How to Have a Great Family Spring Break – News

    UAB experts recommend activities to get kids' bodies or minds moving this spring break.   </p><div>

    By: Anne Marie Stevens<br/> Media contact: Brianna Hough<p><span class="wf_caption" style="margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 20px; float: right; display: inline-block; max-width: 450px;" role="figure"><img src="" alt="staycation stream" width="450" height="338" style="margin: initial; float: none; width: 100%;"/><span style="display: block;">UAB experts recommend activities to get kids' bodies or minds moving this spring break.</span></span>For families staying in town this spring break, it might seem like there aren't many ways to keep the kids occupied without a device.  Experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham share educational and active ways to keep kids engaged.

Activities to get the whole family moving

The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends physical activity that is at least moderately intense for a minimum hour per day for children ages 6 to 17. Claire Molling, PhD, an associate professor in the UAB College of Education, encourages families to break up this activity time for children if this recommendation seems overwhelming.

“Children would rather play than do exercise or exercise,” Molling said. “As parents, we should encourage playtime that triggers the idea of ​​fun through movement. In addition, if parents are going to be involved in activities, it often increases motivation and provides an opportunity to create memories.”

Mowling and Jennifer Summerlin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Education, suggest the following ideas for active play.

Take a walk

Spend some time exploring the neighborhood and creating a designated hiking trail. Kids can create a map with highlights throughout the corridor. Create invitations that include a trail map, hand them out to neighbors and encourage them to post a family selfie using a child-created hashtag, like #HenrysHike.

Family Olympics

Gather the family and put together a series of outdoor activities. Some ideas could include sprints, hula hoops, corn hole, rope skipping, and hopscotch. If desired, keep the scores and create a medal as a prize for whoever wins the most activities. Large families can also form teams to participate in.

The floor is (not) lava

There are plenty of other games you can play indoors if it’s raining. One of the classic games is “The Floor Is Lava”. Create an obstacle course around the house, set a timer and go. Challenge the child to see if they can complete the course faster each time. This activity gets kids moving while building sequencing, memory and problem solving.

Get cool

Play some family-friendly tunes and get moving. Kids can put their own personal touch on the family dance party by creating a playlist and dance moves. Games like freeze dance are also a great way to play. Encourage the children to choreograph and perform their own dances if they wish for the family.

Kitchen science experiments

Rosiana Gray, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at UAB, works with community partners to find ways to incorporate science into recreational activities.

“Through these activities, students are able to hone their skills in science, math, technology, and reading,” said Gray. “Implementation and exposure to the fascinating world of STEM should take place at an early age to have a desirable successful impact later in their academic path. Select interactive activities can make science interesting and enjoyable for all ages.”

She suggests that parents and caregivers try one of the following activities with their children to open their minds to the world of science.

Can glue bounce back? Fun with glue and borax

The aim of this experiment is to clarify the difference between a chemical change and a physical change.

Physical changes occur when the velocity of energy in a substance causes it to change between a solid, liquid, or gas, such as the melting of an ice cube. Chemical changes are smaller and occur on a more intense level, such as color changes.

In conducting this experiment, children will see how physical changes are made when the two mixtures are combined to create a “flubber”. Chemical changes are shown using microwave heat.


  • water
  • Borax soap
  • microwave
  • Glue
  • 2 cups or a bowl, one of which should be microwave safe
  • moving rod
  • Coloring the food with the child’s favorite color
  • Gloves (because this experiment can be messy)


Put 1.5 inches of water into bowl A. Add 1 teaspoon of borax soap to bowl A. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute and set aside. Be careful, as the mixture will be hot.

Put 1.5 inches of glue into container B, and add six teaspoons of water and 12 drops of food coloring. Add the contents of container A to the mixture in container B. Stir well. This combination makes “fuzz”.

Can the colors be played? Fun with soap and colours


  • Six paper plates
  • 1% milk
  • 2% milk
  • cao
  • yogurt
  • Pure milk
  • Glue (to make a cool keepsake)
  • Food colours: green, blue, red, yellow
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • cotton swabs


Lay out the paper plates in a straight line, one plate for each type of milk and glue. Pour different types of milk into the dishes, just enough to cover the bottom of each. Put three or four drops of different food coloring in the center of the milk. Be careful not to mix the colors. Dip a cotton swab in dishwashing liquid and place it in the center of the food coloring drops. Watch and discuss what happens when each painting transitions into a beautiful piece of art.

Delicious bacteria: fun with milk, yogurt and heat

Microbes are used to produce a variety of foods through fermentation, the metabolic process that releases energy from sugar or other organic molecules. The procedure can be performed with or without oxygen. In dairy fermentation, or yogurt production, microorganisms use the lactose and produce lactic acid without using oxygen.


  • Homogenized milk
  • Skimmed milk powder
  • plastic cups
  • plastic spoons
  • Chips
  • Thermometer
  • Graduated cylinder of 100 milliliters
  • plain yogurt
  • hot plate


Heat the milk to 80°C for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t let it boil. Cool the milk to 65°C and add 1 teaspoon of skim milk powder per person. stir until it dissolves. Quickly cool the milk to about 45°C.

Top each cup with 1 or 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt and cover with foil. Incubate the cups at 45°C for four to eight hours or until firm or custard-like. Cool the yogurt to about 5°C. Taste, add some kind of flavor, like strawberry, peach, granola, etc., and enjoy.

Here’s how to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius:

  • Find the temperature in Fahrenheit.
  • Subtract 32.
  • Multiply the result by 5.
  • Divide this answer by 9.
  • The final solution is the temperature in degrees Celsius.

Here’s how to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit:

  • Multiply by 1.8 or 9/5.
  • add 32.
  • The final solution is the temperature in Fahrenheit.
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