Monthly Archives: February 2014

Easy Treats

These No-Bake Cereal Bars are the perfect little treat when you or the kids want something sweet but don’t want to make a mess with baking! These chewy treats are big on taste and take little effort to make.

 

Ingredients:
– 4 cups Cheerios
– 2 cups crisp rice cereal
– 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
– 2 cups M&M’s
– 1 cup light corn syrup
– 1 cup sugar
– 1- 1.5 cups creamy peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients; set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, bring corn syrup and sugar to boil. Cook and stir just until sugar is dissolved.
3. Remove from the heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla.
4. Pour over cereal mixture; toss to coat evenly.
5. Spread into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1 in. pan. Let cool.
6. Cut into 3-in. squares.

Yield: about 15 bars
**Make the bars to fit the holiday by using seasonal M&M’s!

Try other no-bake bars as well! These No-Bake S’mores Bars are delicious and so easy to make! With only 4 ingredients needed, you truly can’t go wrong. Same great s’mores taste without the bonfire or the oven! Want to add the flavor of Nutella? Try this Nutella No-Bake S’mores bar recipe instead!

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Experiment!


This is an experiment you will not want to miss trying out with your kids! If you have gone swimming with a life vest before, you know that life jackets keep you from sinking down into the water, but do you ever wonder how? This simple experiment can help explain!

What you’ll need:
– Clear cup or glass
– Raisins
– Club soda (make sure it isn’t flat) or Sprite

Instructions:
1. Open the club soda or Sprite and pour it into the glass
2. Drop a few raisins into the cup of soda
3. Wait about 20-30 seconds to see the raisin’s reaction!

To make it interesting, first ask your child what they think will happen to the raisins once they have been dropped into the club soda. Record what their hypothesis is and make observations for what is actually happening. Ask questions as you continue along with the experiment:

  • What happened when you first dropped the raisins in the glass?
  • Why did they sink?
  • Once they started “dancing” did the raisins stay at the top?
  • What else did you notice happening to the raisins? Did they look different?
  • Do you think the same thing would have happened if you put raisins in water?
  • What other objects do you think would “dance” in soda?

Take a look at how these experiments below went:

What’s going on?
As you and your child observed the raisins, you should have noticed that they initially sank to the bottom of the glass. That’s due to their density, but because raisins have a rough, dented surface, they are filled with air pockets. These air pockets attract the carbon dioxide gas in the liquid, creating the little bubbles you should have observed on the surface of the raisins.

The carbon dioxide bubbles increase the volume of each raisin without raising its mass. When the volume increases and the mass does not, the density of the raisin is lowered, allowing it to be pushed upward by the surrounding fluid, which now has a higher density than the raisin.

These bubbles increase the volume of the raisin substantially, but contribute very little to its mass. With a greater volume, the raisin displaces more fluid, which then applies more buoyant force, pushing the raisins upwards. (This is Archimedes’ Principle of buoyancy at work).

At the surface, the carbon dioxide bubbles pop and the raisins’ density changes again. That’s why they sink again. The whole process is repeated, making it look as though the raisins are dancing.

Extend the learning:
Now that you’ve tried this  experiment, try putting other  foods into the soda to see how those foods react! Not everything will float but it doesn’t hurt to play around and experiment. Try putting the raisins in a jar that has a replaceable lid or directly into a bottle of soda. What happens to the raisins when you put the lid or cap back on? What happens when you take it back off? Try foods such as peanuts, seeds, chocolate chips or pieces of small uncooked pasta to see what happens… do they float or sink?

Children’s Dental Health Month

Each February, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

We all know our teeth are important for eating, talking, and smiling, but most often we overlook how cool teeth can be. Read these 10 fun facts to learn just how special your teeth are!

 

  1. Surveys have found that at least 50% of respondents said that a smile is the first feature they notice about another person.
  2. U.S. consumers buy 14 million gallons of toothpaste each year!
  3. Most adults have 32 teeth. Though miniscule in size comparison, mosquitos have about 47 teeth, and snails have about 25 teeth . . . on their tongues.
  4. Your tooth enamel is the hardest part of your entire body.
  5. Teeth start to form even before birth. Milk teeth, or baby teeth, start to form when a baby is in the womb, but teeth don’t begin to show until a child is between 6-12 months old.
  6. Humans have 2 sets of teeth during their lifetime, while sharks have around 40 sets of teeth.
  7. Your mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva throughout your life. That’s enough to fill two swimming pools! Saliva protects your teeth from bacteria in your mouth.
  8. The average person spends 38 days brushing their teeth during their lifetime.
  9. 1/3 of your teeth are underneath your gums.
  10. Modern toothpaste has only been available for the past 100 years. Before this invention, humans used charcoal or ground chalk, ashes, lemon juice, and honey-tobacco mixtures to clean their teeth!

