May 26, 2016
Make Your Own Art Bot!
An art bot is a thing that uses a motor to in some way create art with drawing implements attached to it. There are many different possible designs. This is a guide to make the one I made, which does not require any expensive or hard-to-get materials. Make sure you read the entire procedure before attempting.
You will need:
- A large paper or plastic cup that you can cut
- At least three markers or colored pencils (markers work a lot better because colored pencils don’t have enough pressure to draw well and need to be sharpened)
- An electric toothbrush (you can get really cheap ones at the dollar store)
- If they’re not included in the toothbrush, batteries
- Remove the motor from the toothbrush. I’m not sure what brand I used, but the motor came out easily. If there aren’t any, put in batteries.
- Cut a hole in the bottom of the cup that the motor can fit halfway into. Turn it over so the hole is on top, and tape the motor in halfway so that the end with a button on it is sticking halfway out. If the button is in a different place, find a way to arrange it so it is reachable from outside.
- Tape your pencils or markers around the outside of the cup, drawing ends down (away from the motor end). Make sure they are evenly spaced and the drawing ends are the same distance away from the rim of the cup.
- Place the art bot on a piece of paper with the motor on top, and turn it on! If not every marker/pencil is drawing, adjust them so that they are all touching the paper.
- If you used markers, make sure to cap them when you are done.
Julie, Scholastic Kids Council
May 12, 2016
Many people know Stephen Curry for his amazing shots, but if you really pay attention to him, he is also an amazing dribbler. I have always admired Stephen Curry, and I think he is one of the best basketball players to play in the NBA. He was the 1st round, 7th pick by the Golden State Warriors in 2009.
He is 6’3″ and 190 pounds, which is pretty small to be playing against some guys that can be up to seven feet tall and weigh close to 300 pounds. Even with his height disadvantage, Curry was still the NBA MVP last year, and his team also won the NBA championship. He has changed the way people think about the NBA because he is a normal-sized guy, but he can play with the best of them, including LeBron James. I’m sure he has inspired some athletes who are not necessarily big or tall to consider playing in the NBA.
Stephen Curry started playing basketball when he was a young boy. His brother, Seth, helped him practice a lot. I believe that Stephen Curry is a phenomenal basketball player, a great athlete, and a great influence for a lot of people. I may never be even close to as tall as he is, but Stephen Curry has influenced me to live my dream, to play basketball.
Leah, Scholastic Kids Council
May 5, 2016
Make a Mother’s Day Breakfast!
With Mother’s Day this weekend, have you thought about what you are going to do to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her? If you still haven’t got a clue, here’s an awesome plan that you, your siblings, and your dad can do for the ultimate Mother’s Day gift from the heart.
On the menu is a classic breakfast of toast, eggs, strawberries, and any other cereal or yogurt you know your mom loves. What makes this breakfast uber-adorable is the heart-shaped toast and strawberries. Here’s how to make them:
photo credit: jenifoto/iStockphoto
1. Heart-shaped toast with egg
Ok, so here’s where art class might come in handy. Grab a piece of toast and use a butter knife to cut out a big heart shape in the center. Have a grown-up help you turn the stove to medium high and add butter to a non-stick pan. Place the bread with the cut out heart on the pan and slowly crack an egg into the middle of the heart shape, making sure the egg whites fill out the area. Cook as desired, either on one side or flip to get both sides cooked.
photo credit: talitha_it/iStockphoto
2. Heart-shaped strawberries
Have you ever noticed that strawberries look like hearts? They could make the cutest fruit garnish to top off Mom’s favorite bowl of cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. To do this, hold the strawberry so that the flatter and wider side faces you. Have a grown-up help you cut the leafy stem off in a v-shape. Then carefully slice the strawberry down the middle, in the opposite direction of the v-shape, so that the strawberry looks like a heart.
Make sure you do a few trial runs first to perfect your technique. Also, don’t forget to wake up a little early that day before Mom wakes up so you have time to prepare. She’ll love waking up to a big breakfast surprise made by YOU.
Let us know YOUR good ideas for Mother’s Day!
April 18, 2016
Earth Day Trivia and Activities
Earth Day is April 22. Here are some Earth Day trivia quizzes and activities you can do to celebrate our dear planet Earth, and help inspire your fellow humans to treat our planet with more loving care!
What will YOU do to help save the planet this Earth Day? Let us know in the Comments.
April 7, 2016
Voting for the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is now open!
The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader launched the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards program in 2008 to provide YOU a chance to voice your opinions about the books you love. It’s the only national book awards program where the winning titles are chosen by kids and teens!
Voting is open until April 25!
March 18, 2016
Fashion Trends for Your Personality
Whether you’re the captain of the cheerleading team or the next Picasso, we’ve got a fashion look that will work for you. Just pick one and own it!
Chances are you like to stand out. You don’t mind being the center of attention. The good news for you is bright colors are all the rage this year. A great look for you would be red pants (either flared or skinny-style) with a black and white polka dot shirt. This outfit will show off your confidence and spirit.
