Dear Marianne: My husband and I have 2 daughters ages 3 and 5. They have so many toys and it's hard for me to get rid of them because so many of them are from family and friends but it's overwhelming! I think they have too many toys-do you have any suggestions of how many toys a kid plays with in a day and how many do they really need? I don't remember having so many toys as a child-just a few favorites. Then it's hard to get them to clean up b/c I think it overwhelms them. What do you think? Phil and Angie, Blue Springs, MO, parents of Marlee 5 and Jaimee 3
Your Own Erupting Volcano by Spencer
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!
plastic soda bottle
pan or baking dish
the funnel in the mouth of the soda bottle, and pour
in baking soda until the bottle is half full.
the smaller bottle about half full of vinegar.
about 6 drops of food coloring to the vinegar.
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.
Happens and Why:
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.
I enjoy hearing from
our readers. If you
ever have a comment,
question or concern,
please email me at
Thanks for caring
about our children.
Toy Tips to Parents: Time to Unplug
Don't over stuff the toy box with tech toys. When is technology too much technology?
While tech toys are popular and some can be educational, the latest round of newcomers at Toy Fair makes it clear we're going too far into technology assisted play. It seems technology now permeates almost every kind of toy category on the toy shelves. Parents run the risk of stocking the playroom with items that undermine the important developmental aspects of childhood play.