McKnight Pediatrics

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April 2020 Archives

Office Update During Coronavirus

April 30, 2020



McKnight Pediatrics continues to try to do its part in helping to contain this virus and "flatten the curve". Everything we know tells us the only way to do that is encourage our citizens to stay home, only going out for necessities. In order to comply with these recommendations, keep our families and staff safe, and provide the necessary well and sick care for our patients we have implemented the following changes as of Monday March 30th, 2020.

We will see well children who are under 2 years old, 4 years old, 11 years old, and 12 years old Mon-Fri in the Mornings. We chose these ages for in office visits because it is at these ages that children are due for important immunizations.
We will have virtual visits for all other ages as needed. Please still complete and submit your ASQ3 development screen as usual prior to your appointment. As soon as we are able, we will get your child in for vital signs, hearing and vision exams.
Sick appointments will be scheduled in the afternoon. When possible we will do virtual visits for sick patients.
We will schedule less patients each hour to minimize any time spent in the waiting room.

McKnight Pediatrics monitors the changes occurring and policy recommendations being made on a daily basis. We will make changes accordingly. It is our hope that we will return to life as usual sooner rather than later. Reality and data tell us we must all take this pandemic seriously and do our part.

Please do not hesitate to call us if you have questions. Stay tuned for updates.

On a lighter note, we hope everyone is finding very creative ways to spend all of this extra time with family. One exercise for our children might be to think about, write or draw a picture about something that makes them happy. The adults might want to do the same. On my list is gratitude for all of our families who entrust the care of their children to us.

With Much Appreciation,

Marjorie B. McKnight, M. D.

Imagination Stage--More Online Family Fun!

April 24, 2020

You and Me: Story Adventures Is Back!

This video series is based on our popular You and Me class models and will walk you and your littlest ones through a storytime of Stone Soup, a fun activity, and a song! Enjoy this slice of Early Childhood workshops from the comfort of your own home.

Cost: Free

Ages: Perfect for ages 1-5 and their families.

Watch the Whole Series

Imagination Stage Final Friday Brain Break

Today is our final Friday Brain Break! Join Director of Education & Theatre for Change Joanne Seelig, for another online class in creative drama and storytelling games on Facebook Live.

Ages: Everyone is welcome but perfect for grades 1-3.

When: Friday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Imagination Stage Facebook

Save the Date: Imagination Stage Online Talent Show

All the web is our stage for this one-of-a-kind open mic event. Join us on May 9 from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sign up to perform or tune in to cheer on our talented community.

All talents and ages welcome! Let's all have some fun online together.

RSVP on Facebook.

Headfirst at Home: Handprint Hermit Crabs

April 21, 2020

Today we're going to learn about some very special organisms that call the ocean home, hermit crabs! Turn your handprint into a marine life masterpiece with this Headfirst curriculum art project.

Objective: Hermit crabs are crustaceans that live on the ocean floor. As Hermit crabs grow, they need to find a new shell to fit. Hermit crabs need to be optimistic that they'll find the just right shell for them throughout their lives!

Super Six Connection: This week's theme is Resiliency. At Headfirst, we know our grit muscles are never-quit muscles. Just like our hermit crab friends who need grit & determination to be successful in finding a shell to call their home, we remember that practice is perfect as we complete this project!

Questions and Answers About the Spread of Coronavirus

April 19, 2020

From The New York Times:

When we asked readers to send their questions about coronavirus, a common theme emerged: Many people are fearful about tracking the virus into their homes on their clothes, their shoes, the mail and even the newspaper.

We reached out to infectious disease experts, aerosol scientists and microbiologists to answer reader questions about the risks of coming into contact with the virus during essential trips outside and from deliveries. While we still need to take precautions, their answers were reassuring.

Should I change my clothes and shower when I come home from the grocery store?

For most of us who are practicing social distancing and making only occasional trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, experts agree that it's not necessary to change clothes or take a shower when you return home. You should, however, always wash your hands. While it's true that a sneeze or cough from an infected person can propel viral droplets and smaller particles through the air, most of them will drop to the ground.

Studies show that some small viral particles could float in the air for about half an hour, but they don't swarm like gnats and are unlikely to collide with your clothes. "A droplet that is small enough to float in air for a while also is unlikely to deposit on clothing because of aerodynamics," said Linsey Marr, an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech. "The droplets are small enough that they'll move in the air around your body and clothing."