Okay, shy gal. Chances are you wouldn’t be caught dead in red pants! How about a nice pastel ensemble? Here’s an outfit suggestion for you: Try pairing a neutral pant like beige or peach with a white, long sleeve t-shirt. Finish the outfit off with a brown shoe and a gold purse. The gold purse will add some personality to your look but won’t make you stand out too much.
You like to move around a lot so putting on anything too fancy would really cramp your style. You don’t want to look too girly, but you don’t want to look like a slob, either. Change up your look with a pair of neat black leggings and a sporty sweatshirt. Slip on a pair of comfy sneakers and you’re ready to go.
You pride yourself on being unique, so why not put some of that creativity into your wardrobe? You’ll find great one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories at flea markets and second-hand shops. A vintage, red dress paired with a gold necklace from a past decade would really suit you. Then, when you’re tired of the necklace, you can incorporate it into one of your art pieces.
What’s your fashion style? Tell us in the Comments.
March 17, 2016
What Kids Need to Know About Money
Money. Moolah. Cash. Buckaroos. Whatever you call your loot, you’ve got to be smart with it. Here are some tips to help you hold on to your hard earned dollars.
Save! Save! Save!
Saving money might not be as fun as spending it, but “future you” will be really grateful. Ask your parents to help you find a good savings account program. Deposit a small amount every week, and before you know it, you’ll have a nice stash of cash in the bank.
Be Careful with the Card!
Sure, it’s easy to put purchases on a credit card right now, but remember that you still have to pay for those purchases! What you buy today could end up costing you way more if you can’t pay the full amount at the end of the month. Some credit cards have a high interest rate of 20% or more. That means, if you don’t pay the full amount every month, you might have to pay the credit card company $20 extra for every $100 you spend! EVERY MONTH!!
Count Your Cash!
Keep track of how much cash you need for everyday things. Keep only that amount in your wallet and keep the rest somewhere safe in your room or with your parents.This is helpful because it forces you not to overspend. If the money isn’t in your wallet, you can’t spend it.
Make A Deal!
Finally, don’t buy anything full-price that you can get on sale. Those sneakers you’ve been eyeing are bound to drop in price, so wait for a sale! They’ll still be cool 3 months from now and they’ll be much cheaper.
It’s okay spend a little here and there, but with some smart planning, you can save a bundle of cash for yourself!
March 9, 2016
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Review
Out of the books I picked to be my favorite over time, the very best is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. I like these books the best because they are really funny, are an easy read, have entertaining artwork, and they relate to the real world and how you are feeling as a middle schooler sometimes.
The books are about a boy named Greg who has a troublesome older brother and an annoying little brother. They are funny because Greg gets blamed for everything his little brother, Manny, does. His older brother, Rodrick, gets in a lot of trouble, but the blame always ends up on Greg.
Those are some reasons why the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series are the books that I enjoy the most.
Leah, Scholastic Kids Council
March 2, 2016
Best Book Series
I don’t have just one book to recommend. I have several series for kids aged 8-12.
The first: the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, beginning with So You Want to Be a Wizard (for ages 10 and up). This series is about Nita and Kit, two friends who found copies of a book entitled So You Want to Be a Wizard and were brought together. They must learn to use their wizardry while battling to postpone the universe’s death.
The second: the Unwanteds series (for ages 8 and up) by Lisa McMann. These books tell the story of the land of Quill, where creativity is a crime, and those caught committing it are sentenced to death. But the sentence isn’t exactly what is seems.
The third: the Michael Vey series (for ages 12 and up) by Richard Paul Evans. A prototype imaging machine malfunctioned, and of the 59 people born in that hospital during its test period, only 17 survived. These children acquired electrical powers. A madman makes it his goal to use them to take over the world, and gets all of them except Michael Vey.
The fourth: the Blackwell Pages series (for ages 8 and up) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr. This trilogy is about the descendants of the Norse gods and their battle to prevent the world from ending. It begins with Loki’s Wolves.
Julie, Scholastic Kids Council
March 1, 2016
Why Do Feet Stink?
There’s nothing worse than kicking off your shoes after a long day and grossing out your friends with a set of horrible smelling feet. It happens to everyone from time to time. First let’s find out WHY your feet smell. Then we’ll tell you what you can do about it.
The main cause of stinky feet is foot sweat. Although sweat is odorless, when the inside of your shoe becomes hot and moist, it creates the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that live on your feet (called Brevibacterium) to grow and multiply. This particular bacterium is the same kind that is found in extra-smelly cheeses like Limburger and Muenster.
Now that you know why your feet smell like stinky cheese, here are 3 things you can do about it.
- Hot, closed-toe shoes are like a bacteria sauna. Wearing comfortable, well-ventilated shoes will give your feet a chance to air out.
- Before you put your shoes on, always put on a pair of clean socks. If you like the no-sock look, try wearing ankle socks that aren’t visible above your shoe.
- For extra protection, sprinkle some baking soda or baby powder in your socks and shoes to help absorb the odor.
With a little knowledge and prep work, you will never worry about taking your shoes off again. PS. Pass this article along to anyone you think could use a little help with his or her stinky feet.
“Tingling tip toes” Flickr photo by Alex Holzknecht