Celebrating March

peanutEvery month there is lots to celebrate – official holiday or not, they provide great inspiration for creative activities you can do with your family. March is National Craft Month, National Peanut Month, National Noodle Month and Woman’s History Month.

The great thing about “month” celebrations is they can be celebrated whenever you like. Spread special activities over the entire month; it gives you the chance to celebrate and make every day special.

National Craft Month

If you live in one of the many areas of the world that still has snow in March, it makes it a good month to explore different types of crafts indoors while waiting for spring. Have you ever tried Mod Podge? It is a great introduction to crafting for kids!

You could take on a month long craft project of working together to create an amazing Creative Kids Bedroom with your child.

Also you could use the ideas in a Christmas Creativity Exchange to celebrate crafting and creativity and have enough craft projects to last you the whole month!

National Peanut Month

The peanut is a remarkable plant – so remarkable that American scientist and inventor George Washington Carver spent most of his life working with them.  He came up with recipes and amazing uses including using peanuts in paints, plastics, and more than one hundred other products.

If you have not had a chance to read my post on Creative uses for Peanut butter and Jam please check it out. Now is a great month to experiment with all the different ways you can use peanut butter!

Poetry Month

Poetry is usually short, full of emotion and rich imagery. It can inspire the imagination and is a great way of getting kids to start reading. One short poem is much less intimidating then a whole book. Why not celebrate Poetry month by picking up a few kids’ poetry books from the library and mixing up story time with some new and exciting poems. Better yet, sit down and enjoy time with your child, reading poetry together!

National Noodle Month

Tired of trying to answer “what’s for dinner”? Embrace the fact that March is national Noodle Month and gets your kids in the kitchen to help you explore noodles in all their varied forms. There’s your basic Italian noodles, spaghetti, fettuccine, and linguine (and about 350 more varieties, according to Wikipedia). You could try egg noodles and rice noodles, both primarily used in Asian cuisine. You might even be able to find something more exotic, a Japanese Soba noodle perhaps, made with buckwheat.

Ever wonder what the difference between all the different types of noodles are? Now is your chance to find out! Spaghetti, fettuccine, and linguine may seem similar enough but they have their subtle differences. Their weight, texture, and interaction with sauce all vary. Their ingredients make a big impact on the experience too. Whole-wheat or white? Whole-wheat is healthier and, in my opinion, tastier, but I do think it works better with the thicker noodles, fettuccine and linguine, rather than spaghetti. Oh, and then there’s the difference between pasta made with a soft wheat compared to a hard wheat. Most dried noodles on this continent are made with a softer wheat, which makes them softer when cooked. There’s another type of wheat though, Durum wheat, which is “hard” and it stays chewier when cooking. If you can find the two to compare, try it! You’ll start to learn the personality of individual noodles!

And all those noodles in the Asian section of your grocery store. Ever wonder what to do with them? Go ahead and buy yourself a pack. Follow the instructions, and see how it turns out. Was it good? Not so good? You won’t know until you try it. And once you’ve tried it one way, look in cookbooks, look online. Seek out other methods – boil them, fry them, mix them up with a stir fry, serve them plain under the stir fry, make them their own sauce and serve them on the side.  There’s no rules, just go with what you think your family will  like!

There’s so much more that could be done with Noodle Month. You can explore different types of sauces to accompany them. Think outside the jar! Jarred sauce is a fine place to start (it makes it a lot easier), but try adding your own spin on it. Spaghetti sauce can be played with very easily, adding extra spices, herbs, or liquids.  Try small additions first, until you get comfortable playing with it. Use the internet, it’s a treasure trove of ideas! This holds true for all sauces, whether Italian or Asian, or wherever else you’re exploring.

And once you start stuffing pastas, there’s no limit to what you can do. Perogies, won-tons, manti, ravioli, each country seems to have their own version. The flavor combinations are endless –  a great source of creative inspiration you feel stuck for supper ideas.

An easy way to explore stuffed pastas is to purchase pre-made wonton wrappers. Simply paint the edges with water, fill them with whatever filling you like, seal them (I use a small hand held won-ton press) then they can be baked, steamed or pan fried. You can make an afternoon (and a group project) of it and fill your freezer!

Woman’s History Month

March is also Woman’s History month with International Woman’s Day being celebrated on March 8th. If you have girls, taking the time to inspire them in Math, Sciences and the Trades (traditionally male dominated fields) is very important. You can do this by learning about women in prominent jobs who are making a difference in the world and by seeking out and speaking with strong women in your family and community.

Even if you have boys, raising them with a respect for women and what they can accomplish is also very important for their development. We need to raise our kids with the understanding that while boys and girls are different and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, we are all equal, and are more successful by working together and supporting each other.

There are a few ideas to help you celebrate March. I hope you enjoy them!

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Posted in Activites/Games, Holidays.

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