Bubbles that bounce

Bubbles that bounceEveryone loves blowing and playing with bubbles. Wouldn’t it be great if the bubbles didn’t pop the instant you touched them? We have just the recipe! This activity involves a little pre-planning — you make the bubble solution the day before — but it’s worth it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup distilled drinking water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • 1 teaspoon of glycerin (available at most craft and drugstores)
  • Straw and/or bubble wand*
  • Clean glove (or sock) — helps keep the bubbles from popping

* You can also make your own bubble wand. Check out the directions below – you just need a wire hanger, needle nose pliers and some beads.

Continue reading

Reach Out and Read

mott blog - jess fealy and daughter RoRA trip to the doctor’s office can be scary for small children, but we’ve helped fix that while also encouraging children to read through our involvement in the national “Reach Out and Read” program.

At many of our pediatric primary care clinics, every child from the age of six months to five years who comes in for an annual check up receives a brand new, age-appropriate book for free.

We’ve been participating in this program for 13 years and it’s tremendously valuable to both the doctors and the patients and families.

Continue reading

Groove to the beat: DIY drum activity

DIY drum activities for kidsPlaying music is fun, but you don’t need expensive instruments to make music. Using some simple household items, you can make your own instruments and then start grooving and playing together.

DIY Drum Activity

Supplies:

  • Packing tape (clear)
  • Cylinder-shaped object open at top and bottom (cardboard oatmeal cylinders work well, ice cream buckets, or a section of large PVC pipe)
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Remove both ends of the cylinder you plan to use. Be sure to cover any rough or sharp edges with tape. Take the packing tape and make big strips across one of the open ends (run the tape about two or three inches down the side of your drum). Be sure to keep the tape tight across the top as you work. Make an X with every two pieces of tape you use. Keep placing strips of tape until the entire top of your drum is covered with at least two layers of tape.

Continue reading

Baked pita chips

Baked pita chipsThese pita chips make a great crunchy snack, and your kids can help make them! Try them with the bean dip we featured last week!

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole wheat pitas
  • 2 teaspooons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut each pita into 8 triangles.  Then open each triangle and separate it into two pieces. You should end up with 32 triangles.

Continue reading

Poison plants

A parent's guide to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac

Poison plantsNothing ruins fun in the outdoors like a good case of poison ivy (or oak or sumac). While some people experience minor irritation when they come in contact with one of these poison plants, others can have an extreme reaction that lingers for days and even weeks. You don’t even need to touch the plant directly. Sometimes just contact with another person or object that is carrying the oils from the plant can cause irritation.

Avoiding the rash 

If you’re going to be outside in a wooded area, wear protective clothing such as pants, or high socks if wearing shorts. Make sure your child wears gloves if gardening or doing yard work alongside you. If you do come into contact with an irritant, washing any potential oils off of the skin and underneath the fingernails within 10 minutes of contact will improve the likelihood of reducing the symptoms. Consider using a barrier protectant such as “Ivy Block,” which needs to be reapplied every four hours.

Continue reading

Going on a bug safari

Play your own bug safari!Nature provides boundless ways to engage children. A walk outside can become an adventure with just a few helpful tools and an active imagination. Here’s an activity that can be easily done anywhere with kids — including your own backyard or the neighborhood park!

Bug Fun Facts

Did you know that if you put all the insects in the world on a giant scale, they would weigh more than all the humans?

Scientists estimate there are 6 to 10 million insects in the world and only about 1 million have been identified and named.

Insects are an essential part of the natural world and vary in size, color and shape — just like the plants they depend on. Insects have specialized eyes, mouths, legs and wings that allow them to interact with plants and animals in unusual and interesting ways.

You can take a Bug Safari anywhere, just step outside to discover the wonderful world of insects.

Continue reading