Why is it that small droplets and viral particles don't typically land on our clothing?

I asked Dr. Marr to explain further, since we're all getting a mini lesson in aerodynamics.

"The best way to describe it is that they follow the streamlines, or air flow, around a person, because we move relatively slowly. It's kind of like small insects and dust particles flowing in the streamlines around a car at slow speed but potentially slamming into the windshield if the car is going fast enough," said Dr. Marr.

"Humans don't usually move fast enough for this to happen," Dr. Marr continued. "As we move, we push air out of the way, and most of the droplets and particles get pushed out of the way, too. Someone would have to spray large droplets through talking -- a spit talker -- coughing or sneezing for them to land on our clothes. The droplets have to be large enough that they don't follow the streamlines."

So, if you're out shopping and somebody sneezes on you, you probably do want to go home, change and shower. But the rest of the time, take comfort that your slow-moving body is pushing air and viral particles away from your clothes, a result of simple physics.

To read more helpful information, click here.

New Study on Need for Integration of Mind Body Medicine

April 17, 2020

From Today's Practitioner:

In a perspective published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and from UC Davis Health call for broader use of mind-body practices.

In a time when meditation, yoga and mindfulness increase in popularity for general well-being, the piece emphasizes the necessity of fully integrating these stress-reduction practices into patient treatment plans and medical research.

Stress exacerbates anxiety and depression and plays a role in conditions such as cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and chronic pain, said lead author Michelle Dossett of UC Davis Health.

"By reducing the body's stress response, mind-body practices can be a powerful adjunct in medicine by helping to decrease patients' symptoms and improving their quality of life," said Dossett, who was a physician and researcher with BHI when the perspective was written.

Dossett also noted that mind-body practices can be helpful in reducing stress related to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Despite its recent rise in popularity among the general public, mind body medicine isn't new. Researchers at BHI have been integrating the field of mind-body medicine into MGH's clinical care, research and training programs since 2006. Early research on the advantages of such techniques dates back 40+ years, when the institute's founder and perspective senior author, Herbert Benson, became one of the first Western physicians to bring spirituality and healing into medicine and is most famously known for his work with the Relaxation Response.

"The Relaxation Response, is an inborn, anti-stress capacity that transcends the differences that separate mind from body, science from spirituality and one culture from another," says Benson.

"Western medicine has produced revolutionary health benefits through advances in pharmacotherapies and procedures," the researchers wrote in the perspective. "It now faces enormous challenges in battling stress-related noncommunicable diseases. ... Chronic pain, often perpetuated by psychosocial stress, has become an epidemic that our pharmaceutical arsenal is poorly equipped to handle and medical costs continue to soar. Mind-body therapies can be a helpful adjunct in managing chronic pain and other stress-related noncommunicable diseases by fostering resilience through self-care."

The article also addresses skeptical patients' preconceived notions of mind-body medicine as well as the anticipated barriers of service coverage and clinician education on the appropriate use of these tools. These challenges further reinforce the need for continued research and investment into the development and implementation of personalized practices to maximize their public health potential.

**If you are interested in a mind-body medicine consultation with Dr. McKnight, please call the office for a virtual visit.**

Adventure Theatre's Quarantine Fest

April 17, 2020

Adventure Theatre MTC, in partnership with District Dramatists and 4615 Theatre Company, has invited DC, Maryland, or Virginia writers to take part in a flash creation of new work for a series of online readings. Each script will contain 5 required elements.

Professional actors from the DC Area will read these works live, Sunday April 19th starting as early as 10am as a live stream on Facebook. The plays that receive the most likes during their live stream will receive cash rewards.

Tune in on Sunday.

Go to the Theatre from Your Living Room

April 16, 2020

From Imagination Stage:

Introduce your child to the power of live theatre from your own home! Join us for a virtual performance of one of our most popular Theatre For Young Audiences shows, Blue. Designed for kids ages 1-5, this full-length digital presentation also includes director commentary and at-home activities!

Join Pale Blue and Inky Blue in their blue-tiful garden, where blue flowers sprout in blue pots with the help of some water, a song, and some theatre magic!

Suggested donation: $10.00. Minimum donation: $0.00. We know many families are struggling with the effects of COVID-19. If you are not able to give at this time, please still enjoy this show!

