, or you can go to a local brewery and kick back with a friend. This is my recommendation. If you don’t have a sitter, get yourself a Hydroflask or growler to go. If you’re local to the Quad Cities, I highly suggest Bikini Bottom Pineapple Wheat or the Vanilla Nitro Betty at the Five Cities Brewing. They currently also have a guest made Mulberry Mead which is incredible. If you have time, check out Crawford Brew Works  in Bettendorf. Definitely try the Road Rash Raspberry and the Get Off my Lawn IPA.

April 10 National Siblings Day

Celebrate your kids’ relationships with each other by having them write a note of thankfulness or something they admire about their sibling to each other. Don’t let them get away with this “I like your hair” or “Thank you for not being a total jerk” either, like certain siblings in a household which will remain anonymous to protect the guilty. They can do this and actually will appreciate your efforts. Someday.

Have the kids make cookies together, or milkshakes or any kind of special treat that’s a good enough goal to help prevent most squabbles.

Do a back rub circle or a hair brushing train. Make sure you get some of that action too and let them knead your own muscle knots away while helping them foster good feelings about one another.

If you have an only, get together with another family and celebrate friendsisters and friendbrothers!

April 12 Grilled Cheese Day

There’s your basic grilled cheese, and then there’s the Farm Fresh Grand Grilled Cheese. Use fresh French bread, mayo, Colby-Jack cheese, a smear of cream cheese, ham and/or turkey, and a nice fat slice of tomato (even better when it’s farm fresh from the garden). Thickly butter both sides of the sandwich and grill to golden brilliance. Try not to grin too much while you relish the grandness.

April 13 Scrabble Day

Actual Scrabble takes forever and I get bored. I’m not a huge fan. However, Speed Scrabble, with only tiles and no board is more my speed.  (haha!)

How to play: To set up your game, have everyone sit around a table or in a circle on the floor. Turn all of your Scrabble tiles face-down in the center of the circle and mix them all up. Then have each player pull out two tiles, keeping them face-down.

Someone starts the game by saying “go.” Then everyone turns over his or her pieces.

Each player will be building their own mini Scrabble grid in front of them. So when you turn over your pieces, start spelling with them as fast as you can. Once someone successfully uses all their tiles (and for this first round, that’s just two tiles), they shout “go.” Then everyone reaches forward and grabs another tile from the pile. Now you have three tiles, and you use all of them to build another Scrabble grid. Then, just like in the last round, whoever uses all three pieces together in one unbroken grid first calls “go,” and everyone takes another tile.

Each round you’ll get one more piece, making the grid larger and more complex. You can add the tiles you draw onto your existing grid, or, at any time, you can rearrange the whole thing. To call “go” you just need to use all of your tiles, and they all need to be connected in one unbroken grid.

This short video demonstrates part of a game and should make it a little clearer:

The goal is to use all your pieces, not leaving any out. The person who completes their whole Scrabble grid first when no more pieces are left wins. So it doesn’t matter if you’re ahead or behind for most of the game – all you need to do is be the first to finish and you win.

As for rules, blank tiles are wilds; you can use them for any letter. But it has to be the same letter for the whole Scrabble board, just like in real Scrabble. (But if you do decide to start over and change everything, you can switch the letter the wild stands for.) Players can challenge others’ words if they don’t think they’re real, and at the end the winner has to go through each of their words, proving that they didn’t cheat. It’s also often fun for everyone to say all their words out loud at the end, too.

Speed Scrabble directions from The Game Gal. Check out her fun blog for lots of family friendly fun!

We also have Banagrams, and you can combine tiles if you want the game to last longer, or you have more people.  It’s like a DIY Party Version!

April 14 Look up at the Sky Day

Now granted, you can just go outside and look up at the sky. In fact, I do recommend lying  on your back in the grass, eating fresh cherries, and cloud watching. It’s called living your best life, friend.

If you go out at night, you’re going to want a blanket or two, as April nights are still chilly. I love learning while I’m doing things and the constellations and star names are no exception. One of the books I love is  The Night Sky.

