How to Make Caramel Apples

Homemade Caramel ApplesA great activity now that autumn and Halloween are almost upon is making homemade caramel apples.  Be sure to ask you parents first, as you’ll most likely need both their help and their permission.

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples
  • 1 ounce of caramel
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 6 sticks to place the apples upon (these can be skewers or Popsicle sticks)

Instructions:

  1. Remove the stem from each apple.
  2. In place of the stem, skewer each apple with a stick.  Do not go all the way through the apple, but make sure to have several inches of wood embedded in the apple.
  3. Either butter a baking sheet, or coat a baking sheet with a layer of wax paper.
  4. Place the caramel and the milk into a bowl.  Put the bowl in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes, breaking the 2 minutes up into 30 second intervals when you check and stir the caramel.
  5. After removing the caramel from the microwave, allow it to cool slightly.
  6. Roll each apple in the caramel until it is coated, and then place on the baking tray to dry.
  7. If you wish, you can sprinkle extra goodies–like chocolate chips, sprinkles or marshmallows–onto the apples.

The Skip-It

Skip-ItThe Skip-It, a toy aimed primarily at girls, was all the rage back when I was in school.  I remember spending an entire recess period standing in line to use the Skip-It, the seemingly-endless periods of waiting interspersed with brief moments of bliss  (Of course, the Skip-It that I was waiting in line to use was actually mine, so maybe I don’t actually have a legitimate complaint there).   Even my seven year-old daughter,  usually separated from her computer or the television only by force, loves going outside to play with her Skip-It.

Skip-Its are fun and easy to use.  Simply slip the loop over one foot and swing the Skip-It around your body, alternatively jumping over it with your other foot.  Your parents will probably rush right out the door to get you one, since its virtually guaranteed to get you up-and-about as opposed to sitting silently in your chair at the computer.

Saying Safe on Halloween

Trick-or-TreatingHalloween is a fun time, filled with costumes and candy and Trick-or-Treating with friends.  During the festivities, however, it is important not to lose sight of staying safe.

1.  Trick-or-Treat with your parents or in groups. 

2.  Don’t eat any candy until it has been inspected by Mom or Dad.

3.  Don’t eat homemade or unpackaged treats.  If the store-bought treat has been removed from its original packaging, discard it.

4.  Don’t go into any stranger’s house, no matter how nice they seem.

5.  Stay in well-lit and well-populated areas.

Everloop–A New Social Networking Site Just for Kids

Have you ever been jealous of older siblings because they’re allowed to have a Facebook or Myspace account and you aren’t?  Have you been begging your parents to allow you to open your very own Facebook profile?  If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, I have just one word for you:  Everloop.

Everloop is a new social networking site just for kids.  It’s designed to be a safe environment where kids can interact with one another on-line.  Every child has to sign-up with an adult so that the site can verify that its users are actually children.  Although I know that signing up with Mom or Dad might be a bit of a downer, it’s a small price to pay for ensuring parental permission to sign-up.  Tell your parents today!

Things to Think About When Getting Your Ears Pierced

EarringsAt some point, it seems like every little girl will start begging her parents to let her get her ears pierced.  Earrings may be pretty and fun, but there are some things that you should think about before getting your ears pierced.

1.  The risk of infection.  When you get your ears pierced, you are literally inserting something into your body.  The risk of infection is therefore somewhat higher than for a non-invasive procedure.  You need to keep your new piercings clean, and do exactly what they tell you in order to take care of them.

2.  Allergies.  If you are prone to allergies, you my react to earrings that are made out of cheaper or impure metal (gold, silver and platinum are usually safe).  If you react to earrings of a certain material, you will start reacting to bracelets, necklaces and rings made out of that same material as well.Earrings

3.  The risk that your holes may close.  Particularly for the first several months after piercing, your holes may start to close if you don’t wear earrings for long periods of time.

4.  Stretching.  If you wear heavy earrings, your skin may start to stretch, making your holes lopsided and unsightly.

If you want to get your ears pierced, have a long chat with Mom and Dad first.  Earrings can be fun, but make sure that you really want to holes in your ears for the rest of your life first.

