Nancy Bunker's Blog (19)

Straw bale gardening

Ok -so I was surfing around on youtube and checking out some gardening links. I found some videos on straw bale gardening. Very cool idea. These would make a great kids garden. Maybe a small maze with straw bales and plants growing on the bales.  Maybe a little "playhouse" made of straw bales with little rooms ( no roof) and plants growing on the sides. Good project for schools and summer camps.  No digging , less muddy, very architectural with potential for design ideas!

Added by Nancy Bunker on July 14, 2012 at 6:41am — No Comments

Check out website for Jefferson County Search Dog Association

Hunter, the cartoon mascot for the association teaches wilderness safety to small children. