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Do you like to draw? Or make things? Then March is perfect for you. It’s both Crafts Month and Youth Art Month. It’s also Kite Month, which can certainly be a craft, both making and flying.

Nicker loves March. Like all sea dragons, he doesn’t mind cold, but sure does enjoy when things begin to warm. Also, March has Peanut Day (March 1) and Peanut Cluster Day (March 8). In fact, March is Peanut Month. THE WHOLE MONTH! Nicker is very happy about that. He likes regular peanuts, peanut butter, peanut clusters, peanut pie, candy with peanuts, roast peanuts, boiled peanuts, baked peanuts …. For his birthday last month he got a big bag of peanuts with sea salt from the Sea Dragon Sea Salt Store. (Your local store probably has sea salt but probably not OFFICIAL Sea Dragon Sea Salt. You could ask, though.)

Peanuts grow underground, like carrots and potatoes (although peanuts aren’t carrots or potatoes). There are many kinds. One of the most common is the Virginia Gold – although most peanuts are grown in Georgia (USA). Spanish peanuts have more of a red color and are smaller, and usually have the “skin” still on. Although you might be able to grow them in your back yard, most peanuts are harvested by machine. Watch the video of a peanut harvest below.

Georgia peanut harvest

For Kite Month (or any month) you can buy a kite. Since this is Crafts Month, think about crafting (making) a kite!  Then, of course, you get to fly a kite. Who knows. Maybe you can be part of – or at least see – a kite festival.

Make a kite

How to fly a kite

kite festival

There are many kinds of crafts. You can find thousands of places on the internet for ideas. You probably have at least one crafts store near where you live. Then there is your own imagination! Look at Toys From Nothing. Those wonderful crafts are made from whatever happens to be around – sticks, stones, scraps, whatever.

Crafts

On March 20, winter becomes spring. That will lead to summer, then to autumn, and back to winter. Seasons happen a little because of where our planet is around the sun. Far more important is because Earth is tilted. It’s easier to understand if you think of the poles. In the winter, the north pole (where Santa lives) gets no sunlight at all, and the south pole (where many penguins live) gets no night at all. That’s why the winter in the north is the summer in the south. In between, for much of our planet, the amount of day and night changes through the year. This is a great time to learn more about why it’s getting warmer – or colder.

Seasons

What else is going on for March?

MARCH 1 – PEANUT LOVERS

This is one of Nicker’s favorite holidays. (You know how much he loves peanuts.) It’s sad that some people have an allergy to peanuts. If you don’t have this allergy, there are recipes in Lunch With Nicker, even one on how to make your own peanut butter. Peanuts have been grown and eaten for thousands of years. It’s known that the ancient Aztecs would roast and grind them into a paste – the first peanut butter. Marcellus Edson of Canada was the first to actually patent how it’s done. That was in 1884. His main idea was to come up with a food people could eat when they had problems with their teeth. For a while it was called “monkey butter.” Peanuts themselves have been popular in the shell, roasted, boiled, salted, unsalted, flavored, put into candy bars … and on and on and on.

Peanut Butter

 

MARCH 2 – DR. SEUSS

One of the most famous of all writers for children is Dr. Seuss. His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel. He was born on this day in 1904. When he began writing, he used the name Theophratus Suess. What a lot of people don’t know is that he was not only a great writer but also a great artist. He did his own drawings. He ended up with 46 books. Do you have a favorite? (I do.)

suess

Since this is also Crafts Month, check out this fun craft about Dr. Seuss.

 

MARCH 4 – DISCOVER WHAT YOUR NAME MEANS

Danny’s name means “God is my judge.” Nicker is from a word of Iceland that pretty much means “sea horse.” Gordie’s name comes from the Scottish (where Loch Ness is) and means “spacious fort.” You can find out the meaning of your name many ways. Just one is behindthename.com.

 

MARCH 6 – OREO COOKIE

The most popular cookie of all time is the Oreo. The original was made from two chocolate wafers and a smear of creme between. Now you can find them with double cream and with all kinds of flavors. It has been around since 1912 when it was called “the Oreo Biscuit” and made by the National Biscuit Company – now shortened to Nabisco. (How many of your friends know what Nabisco really means?)

oreo

 

MARCH 7 – CEREAL

Did you have a bowl of cereal this morning? Many people do, usually with milk. Your cereal might be made from wheat, oats, corn, rice or other grains. It could be a mixture of grains. Danny likes corn flakes. Nicker prefers peanut flakes – but those are hard to find at the store, which is okay because you almost never see sea dragons shopping at the store.

 

MARCH 8 – DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

Spring is almost here, which means summer is coming (at least for those north of the Equator) and so since we’ll have more sunlight than ever … LET’S SAVE IT! At least we do with clocks. Nothing is really saved, we just start the day earlier (by the clock) and go to bed later (by the clock). So if it was 8 o’clock (by the clock) yesterday, today it will be 7 o’clock (by the clock) and if you go to bed at 10 o’clock tonight (by the clock) you can stay up to 11 o’clock (by the clock) because tomorrow if you get up at 6 o’clock i(by the clock) t will be 5 o’clock (by the clock). Then next fall when there is less sunlight and you want more, you get to do it all over again in reverse. That’s when you wake at 7 o’clock (by the clock) but it’s still dark because there is no sunlight because it’s 6 o’clock (by the clock) until they change the clocks (by the clock).

 

MARCH 11 – JOHNNY APPLESEED

His real name was John Chapman. It’s known that he was born on September 26, 1774. That is another Johnny Appleseed Day. Many believe that he died on this day in 1845, but no one is sure. Anyway, we have TWO Johnny Appleseed Days each year. Walt Disney made many cartons and other movies. This one isn’t historically accurate, but it’s a fun cartoon about Johnny Appleseed.

