While I’m enjoying some family time, you’re being treated to a guest blog from Hally Franz in honor of Earth Day today and Arbor Day on the 26th. Even if you can’t get your trees on time for Arbor Day, you can still make this a great family event.
Road trips and vacations have always been great memory-makers for families, but let’s not overlook the potential to build memories in the simple, everyday activities that occur right at home. Memories are often made on steamy afternoons spent cooling one another with a hose or water balloons, or by building and playing in crunchy, colorful leaf piles.When children finally get that coveted snow day, they love exhausting themselves in the white stuff. And, here’sanother thought—make Arbor Day special in your home. It’s a great way to spend quality family time, teach, improve our environment and serve others.
National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April; this year that happens to fall on April 26.The Arbor Day Foundation will send a set of trees at a nominal fee, and your state may have programs through 4-H that provide free trees for planting each spring. Order your seedlings in advance, so that you are ready for the big day. Gather your gardening tools and assign jobs for each family member; one will dig, another place the tiny sprig, another water and so on. If you order a group of trees, you may find some surprises in the batch, and you may not know exactly what you’ve planted until it begins to grow. That’s all part of the fun.
Make It an Event
Prepare snacks that come only from trees (nuts, fruits, figs and olives), and discuss Bible times and what their diet may have been like. Or stop by a woodshop beforehand, and pick up some wood samples to share with your family. Think about colonial life and how these woods may have been used. The possibilities are endless.
An Opportunity to Serve
If you don’t have a large yard or if it is already full of shade, offer to plant the trees at your church or for an elderly neighbor or friend. Your family will have an added bonus of making another person’s day.
Watch It Grow
My family’s tree survival rate is approximately 50%, still pretty cheap entertainment at about $1 per tree. It will take some years for your trees to be standing tall, but simple occasions like these may make memories to comfort and sustain you and your children for years to come.
Hally Franz writes about her observations on family, faith, parenting and people. A former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom, Hally is a 4-H leader, and she serves as her church secretary and a Bible class teacher. She enjoys traveling with family and monthly book club meetings with pals.