A Sweet Science Treat Every Kid Will Love – At Home Science Experiment for Kids

This edible science experiment kit for kids is fun, educational and yummy too.

This edible science experiment kit for kids is fun, educational and yummy too.

Science can be fun, science can be messy, and science can be sweet.  Yes, I said sweet.  Not every kid is a natural chemistry lover, but aren’t all kids natural treat lovers?  The minute you mix science and sweets together you will be amazed at how your “do we have to do science” child can change into a “can we do that science experiment now” child.  Best of all, it’s the perfect way to extend the Valentine’s Day love.  Make some candy (in the name of science, of course), and then share it with the ones you love! Win-Win!

The Candy Chemistry Set from the at-home science experiment experts, Thames & Kosmos, is our top pic for sweet science experiments.  The kit includes over 25 tasty experiments and has everything you and you’re young Einsteins need to make mouth-watering treats.  Together you’ll explore the worlds of math, chemistry and physical science.  Best of all, this kit receives rave reviews from kids and parents alike because it is fun, educational and easy to use.

The one science experiment you can eat when you're done!

The one science experiment you can eat when you’re done!

•Use this educational science kit to discover why sugar crystallizes to make rock candy.
• Study the phases of matter and discover specific heat as you melt chocolates and pour them into molds.
• Learn to use a thermometer as you cook hard candy from sugar.
• Practice measuring and conversions.
• Investigate the chemistry of gummy bears. Yum!
•And, the bonus…. discover the mysterious phenomenon of triboluminescence with wintergreen candies.  (You may not even know what that is yet, but trust us – it’s cool!)

As cool as this at home science experiment for kids is, it has one advantage few other science kits can claim. With this kit, you can eat your experiment when you are done!  This kit is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Check out all the other awesome science experiments for kids at jmcremps.com.

Posted in Featured Products | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Build the Perfect Snow Fort for Kids

Winter is full swing, and for many of you, the snow banks are piled high.  The holidays are over, school is back in session, and spring seems a million years off.  About now, cabin fever may be setting in.  The kids are tired of playing outside, and you’re tired of the kids playing inside.  This is the time to kick-up the outdoor fun a notch and show your kids how to build the best snow fort on the block.  Show them how to do it right, do it safely, and to do it with some style.  The next thing you know, you’ll be serving hot chocolate in the fort instead of the kitchen!

This simple video, narrated by kids and made for kids, shows you just how easy it is to build a basic snow fort:

NOTE:  It is important to remember to make sure that they maintain the thickness of the ceiling as the video explains, and that they do not make the entrances and tunnels too wide.  Inserting painter’s sticks in the ceiling is an excellent way to make sure that the fort stays strong and won’t collapse.

If they don’t want to build a fort with tunnels and would rather build the fort so that it has an open top, then the JM Cremp’s Snowball and Snow Brick Maker will be their best friend.  Pack the snow in the mold, place the bricks in a staggered formation one on top of the other, remove the mold, and voila! The next thing you know there will be a fort the size of the Alamo in your yard!  If you’re not a kid, you may be asking, “What’s the advantage to an open-topped fort?”  Snowball fights of course!

The Snowball and Brick Maker will make quick work out of fort-building and snowball making.

The Snowball and Brick Maker will make quick work out of fort-building and snowball making.

Whether their fort is small or large, simple or grand, one thing is for certain – they’ll enjoy hours of entertainment and loads of fun.

As always, JM Cremp’s is your ultimate source for adventure toys and gear, outdoor fun, and family activities.  If you don’t already have their catalog, request one today!

Posted in Outdoor Fun | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ultimate Hot Cocoa Bar for Kids

The next time your kids have friends over to play outside this winter treat them (and yourself) to the Ultimate Hot Cocoa Bar.  It’s the ideal way to warm them up when they come in with frosty noses and cold toeses.  Plus you can use the lure of hot cocoa as incentive to make sure all of the hockey sticks, sleds and shovels are put away where they belong. Trust us, you’ll win Mom-of-the-Year honors for this one!

What you need for the hot cocoa:
1 c. cocoa powder
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
pinch salt
6 c. milk
2 c. milk chocolate chips (about 12 ounces)

What you need for the toppings:
Here is where you can be creative. Use whatever you have on hand or think would be a great addition to hot cocoa. Some things to try are: Whip cream, cinnamon sticks, candied orange zest, caramel, whipped cream, marshmallows, mint chocolate bars, shaved chocolate, Nutella, peppermints, chocolate candies, candy canes, sprinkles and (if you’re brave) cayenne pepper powder.

