Stacy Flannery

Experienced lifestyle writer for magazines, blogs, and website content.

wordsbystacyflannery@gmail.com
312-213-6107

Heart-to-Heart: The 9 Most Important Minutes of Your Child's Day!

As parents, each of us tries our very best. There are no perfect parents and no perfect kids (thank goodness!). Since we all are pulled in what feels like a million different directions each day, we all search for ways to build our parenting toolkits. While time can be short, it’s a common goal to make our daily interactions with our children that much more meaningful. Several years ago, neuroscientist Dr. Jaak Panksepp debuted his theory on how our children’s routines can be broken up into nin

Honor Roll

ALUMNAE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS For more than 70 years, Kappa’s Alumnae Achievement Awards have recognized women who have pursued their potential above and beyond expectations. It’s the highest honor for personal and professional achievement that Kappa presents to members. Eight trailblazing recipients will be honored with the award at the 2020 General Convention in Boca Raton, Florida. EYES ON THE PRIZE: When it comes to making a vision come to life, it’s all about the idea. As Amber told Forbes in

DIY Craft Dough Penguins!

From here to Antarctica, penguins capture the hearts of many. With their irresistible waddle to formal attire, they are undoubtedly entertaining to observe and explore. There are 18 species of penguins, each with its own unique habitat. This winter, grab your budding zoologist and create your own little penguins with this simple, non-toxic dough. With an assist from Learning Resources’ Penguins on Ice, you can make your own little iceberg right in your kitchen. For this cute penguin craft, you

Holiday Sensory Baggies!

Sensory objects are toys or activities that are designed to help engage a child’s attention both cognitively and physically. By stimulating one or more of the five senses, sensory objects/learning tools may help raise interest and motivate a child in a way that can have impactful outcomes. As it goes with many learning tools, some concepts are complex, while others can be very simple. This sensory baggie–filled with hair gel of all things–acts as a place to draw and practice letters and numbers

10 STEM-sational Gift Ideas!

Gift smart this holiday season with these STEM-inspired ideas from Learning Resources! Presenting ten gifts sure to “wow” this year, all with endless discovery possibilities. These smart toys were recently tried out by a 9-year-old, an 8-year-old, and a 5-year-old. While their age range was big, their shared interest in these award-winning toys was even bigger. Here’s to a magical holiday season full of STEM and wonder! There are 89 pieces in the City Engineering & Design Building Set, which

Holiday Peppermint Oobleck!

There’s always time for scientific discovery, even during the hustle and bustle of this hectic season. Here’s an easy Oobleck recipe that will keep little holiday hands busy. Wait, hold on. What in the world is Oobleck?! Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it can have the appearance and feel of both a solid and a liquid. Back when Sir Isaac Newton was coming up with his scientific principles and laws hundreds of years ago, he stated law on viscosity. Viscosity is the property of a li

National STEM Day Activities!

Invite the whole crew over for National STEM Day this November 8th with a science-, technology-, engineering-, and math-themed playdate! National STEM Day began in 2015, as our nation began to recognize that STEM-centered careers were growing 70 percent faster than other occupations. Research has shown the introduction of STEM concepts to children can improve their social and emotional development, as well as their rational thinking skills. STEM really goes beyond conveying knowledge from teac

Nuts About Acorns!

Besides the sound of crunching leaves, the pitter-patter of acorns falling onto the sidewalk is another iconic rhythm of autumn. We see squirrels run off with them, but what else do we know about this “fruit of the oak tree”? With a little help from Learning Resources’ Alphabet Acorns Activity set, let’s explore the acorn and its many layers. What is an acorn? The acorn is indeed a nut, and is the fruit of the oak tree. Only oak trees produce acorns. One acorn contains a single seed, and is e

Thanksgiving Crafts of Gratitude!

With all the go-go-go of the holiday season, the reason for this special time of year can get lost in the shuffle. Carve out some quality time with the family with these reflective and creative crafts that will encourage your children to count their blessings. • White paper plate, or white paper to cut into a circle • Sticky letters (or you can always write your own) Trace out a white circle for the pie shape, using construction paper (if you grabbed a paper plate, you are all set). Use a bowl

DIY Leftover Halloween Candy Experiment!

Another successful Halloween will soon be in the books. Between the costumes and parties, carving and all that spooking, so much candy has probably made its way into your home. So why not solve this gargantuan sugar epidemic with a science project that will make your little chemists want to do something with their candy other than eat it? Try a Skittles Liquid Rainbow! Skittles are a popular choice to hand out for trick-or-treating, as they are considered a safe go-to for those with allergies

Be Cold & Flu Season Ready: DIY Hand Sanitizer!

