Make Your Own: Net-Bag

Photo by Fran Wisniewski

The nicest thing about this net is that there is a working string on it so that you can close what you catch inside the bag long enough to get a good look at it. When you are finished observing, you can open the net and set what you catch free.

To make this net-bag, you will need:

Make Your Own: Trail Mix

Trail Mix
Photo from Wikipedia
To make your own trail mix you will need: A cereal of choice, unsalted nuts and seeds (raw or roasted: almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seed, etc.), raisins, unsalted peanuts, chopped dates, dried fruit of choice, pretzels, chocolate chips (optional)


Make Your Own: Child Friendly First-Aid Kit

Kid-friendly First Aid Kit by Fran W.

A small first-aid kit is good to carry when you are exploring the great outdoors, even if it is in your own backyard! This kit has been designed for children to carry with them in their nature backpack and does not include any medicine or harmful chemicals. Children should know how to use the items in this kit properly before going out.

The following materials can be used to: remove splinters, take care of minor cuts and scraps, relieve bee/wasp stings and to stabilize minor sprains. If you feel that your child is ready, encourage them to take first aid classes through the Red Cross and purchase a commercial outdoor first aid kit for them.  
This kit should not be expected to take the place of a medical professional. In the event of a real emergency, your child should know when to call 911 and/or seek medical attention.

You will need:

Make Your Own: Nature Backpack

Nature Backpack by Fran W.

If your family is going out to explore the world around them, a nature backpack is a great thing to grab as you are running out the door!

You may be wondering what a nature backpack is and what's in it?

A nature backpack is bag filled with useful items that you can take with you whenever your family goes out exploring. Children can fill their own backpacks up with the items that they want to take with them as well.

Here are some of the things we add to our backpacks:

Spark of the Day: Pom - Pom Shooter

Pom-Pom Shooter by Fran W.
Here's a great way to turn simple items into a fun activity!

Items Needed:

Toilet paper tube, 12" balloon, packing or duct tape, scissor, pom-poms, a large container and recycled plastic water bottles or yogurt containers 
Optional items:  A measuring tape, paper, and pencil

What to do:


Bubble Gum by Fran W.
The first bubblegum was invented in 1906 by Frank H. Fleer and was called Blibber-Bubble. The gum was never marketed to the public.

Suggested Activity: The Biggest Bubble

You'll need:

2 different brands of bubblegum, a ruler, a pencil and paper

What to do:

Before you begin, write down the name of each brand of gum you are going to use for this experiment.

For each brand of bubble gum, chew one piece at a time, when you can blow a bubble, blow the biggest bubble possible, measure it with a ruler, and write down the results next to that brand of gum. Repeat three times.

Compare your answers and write down your findings.
Which brand of bubble gum allowed you to make the biggest bubble possible and how big was that bubble?

Alternative tracking method: Draw or take pictures of each step or record the experiment on video.

Question of the day.....

What was the name of the first successful commercial bubblegum, who invented it, and can you still get it today?

Learn more:

History of Bubblegum - A brief history of bubblegum

How Bubblegum is Made - 4:50 minute video

Bubble Gum ChemistryLearn the chemistry behind gum...and a little history too.

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