 

MARCH 13 – DONALD DUCK

Almost everyone knows about Mickey Mouse and Disneyland. Despite what many don’t know is that Donald was in more cartoons and movies than Mickey. Do you know the names of his nephews? How about the name of his rich uncle?

donald duck

 

MARCH 14 – POTATO CHIP

Potatoes are important as food. They are used in many ways – baked, boiled, shredded, fried. What America calls “French fries” (which aren’t French), the British call “chips.” In America, “chips” are potatoes sliced very thin and fried in hot oil. In most places, you can get regular, wavy, salted, lightly salted, fried, baked, and in a variety of flavors.

Potato Chips

 

MARCH 16 – ST. URHO

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. He is linked with Ireland and the color green. The legend is that he chased the snakes out of Ireland. There are a few problems with that. His name wasn’t Patrick. He wasn’t Irish (he was Welsh). His color was blue, not green. And Ireland doesn’t have snakes. Never did. Well … the people of Finland decided to have some friendly fun with all this. So, they invented St. Urho. There really was a St. Patrick, and he did some wonderful things. St. Urho is an invention. Made up. Instead of chasing snakes, St. Urho chased giant grasshoppers usually with a pitchfork. That was so the grasshoppers didn’t eat all the grapes. (Gordie loves that part of the story.)

 

MARCH 17 – ST. PATRICK

As you read from yesterday, there really was a St. Patrick. He wasn’t Irish, though, he was Welsh. After being a slave, he dedicated his life as a teacher. To do this he went back to Ireland … called the Emerald Isle because of all the green there (emeralds are green) … where he’d been a slave … so St. Patrick is now thought of as being Irish and represented by green.

 

MARCH 20 – VERNAL EQUINOX

It’s the first day of spring! You probably won’t notice that winter is over, though. The change of seasons happens slowly. It also happens differently, depending on where you live. In the north, the days are getting longer. In the south the days are getting shorter. As the north is heading for summer, the south is heading for winter. If you missed it earlier, you can watch a video about seasons here. If you like words … vernal means spring. Equinox is in there because this is the day that, at least in some places, there is an equal about of day and night.

 

MARCH 21 – CORN DOG

The history of hot dogs isn’t really known. That depends on what you call a “hot dog.” The hot dog most know today came from the sausage – and that also depends on what you call “sausage.” Eventually, people got the idea to make less of a mess by putting them in a bun – sliced bread. That led to putting the “bun” around the hot dog. In 1929 what came to be called the Korny Dog was patented. Along with this patent were listed batter-covered and deep-fried ham, eggs, cheese, apples, peaches. pineapples, cherries, and so on. Later – no one is sure just when – came the idea of putting them on a stick.

You can make your own, but an adult is needed because HOT!!! oil is used. You can make them *full sized on skewers (bamboo or wood skewers are easy to find and not expensive) or as mini corn dogs.

make a corn dog

mini corn dogs

 

 

MARCH 22 – GOOF OFF

Too many do this every day. Goof off. Do nothing. On this day, it’s allowed. Hmmm, that’s fun for you but … what if EVERYONE goofed off? Mom wouldn’t make your breakfast because she was goofing off. You’d have to make it, which means you’re not goofing off. You might want to goof off by reading a great book from the library … but the librarian is goofing off so you don’t get a book. How about going to the store for some ice cream? Naw, can’t do that. They’re goofing off. Okay, fine! Watch TV. No good, the broadcasters are goofing off.

 

MARCH 23 – PUPPY

Do you have a pet? Maybe a dog? A young dog is called a puppy. Even if you don’t have a dog – or a puppy – this is a day to learn something about dogs … and puppies. For this day you might enjoy reading Puppies in the Woodpile. When you’re done reading, have some fun watching puppies at play.

 

MARCH 24 – CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS

Prunes and dried plums. Raisins are dried grapes. Both are good for you. Then someone got the idea of dipping raisins in chocolate. What a treat! Here is an easy way to make your own.

 

MARCH 26 – SPINACH

Not everyone likes spinach. It often has a bitter taste, and since it grow in sandy soil, if not cleaned properly can have a nasty grit to it that hurts your teeth. The cartoon character Popeye was created in part to get children to eat their spinach. Maybe you would like to grow your own?

 

MARCH 28 – BARNUM AND BAILEY

There have been circuses for thousands of years. The first REALLY big circus began when James Bailey got together with P.T. Barnum. The Ringling brothers bought it in 1907. By 1919, it all combined and became “The Greatest Show on Earth.” About 10 years later, five more circuses were added. By 1968, the Ringling Brothers and Barney & Bailey Clown College. Would you like to be a clown? Maybe you’d like to ride an elephant, or fly through the air on a trapeze. For now … let’s just go to the circus.

 

MARCH 29 – PALM SUNDAY

Palm Sunday is said to be the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem. This holiday is the Sunday just before Easter Sunday (April 5 this year). You may know the story, although there are several versions. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. People spread palm leaves in front. Today, since palm trees aren’t found everywhere, the tradition came to put down, or carry, whatever branches were available. Some call this Yew Sunday, in places where yew trees grow. It’s also sometimes called Branch Sunday.

 

MARCH 30 – PENCIL

Did you know that a pencil lead isn’t lead? It’s most often something called graphite. Way back, something called lamp black was used for this and for ink. (Lamp black is the soot from a kerosene or coal oil lamp.) Charcoal, even burned wood sticks, was also used for writing. Then a way was found to grind carbon (charcoal, etc.) and mix it with a glue that would harden. That gets messy on the fingers, though, so ways were invented to hold that. Most pencils use wood. Others use mechanical holders. You can also find pencils with no graphite, just some kind of coloring. No matter what, though, pencil lead has no lead. Do you want to see how pencils are made?

how pencils are made