Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Why do toasted rice crispies SNAP, CRACKLE and POP?

"When Kellogg's* Rice Krispies are toasted the cooked and dried rice "berries" expand their size (puff) to many times their normal size. Since the weight of the rice berry and its material mass remains nearly the same, the rice material is stretched to form very thin walls of the Rice Krispies structure. This is much like a very thin glass crystal. When subjected to a change in heat, a severe "stress" is set up and the thin wall fractures - creating a Snap, Crackle and Pop!
This happens in the cereal bowl when cold milk (i.e. heat stress) is poured in the Rice Krispies and presto SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! The sounds are made by the uneven absorption of milk by the cereal bubbles." (
Pour your child a bowl of crisp rice cereal and let her listen to the little rice "berries" after you pour a little cold milk on them. Observe how the toasted rice "crystal" cavities fill with milk.
Now for the experimenting...Set up a few bowls of dry cereal and a few cups of different liquids. Let your child pour the different liquids onto the dry bowls of toasted rice.
Do the rice "berries" make the same amount of sound when you pour a different type of liquid on them?

Try warm water, cold water, soda, warm milk and cold milk. Talk about your observations with your child.
After eating a bowl of toasted rice cereal, we made RICE KRISP GHOSTS:
Whip up a batch of "Rice Krispie Treats":

-Melt 1/4 cup butter

-Add 10oz marshmallows and mix around in the butter. Put back in microwave for about a minute so the marshmallows are melty
-Stir together to help melt the marshmallows down.
-Add 8 cups of toasted rice cereal and stir mixture all together until rice cereal is mixed in well.

-Pour mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the mixture into a ghost form...like a hay stack.

-Sit the mound onto another sheet of plastic wrap and smoosh the bottom of the mixture to flatten the bottom.

-Refrigerate to allow mixture to harden.
-Melt white chocolate chips in microwave. Remove chocolate and stir till smooth. Use a spatula to smooth chocolate over the toasted rice/marshmallow mounds.

-Refrigerate till chocolate hardens.

-Use a little melted white chocolate as "glue" to secure two black chocolate chips onto the ghosts as eyes.
These make fun little Halloween gift treats for your friends (wrap in celophane and tie with pretty black and orange ribbon!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Roxanne, a producer for "Good Things Utah", pulled me aside the last time I was on set. She showed me these DARLING Halloween Hats that she cut out of paper plates! She is quite the talent, but I made patterns of her work that I'll gladly e-mail to you if you'd like them (SMMARTideas (at) Hotmail.com).

Roxanne said to be sure to use the cheap, thin paper plates. Fold the paper plate in half. First begin cutting along the trim in a semi-circle until you almost come to the end...and you can begin to cut out the shape you want. Make sure that the shape is connected to the outer rim somehow.

You can draw the pattern onto the plate for your child to cut out, or you can cut it out for him. Then let your child decorate his hat with crayons, paint, stickers, jewels, feathers, and glitter.

Roxanne said that these hats are great for any holiday and animals make great shapes for these hats too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Ahhh,...so soon will our children be running from door to door in an effort to amass huge amounts of sugary treats...

I say: "Let's make them earn their candy!!!" It's amazing how these little outstretched hands and wide eyes are so motivated to learn at the very moment that you hand out their daily ration of goodies. Here are a couple of ways to capitalize on the candy situation:


Have your child count the number of pieces he receives from you each day.

Practice addition-You can hand him three pieces and then one more and ask “Three + one equals…?”

Sort the candy by color, chewy vs hard, into piles of similar candies…

Create a bar graph by taping wrappers onto a piece of cardboard (number of candies vs. types) I like this idea because your child sees how much candy she is consuming...and kids LOVE to glue things! If nothing else, consider keeping the wrappers from all that they eat each day and leave them on the counter or in a bowl, so they (and you) are aware of how much candy they really are eating each day.

Count the amount of candy (in the whole stash, or just the allotted amount each day)… have your child write down the number of pieces to practice number writing. (Your child can trace the numbers you write down if they don’t know how to form the numbers on their own.)

Write numbers 1-10 on a piece of paper. You can let your child draw/paint little pumpkins on small paper plates and then label them 1-10. Have your child place the correct number of candies onto each number.Group candy into 2s, 5s or 10s and count by 2s…


“Is it Halloween yet? How many days till Halloween?”

Show your child a calendar and count the number of days until Halloween. Cut out that number of little pumpkins. Have your child draw a picture of himself dressed in his Halloween costume. Tape the little pumpkins over the picture that your child drew. Now each morning, let your child remove one pumpkin from the picture.

On Halloween day, your child will see his picture of himself dressed in his Halloween costume and he’ll know that it’s the big day!


This activity will help familiarize your child with measurement, weight and geometry.

Let your child wrap a piece of yarn around the circumference of the pumpkin. Explain to your child that the circumference is the measurement around a circle. Cut the yarn the size of the circumference and lay it flat to measure it with your child. Be sure to use the terms “inches” or “centimeters” with your child.

