Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marshmallow Snowmen Favors
These little guys are a lot of fun to make and are a perfect favor to take home from a winter party.  In this little geometry activity, your child can feel, play with and discover the properties of a cylinder.

You will need:
Clear celophane pretzel bag
twistie tie
7 inch black ribbon to symbolize hat
9 inch festive color fat ribbon for scarf
google eyes
orange triangle nose cut from construction paper
5 marshmallows

Have your child count out 5 marshmallows and slide them into the celophane pretzel bag.  Tie off the top with the twistie.  Talk about the shape of a cylinder marshmallow.  A stack of cylinders also looks like a loooooong cylinder.  Cylinders can roll and stack! 

Tie the black ribbon around the twistie tie to symbolize a top hat.  Tie the festive fat ribbon around the "neck" of your snowman.  You can cut a frayed edge for a scarf look.  Glue on the eyes and nose.  You can use a permanent marker to mark in buttons on the body.
Look for other cylinders around the house...soup cans, cups, rolling pin...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Disguises

My daughter's class sent home an outline of a gingerbread man on a white xerox piece of paper.  She was asked to bring it home and disguise it so that it wouldn't be eaten by Santa on Christmas Day.  She really likes Red Riding Hood lately...

We created our own little clan of gingerbread princess to decorate their bedroom door for the holidays!  We talked about some words that mean disguise like incognito, conceal and camouflage...
The girls loved cutting, drawing and especially gluing their gingerbread girls together.  This is a fun activity that helps put the twinkle of Christmas in their eyes.

"Can't catch me....I'm the gingerbread man (in disguise)!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Name Practice

Look at these cute little turkeys we did for Thanksgiving...but you can use any holiday icon you can think of... Christmas would work great with stars or candy cane shapes.
First have your child draw iconic shapes for the season. Then your child will cut out the pictures. Before you begin the game, practice with your child how to write her name in her best handwriting.

 Now for the fun part!  Have your child hide her eyes in one room of the house while you hide the pictures throughout several rooms (remember how many you hid in each room so you can be sure that your child finds all of the pictures). 

Give your child a pencil and ask her to find all 3 of the pictures hiding in the bathroom.  When she finds each picture, she will write her name on it and then put it back.  When she's done finding all of the pictures in that room she will report back to you.  This gives your child a chance to practice her name on her own, with a little solo time to herself so she feels like a big kid on a mission.

Now ask your child to find the 4 pictures that are hiding in her bedroom.  When she finds them, again, she will write her name on the picture and put it back where she found it.  On and on until every picture is found in each room.

Now when she reports back from the final room, you take her hand and go to each room, where she will show you where she found the pictures and collect them all.  Your child will love to run around with you and show you where she found all of the pictures!
This game is great fun and can be adapted for letter writing practice or spelling word practice.  Your child can write a specific letter that needs special handwriting attention, or you can hide 26 pictures so she can write a letter of the alphabet on each picture. 

Older kids can hunt for pictures to write their spelling words on.  When they show you where they found all the pictures and collect the words, you can correct any spelling errors together.  If there is a word or two that need more practice, then focus the whole game on those two words.

Monday, November 28, 2011

 Thank you letters
This tradition that seems entirely appropriate around the Thanksgiving holiday...

Around this time of year, I reflect on those pivotal people in my life who made a difference to me.  I choose a few of them each year and pen a letter of gratitude to them.

This year I will be including in my list of appreciated, the fabulous Mrs. Keefe, my 7th grade science teacher who made science tangible and an exciting world of wonder.  Thank you, Mrs. Keefe!

Ask your child to think of someone who they admire or who is important in their life.  Help her craft a brief message in her own handwriting.  If your child is too young to write, then have her draw a picture to the special person.

Gratitude is a great gift to share with those who have influenced your child's life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cranberry Letters
No way, you say? ...Cranberries can be THAT FUN!  Oh yes!
Cranberry Letter Snakes:
Set out a bowl of fresh cranberries and a pile of toothpicks on the counter.  Have your child tell you how many letters are in a word that you'd like to practice. 
H-O-P-E has 4 letters, so your child will place 4 cranberries in front of her.  Then, let your child write a letter on each cranberry to spell out the word HOPE.  This is a favorite treat to be able to use the forbidden "permanent markers"!