Meeting the Coronavirus Challenge: Tools to Heal Mind, Body, Spirit, and Community

April 15, 2020

On Friday, April 17, the Center for Mind-Body Medicine will be hosting the next program in its webinar series "Meeting the Coronavirus Challenge: Tools to Heal Mind, Body, Spirit, and Community" series.

The coronavirus pandemic makes us anxious about our bodies, hyper-vigilant for coughs, sniffles, and fatigue that may be harbingers of infection. The third free webinar, "Befriending Your Body", begins by acknowledging these concerns and proceeds to share a practical, flexible plan for using movement and exercise, as well as awareness, to decrease our anxiety, enhance our appreciation of our body's inherent healing capacities, and move us more confidently and happily forward as we encounter each day's activities and challenges.

The webinar is approximately 50 minutes in length, and can be viewed anytime between 8AM ET and 2PM ET on Friday, April 17. Afterward, there will be a live question and answer session on the Center's Facebook page at 3PM ET.

You can register for this week's webinar here.

Headfirst at Home: A Cloud in a Jar

April 15, 2020

Have you ever wondered where clouds come from? Today, we have a project that will show you how they form! Create your very own cloud at home with this awesome STEM experiment.

As promised, we will continue to share with you easy, do-it-yourself projects specially chosen by our team of expert educators. From STEM, to art, sports and more, we will help your kids stay healthy, focused, engaged and entertained.

How It Works: By pouring hot water into a jar and trapping it, you create warm, moist air. As the warm air inside the jar rises, it is then cooled by the ice on top of the jar. When the water vapour cools, it wants to turn back into liquid, but it needs to condense onto a surface. The hairspray provides a surface for the water vapour to condense into tiny cloud droplets. Then, a cloud swirls inside the jar due to the circulation of warm air rising and cold air sinking!

Coronavirus, the Climate, and Your Garden

April 13, 2020


Are you stuck at home, sick of binge watching the latest sitcom? Or maybe you're struggling to keep your now-homeschooled kids occupied and off their screens? Maybe you're dealing with increased anxiety and concerns about making ends meet?

Wherever you find yourself today, now is the time to turn to gardening. Use this extra time at home to plan and start a garden that's good for you and your family, your community, and the planet.

Gardening for Your Physical and Mental Health

Nobody likes being cooped up indoors all the time, and it's not great for your health. But, social distancing and sheltering in place are absolutely imperative for slowing the pandemic, so we have to get creative about being outdoors. You can garden if you have a balcony, yard, or even just a sunny windowsill. (If not, research shows that even looking at photos of nature can be good for your health.)

In a time when your worries are likely elevated, gardening can support stress release. It's fun for kids too and has a wide range of hands-on learning benefits from tuning motor skills to engaging in the creative process.

Gardening helps you stay physically fit, aiding in flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health. And, if you're looking for exercise to supplement all the yoga and workout videos you're doing on YouTube, look no farther than a garden to feel productive and inspired.

Gardening to Support Yourself and Your Community

If you haven't experienced it in person, you've surely seen it on the news: panic buying and empty shelves at the grocery store. While we're being told right now that there's no food shortage at this time, we may see changes in food imports, labor supply, and possibly even inflation or the increase of food prices in the near future.

During the World Wars, when farmers became soldiers and when food was needed at the front lines, gardens were a way for the country to feed itself and encourage home food security. Thanks to the Victory Gardening movement, people were growing around 40 percent of the country's fresh fruits and vegetables. Many are turning to gardens again in this time of uncertainty, whether it's food shortages or health concerns around visiting the grocery store.

In the face of social distancing and record-breaking unemployment rates, community is more important than ever. Before this novel coronavirus, 1 in 8 Americans faced food insecurity--that's 41 million people--so it's safe to assume that some members of your community don't have adequate access to food. Gardening gives us a chance to provide for ourselves and our neighbors. The fresh produce you grow can help supplement a sparse dinner or help out those who lost their income during the pandemic.

If seed and garden supplies are looking as meager as your grocery store shelves, consider using Climate Victory Gardening methods that close the loop in your garden and build soils to grow healthy foods using what you have on hand. This is also an opportunity to support small and local businesses.[JW1]

The Link Between Gardening, Pandemics, and the Climate Crisis

Our Climate Victory Gardening campaign is all about finding climate solutions that are good for people and the planet. The COVID-19 pandemic has come on with incredible speed and has overshadowed the climate crisis for many as the most pressing existential threat, but gardening is a solution to tackle both issues. And we can't lose sight of the climate solutions that are critical for our long-term survival.

