Heart Pump

Heart Pump (5)

For kids interested in the body and how it works, this visual representation of the heart is fantastic! It’s obviously simplified, but serves as a nice illustration of how this vital body part works.

First, we cut a red balloon in half. Discard the narrow tail, and set aside the other half.

Heart Pump (1)

Fill a mason jar with water until about half full, and add 3 or 4 drops of red food coloring; Travis was thrilled we’d made “blood.”

Heart Pump (2)

Stretch the top part of the balloon over the jar, making sure it lies flat.

Heart Pump (3)

Cut two small slits in the balloon, about 1 inch apart. Insert straws into each, one red and one blue (Note: the color doesn’t really matter, but helps to differentiate). Tape the blue straw shut.

Heart Pump (4)

Now press down on the balloon and your heart will “squeeze” the blood out through the straw “arteries”. Make sure you place the jar on a plate or tray, because the squeezing gets messy!

Heart Pump (7)

Travis absolutely loved this, and had to pump the heart until our jar was all out of “blood.”

Heart Pump (8)

You can wow your kids with quick facts, like how their heart really pumps in a similar way about 70 times per minute.

Here’s a quick clip of the action:


Mighty Chocolate Smoothies

Mighty Chocolate Smoothie

These power-packed smoothies are sure to send your kids off to school with some extra energy! Make a double batch because grown-ups love it, too.


  • 1 cup vanilla rice milk
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 6 to 8 chopped and pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
  1. Combine the milk, spinach, and dates in a blender; process until smooth
  2. Add the cocoa powder and strawberries and blend again until smooth.

Bird-Nest Salad

Bird-Nest Salad (1)

Tweet your way into spring with this cute little salad!


  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons bean sprouts
  • 3 yellow tomatoes
  • Salad dressing of choice
  1. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a plate.
  2. Arrange the carrots and sprouts in the middle of the plate, so they look like a nest shape.
  3. Nest the tomatoes in the carrot bed as little eggs, and drizzle with your favorite dressing. We like this with a simple balsamic vinaigrette!

Happy spring!

Bird-Nest Salad (2)