Tie a pencil onto one end of a piece of yarn. Let your child (estimate) measure the radius of the pumpkin with the yarn, with the pencil resting on the stem and cut the yarn to size. Hold the cut end of the yarn in the middle of a piece of paper with your finger. Have your child pull the yarn tight and draw a circle around the middle point.

Now, let your child squeeze glue onto the drawn circle. Glue down the circumference piece of yarn onto the circle your child drew and see if it roughly lines up. Help your child draw the radius and diameter of the circle, or lay down pieces of yarn representing the diameter and radius. Ask your child to name each part of the circle you have discussed.

Let your child weigh the pumpkin on a scale and write down the number if she is able to do so. Weigh a small pumpkin and weigh a large pumpkin. Which pumpkin weighs more? Be sure to use the word “Pounds” (lb.) with your child. Have your child weigh himself…how many pumpkins would it take to weight what your child weighs?

You can count the pumpkin seeds by 2s and 5s, or gather into groups of 10 to count them up by 10s.

Let me know if you come up with any other fun Halloween Math ideas!

Monday, October 12, 2009


ideas from today's SMMART Halloween Math segment on "Good Things Utah" will be posted on Sunday...so check in next week! (You can also check out the GTU website where they're posted the day of the segment.)

Also, be sure to enter the "Wild Things" Giveaway on Tuesday, October 13th for an awesome gift pack (Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are book, 2 tics to Megaplex Theatres IMAX pajama party for "Where the Wild Things Are" movie, 4 tics to Thanksgiving Point Museum of Ancient History).

Enter at http://Giveawaytoday.blogspot.com Winner will be announced at midnight.

Thanks so much and be sure to pass on this site to other moms who would like to check out Science, Math, Music, Art, and Reading activities that I post weekly on my site.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


SMMART ideas will be featured on http://giveawaytoday.blogspot.com/ on October 13th. Hopefully more moms, grandmas, care-givers and teachers will be introduced to SMMART ideas!

Go to http://giveawaytoday.blogspot.com/ on October 13th to win a "WILD THINGS" gift-pack GIVEAWAY!

A few local businesses have been nice enough to donate these great gifts:

*Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is being donated by a darling children’s bookstore in Tooele, UT called The Purple Cow Bookstore.(http://purplecowbookstore.blogspot.com/)

The Purple Cow Bookstore is having a fun, WILD RUMPUS on October 16th at their store: 992 N. Main St. Tooele, UT (435) 882-9805. They'll be reading the book, and there will be wild thing activities to enjoy!

*Larry H. Miller’s Megaplex Theatres has donated two tickets to attend their PAJAMA PARTY for “Where the Wild Things Are” ($18 value/each ticket)!

On October 17th at 9:00am, guests are invited to attend a breakfast in their pajamas and they'll participate in a reading of Sendak's book and watch the movie in 2D IMAX! The pajama party will be full of fun, giveaways and prizes! (If you can't make the party-you can still get two tickets to the movie!) (http://www.megaplextheatres.com/) (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Megaplex-Movie-Theaters-and-Jordan-Commons/49252845147)

Nov.7th, Megaplex theatres will host a pajama party for the upcoming Disney's "Christmas Carol", starring Jim Carey.

*Thanksgiving Point has donated a family-four-pack of tickets to their Museum of Ancient Life where you can check out some ancient “wild things” that used to roam the earth.(http://www.thanksgivingpoint.com/)

Thanks to our awesome sponsors!

So...head over to http://giveawaytoday.blogspot.com/ for your chance to win!!!!!


Sunday, October 4, 2009


Summer is winding down in the northern hemisphere...sigh. Enjoy these last few weeks of playground fun weather!

Throughout the day as you come across familiar words and objects, stop to ask your child what letter a certain word starts with.

You could ask your child what letter her name starts with: “Daniela, what letter does Daniela start with? D-D-D-Daniela”. Emphasize the letter sound that the word begins with.

This activity can be fun to do on a swing outside. Pull your child towards you and ask her the letter start of a word before you let her go.

"Swing...S-S-S...Swing. What letter does Swing start with?"

When she answers correctly, or you help her and tell her the correct answer, reward her by giving her a big push on the swing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I am trying to figure out a few things about blog design...and tinkering around with a few things. I wish I was a master at HTML...but alas. I am learning a lot by googling and searching out ways to redesign this blog. I am sort of a do-it-yourselfer in many ways...but in many ways I will seek out professional help if I get in over my head.

http://www.aprilshowersblogdesign.com/ is not helping my do-it-yourself side. I was on a friend's blog and IT WAS SOOOO CUTE! I had to ask her who designed it, and she led me to April, a 24 year old NBC intern-by day/blog designer-by night. She does some really nice work and this week she's offering 50% off of her prices when you blog about her. She's teamed up with an 18 year old graphic designer and they're doing amazing things together (So young, so talented. Kind of reminds me of when I was first married and learning to ski...slowly...and these little 4 year olds were whizzing by me-without poles!) ... AGHHHHHH .... What do I do?

...I know what I'm going to do...I'm going to keep trying to figure out a few things and give it a go on my own....and then perhaps crawl over to April.

I am trying to get at least the beginning of the design up and ready before October 13th, when I'm on GTU.
Deadlines, deadlines.


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