Coronavirus and the climate crisis are more closely tied than you might think. Unchecked destruction of natural environments contributes to both, which we can see in the food system. Trees are cut down for pastures; synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers pollute local ecosystems; and huge factory farms poison the air, land, and water of rural communities. The destruction of habitat and changing climate increase human and animal migration, often blurring the lines that allow safe coexistence--increasing zoonotic diseases that transfer from animals to humans, like Ebola, SARS, Lyme Disease, and possibly even this novel coronavirus.

Our food system emits over one third of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the very pandemic that has us worried about our health and food supply. It doesn't have to be like that. We can garden and grow food in a way that supports our wellbeing during coronavirus and offsets the emissions that are warming our planet.

For the nearly 2,500 gardeners already committed to this outcome, they can rest easy knowing where their next meal is coming from and knowing that their gardens have the potential to offset the equivalent of taking over 70,000 cars off the road for a year. Join this movement of Climate Victory Gardeners to produce healthy foods, feed yourself and your community, and fight climate change and future pandemics.

Headfirst at Home: Oil Spill Cleanup

April 13, 2020

Today we're going to explore conservation of one of our planet's greatest resources -- water!

Environmental disasters such as oil spills take a major toll on our precious ecosystems including seas and marine life. Fortunately, scientists have discovered ways to reduce the environmental damage of oil spills and preserve both water and the creatures that call it home. In today's exploration, we're going to learn some cleaning techniques that real scientists use to help save water and marine life after an oil spill.

Objective: Today we're exploring water as a precious resource, meaning it is something we need to protect and preserve. Campers will test different materials to observe their effectiveness in cleaning up an oil spill. The best way to preserve our aquatic ecosystems is to prevent spills from happening in the first place​​​​​​!

Highlights at Home: We Are All Family

April 11, 2020

Life's difficulties, as unwelcome as they are, often offer us a gift. In the time of COVID-19, the gift may be the opportunity to refocus on the things that truly matter in life. Topping that list, of course, is family--and that includes our family members with fur, fins, or feathers. Welcome to Highlights@Home--and to this collection of family-themed resources titled We Are (All) Family. Whatever your family configuration--two parents or one, extended family, one child or many, one pet or a houseful--you'll find here plenty of ideas that will engage your children in "Fun with a Purpose" and strengthen the family bond. The gift of these uncertain times--when we've been forced to dial down the daily busy-ness of our lives and rethink our priorities--is time. Time to reflect on our families and what they mean to us.

To read more and to access the resources from Highlights, click here.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

April 10, 2020

From PBS:

Earlier this week, I overheard my kids engaged in a round of "I heard" and "Did you know?" while they were getting ready for bed.

"I heard that Margaret's dad has it," said my six-year-old.

"Did you know that it's the worst sickness ever?" added my eight-year-old.

Neither statement is accurate, but they were revealing: I had thought my initial conversations with my kids about COVID-19 had been good enough. But with adults, kids at school and the news all hyper-focused on this coronavirus outbreak, my reassuring voice needed to be a little louder.

A favorite Mister Rogers' quote ran through my mind: "Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary."

So before lights out, we talked. I asked what they had heard about the coronavirus. We got it all out -- their questions, their "I heards" and their fears. The rest of the conversation had three themes.

First, I shared age-appropriate facts and corrected misinformation. Because my kids are young, I kept it simple. "You know what it's like to have a cold or the flu -- how sometimes you get a cough or have a fever? This is kind of like that. Most people who catch this sickness stay home, rest and get all better. And we have wonderful doctors and nurses who can help people when they need it."

Second, I reassured them that they are safe, which is the most important message my kids can hear from me. I know that they take their emotional cues from my tone. "You don't need to worry. Right now, lots of amazing grown ups are working hard to keep people healthy. Luckily, we already know a lot about how to keep healthy!"

Third, I emphasized simple things our family can do to be "germ busters" -- for all types of germs that are out there! As Harvard's Dr. Richard Weissbourd once shared with me, kids and adults alike are "more distressed when we feel helpless and passive, and more comfortable when we are taking action." The hygiene routines that slow the spread of the COVID-19 are the same habits that help keep us healthy all year round.

