One morning, all the children on Snow Island between the ages of six and 12 gathered in the school gymnasium for a Christmas decoration workshop led by two dynamic art students, Maeva and William.
“Your challenge is to make a Christmas tree ornament that symbolizes your personality and interests,” Maeva explained.
“In other words, people should think of you as soon as they see your ornament,” William added. “You can use any of the materials we brought.”
“You have three hours to create your masterpiece,” Maeva said. “Off you go!”
Orion and Capella were very excited. Frantically rummaging through the art supply bins, the eight-year-old twins gathered materials: pom-poms, feathers, sequins, ribbons, pipe cleaners, and more. With their hands full, they headed back to their table to begin.
“What are you going to make for your ornament?” Capella asked.
“Since I love outer space, I’m going to make mine into a rocket ship,” Orion replied. “And since everyone knows I love lemon yellow, the whole thing will be yellow! What about yours?”
“I’m obsessed with chocolate and math, right? So I’m going to make a chocolate bar with mathematical symbols carved into each square,” Capella explained.
The twins enthusiastically set about making their decorations. However, over by the craft bins, two of their friends weren’t having as much fun.
“Gosh, I have no ideas,” Sylvio lamented.
“I don’t know what to make either,” Jasmine admitted.
Suddenly, Orion and Capella had an idea about how to spark their friends’ creativity. The siblings took turns asking them a variety of questions without giving them time to answer.
“What’s your go-to song?”
“Do you have a pet?”
“What sports do you play?”
“Do you like to read?”
“What food do you like best?”
Gradually, the children’s faces lit up. With the help of the twins, they’d finally found their inspiration. Thanking them, Sylvio and Jasmine headed off to create ornaments in their image. The boy made a pineapple-shaped hot air balloon, and the girl decided on a guitar-playing penguin.
That evening, families across Snow Island hung all sorts of unusual ornaments on their trees: a rainbow snowboard, a tractor with wings, a cat curled up in a bird’s nest, a puzzle piece with an elephant trunk on it, a sailboat with Viking symbols, a dinosaur wearing overalls — what a sight!
Inspired by their creativity, many of the children’s parents, including Orion and Capella’s, decided to make their own personalized decorations. After all, who said crafts are only for kids?
By Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Katya Teague
Association game: vegetables
Vegetables are excellent for your health and come in many colorful varieties and shapes. Try to match each clue to the correct vegetable.
1. This white vegetable is called Daikon
2. Bugs Bunny’s favorite food
3. A similar vegetable to collard greens
4. Another name for beans
5. There are summer and winter varieties of this vegetable
6. Rutabagas are from the same family as this vegetable
7. A crunchy green vegetable with lots of water
8. A dark green vegetable that looks like cauliflower
9. The leaves of this vegetable are used in salads
10. The most common varieties of this vegetable are English and Lebanese
11. Iceberg and Chinese are two varieties of this vegetable
12. A bulbous vegetable that’s said to repel vampires
13. A vegetable that’s often eaten with butter and salt
14. There are many ornamental varieties of this vegetable
15. The sweet version of a chili
1-N, 2-D, 3-B, 4-I, 5-H, 6-L, 7-E, 8-C, 9-O, 10-G, 11-F, 12-A, 13-K, 14-J, 15-M
4 animals that can regrow body parts
Many animals have extraordinary abilities. For example, certain species can change color or sleep with their eyes open. Here are four amazing creatures that can regrow their body parts.
1. Octopuses need eight limbs to move around and eat. Fortunately, they can regenerate lost tentacles in a matter of months.
2. Lizards can sever their own tails as a defense mechanism. A new tail will regrow within a few months.
3. Flatworms can tear themselves in half and regrow a completely new body, including a new head.
4. Spiders commonly lose legs when fighting off predators. The good news is that they can regrow their lost limbs within a few days.
In addition, male deer shed and regrow their antlers every year.
Did you know?
People can also regrow one specific part of their body. The liver, which filters blood, can partially regenerate itself.
10 interesting facts about elephants
Like hippos and rhinos, elephants are pachyderms. These imposing animals have thick skin and heavy gait. In fact, elephants are the largest land animals on the planet. Here are ten fascinating facts about them.
1. Elephants can’t jump because they’re too heavy. Their bones would break on landing.
2. Elephant trunks are very flexible and contain up to 150,000 muscles. This essential appendage functions as a nose and arm. Elephants use their trunks to communicate, clean themselves, and gather food. However, elephants don’t eat through their trunks.
