What is your pulse?

Hands-on activity to help kids see and understand their pulse

learn about pulseHave you every wondered what doctors are listening for with their stethescope, or when you see someone putting their fingers on someone’s wrist to check their “pulse?”

Feeling your pulse is one thing, but here is a fun activity from PBS Kids that will allow you to SEE your pulse!

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Taking corn beyond the cob

Fresh ideas for integrating sweet corn into your summer menus

mott blog - corn featured imageNothing tastes better on a warm summer evening than fresh sweet corn. As delicious as it is straight off the cob, you’ll find that there are many other ways to use it in a wide array of recipes your kids will love.

Our Patient and Family Nutrition Services team helped us find a few recipes that have their seal of approval:  summer corn fritters, grilled chicken and corn quesadillas, and fresh corn soup with basil.

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Adventures in the natural world

Wonder and excitement in your own backyard!

MOTT BLOG - lsnc featured imageA hundred bubbles were flying in the air, with a dozen children excitedly popping them.

I pointed to the sky and shouted “la luna!” All eyes turned and gazed at the moon clearly visible in the early evening sky.

“She’s rising” I said. “Does anyone know what phase the moon is in?” “Waxing”, one boy answered. “Yes…it’s a sliver on the right – getting bigger every night! See you tomorrow moon.” We all waved skyward, then bubbles flew again!

These moments happen daily at Leslie Science & Nature Center, where we draw attention, use teachable moments, and hone observations about what is happening around us in the natural world.

Creating opportunity for daily observation of the natural world is a great way to engage children and adults together, to explore questions, create a moment of respite and observe beauty. These moments can refresh us at the core – perhaps even at the soul level. Take time to see changes through the seasons, look at patterns, colors and shapes. Look at living things up close, look far – at broad expanse of the landscape, silhouettes, shadows and tree shapes. Looking “far” relaxes our eyes, especially in a culture of up close texts and computer screen time. Even when we simply observe the bubbles we blow, we can observe the elusive wind, as the bubble orbs rise and undulate, shifted by the invisible hand of air currents and updrafts. Observations are, of course, best done outside, but if you are unable to venture out – find a large window to the world. This can still offer many great observations.

Here are four simple observation games you can try:

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Pick a theme, any theme

Create new experiences all summer long

mott blog - theme week 3This summer, plan your own fun week focused on what your child or family enjoys. Pick a theme and build activities around that theme. Kids love getting involved in thinking of things to do. Planning the week can be half the fun! Your local library is always a great stop to include in any theme week. You’ll find books and videos there on almost any topic. Here are some great theme options and ideas to get you started.


Calling all dancers, and that includes any of you who just like to move to the music. Dance week let’s you explore all forms of dance — ballet, tap, jazz, modern, ballroom, swing…The list keeps going. Look for a local dance performance and take the family. Call a local dance studio to see if they offer any drop-in courses. Check out books and videos from the library to watch and learn about famous dancers. Part of the fun in dancing is the costumes. With a few supplies from the craft or fabric store (and of course some rhinestones or glitter) your children can create their own costume pieces. Then put on some music and dance.

mott blog - win a craft pack week 4

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Car seat check

Does everyone who transports your child know the golden rules of car seat safety?

Many parents find themselves needing to enlist grandparents and babysitters to help get busy children where they need to be.

Car seat installation and use can be intimidating, though.  For individuals who don’t use car seats very often, especially, there may be new guidelines and safety features that they aren’t aware of.

Even for someone who uses a car seat every day, it’s not a bad idea to get a quick refresh on car seat safety.

This video from our Injury Prevention specialists covers tips that address some of the most common car seat installation and use issues we run into in our communities.

For more car seat safety tips, and a guide to finding a car seat fitting station in your community, visit our Car Seat Safety web page.



best children's hospitalUniversity of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.

Campfire Treats

Healthy camping treats, and some new spins on old campfire classics

Photo courtesy KidzWorld Kitchen


Camping has been a longstanding summer tradition throughout my childhood and adult life. My favorite vacations have always been our trips to the northwestern coast of Michigan with friends and family, spending our days on the pristine beaches of Lake Michigan, followed by evenings of unwinding by the campfire.

And if a camping trip isn’t in the cards, maybe you can pop the tent in the backyard and make some of these treats over a backyard campfire, or on the grill!

It is so easy to pack the car full of processed convenience foods for quick and easy traditional camping treats. Your family will feel better, though, if you plan some healthy treats into your camping adventure. And the good news is, there are plenty of ways to have all the nostalgia of the classic campfire treats and still feed your family the good stuff their bodies need. Here are some ideas:

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