A few days after this conversation, my kids' schools closed indefinitely -- and so did sports practices, playdates and a host of routine outings. Like most of the nation, my family is staying home for a while, and this brought up new questions and worries for my kids. The three themes above still apply to all our follow-up conversations, but I have added a new dimension to what our family can do to be "germ busters:" We can practice social distancing.

I explained it like this: "Germs like to travel from person to person. Have you ever noticed how kids in your class sometimes get sick at the same time? If lots of people stay home for a while, it will be hard for the Coronavirus germs to travel to new people -- and that's good news for doctors and nurses who are helping people who get sick." A few hours later, I heard my 8-year-old re-explain it this way to her kindergarten brother: "This sickness isn't a big deal for you or for me, but we need to be germ-busters so we can protect other people -- like grandma and grandpa! This is how we help."

Of course, that doesn't mean social distancing is going to be easy. We are planning creative ways to stay in touch with family and friends -- such as "story time" with different relatives over video chat each day. I am hoping they eventually see this as a time when our community pulled together to help others, and had some fun along the way spending extra time with their family.

To read more from PBS, click here.

Join Adventure Theatre MTC for a Digital "Easter Egg Hunt"

April 10, 2020

Starting at 2pm on Sunday April 12th, Adventure Theatre MTC will post close-ups from our production photos from the past 10 years. If you guess 5 of the the productions correctly, Adventure Theatre MTC will give you $50 off Summer Musical Theatre Camp. If you guess 10 of the the productions correctly, Adventure Theatre MTC will give you $100 off Summer Musical Theatre Camp. All answers must be submitted via the form below.

Hunt on Facebook.

Hunt on Instagram.

Submit Egg Hunt Answers here.

A Message from Common Good City Farm

April 10, 2020

Although the world is in a time of crisis, we are heartened by the way our community and the food community is responding. We are encouraged by the number of mutual aid efforts that have sprung up and how neighbors are helping each other. While we cannot gather in person, we can - and will - come together to strengthen our connections during this time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the vulnerabilities inherent in our food system and underscores the importance of local food chains and community-sourced food. Now, more than ever, we must advocate for the importance of organic, seasonal produce and creating your own sources of food. As many are increasing their cooking and gardening efforts, this is a time to both think about systematic changes that need to happen in our larger food systems and value the resilience of local, community based systems. How can we strengthen the ability of our region to meet the needs of those who live here? If you have ideas, we'd like to hear them! Email us at or drop us a line on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

We know that your needs have shifted due to the crisis, and we want to let you know exactly what we're doing in response. We have partnered with Dreaming Out Loud to help coordinate produce donations from local farms including Owl's Nest Farm, Three Part Harmony Farm, and UDC's Firebird Farm, and are also distributing produce on a weekly basis in our community of LeDroit Park - all while using every precaution to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, and community.

If you are in need of emergency food access, DC Food Project is keeping an updated list of resources. If you are in our local neighborhood, you can also reach out to us directly at (202) 681 - 4343 to get connected to our next distribution. And if you are able to share your resources at this time, volunteers are needed to assist with meal distribution at schools and Food Rescue needs volunteers to transport donated food to those in need.

We also need your monetary donations to support our increasingly critical work. Please donate to Common Good City Farm. Your investment will make sure we get food into the hands of families most adversely impacted by COVID-19. You can also find many more ways to help by scrolling down this page to the section - How to help in your community.

Like other farmers, we are working hard to get our farm planted with healthy food. We will continue with our core mission and grow good healthy food for our community. Along with our usual food safety precautions, we are staying up to date on all experts' recommendations to keep our team and the food we grow safe and healthy.

On the educational side, it's still important to us to get nutrition and garden information to students that we would usually see through field trips, in school and after school lessons, and open times in our farms/gardens. To increase our reach, we are collaborating with various nonprofits, including the Washington Youth Garden and City Blossoms, Foodprints to get a variety of online content available as a resource for teachers and families. Our educational partners are also making sure their demonstration spaces are still growing and productive as an additional source of food for our communities.

For learners of all ages, we have begun sharing more educational content on our social media and we are working with our network of workshop instructors to continue to offer more content, including this free webinar with Holly Poole-Kavana of Little Red Bird Botanicals about how to use herbs to manage stress.

We know our DC community will continue to respond and adjust. We will get through this together.