Now, have your child attach the cranberries together with toothpicks to create their word. 

Keep your child busy learning on Thanksgiving morning while you're basting the turkey by giving your child a list of Thanksgiving words to create with the cranberry letters.  Be sure to make enough cranberry letters to build all the words.  The list lets your child check the list to make sure each word is spelled correctly.

Another fun activity with Cranberry Letters:
Use a black permanent marker and write the letters of a few words you'd like to practice on fresh cranberries.

Remember those water noodles from this summer?  Cut off a one to two foot piece and slice it down the middle in half to form a tube.

Now ask your child to spell or sound out a word.  "How do you spell Turkey?"  Your child finds the correct letters on each cranberry and rolls them down the tube into a bowl.  You can help to make sure he is spelling the word correctly.
Now that you have a bowl full of the correct letters, have your child arrange the cranberry letters into the word T-U-R-K-E-Y.  Voila!  Your child has just spelled a word twice and doesn't even know that he was tricked into practicing his spelling words!

You can also float the cranberries that make a word in a bowl of water and let your child scoop out each letter in order with a slotted spoon.  Double fun!

You can practice sight words or sounding out words too.  Give your child a handful of cranberries with the letters that spell out a word you'd like to practice.  Let her roll the letters down the tube and into a bowl or scoop the letters from a bowl of water.  Arrange the letters into the word you are practicing.  Have your child sound out or recognize the cranberry word.  For some reason, your child will actually have fun reading the word is BECAUSE IT'S WRITTEN ON CRANBERRIES!
Now We're Talkin' Turkey!

Monday, November 14, 2011

SMMART ART: Cranberry Pies

This activity is just for fun and to keep the kiddos busy while you're preparing a lovely turkey feast!

Break out the playdough, or make up a batch of your own salt dough/play dough.  Judy, the nursery leader at our church makes the BEST playdough!
Judy's Play Dough Recipe:
-Mix together in bowl: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt and 1 Tbl Alum. Boil 1 cup of water, add 1 Tbl oil and food coloring to water after it has come to a boil.
-Pour it into the dry ingredients and stir. If it is too sticky add a little more flour. It seems to set up more as it cools down.

Set out the playdough, a mini rolling pin (you can use a fat pencil or short wooden dowel too), a plastic knife and some small cookie cutters.  Lay out a bowl of cranberries too.

Roll up two balls in your hands and flatten them out for your top and bottom crust.  You can shape your bottom crust and flute the edges or just build up the edges and criss-cross pattern them with the edge of the knife.  Fill the bottom crust with cranberries and make a small mound.

You can cut thin strips from the top crust and make a lattice top to cover your pie.  You can cut out little shapes to place over the top of your pie filling, or you can just drape the top crust over your pie and make ventilation slits with your knife. 
So many ways to create the perfect little cranberry pies!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkey Shooters

Gobble, Gobble.  These little Turkey Shooters are fun and easy to make with your kiddos.  Roll up a half-piece of construction paper into a tube.  Make sure the diameter is just large enough to fit a cranberry.  Cut 5 or 6 slits down one end of the tube.  Place a pencil at the tip of one of the "feathers" you just cut and roll the feather over the pencil to curl it.  Curl all of the feathers.  Glue on a pair of googlie eyes and a waddle that you cut from a red piece of construction paper. 

Write a list of festive Thanksgiving words:  Turkey, Pumpkin, Stuffing, Thanks, Pilgrim...  With a permanent marker, write each letter of the words on a separate cranberry.  You don't have to write letters for each word, since some words share letters.  Place the cranberry letters in a bowl.

Have your child hold the beak tip of his Turkey Shooter.  He can put a paperclip on the beak tip to hold it closed if that is easier.  Let your child find the letters of a word on the list from the bowl and place the letters in the correct order into the Turkey Shooter.  When all of the letters are in place, your child can release the beak tip and watch the letters roll out.  If he is skilled enough the letters will stay in order, but many times they roll out quickly and get a little out of order.  Have your child refer to the list to place the cranberry letters in the correct order.  Double spelling practice.

