Sproutside at the Flint Children's Museum

To inspire a love for learning and awaken imagination through exploration and hands on play.

Back to the Bricks

Last week Flint hosted the annual Back to the Bricks car cruise. A new event this year was a pinewood derby car race that was held downtown. GM sponsored the event and gave away hundreds of pinewood derby car kits to the community. The museum competed against other local charities in a race. Here we are at the starting line!

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We didn’t take first place, but it was a good race! We had lots of fun watching all of the cars and looking at their creative designs. Thanks to Tom here at the museum for building such a beautiful car!

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The Edible Schoolyard Project

Sproutside is proud to be a new member of the Edible Schoolyard Project!

“What we are calling for is a revolution in public education – the Delicious Revolution. When the hearts and minds of our children are captured by a school lunch curriculum, enriched with experience in the garden, sustainability will become the lens through which they see the world.”
 
— Alice Waters
 
Alice Waters is the founder of the ESY Project. What a wonderful mission which we support wholeheartedly.

View our page here! http://edibleschoolyard.org/program/sproutsideImage

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Join Us at the CRIM for Family Fun!

Join Us at the CRIM for Family Fun!

Follow the link above to learn more.

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“Teaching children abou…

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” – Thomas Berry

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Fun Science Experiments Part 1

There are still a couple of weeks before school starts, but why not do some fun science experiments at home to get the kids’ brains ready to learn!

Here is one of the projects we do during an “eruption day” in Sproutside. Most of you probably know about the baking soda and vinegar volcano, but how many have actually tried it?

First, you need to build a volcano. You can be creative and use whatever you have in the house: play doh, foil, paper mâché, etc. We used an old water bottle and surrounded it with paper mâché which we then painted. The kids will have a blast helping with this part!

Once your volcanic masterpiece is dry you can get started with the real science. Let the children spoon some baking soda into the container in the middle of the volcano. (if you don’t mind the potential mess, add some red or orange food coloring at this point) Ask the kids what they think will happen when the vinegar is added. Then add vinegar. Watch what happens! Talk about whether you need to add more baking soda or vinegar next time. Brainstorm ideas to make your volcano even better!

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Winter in Sproutside?

So far Sproutside has only been open during the warmer months of the year, but what if you could play outside at the museum during the winter, too?

What kinds of things would you like to see or do? Maybe sledding down Turtle Hill, building snow forts, or visiting the green house? We want your ideas! Feel free to comment here with suggestions, or email hhanel@flintchildrensmuseum.org.

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Indoor s’mores!

The weather didn’t let us have “camp sproutside” outdoors this evening, so we improvised with an indoor camp out! Kids made indoor s’mores using graham crackers, chocolate frosting, and marshmallow fluff. No real fire needed! While sitting around the campfire we learned about trees, and how to count the rings to tell how old they were.

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Come celebrate s’more day with us tomorrow from 1-3pm, rain or shine!

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Soft and Furry Things in Sproutside

Kids love sensory play, and it is very important in their development. Touch is a great sense to use out in sproutside. Our sensory garden has lots of neat feeling plants such as lamb’s ear.

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And there are other furry things in our garden that are even cuter. This morning we found this little baby bunny munching on some of the plants.

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How cute!

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How to get kids to eat (and love) Zucchini

It can be tough to get kids to eat the fruits and veggies that they need. Zucchini is usually not a child favorite but hopefully this recipe will change their minds!

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Zucchini is good for kids and grown ups! The recipe here also includes blueberries, which are packed with antioxidants. So while this is a yummy sweet treat, it does have health benefits!

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I used a zucchini from Sproutside’s garden a little larger than this one and ended up with one large loaf, 3 small loaves, and 17 muffins of zucchini or blueberry zucchini bread.

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On the left is a Zucchini Blueberry Muffin (see recipe), and on the right is Zucchini Bread from an old family recipe.

 

Blueberry Zucchini Bread Recipe (Adapted from Allrecipes.com where it received a five-star rating)

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups frozen wild blueberries (you can also use a pint of fresh blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.

Shred zucchini. Set aside. Once shredded, squeeze zucchini to remove excess water. Discard water.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar.

Fold in the zucchini.

Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

If using frozen blueberries, coat in flour. This will keep the berries from bleeding excessively in the batter.

Gently fold in berries.

Pour into lightly greased loaf pans. (Or muffin tins)

Place in 350 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes. (Check with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are done.) Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

 

Let us know how your recipe turned out in a comment below, or email a picture of your child enjoying this new treat to discovery@flintchildrensmuseum.org.

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Sproutside Olympics

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There are still some more Olympic games to be held in London this summer, but how about in Sproutside? You can make up your own Olympic sports such as extreme hula hooping, super sand castle building, professional bubble blowing and so much more! And don’t forget that Olympians need to eat lots of veggies to stay healthy and strong, so be sure to check out the vegetable garden to refuel your energy!

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