Looking for an easy way to explain to younger children why taking care of their teeth is so important? Or maybe even why we use tooth paste to begin with? Try this great kidshealth.com article about teeth care for children! For a look for yourself about how to take the best possible care of your children’s teeth, check out this article on dentalcare.com for tips to keep kids’ teeth healthy and strong, year-to-year.

Recycled Robot Craft

Do you have a bin full of recyclable items? Chances are you do and you may not even realize it. Tin or metal cans, paper or cardboard, glass or plastic bottles, batteries or old electronics can all be recycled and reused for something else. Recycling is not only great for our earth, but fun too!

With this craft, you can take your recyclables and turn them into something creative and fun; a recycled robot! There really is no right or wrong way to make your robot – just gather anything you have from the recycling bin and start creating! The best part is that children can put their creative thinking caps on and make a robot that is unique by them.

  • Start by gathering anything you have: cereal boxes, empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, cans, old CD’s, plastic bottles, bottle caps, etc.
  • Place all your items in groups on the kitchen table or wherever you have a large clean space
  • Begin constructing the robot however you desire (pictures below to give you ideas for where to start)

One of the coolest recycled robots we found was on the Kix website! It has a great step-by-step for instructions and easy to follow details for the materials that it takes to make their robot.

Don’t forget to make the robot your own! Allow the kids to pick and choose what colors, stickers, tape or robot buttons to use. Use googly eyes and construction paper or pipe cleaners for hair to make your robots come alive! The best part about recycled robots is that every one created will look different from the next!

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Field Trip Forecast 2/6th-2/28th

Field Trip Forecast 2/6th-2/28th

Thurs 6th: 54 kids 10-11 am
7th: Number not specified, 10-12 pm
Tues 11th: Group Free Tuesday
12th: None
13th: 100 children, 10-1 pm
Fri 14th: 17 children, 10-12 pm

Tues 18th: Group Free Tuesday
19th: None
20th: None
21st: 80 children, 10-12:30 pm
Tues 25th: Group Free Tuesday
26th: None
27th: 63 children, 10-1 pm
28th: 57 children, 10-12 pm

Special Delivery!

The Children’s Museum of Alamance County will be visited by Mr. McFeely from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on Saturday, February 8th.  At 4 p.m., Mr. McFeely will dedicate CMAC’s brick donor wall and talk about the importance of play, and then have a meet & greet with families in CMAC’s post office exhibit until 5 p.m. (included with regular admission).

Mr. McFeely was the delivery man on the popular children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. His character was best known for his catchphrase, “Speedy Delivery!”

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, most commonly known as simply Mister Rogers, is an American children’s television series that was created and hosted by Fred Rogers. The series originated in 1963 and it aired until August, 2001. The series is aimed primarily at preschool ages 2-5. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was characterized by its quiet simplicity and gentleness. Episodes consisted of Rogers speaking directly to the viewer about various issues, taking the viewer on tours of factories, demonstrating experiments, crafts, and music, and interacting with his friends.

1. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood is the longest running program on PBS.

2. Many of Mr. Rogers’ famous sweaters he wore on the show were made by his mother.

3. Mr. Rogers was a vegetarian.

4. Unlike on most children’s shows, Mr. Rogers played himself not just in name, but also in personality and mannerisms, changing nothing about how he acted off camera to how he acted on camera.

5. One of the reasons Mr. Rogers says he stuck to his own true personality is that: “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away.”

Homemade Valentine’s Day Gifts!

Valentine’s Day is upon us and there are so many great craft ideas that can be made for this special day!

If you have kids of your own, nieces or nephews, grandchildren, or just kids of school age in your life, I’m sure that you are familiar with those boxes of cartoon Valentine cards at the grocery store. They’re always great because they have all the kids’ favorite characters, but if you’re looking for something more this year, something different that takes a little bit more time, try this awesome melted crayon heart craft! It takes a little bit more effort but still just as fun and thoughtful!

What You Will Need:
•  Crayons
•  Cupcake or Muffin pan (Even a silicone heart mold if you can find one)
•  Knife
•  Cutting Board
•  Cardstock
•  Stamps or Markers
•  Tape

Directions:
1. Remove paper wrappers from crayons – Use any already broken crayons first!
2. Divide into colors if you want different colored hearts
3. Chop crayons into small pieces

4. Fill molds – more crayons will make thicker hearts. If you are using a metal pan it might need to be greased with a little vegetable oil beforehand
5. Melt in oven or toaster oven at 250 degrees for 10-15 minutes
6. Let cool and pop out of molds
7. Tape to card and decorate!

**Heart-shaped pans can be found in many stores & also online – check here & here for starters!

Also check out this great blog, where we found this awesome Valentine’s Day craft! The blog has great recipes and crafting ideas for every age!