SMMART MATH:  This would be a fun way to practice addition.  3+3=   Place three cranberries into the Turkey Shooter and then three more.  Release the beak tip and then your child can count up the 6 cranberries that roll out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cranberry Garland Patterns

Yes! Cranberry Relish and Turkey Season is approaching! 

On that fine Turkey Day when all are busily baking...keep your children merrily making with a simple cranberry and popcorn garland.
Lay out a bowl of cranberries for each garland maker and a big bowl of popcorn in the center of the table for all to share.  Thread a long piece of dental floss onto a large, fat needle (little hands may need some supervision).

Now, you know the routine...cranberry, cranberry, cranberry, popcorn, popcorn, cranberry, cranberry, cranberry... and so it goes.  Have your child create her own garland pattern. 

Go outside and find the perfect tree upon which to lay your Thanksgiving Bird Feast.  Your child will be particularly thrilled they get to feed the cold little birdies while you all indulge in the cranberry sauce and stuffing inside.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Skeleton Bones

Check out these great resources to help your child learn about his skeletal system! ( Most ideas from http://www.ehow.com/how_5163703_learn-skeletal-system.html)

The Virtual Bodyhttp://www.medtropolis.com/VBody.asp Here you can rebuild a skeleton from a pile of bones, get a tutorial about bone functions and zoom in on bone locations.  This site also has interactive learning activities for the Brain, Heart and Digestive Tract

Cut and Paste Skeletonhttp://westerndairyassociation.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/Skeletal-System.pdf  The cut-and-paste skeleton is on pg14, so scroll down to the last page.

Simon Says- Using this list of bones to play a game of "Simon Says".  "Simon Says touch your tibia.  Touch your fibula."  When Simon says to do something, play continues, but if a player touches a bone area on their body when Simon doesn't say to do so they are out of that round of the game.

Skull             Ribs            Ulna           Fibula
Mandible      Sternum      Humerus    Patella
Vertibra        Clavicle      Pelvis         Phalanges
Sacrum         Scapula       Femur
Coccyx         Radius         Tibia

Hokey Pokey- Using the list of bones above, sing the Hokey Pokey song as you place each bone area in front of you and shake it to the music.

"You put your femur in.  You take your femur out.
You put your femur in and you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!"

The Human Body-Discover your Skeleton- http://www.areyougame.com/interact/item.asp?itemno=JH12495
This skeleton model game helps you learn and identify bones of your skeleton.  Ages 8+

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Favorite Halloween Stories

Just a few of our favorites:
 by Alison McGhee

 by Steven Kroll

 by Jerry Smath

Speaking of good stories, my parents recently visited Gardener Village (south of Salt Lake City, UT) and experienced a wonderful "Ride to a Witch".  They were entertained by a few witches brewing stories of their own.   My mother emailed me about their experience.  It sounds like so much fun, I thought I'd share:

"We paid at the booth and were given cockroaches to give to the tractor trailor man for our entrance on the trailor. He drove us to the witches village. 
Witch Prudence met us and took us to her house where they train witches and showed us some of her formulas that had some floating eyeballs that she proceeded to drink.
After showing us around her place and entertaining us with her wit she encouraged us to go see the Disco Diva witch next door. There we danced disco with the disco witch. 
We proceeded on to the Cauldron Cooking Class where the witch had a large cauldron of bats eyes and wings and various other things that we might want to try when we get home. She then took us to the witches market and instructed us what to buy for our stews. 
Then on to the the story telling witch who enjoyed her own stories very much. She would cackel after each story. We also enjoyed them. 
Then on to the witches graveyard for burial of a headless cockroach. Other dearly departed crickets, dead rats and fellow cockroaches rested there.
Prudence, our first hostess, told us that the witch actors there all had to compete for the witchs' positions and that they come from all around to compete. They have to have their witch's name and dress and persona. Prudence was truly a convincing and funny witch. Just ask the little girl that wouldn't come near her!"

Next year we'll definitely be "Riding to a Witch" for a Halloween treat! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

 Halloween Estimation

So your little Goblin is going to scare his way door to door this Halloween and come back home with a stash of candy...hmmmm...what to do? 

