Friday, February 1, 2013

Free Dyslexia Helps

The Assistive Technology Blog has information on technology for many types of disabilities.
Assistive Technology Blog

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Books Lists

1) African-American Authors of Books for Children and Young Adults
2) Latio Authors of Books for Children and Young Adults
3)  Asian-American Authors of Books for Children and Young Adults
4) Native American Authors of Books for Children and Young Adults

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Google Street View Parks

Since I've already confessed my love of Globe Genie , I thought I'd post something I just heard about on Google Maps.   You can now take virtual tours of a whole host of parks and landmarks.

Here's some I stumbled across myself:

The following (and many more) can be found on Google Map helps

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Knot Tying

In scouts we do a lot of knot tying.  The downside of this is that the parents usually have to learn them first!  I don't know about you, but squinting at a lot of knot diagrams just doesn't always help.  That's why this site,, can be a huge help.  Alternately, Boy's Life magazine has some knot videos online for the more common knots.

Knots have a lot of good uses and are a great way of building motor skills.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Homemade Butter

For lactose intolerant people, we have made homemade butter puzzlingly often.  It's been a favorite activity among many groups we've been involved with though.  I must admit it is easy and fun.

If you have never tried it, here's how it's done.

You'll need:

  • 1 small container of  heavy cream
  • Disposable mini condiment container or mini plastic storage container with lid (one for each person)


  1. Fill container with cream (or cream plus salt if you added it) about half full.  
  2. Fasten the lid securely.  
  3. Shake, shake, shake.  Don't get too vigorous.  You'll tire yourself out and it won't form any faster.  Steady shakes work best. 
  4. Some people place a clean marble in the container to speed things up

After several minutes of vigorous shaking (think butter churn), you will get a solid glob of butter and some liquid (buttermilk).   Pour off the buttermilk and use the butter right away.  If you want to make a lot of butter to use later, you need to wash it or the buttermilk residue will turn it sour.  Instructions for that can be found here.  We've never tried this, as we usually hand off our butter to someone who can eat it!

Cooking science links:

Dairy Science and Technolgy - Very detailed discussion of  butter making. Best for older students
Butter making video explains the science in a kid friendly way

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Owl Pellets

Now considering my disdain for slime, why would I recommend an activity involving rodent bones and owl vomit?  Well, simply put it's a lot more fun than it sounds (and the pellets are sterilized).

Summer campers thoroughly occupied

The idea is to probe the pellets for the mice or bird bones and attempt to reassemble the skeleton to find out what the owl has been eating.  Owls eat prey whole but their stomachs can't process fur, feathers and bones so those parts build up akin to hair balls in cats and the owl spits them back out every couple of days.   The resulting pellet is less disgusting than it sounds though.  I've seen even squeamish kids get over it quickly and become enthralled by the tiny little bones hidden within.

Interested? You might try the following products.

For beginners:  Student Owl Pellet Kit*
Bulk for groups: Barn Owl Pellets, 15 Pack*

*Affiliate link