3. Elephants spend around 16 hours a day eating. They can eat more than 440 pounds of plants and drink over 26 gallons of water a day.
4. Although elephant skin is thick, it’s also very sensitive. In fact, an elephant can feel a small insect land on its back. Additionally, elephants cover their skin with mud to stay cool in the hot sun.
5. An elephant’s powerful trumpet-like call can be heard up to five miles away.
6. Contrary to popular belief, elephants aren’t afraid of mice. However, they fear ants and bees that can crawl into their trunks.
7. Elephants can swim several miles at a time. Additionally, they use their trunks as snorkels to breathe underwater.
8. Elephant feet are very sensitive and can feel ground vibrations more than six miles away.
9. Female elephants carry their young for 20 to 22 months before giving birth. That’s almost two years!
10. Like humans, elephants lose their teeth. However, elephant teeth can fall out and grow back several times.
You may be able to see an elephant at a zoo near you.
How spiders spin webs
Although spiders make many people squeamish, these eight-legged arachnids are undoubtedly fascinating. Here’s an overview of how spiders create their beautiful webs.
First, the spider climbs up to a high point and creates a long thread of sticky silk called a bridge thread. This thread is carried by the wind until it sticks to another point.
Once in place, the spider spins another thread while crossing the bridge. The weight of the spider bends this thread into a V shape.
At this point, the weaving begins. The spider creates radial threads by attaching them to surrounding anchor points. When all the threads are made, the web looks like a star with several branches.
The spider then reinforces the web by weaving a spiral in the middle. This is where it will sit comfortably to await its prey.
On average, it takes 30 to 60 minutes for a spider to spin a web.
Silk is secreted from glands in the spider’s abdomen. This silk is a liquid. However, it becomes solid when exposed to air.
7 interesting facts about eggs
How do you like to eat your eggs? Hard-boiled? Poached? Scrambled? Fried? Here are seven interesting facts about eggs.
1. The color of the egg yolk depends on the hen’s diet. If the egg yolk is light yellow, the hen probably eats a lot of wheat. However, if the egg yolk is dark yellow, the hen likely eats a lot of corn.
2. The United States produces about 97 billion eggs each year. Annually, 1.2 trillion eggs are produced worldwide.
3. Large eggs are the standard. There are six egg size designations: jumbo, extra-large, large, medium, small, and peewee. However, most recipes call for large eggs.
4. Egg whites can expand up to eight times their volume. Whipping air into egg whites brings lift and lightness to desserts like mousses, sponge cakes, and meringues.
5. Eggshells have their own ventilation system. Eggshells contain between 7,000 and 17,000 microscopic pores that allow oxygen, carbon dioxide, and moisture to escape.
6. Most of the fat in egg yolks is good for you. Fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Fortunately, two-thirds of the fat in egg yolks is unsaturated and contributes to good heart health.
7. Hens don’t need a rooster to lay eggs. Hens will lay eggs whether there’s a rooster around or not. However, a rooster is needed to fertilize the eggs and hatch them into baby chicks.
Eggs are a versatile food that can be enjoyed alone or in a variety of recipes.
4 easy no-bake recipes
Do you feel like cooking or baking but don’t want to use the oven? Here are four easy recipes you can try.
1. Pink maple lemonade
Fill a pitcher with cold water and juice five lemons. Mix the juice and the water together. Add a splash of grenadine or cranberry juice and add about 3/4 cup of maple syrup for sweetness.
2. Peanut butter balls
Stir together with a cup of peanut butter, two tablespoons of corn syrup, a cup of graham cracker crumbs, a handful of chocolate chips, and a cup of powdered sugar until a dough forms. Shape the dough into small balls. Place the balls on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for one hour.
3. Apple and carrot salad
In a large bowl, mix broccoli florets, cut carrots, sliced apples, and sultana raisins. In a separate cup, whisk together a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise or plain yogurt, lemon juice, maple syrup or honey, and salt and pepper. Pour the creamy dressing over the salad ingredients.
4. Mini cheese sticks
Thread half a cherry tomato, a cube of cheese, and a grape on a toothpick. If you prefer, you could use cucumber slices or peppers.
To make these recipes even more delicious, get creative by including different ingredients you find in your kitchen.