There are a few methods of consumption that I've experienced or heard about:
-Let your kids eat their guts out on Halloween night and then ask them to select 20 more pieces to keep for future treats.
-Your children sort out the types of candy into piles and then only keep the piles of the candy that they really like.
-Turn in your candy for money at certain dentist offices.
-Your children gorge themselves on candy Halloween night and then leave the rest of the candy as an offering to the "switch witch" who, in exchange the next morning, leaves a nice gift for each child.
...I'm sure there are many options...but I like having my kiddos work for their candy!

For example, in subsequent days when your child asks for a few pieces of candy, first have them spell a word to you.  Have your child answer a math problem or recite a poem or scripture. 

How about trying out this Estimation Activity?
Let your little Gobblins pour out their candy stash on the table. Then have them sort their candy by name/type.  Ask your child to estimate how many pieces of camdy are in each pile.  Write down everyone's guess.  Have your child count out each piece in a pile and write the name of the candy and how many are in the pile (great spelling/handwriting and number writing opportunity).

Have your child compare what they guessed to the actual number of candy in each pile. 
Your child can write math phrases showing how their guess compared to the actual number of pieces:
-Greater than/Less than practice: "17 is more than 12"   
-Subtraction practice to determine how off their guess was: "17-12=5" 

Compare everyone's guess to see who came closest to the actual number of candy in each pile.  It's fun to see who comes closest to guessing correctly.

After all of that math work, reward your child with...yes, of course, a piece of candy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brigham City Women's Forum
Saturday, November 5th
I am excited to share SMMARTideas at the
"Women in the Year 2011" Conference
in Brigham City comin' up soon! 
Maybe I'll see you there...be sure to say hello!
Sponsored by MountainStar Brigham City Community Hospital
Check out the program to see the amazing presenters!
BCCH Women's Forum Brochure 9 11 FINAL

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Disney on Ice "Treasure Trove"
Congratts to the Winners:lesleyC said...I treasure our outside time together, anything outside.
Leslie Lund said...as a family we like to eat kalua pig and have a big fat luau!
MandyA said...We recently just went to Disneyland. It is a memory I will always treasure. We hope to make this a tradition!
Jennica and Preston said...We love to go to my parents lake house! We have so much fun boating, going on walks and four wheeler rides and having campfires and eating our smores. We try to go at least 3 times a year and it's so nice to have a whole weekend together as a family and not have any other distractions!

Families can expect to get tangled up in the Walt Disney Studio’s 50th animated feature with Tangled stars Rapunzel and Flynn, and enter the worlds of other favorite Disney princesses – Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan, and of course, the one who started it all, Snow White. Youngsters of all ages will enjoy setting sail with Peter Pan, the always sassy Tinker Bell, and the cantankerous Captain Hook & his pirate pals on an adventure beyond Never Land and trekking the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ And no one wants to be late to a very important date with Alice & the Mad Hatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army of Cards. Relive magical moments in this ultimate Disney animation celebration!

WHEN: November 9 - 13, 2011
Wednesday, November 9 – 7:00pm
Thursday, November 10 – 7:00pm
Friday, November 11 – 4:00pm & 7:30pm
Saturday, November 12 – 11:00am, 2:30pm & 6:30pm
Sunday, November 13 – 1:30pm & 5:30pm

WHERE: EnergySolutions Arena – 301 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

PRICES: Ticket prices range from $13, $16, $23, $35 (VIP) and $50 (Front Row)
Opening Night seats available for only $12 each (discount does not apply to premium seating)
**All seats reserved; service charges and handling fees may apply

Hmmm...a Treasure Trove...there are so many things our family treasures...
Of course, sharing time together is a cherished treasure.  I think one of my favorite family treasures is spending time boating out on Stansbury Lake.  We take out some duck bread and a snack and pedalboat around, enjoying the sunshine and being together.  What is your family's favorite treasure?

So let's give away some passes!!! 
I have four Family-4-Packs to give away!

ENTER the Disney on Ice "Treasure Trove" Giveaway:
1) Leave a comment below this post and tell me about your favorite family treasure (recreation you like to do together, favorite tradition, food you like to share, person that you esteem, big bean bag where you watch TV...).  Leave your first name/ last initial and your e-mail address in your comment.

2) Leave a comment below this post telling me that you follow my SMMARTideas blog.  (See that button in my left column "Join This Site" with the little faces icons underneath?- click on it!)  Leave your first name/ last initial and your e-mail address in your comment.