With Gratitude,

Common Good City Farm Team

Parenting During a Pandemic

April 9, 2020

The Atlantic magazine has published two articles about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of parents: Mary Katharine Ham's "It's Okay to Be a Different Kind of Parent During the Pandemic" and Lori Gottlieb's advice column "Dear Therapist: What's Your Advice to Parents Whose Kids Are Stuck at Home During the Coronavirus Lockdowns?"

And in the Atlantic Daily newsletter today, Caroline Mimbs Nyce shares this advice:

Three tips for talking to your kids about the outbreak:

1. Explain what's happening using kid-friendly language. "Ask your child to imagine that everyone in your family got the flu. If everyone felt sick at the same time, you could not care for one another. But if you took turns getting sick, someone could always be healthy enough to help," Andrea Delbanco, the editor in chief of Time for Kids, told my colleague Ashley Fetters.

2. Don't lie to them or promise an outcome. "That might calm them in the short term," Delbanco says, "but in the long run, it's important that they trust you to be honest with them."

3. It's fine to fact-check misconceptions about the virus. And to shield kids from the most brutal information. That's what Abigail Gewirtz, a family-social-science professor at the University of Minnesota, told my colleague Kate Cray.

Strathmore's Virtual Programming

April 8, 2020

At a time like this, the arts are more important than ever. While we can't be with you in person, we are working hard to provide much-needed inspiration from our incredible network of artists every week. At this link you'll see our line-up of programs for arts lovers of all ages to enjoy from home during this time!

We hope to see you Saturday mornings for Family Jam Sessions (great for kids!) and Wednesday evenings for Live from the Living Room concerts featuring our Artists in Residence. We're also happy to offer virtual ways to explore our current art exhibitions, join a book club discussion, or express yourself in a creative writing workshop.

Please keep a close eye on Strathmore's Facebook page as the central home for live and recorded video content to brighten your days of social distancing.

For a full list of the Strathmore's virtual programming, click here.

Make Your Own Bubble Blower

April 8, 2020

From Headfirst at Home:

Today we have a bubble bonanza for you! We know you love playing with bubbles (who doesn't!) but, have you ever tried making bubbles of your own? Our "Bubble Blower" video will show you how! Get outside and enjoy this beautiful Spring weather with your very own homemade bubbles!

As promised, we will continue to share with you easy, do-it-yourself projects specially chosen by our team of expert educators. From STEM, to art, sports and more, we will help your kids stay healthy, focused, engaged and entertained.

How It Works: Bubbles form because of the surface tension of water. Hydrogen atoms in one water molecule are attracted to oxygen atoms in other water molecules. They like each other so much, they cling together. When you blow air through your Bubble Blower, you are creating hundreds of tiny bubbles!

Flash Sale: Highlights Book Clubs for Kids

April 8, 2020

Try a Highlights Kids Book Club FREE and enjoy books full of puzzles, games, learning and fun!

Arts & Crafts Curriculum: "Levitating Ghosts and Bats"

April 7, 2020

From Headfirst at Home:


Super Six Connection: At Headfirst, campers learn how they can apply their grit, determination, and optimism towards a goal to make the world a better place. Self-efficacy, or the belief in yourself to create change, means you think, 'hey, I can do this!' when facing a tricky challenge; you know that you have the power of hard work and perseverance.

Development and Learning: This project is a prime example of static electricity, the build-up of an electrical charge on the surface of an object. Static electricity occurs when the charges stay in one place for some time and don't flow or move to a different area.


1. Black tissue paper
2. White tissue paper
3. Four 12" balloons
4. Assorted markers
5. Scissors
6. Tape


1. Blow up the balloons at the start of this exploration.
2. Cut the tissue paper into quarters.
3. Cue the videos by playing through commercials and maximizing screen prior to campers arriving.


Introduce your camper to this project by showing them the TED-Ed video, 'The Science of Static Electricity.' Today we're going to learn all about an important STEM concept know as STATIC ELECTRICITY! As you heard in the video, ATOMS are the basic building blocks of all matter, or the STUFF that makes up our world! ATOMS are made up of PROTONS, particles with a positive charge, ELECTRONS, particles with a negative charge, and NEUTRONS, particles with no electric charge. STATIC ELECTRICITY is the buildup of an electrical charge on the surface of an object. If you've ever worn fuzzy socks across a carpet and then touched something metal, like a door knob, you've likely felt a small shock. That is STATIC ELECTRICITY in action! Whoa! Today we're going to use STATIC ELECTRICITY to LEVITATE ghosts and bats! We will make our ghosts and bats appear to be floating on their own, and it's all thanks to science!