What you do:
Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan (one with a spout if you have one). Make sure to mix it really well. Whisk the milk in slowly, you don’t want any lumps. Add the vanilla seeds and pod. Place over medium heat and bring to a slight simmer. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean and stir in the milk chocolate morsels until melted. Keep warm until serving.

Cocoa Bar Setup: Arrange or display all the various flavorings your hot cocoa lovers will enjoy. If you know they will want to try multiple combinations, have espresso cups available, so the hot cocoa will last longer and they won’t get too full too fast.

You can watch the video of how easy and fun it is here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/kid-friendly-hot-cocoa-bar-0174965.embed.html

Recipe courtesy of: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-thornton/hot-cocoa-bar-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Posted in Imagine Indoors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Winter Break Reading List for Boys

After all the presents are opened and the toys are played with, it’s time to take a break, sit back, and relax a bit.  There’s nothing better for winding down than a good read.  This is true for us as adults, and it is very true for growing boys as well.  The benefits are reading include a greater vocabulary, a boost in self-esteem, and enhanced communication skills.  Besides the long-term benefits, in the short term, when your child grabs book and begins reading he begins to relax, calm-down and focus on the present.  So after a busy holiday season, an afternoon spent curled up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate may be just what your family needs to get back on track.

Here are a few of our favorite reads:

The Kingdom Series:  The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black takes place in the Kingdom of Arrethtrae where the King and His Son implement a bold plan to save their kingdom; where courage, faith and loyalty stand tall in the face of opposition; where good will not bow to evil.  There are six books in the complete series and starts with Kingdom’s Dawn.  This series will inspire, engage and fascinate your children from one book to the next.  They won’t be able to put them down!

My Side of the Mountain is an inspiring and fascinating best seller that generations of boys have come to love.

My Side of the Mountain is an inspiring and fascinating best seller that generations of boys have come to love.

My Side of the Mountain Series:  Jean Craighead George is the revered author of this classic, best-selling series that has been a favorite of boys for decades.  Sam Gribley, our boy hero, is terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment.  He runs away to the solitude and danger of the mountains where he finds a side of himself that he never knew.

This set includes the three books in the My Side of the Mountain series, along with the corresponding outdoor guide.  Books included are:  My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful’s Mountain, and every boy’s favorite – the Pocket Guide to the Outdoors.

Robot Wars Complete Series:  Set in an experimental community on Mars in the year 2039, The Robot Wars series features 14-year-old virtual reality specialist Tyce Sanders. Life on the red planet is not always easy, but it is definitely exciting. Tyce finds that the mysteries of the planet point to his greatest discovery-a new relationship with God. He talks about his growing faith and curiosity in a manner that kids can relate to as they are probably wondering some of the same things. Each book contains two exciting adventures. These books are recommended for ages 10-14 years and are perfect for the sci-fi lover in your house!

 

Posted in Featured Products, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Many of us have very specific Christmas traditions that we celebrate with our families.  What is interesting is how these traditions vary around the world.  Let’s take a short trip around the world and see how different some of these traditions are.

Finland:  ‘HYVÄÄ JOULUA!’
Christmas is a magical time in Finland.  Families gather together and celebrate with traditional Finnish foods.  Most families will visit the Sauna (properly pronounced as sow-na), exchange gifts, and sings Christmas hymns.  It is also customary to visit the gravesides of departed family members.

A Christmas Tree in Berlin Germany.

A Christmas Tree in Berlin Germany.

Germany: ‘FROEHLICHE WEIHNACHTEN!’
The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree began in Germany during the 17th century.  As such, the Christmas holiday is a widely and beautifully celebrated holiday in Germany.  German children follow their advent calendar closely, and instead of Santa filling their stocking, he fills a shoe that has been left out for him to fill!

Australia:  ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’
Christmas falls in the middle of summer in Australia so for many Australian families, Christmas means beach days and barb-b-ques!

Ukraine:  ‘SROZHDESTVOM KRISTOVYM!’
In the Ukraine, the youngest child in the family watches out the window for the evening star to appear in the sky.  This is the signal that the traditional 12-course Christmas meal can begin!

For many children, a Christmas tradition other than their own can be hard to imagine.  That’s why it is fun to discuss other countries and families holiday celebrations.  It can even be fun to incorporate a part of a another country’s tradition into your own family gathering.

Merry Christmas from the JM Cremp’s family!

Posted in Parenting Resources | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Make a Kid-Friendly Gingerbread House Using Graham Crackers

At JM Cremp’s, we love Gingerbread Houses, they’re a Christmas tradition the whole family can make together. Instead of spending hours making gingerbread, you can make gingerbread houses using graham crackers to save yourself both effort and time during a busy season. Display your houses on your table or in a decorative corner for Christmas Day.