Winners will be announced Halloween Day, October 31st!  I will notify you by e-mail if you won.  You have 24 hours to reply to me to claim the tickets.  If you don't contact me within that time, I'll random.org another winner.
Good Luck!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Mummy (Un)Roll
Oh my bats and black cats!  Kids LOVE being rolled up in toilet paper like a mummy!  Love it!

The only prep you need to do is grab a few rolls of toilet paper, and grab some little plastic spiders. You're going to spell out a spooky word on the belly of each spider.  Write ONE letter on each spider's belly with a permanent marker. (The orange plastic spiders might work better for this so you can see the letters...you could also use any little halloween trinket that is light weight.)

Have one child start rolling up another child in toilet paper.  Periodically you will place a spider in the toilet paper streamer as the child is rolling up her mummy, until all of the spiders are gone.

Now, on the countdown-"3 Bats, 2 Lizards, and 1 witch's eyeball...GO!"  Your child starts to unroll the mummy as fast as she can.  She may just rip all the toilet paper off as fast as she can.  The spiders will drop to the floor.  Both the unroller and the mummy now work as a team to gather up the spiders and try to figure out what the SPOOKY WORD is scrambled on the bottom of all those spider bellys.

This makes for a great relay game if you have two or more mummies and unrollers!  If you are playing wtih smaller children who are only familiar with their ABCs and not yet reading, then you can write all the letters of the alphabet on the bottom of the spider bellys.  After unrolling your mummy, help your child put the spiders into alphabetical order.   This game adapted from (http://familyfun.go.com/halloween/halloween-games/) 
Spider Spelling!

You'll need:
Bat cut outs
Pumpkin cut outs
Two bowls
(*Optional: Karo syrup and red food coloring)

-First you'll need to cut out a few small bat and pumpkin shapes from colored paper.  Make sure the shapes are small enough that you can pick them up with the end of  a straw as you suck through the other end.  Write a number on each cut out.  For smaller children, you'll want to use simple numbers and for older children, you can use more complex numbers.

-Now drip a drop or two of red food coloring into a small amount of Karo Syrup and stir until the color is ubiquitous.  Drizzle a little of the "bloody" syrup onto the rim and sides of your bowls.

-Give each player a straw and lay a bowl in front of him.
-On the count of "Crows feet, Broomsticks and Warlocks...GO!", each player will suck on their straw and try to pick up the bat and pumpkin cut outs with the other end of their straw.  They'll drop the cut out into the bowl.
-Players continue to pick up all the cut outs until they are gone.  Then, each player dumps out his own bowl of cut outs and looks at the numbers on them.
-As quickly as they can, players will add up all of the numbers on the bats and subtract away the numbers on the pumpkin cut outs.  When a player has figured out the final answer, they yell the number out loud.  After a quick check to make sure their math is correct, that player is the winner. 

Of course, this could be a lot of fun for older children if it was MULTIPLY the numbers on the bats and DIVIDE the numbers on the pumpkins.  Younger children can sequence the numbers in 1,2,3 order or sort similar numbers into groups. This game adapted from (http://familyfun.go.com/halloween/halloween-games/)
SMMART MATH: Counting Eyeballs

Counting Eyeballs (Halloween favor)...or marbles, or bouncy balls...

We just happened to have a water noodle that had been bent, bit and loved way too much.  Instead of tossing out your worn water noodle, cut off a 1 to 2 foot piece and slice it down the middle to create a long channel for a ball to roll down.

Place a cauldron (or a bowl) on the floor on one end of the room.  Have your child stand by you on the other side of the room.  Place a small ball on the edge of the noodle channel while your child holds it horizontally. 

Your child will balance the ball on the noodle while he walks across the room.  When he reaches the bowl, he will attempt to drop the ball into the bowl.

Sing a spooky halloween song and see how many eyeballs your child can drop into the cauldron by the time the song is over.

Decide how many points each eyeball is worth.  If you want to practice counting by 2s, then each eyeball is worth two points...5 points if you want to practice counting by 5s...10 points to practice counting by 10s...

Together, you can count up how many points your child won.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I am so excited to be in the "Member Connections" section of the October 2011 issue of Costco Magazine!