The chill in the air! The crunch of the leaves! The sights and sounds of autumn are here! Everything is cozy and crisp and wonderful and…ACHOO! As the first sneeze of the season rings through your house, it can only mean one thing: cold and flu season is upon us. Let’s prepare together by making a cost-effective, all-natural hand sanitizer to keep those nasty germs at bay. This easy activity opens up discussions on practicing healthy habits during this germ-filled time of year. Here are a few

DIY Candy Corn Butter Slime!

There isn’t a ghoul or goblin around who doesn’t love slime. But us crypt keepers don’t always love the sticky mess it can make in our homes. Making its debut on the slime scene is a “butter” version, and it might very well be the least messiest and easiest to make option out there. The Science Behind It A recipe made with glue, contact lens solution, and modeling clay, butter slime leaves out any spooky Borax or other harmful substances. The white glue used is made up of repeating, identical

Sidewalk Science: Mentos Geysers!

Stand back! The next generation of Mentos-dropped-in-soda scientists are coming through! The chewy, minty candy has been plopped into two-liter soda bottles for years. Often used by science teachers, it’s the quintessential example to demonstrate the release of carbon dioxide, complete with a real “wow” factor. What is it about carbonated soda and Mentos? What about the reaction makes it fizz and fly? Is there a different reaction with full sugar sodas compared to their diet counterparts? Eno

End of Summer Tie-Dye Beach Towels!

Oh, Summer! Why do you go by so fast? For one last hurrah for 2019, let’s celebrate by creating tie-dye beach towels, incorporating conversations about the color wheel, rainbow order, mixing, and pigment strength all in the comfort of the backyard. Grab some gloves (and some plastic covering if you aren’t on grass – yikes!) and have some imaginative, colorful fun! This activity works best with the widely available spray tie-dye kits. They dry faster and the application is easier for even the yo

1-2-3 The Floor is Lava!

If shouts of this ring out from your living room every day, you are not alone. This jumping game seems to make boys and girls all over focus with next level determination. So why not make a real challenge of it? A “floor is lava” learning game is just what the teacher ordered for same late summer, time-for-school refreshers. Before setting out to make your “stepping stones”, decide which skill your child might need to brush up on before the first school bell rings. Tackling this game with a kin

Top 25 Ways to GEAR Up for the New School Year!

At the start of summer break, didn’t that first day of school feel like eons away? But hey! Here we are! As the dog days of summer come to a close, prepping your little students to restart the academic year is a crucial part to a successful road ahead. As Learning Resources celebrates 25 years of the Gears! Gears! Gears!® building sets, we offer 25 tried-and-true tips for GEARing up to what will no doubt be their best year yet. Let’s hit the ground running! • Re-introduce proper bedtimes and wa

Gears! Gears! Gears! Car Wash

Engineering and summer fun go hand in hand when you take it to the sidewalk with the Gears! Gears! Gears! building sets. Beat the heat by creating a sidewalk-sized car wash, then sending your favorite Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! rolling vehicles through to get that summer shine! We start with the Gears! Gears! Gears! Rover, Cycle, and Motorized On The Move building sets. Opening the boxes and emptying their contents on to our picnic table was just the beginning of the fun. The ope

DIY Flag Day Optical Illusion!

Wave those Stars and Stripes this Flag Day! On June 14, the country will commemorate the history and symbolism of the American flag. The flag we know today was adopted by the Continental Congress as the official pennant on June 14, 1777, during the Revolutionary War. There are 50 stars for each state in the Union, and 13 red and white stripes representing the original colonies. The first Flag Day was celebrated in 1877, on the flag’s 100th birthday. In honor of our banner this Flag Day, let’s

DIY Unpoppable Bubbles Experiment!

But do you ever feel frustrated when they pop so fast? What if there was a solution (a literal solution) that made bubbles last a little bit longer? Below is a bubble mix recipe that will not only make bubbles stronger, but will allow for you to: • Bounce the bubbles from person to person • Blow the bubbles onto different surfaces This bubble solution could not be simpler: 2 cups of water ¼ dish soap 2 tablespoons of glycerin A few pipettes Cotton gloves Cut a pipette on the bigger

DIY Glittery Galaxy Dough!

Playtime is out of this world! With so much in the news lately about NASA’s latest missions, not to mention the first ever image of a black hole recently released, space talk is certainly on the rise. How about making some play dough sure to spark otherworldly conversations about our galaxy? But first, some questions and answers! What is the Milky Way? Our home galaxy is called the Milky Way, and it contains hundreds of billions of stars that burn just like our own sun. That means there are m
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