A couple of excellent apps are Star Walk and SkySafari. They are both augmented reality apps which tell you what the heck you’re looking at and the names of the constellations.

April 16-National Librarian Day

You can have your kids write thank you notes to the librarians, especially if you check out as many books as we do! You could have them bake a treat for your librarians. Another idea is to get a $5 bouquet of flowers from Aldi and give a few flowers to all the people working there that day. Check out a few good books while you’re there!

April 18- National Animal Cracker Day

So many excellent options for Animal Cracker Day!  Eat animal crackers. (I know I know, I’ve got super great ideas. 🙂 ) This set even has penguins!

You can make actual animal crackers. A terrific blog with an excellent recipe for animal crackers called Finest of Suppers (which is a  line in one of my favorite poems; I share below). Wilton sells an inexpensive set of animal cookie cutters which are a lot of fun. They aren’t very detailed and are larger than the size you expect animal crackers to be. You could use this more detailed set of cookie cutters to cut out cookies or trace around and make  animal decorations from brown paper. As your kids inhale their animal crackers, you could have them make the sound the animal does. Remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where the boys are eating magical crackers and making the REAL sounds? Like that. Only not magical.

Have your preschooler practice patterning –Giraffe, giraffe, hippo, horse, giraffe giraffe. Use the crackers as counting animals and practice math. Ask your kids how they are like  or different from the animal they are about to eat.  Inquire when they feel most like a monkey or a tiger. Look up some interesting facts about each animal For instance, did you know that camels can completely shut their nostrils during sandstorms?

Read one of my favorite poems. Did you know that memorization of verses, passages, or poems does infinitely wonderful things for your child’s brain? (and yours too!) Animal Crackers would be an excellent one to begin with.

Animal Crackers
By Christopher Morley

Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers, I think;
When I’m grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these.

What do you choose when you’re offered a treat?
When Mother says, “What would you like best to eat?”
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It’s cocoa and animals that I love the most!

The kitchen’s the coziest place that I know:
The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
The cocoa and animals waiting for me.

Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
But they don’t have nearly as much fun as I
Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
And Daddy once said he would like to be me
Having cocoa and animals once more for tea!

April 22 National Jelly Bean Day

My personal favorite is Starburst Jelly Beans. And I am of the firm opinion that any other kind is just gross. For that reason, you’ll want to use an “other kind” for this gorgeous craft. You need two tall round vases,  of the same height, one about an inch smaller in circumference. Place the smaller one inside the other. Fill the gap with disgusting jelly beans so you won’t be tempted to eat them every time you walk by the table. Using either artificial or real spring flowers, place them in the inside vase. Admire your ingenuity.

April 24 Pig in a Blanket Day

Pigs in a Blanket morning, noon, and, night!

April 27 National Prime Rib Day

We sell beef, delicious beyond belief. If you are local to the Quad Cities, get in touch with me. We have locker dates in May, June, and July and would love to supply you with the best beef you’ll ever eat. If you’re not local, find a  beef farmer! Failing that, go get a nice juicy prime rib at some restaurant somewhere.  Beef, bone-in rib roast is another name for this cut of meat known as Prime Rib.

April 28 National Superhero Day

Dress up like superheroes and go do some kind acts for people, like taping quarters to a vending machine or standing near a restaurant and opening the doors for patrons. The kids can make valentine type cards with uplifting encouraging phrases (or you can print some) and put them on the windshields of parked cars or hand them out to neighbors.

This is a great day to have a Superman marathon!

April 30- National Honesty Day

It’s always important to work on good character with your children, and April 30th is honest-to-goodness a great day to focus on honesty. You can play the game Two Truths and a Lie- wherein you make up one false thing and two truths and others have to guess which one is the lie. You can play the card game  which my family calls “Lie”, but apparently it’s actually called “Cheat”. I just found this out when I looked up the directions for you.

A couple of books which deal with dishonesty in story form are from the Bernenstain Bears and Little Critter.

The Book of Virtues is an excellent resource for a wide variety of excellent character traits. It’s full of moral stories which kids truly remember.

Which days are you most excited to try doing something new?

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