(Sorry, I couldn't get the two layouts to overlap)
Below, I posted the "Ghost Krispie" activity that was pictured in the magazine.
Thanks to Maria Bellos Fisher for a great write-up!
If you like these activities, be sure to "Follow" my blog!


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!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween is right around the corner.
Here are some great safety tips word-for-word from:

Halloween Costume Safety Tips:
Wear flame retardant costumes.

Make sure your Halloween costume is colorfast so the color doesn't run onto your other clothes if it rains.

Try on costumes before Halloween to allow time for altering.

Hem your costumes so you don't trip and fall.

Apply reflective tape to your Halloween costumes.

Avoid cumbersome masks. Use make-up instead.

Make-up should be hypoallergenic and non-toxic.

Wear comfortable, practical shoes.

Double tie your shoelaces so you don't trip.

Keep your costume and wig away from candles.

Don't carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Make sure they're flexible and cannot harm anyone.

Trick-or-Treating Tips:
Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark.

Take along money for a phone call. (Charge your cell phone)

Wear identification that's easy to read.

Always trick or treat in groups, accompanied by an adult.

Follow a curfew and take a watch with a backlight.

Plan your route ahead of time.

Stay on the sidewalks and out of the streets. Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks.

Walk. No running.

Don't trample through flower beds and gardens.

Watch out for open flames in jack-o-Lanterns.

Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.

Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings.

Only visit well lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses.

Don't enter any houses unless you know the people.

Carry a spare Halloween bag -- in case yours breaks or you fill your original one.

Don't approach unfamiliar pets and animals.

Don't cut across yards and stay out of back yards.

Follow traffic signals and don't jaywalk.

Always watch for cars backing up or turning.

Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on fire.

Never accept rides from strangers.

Respect other people and their property.

Be polite and say "thank you."

Don't eat any candy until it's inspected for tampering under bright lights.

Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade.

Small children should not be allowed hard candy they may choke on.

Report any suspicious or criminal activity to an adult or the police.

Consider having a party instead of Trick or Treating.

Happy Trick-or-Treating!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Even WITH the strata of our earth's atmosphere, the sun's penetrating heat is so powerful, that it warms the earth, and can burn our unprotected skin after a few hours

"We are enveloped by an atmosphere that consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other ingredients. The atmosphere affects Earth's long-term climate and short-term local weather, shields us from much of the harmful radiation coming from the sun and protects us from meteors as well: most of which burn up before they can strike the surface as meteorites. Earth-orbiting satellites have revealed that the upper atmosphere actually swells by day and contracts by night due to solar heating during the day and cooling at night."(http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Earth&Display=OverviewLong)

These activities will  help your child recognize two purposes of our atmosphere-to insulate, and to protect.
Gather five mason jars or mugs and fill them each with a cup of water.  Place various covers on each mason jar lip and secure with a rubber band.  You could use wax paper, a wash cloth, celophane wrap, and a brown paper bag piece.  Leave one jar uncovered.  Place the jars in the sun for a few hours.  Have your child use a thermometer, or just use their finger, to determine which jar holds the hottest water.  Which cover allowed the most sunlight through and which jar cover allowed the least sunlight through?  All of the covers insulated the area inside of the jar.  By definition, Insulation prevents or reduces the passage of heat, electricity or sound.  Did any of the jar covers reduce the passage of the sun's heat the best?
This activity shows a visual effect of the sun's power: 
-Cut the top and bottoms from 5 rinsed tuna cans.  (You could also cut 5 strips of construction paper and tape into a circle to use as your base.) 

-Place covers on four of the cans and secure with a rubber band.  You could use wax paper, a wash cloth, celophane wrap, tin foil, or the bottom of a balloon stretched over the rim. Lay the cans on top of a piece of construction paper in a sunny area for the day. 
-Label the paper beside each can naming the type of cover on the can.  After a day, have your child remove the cans from the construction paper.  Notice the faded circles on the construction paper.  Observe which cover allowed more of the sun's rays through and which covers allowed the fewest rays through. Explain that our atmosphere protects the earth, the plants and our bodies from too strong of sunrays.  The more faded circles had an "atmosphere layer" that allowed more penetration than the less faded circles.(http://www.kids-science-experiments.com/)


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