What you need:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 box graham crackers
  • miscellaneous candies for decoration
  1.  Separate your Christmas candies into bowls. This step saves the hassle of opening bags of candy with sticky fingers later.
  2. Place an aluminum pie tin upside down in front of you.
  3. Combine the egg whites and lemon juice in a large bowl to make royal icing.Add powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time and blend the mixture with a mixer until the icing has the consistency of stiff peanut butter. The icing will secure the graham cracker walls of the house and stick the candy decorations to the surface.
  4. Place large spoonfuls of the royal icing into quart-size zipped style freezer bags. Avoid regular thickness sandwich bags because the plastic is too thin and will not hold up to the punishment of being used as a pastry tube. Approximately 1 cup of icing each bag is enough. Make sure that each gingerbread artist has his or her own bag of icing.  Seal the bag.
  5. Count out six whole, uncracked, unseparated, unbroken crackers. Set four of them aside to form the roof and the two long sides of your house.
    Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.08.40 AM
  6. Cut the two remaining cracker sheets to form end gable pieces. Use a gentle “sawing” motion with a serrated knife. Use the short end of a cracker to measure the angled line from the center of the long side to the centerline of the cracker.
    Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.08.54 AM
  7. Squeeze icing along the edges of a gable end and 1 whole graham cracker.
    Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.09.32 AM
  8. Place the long edge of the wall cracker vertical to the base edge of the gable end cracker. Stick the side edge of the gable end cracker to the bead of icing on the flat side of the wall cracker. The walls should hold each other up.
  9. Add the other gable end and wall in the same manner. Use a bead of icing along the bottom to stick the pieces to the pie tin. Also, use a bead of icing where the two walls will join at the corners.
  10. Add the roof crackers in the same manner as the wall crackers, but pipe the icing on the flat of the roof, not on the edges. Then, stick the flat of the roof to the top edges of the gable ends and walls. Allow the icing to set for 15 to 20 minutes before handling the house again. If you place candies on it too quickly, you risk collapsing the house.
    Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.10.04 AM
  11. Line the roof with icing where you want to add shingles.
  12. Add the shingles using your chosen candies.  You can also use cereal for shingles.
    Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.10.24 AM
  13. Use your imagination and decorate the entire house whatever way you like.  Be creative and have fun!
 The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make A Gingerbread House Using Graham Crackers.  Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.
Posted in Imagine Indoors | Tagged , | Leave a comment

An Interactive History of D-Day

June 6 marks the anniversary of that fated day that began the campaign of the liberation of Nazi-controlled Europe and brought the long-planned Operation Overlord into play.  It also marked the beginning of the end of the war that started for most Americans with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  The Allied invasion of the beaches of Normandy in France was the largest seaborne invasion in history and came to be known as D-Day.  Planning for this operation began the year before and proved to be the crucial turning point in the war in Europe.  Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”  Although victory did not come easy, nor did it come without significant cost, it did eventually come.

The naval invasion fleet included 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types, 736 ancillary craft, and 864 merchant vessels.  More than 13,000 aircraft supported the invasion including over 2,200 British and American bombers.  Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on that fateful day with over 10,000 casualties logged and 4,414 brave men and boys having given their lives.

This important day in history is memorialized in an informative and interactive way online by visiting the US Army’s official D-Day website.  You can listen to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech to the troops reminding them that, “The eyes of the world are upon you,” before they embarked on ” a great crusade.”  You can also learn what the “D” in D-Day stands for.

normandyFor the younger generation, the book Normandy, A Graphic History of D-Day tells the intricate story of the planning and execution of Operation Overlord from the invasion of five D-Day beaches (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword) on June 6, 1944, to the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944. In between, Vansant paints a portrait of the campaign’s vicious and unforgiving fighting, including the Allies’ capture of Cherbourg, the deadly battles in hedgerow country, the Allied struggle for Caen, the breakout of Patton’s Third Amy, and the eventual defeat of Axis forces in the Falaise Pocket. It was the Allied success in Normandy that hastened the beginning of the end for the Nazis.

However you choose to teach your children about this day isn’t as important as the fact that you are teaching them about this very important day.  It is a day in the history of the world where men and women of many nations, religions, and races came together with a single-minded purpose to defeat a common enemy.  It is the story of good vs. evil and triumph over tragedy.  It is a story that must be told for many generations to come.

 

Posted in Military Fun - Army for Kids, Parenting Resources | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment