On painted wings: Butterfly activities for kids

Butterfly activities for kidsThe joy of watching a butterfly fluttering in the summer sun is timeless. Something you can probably remembering doing as a child and something your own children undoubtedly enjoy. Young children simply marvel at their beauty, while older children can truly appreciate the miracle of the butterfly’s transformation from egg to caterpillar to butterfly.

This week, let’s learn about butterflies native to Michigan with some fun butterfly activities.

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Running with children

Tips on how to introduce your child to running, even if you’re not a runner yourself!

Tips on getting started running with your kidsRunning is a great activity families can enjoy together. You don’t have to be a marathoner or even a running enthusiast to get started having some fun while being active with your family. It’s also a great opportunity to be a role model of living an active lifestyle. If you’ve never run before, start out slow and work up your stamina.

Here are some tips for getting started running with children:

How young is too young?

There’s no data that shows there is a lower age limit for starting running. That’s best evaluated on an individual basis. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate your child’s interest (they may need a little prompting at first, but remember, this is for fun, not training for the Olympics).

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Crispy oven-baked chicken tenders

Oven-baked chicken tendersChicken tenders are a main staple on the list of kid-approved items many families rely on for easy week night meals.  Finger food that’s dippable and can be served quickly with almost anything – what’s not to like?

This recipe for homemade crispy, oven-baked chicken tenders from Rebecca Wauldron, Executive Chef at Busch’s Fresh Food Markets, is not only something your kids can help making, but they will actually enjoy eating them, too.

And because they’re baked, not fried, they are much better for you than fast food versions and many of the freezer varieties, as well!

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You can Make Health!

mott blog - design app imageHave you heard of the maker movement? It’s a grass roots “Do It Yourself” (DIY) movement to encourage kids and adults to “learn by doing”, and to do this learning with peers, for the purposes of fun and self-fulfillment.

We (myself and my colleague Matt Kenyon, Associate Professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design) are leading a group of individuals at the University of Michigan and from the larger community, to support maker activities for health, as we believe that kids and caregivers should part of the creation and promotion of health.

To encourage kids to become creators and designers of their own tools and technologies for health, we have created this app design tool.

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Healthcare design by us (and you!)

Creating a culture of participatory design in healthcare

mott blog - healthdesignbyus imageHere’s a statement you don’t see too many blog posts start out with…

We don’t know what we’ve created, but we know we’re onto something big.

It’s called Healthdesignby.us, and it’s a community of individuals (patients, doctors, makers, artists, designers, researchers, professors, students, advocates) passionate about health, technology, and participatory design.

Curious? Concerned? Skeptical? Let me give you some background.

It all started with a YouTube video.

I know there are lots of readers thinking, “Seriously? A YouTube video?”

Yup. I made a YouTube video with my son back in the fall of 2012.

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Rolling good times: DIY ball and ramp activity

Ball and ramp activityKids generally love science, and with good reason since it taps into their natural curiosity. Here’s a fun, simple activity we like to do at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum that you can easily do at home — and you probably have everything you need in your home right now! It’s called “Build a Ball, Make a Ramp.” Two of the perks of this activity are that it gives kids an opportunity for free play and helps them learn about simple machines.

In a nutshell – this activity basically provides the supplies for your child to build a ball, and then a ramp to roll their ball on.

Supplies
You won’t need all of these, just round up whatever you have at home.
• Play-Doh/clay
• Rubber bands
• Scraps of fabric/washcloths
• Paper plates and cups
• Rulers/paint sticks
• Twist ties
• Foam sheets
• Plastic wrap
• Aluminum foil
• Plastic containers

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