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K-5th Grade
5th-7th Grade
I keep seeing award stickers on toy packages. If I buy a toy that has an award sticker on the box does that mean other similar toys are not as good? What guidelines can I follow for choosing a good toy?

Lauren, Miami, FL
Mom of Rachel (7), Sofi (6) and Naomi (2)
Use them as a guide and follow 3 easy steps before making a decision on what to buy?

1.Analyze: What does the child have already? (Stacks of board games, tubs of building blocks, shelves of books) Take a quick INVENTORY of your child’s collection and see if there is a type of toy missing from the playroom. A new kind of toy will trigger interest and intrigue once opened!
2.Simplify- Parents “think” kids need a lot of toys, then regret having so many around the house! It is best to have a variety of TOY TYPES, so a child uses a range of developmental skills.
3.Magnify: It is imperative that toys are chosen which are age-appropriate and are of interest to a child. Choose toys that "MAGNIFY’ a child’s current skills and challenges those they need to work on.


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Untitled Document

Build Your Own Erupting Volcano
by Spencer Christian

Today's feature will show you how to build your own erupting volcano – safely and easily. All you need is just a few common household items, usually found in the kitchen. After you have finished, you can read my explanation of what's going on beneath the earth's surface that causes REAL volcanoes to erupt!

What You Need:

  • Funnel
  • 16-ounce plastic soda bottle
  • Baking Soda
  • Smaller plastic bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Red food coloring
  • Cake pan or baking dish
  • Soil and sand

What to Do:

  1. Place the funnel in the mouth of the soda bottle, and pour in baking soda until the bottle is half full.
  2. Fill the smaller bottle about half full of vinegar.
  3. Add about 6 drops of food coloring to the vinegar.
  4. Stand the soda bottle in the center of the pan, and pile soil and sand around it in the shape of a mountain. The mouth of the soda bottle should be showing on top, with the funnel resting in it.

What Happens and Why:

The vinegar reacts with the baking soda to form carbon-dioxide gas. The gas expands out of the bottle, just as the gases in magma cause it to erupt from a volcano. The red "lava" in this activity was carried to the surface through the opening in the soda bottle.

<What Happens When a Volcano Erupts>

Spencer Christian's "World of Wonder" Books
available at

How To...

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