September 22, 2016

Free Youth Day Activities Sponsored by Ford Motor Company

On Saturday, September 24, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. kids ages 5-16 can spend an afternoon of design education and exploration sponsored by Henry Ford Learning Institute. The free event will have kids making human scale weaving, making sun prints, and creating inflatable sculptures.  The event is part of the 2016 Detroit Design Festival program, taking place Sept. 21-25. For more information and to register visit:

September 20, 2016

Preventing Illness: Have Fun Learning to Scrub

Republished from my 2009 post

It's two weeks into the school year and already my son has to stay home from school because of illness. I kept hearing about neighbors and friends whose children have became ill this past week, and let's face it, as parents that is the worst part of the school-year. Bringing germs home to spread among the family is no fun. This year it seems to be an even greater fear for families, with the threat of H1N1 lurking everywhere. So what do we do?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that proper handwashing is the most simple thing a family can do in the prevention of infection and illness. That's great, perfect really. My son has received countless fliers on doing this, and even the health insurance company is spending their money printing helpful hand-washing fliers. As parents though, this really doesn't help me. Yes I can teach my children to sneeze into their sleeve, use a tissue, and wash their hands - But how can I make it FUN for them? Being "fun" is sometimes the greatest motivator for children. So where can I go for help?
This is really a trick question for me, because I have already found an excellent resource in the NSF Scrub Club!
Each year, more than 164 million school days are lost due to illness, which could be greatly reduced with proper handwashing. That’s why Ann Arbor based NSF International created the Scrub Club® - to raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing and ultimately improve the health of children and reduce school sick days.
The program is the first of its kind designed for children 3 to 8 years of age - This fun, interactive and educational website teaches children the proper way to wash their hands. The site consists of Webisodes, interactive games, music, many educational downloadable activities for kids, educational materials for teachers and program information for parents. My son loves the Scrub Club theme song and has even begun singing along!
So be sure to visit the Scrub Club® website with your preschool aged and young children - Everyone will benefit from the fun and informative learning experience through the website interaction. Don't forget to pass along the word to your children's elementary school teachers, as there are some great classroom resources as well including the 6 Steps To Proper handwashing Poster.

September 15, 2016

Does The Cupcake Ban Help?

First published on in 2010

To fight childhood obsesity should
cupcakes and other treats be banned
from birthday celebrations at school?
As a parent who makes homemade cakes and cupcakes from scratch for every birthday celebration at school and at home, I was disappointed to hear that some Michigan schools are banning cupcakes to fight childhood obesity. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that a generation of children is going to have problems due to their weight, and that ultimately society has to pay for it. However I don't think that the occasional cupcake is causing this problem. Ultimately it is kids having bad eating habits, overall, and not enough exercise.
As a child I played outside from dawn until dusk, only coming in when my parents insisted. The current generations are not getting outside to play, have less gym time in school and sit in front of the television, computer monitor or with a handheld gaming system for hours on end. So why are schools banning cupcakes instead of other solutions? Are there better solutions to help children eat better? Does your child attend a school where birthday treats have been banned?
My opinion is that children only get to be kids for a short window of time. Since the focus on birthdays lessens as the years pass, why not let them have their cake and eat it while they are young and solve the issue with more time outdoors, exercising and parents teaching their children to make be

September 5, 2016

Pittsfield Township Annual Harvest Fest

On Sunday September 18, 2:00-5:00 p.m., Ann Arbor area families can enjoy the Pittsfield Township Annual Harvest Festival at the  Sutherland-Wilson Farm Museum (797 Textile Rd., Ann Arbor). Hear the sounds of the Saline Fiddlers, enjoy hay rides, games, a petting farm, and hands on demonstrations. Hand-made items will also be for sale.

Tour historic building and see photo displays as well. A bake sale and pumpkin picking can also be enjoyed. There will be everything we love about the fall!

Adult Wristbands (ages 16+) $5.00
Child Wristbands (ages 3 – 15) $3.00
Free admission Children 2 and under

Schedule of Events:
2:00 p.m. Welcome Message & Event Kick off
2:15 p.m. Saline Fiddlers
2:15 - 5:00 p.m. House Tours
3:30 p.m. Prizes in the Straw (under 4)
3:40 p.m. Prizes in the Straw (ages 5+)

Free Parking & Shuttle available at Harvest Elementary (1155 Campus Pkwy). For more information visit the Harvest Festival website or the Harvest Festival Event on Facebook!