‘What’s the Buzz’ typically covers upcoming events, but due to the number of cancellations and postponements, this week will instead focus on activities for kids and families to do at home. Normal coverage will resume depending on recommendations involving the Covid-19 pandemic, and rescheduling of events and shows.
Bird Feeders. Finding easy ways to reuse items is always a priority in my household. Toilet paper tubes make the perfect kid-friendly bird feeder project.
Supplies needed: toilet paper tubes (one per feeder), two sticks that are between 8 and 10 inches in length, peanut butter, string, bird seed or oats, a spoon and a hole punch.
Directions: Punch four holes near the bottom of the toilet paper tubes, one on each side. Insert the two sticks through the holes so that they cross each other and make four little perches for the birds. On the opposite end of the tube, punch two more holes across from each other for the string to hang the feeder. Using the spoon, spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the top portion of the toilet paper tube. Cover the peanut butter in either bird seed or crushed oats. Insert the string through the top two holes and tie to make the hanger. Place outside near a window so kids can watch their feathered friends enjoy a treat.
Kitchen Science. Teaching the scientific method can seem daunting, but kids will enjoy coming up with different hypotheses and seeing the results of this easy experiment. Grab an ice cube tray and a variety of liquids. We have used water, vinegar, olive oil, salad dressing, chocolate syrup and even dish soap. Fill each container of the ice cube tray with a different liquid and have the kids guess which one will freeze the fastest. You can check the progress every few hours and see which predictions are coming true. Does the dish soap fully freeze? Which liquid freezes the fastest? How does the chocolate feel even after being in the freezer overnight?
Adult Coloring Pages. Sometimes a good old-fashioned coloring session is needed to calm your mind. A google search for ‘adult coloring pages’ will bring up a variety of options. From complex animal and mandala designs to some with more adult themes and colorful language, there’s something for everyone. Adobe is offering different coloring pages for free that can be printed out. Visit https://create.adobe.com/ and scroll down to find the coloring pages.
Ecosystem in a Jar. During this quarantine, nothing has held my daughters attention more than our ecosystem in a jar. Visit a local pond or lake and fill a jar with water. Try to get grasses and sediment in the jar as well. Once home, place it in a sunny location. Over the next few days the water will become clear and signs of life will be more visible. We’ve found tadpoles (see below for tips), hydras, damselfly nymphs and various larvae. The best part of this project is that it can be repeated multiple times with different results.
If you find tadpoles and would like to watch them change into frogs, the process is relatively easy. Using water from the source is best. If you use tap water, let it sit out overnight so it has a chance to dechlorinate. Tadpoles will eat boiled pieces of lettuce or thin slices of cucumber. Once they have legs, they need a rock to perch on. After their arms emerge and the tail is gone, they can be released back into the water source where you found them or even into your yard.
If you know of an activity you’d like to share, or have an idea you want explored, send an email to: email@example.com