1. Cut ghost shapes out of the white tissue paper with your camper.
2. Draw faces on the ghosts and design them in any way you please.
3. On the black tissue paper, cut out bat shapes. Again, the design is up you! If you want to make creatures other than bats and ghosts, you can do that too!
4. Recycle the tissue paper scraps.
5. Rub the balloon vigorously on your hair for at least 10 seconds.
6. Now it's time for your ghosts and bats to LEVITATE!
7. Slowly bring the balloon near the cutouts and the cutouts should begin to rise toward the balloon. If the balloon is charged enough, the ghost will rise and float right up to the balloon, even when it is several inches away! You can even try to make the ghost 'dance' in the air!
8. OPTIONAL: You can add a small piece of tape to the bottom of the ghost or bat and move the top with the balloon, so it will look like its standing straight up. Otherwise, many of the cutouts might attach right to the balloon!


Today we got to see some ghoulish friends demonstrate STATIC ELECTRICITY! Were the ghosts and bats really able to fly? Why or why not?When we rubbed the balloons on our heads, invisible ELECTRONS with a negative charge build up on the surface of the balloon. The electrons have the power to pull very light objects with a positive charge towards them, in this case, or tissue paper bats and ghosts!

A Message of Hope

April 6, 2020

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

The Benefits of Letter Writing

April 3, 2020

Online Classes with Adventure Theatre MTC Academy

April 3, 2020

Adventure Theatre MTC educates and inspires new generations of theater artists and audiences with exceptional theatrical experiences. Check out their online classes for grades K-2 and 3-5.

Join Imagination Stage for a Free Live Class Tomorrow

April 2, 2020

Take a "Brain Break" with Imagination Stage tomorrow (4/3/20) at 10:30 a.m. Our Director of Education & Theatre for Change, Joanne Seelig, will lead an online class in creative drama and storytelling games on Facebook Live. In this highly interactive class, participants will work together to complete a group story or come up with new ideas for an improv game. Participants will sharpen their use our full actor's toolbox (Body, Voice, Mind, and Imagination) during this 20-minute class.

Ages: Everyone is welcome but perfect for grades 1-3.

When: Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Imagination Stage Facebook

10 Free Printables to Give Kids a Fun Challenge

April 2, 2020

From Melissa & Doug:

To all of our stuck inside families, we are so glad to see that these free printables are getting so much love and use, and we hope your kids are finding them to be fun and engaging, too! We're back with another batch of 10 free printables, this time focusing on games to go along with our Stuck Inside Series Games & Magic week! Our last two free printables blog posts, 20 free ABCs printables and 10 free coloring & drawing printables got a lot of activity from our readers, so we're going to keep turning them out as fast as we can to help everyone get through this one day at a time.

Our 10 free printables this week include many variations of bingo/scavenger hunts to do at home (great for independent play!), as well as memory games, drawing challenges, and Tic Tac Toe. Print these out, grab some coloring tools, and let kids enjoy some activity sheets play time so you can go get some work done (or just enjoy some much needed moments of relaxation!)

Click here for more!

Virtual Programming from the Strathmore

April 1, 2020

At a time like this, the arts are more important than ever. While we can't be with you in person, we are working hard to provide much-needed inspiration from our incredible network of artists every week. Click here for a menu of free options for patrons of all ages to enjoy from home during this time!

We hope to see you Saturday mornings for Kid's Jams, Wednesday evenings for concerts Live from the Living room featuring our AIRs, for visual arts tours and even writing workshops!

Please also keep a close eye on Strathmore's Facebook page as the central home for live and recorded video content to brighten your days of social distancing.

Music for the Home from Hamilton Live

April 1, 2020

From the Hamilton Live:

We're missing live music, too. We know nothing can take the place of being in a room with an artist you love, experiencing the pulse of energy around you. For now, we've put together this playlist featuring some of our favorite Hamilton Live artists. Go ahead, dance like no one's watching...

Keep Math Skills Sharp at Home

April 1, 2020

Take this tip from Headfirst and create a Human Calculator at home with just some empty space and masking tape. Watch the video on Facebook here.

Flash Sale: Highlights Book Clubs for Kids

April 1, 2020

Try a Highlights Kids Book Club FREE and enjoy books full of puzzles, games, learning and fun!