## Sunday, July 27, 2008

SMMART MUSIC: LIMBO!
Turn on some fun dancing music and let out the "LIMBO!" cry!

Rest a broom handle or other stick horizontally. You can also just hold the broom handle horizontally if you can’t find anywhere to rest it. Another idea is to tape a ribbon across a doorway and lower it as the game progresses.

Explain to your child that they should try to go under the stick without touching it. Lower the stick each time your child attempts to limbo. Observe the interesting ways she may attempt to go under the stick as it gets lower and lower.

There are other ways to adapt this musical game:

• You can play animal limbo, where everyone has to move and make sounds like different animals- no repeats.
• You can specify how to go under the stick: “Everyone has to crab walk limbo!” “Now, we’ll roll limbo.” “Time to somersault limbo!” “Try the snake slither limbo.” You can go first to show your child the movements.
• Follow the leader. Your child can go under the stick first in a silly fashion and then you have to follow.

However you play Limbo, you’ll enjoy movement and music together!

Lisa

## Sunday, July 20, 2008

SMMART MATH: STEPS
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Here’s a little exercise while we apply math principles!

Counting steps- you can do this activity anywhere and apply it in a number of ways.

In its simplest form, help your child count the number of steps it takes to go from one place to another. As you walk down the isle of a store ask your child how many steps it takes to go from one end of the isle to the other end. Count your steps from the top of the driveway to the bottom. Count together, the number of steps it takes to walk from the front door to the mailbox.

Now for a couple of more advanced approaches:

-Let your child count the number of steps it takes from one spot to another, while placing one foot RIGHT in front of the other (toe to heel to toe). Let her write that number down. Now have her walk that same distance taking GIGANTIC steps. Write that number down. Have your child subtract the two numbers to see how much more efficient it is to take bigger steps.

-Use a stopwatch to time your child as they take steps from one spot to another. Try walking with baby steps, huge steps, jumping with two feet, and walking backwards. (They can time themselves and subtract the two times to see which style of walking is faster).

-Compare your steps to your child’s as you walk side by side. Talk about why you may reach a destination first. You can race each other taking baby steps, walking backwards and jumping with both feet.

Okay, now, Step to it!
Lisa

## Sunday, July 13, 2008

SMMART SCIENCE: SUMMER BUBBLE BOMBS

It’s summer in Utah, so let’s take advantage of the good weather and make some bubbles outside. These bubbles are explosive so watch out!

Using baking soda and vinegar, you can pop a plastic bag with the power of fizz.

You will need:
¼ cup warm water
Measuring cups
Sealable plastic bags (make sure there are no holes in the bag)
Paper towels
1 ½ Tb baking soda
½ cup vinegar

· Cut a paper towel into a 5X5 inch square.

· Place 1 ½ Tb of baking soda into the center of the square and fold the paper towel into a “time-release” packet around the baking soda. With the baking soda in the center of the square, fold opposite sides of the paper towel over the baking soda to form a rectangle. Then fold the short sides down and over the center to form a square packet.

· Pour ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of warm water into the plastic bag.

· Quickly drop the baking soda packet into the plastic bag and seal the bag before too much fizzing occurs. (Another method could be to seal the bag half way and then drop in the packet and close the seal. You could also put the packet into the bag, but pinch it through the sides of the bag so it doesn’t touch the vinegar and water until you seal the bag and then drop in the packet.)

· Shake the bag a little. Put it on the ground, in the sink or in the bathtub and watch as the bag puffs up and POPS!

Vinegar and baking soda react to form carbon dioxide gas. This is how quick bread or cake that use these ingredients can rise. The carbon dioxide bubbles in the batter are the result of a chemical reaction that combines the (acidic) vinegar and (basic) baking soda. Sometimes the recipe may call for another acidic ingredient, like buttermilk, sour milk or orange juice.Some quick bread recipes also use baking powder instead of or along with baking soda.

Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and an acidic catalyst like tartaric acid or calcium acid phosphate. Adding water starts the fizzing reaction going.

It might be fun to bake some quick breads together with your child. Observe the batter before it bakes and observe the air pockets in the bread after it is baked. Ask your child if he knows what may have caused the air pockets to be in the bread. Talk about how bread rises.You may want to change some (independent) variables to see what happens:

· What happens if you change the type of paper in which you wrap the baking soda?

· What happens if you use cold water or no water at all?

· What would happen if you use a bigger plastic bag, but the same amount of ingredients?

You can find this and other fun activities at:http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/bubblebomb.html

Lisa

## Sunday, July 6, 2008

TIME-OUT FOR SKILLS

Your child is growing and reaching new milestones. Practice new skills with your child that she should be learning to accomplish.

Study a list of skills that your child should be able to perform at her age. There are many skills lists to be found on the internet with a simple search. Here are a couple of websites that provide important milestones for your child:

http://parentcenter.babycenter.com/big-kid?pn=Article%20page&intcmp=Nav_Global_Bigkid