Little Girl

Super Hero Word Search

Can you find all the words in this Super Hero Word Search?  The words can be horizontal, vertical, backwards or diagonal.  Good luck.

List of words

Batman        Lois        Superman        Dinosaur        Superman        Hulk        Storm        LexLuther

GreenLantern        Rocket        Moon        XMen        Rogue        Laser        Ring        Kryptonite

Will        Flash        Angel        BenTen       

 

Why You Should do Your Homework

Boy Doing HomeworkYes, we’re going to talk about that dreaded subject–homework, the bane of every kid’s existence.  As a kid, homework just seems like such a drag, a needless waste of time while you could be out shooting hoops with your buddies, or playing with your best friend’s new doll.  And we’ve all been there (even the adults who tell you otherwise), spending hours doing homework that can only be described as filler.   Well, I’m here to tell you that homework is good for you, and that it’s important for you to do your homework every night.

1.  It may seem like you have all the time in the world but, someday, you’re going to grow up and start living on your own.  Good study habits will serve you well for the rest of your life.  Start practicing now–it makes it easier later.

2.  Doing homework is an important part of both learning and getting good grades.  Getting good grades are important, because they determine what schools you can get into.  College admissions are competitive and, in the inter-cities, competition to get into even good elementary and high schools can be fierce.  Do yourself a favor–set yourself up on the road to success early.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.

3.  Learning is, or should be, fun.  Knowledge helps you navigate the world, and better understand other people.  So open those books, and get cracking–the sooner you start, the sooner that you’ll finish, and be able to go play with your friends.

 

Magic Eye 3-D Pictures

Everyone loves Magic Eye 3-D Pictures.  As a child, I spent many happy hours staring at books of Magic Eye pictures.  Below is a gallery comprised of Magic Eye pictures constructed by yours truly.  Enjoy.

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Magic Eye

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“Captain Underpants”

Captain Underpants CoverEven if you think that the last thing you could ever possibly want to do is pick up a book and read for fun, why not check out Captain Underpants?  The author of the Captain Underpants,  Dav Pilkey, in a manner similar to what author R. L. Stine deliberately set out to accomplish in his Goosebumps series, has produced books that will appeal particularly to boys who don’t really like to read.  So grab a book, and start reading!

 

Pony Bead Animals

Pony Bead LizardHey, kids, why not try your hand at making animals out of pony beads? It’s easy to find that patterns online, or you can make your own.  All you need is some lanyard or string, a lanyard hook or key ring (optional) and pony beads.

To get you started, here’s how to make a pony bead lizard.

1.  Thread one bead onto the string and slide it into the center.  This bead will be your nose.

2.   Select the beads that you want for you next layer, and slide them onto one side of the string.  After sliding them onto one side of the string, take the other end of the string and thread it through the beads in the opposite direction of the original string.  Once you have done this, each side of the second row of beads should have one tail of excess string sticking out of it, and the beads themselves should form a large loop with the nose.  Being careful to try and keep the tail ends as even as you can, pull the string tight, so that the nose and the second row are lying next to one another.

3.  Repeat step two for each subsequent row (follow the picture above) until you reach the legs.  After completing the two-bead neck row, thread six beads onto each tail end of string.  These six beads will form your legs, with the first three forming the leg while the last three form the claw.  After putting all six beads on the string, take the tail end of the string and thread it back through the three leg beads, once again threading this second piece of string through the legs in the opposite direction as the first time that you put the beads on the string. (NOTE:  Do not thread the string through your claw beads.  While the string passes through the leg beads twice, it passes through the claw beads only once.) Your string should be facing the body once you do this, not facing away.    Pull tight, being careful to make sure that you leg forms next to the body instead of further down the string.  (NOTE:  To make each leg, use only one side of the string–ie. the left string for the left leg, and the right string for the right leg).

4.  Repeat steps two and three and continue following the picture above.

5.  When you tie off the end, you may wish to add a drop of glue to make sure that the string doesn’t come undone.

Feel free to use your own color patterns, or add variations to the pattern once you become more comfortable with making pony bead animals.

 

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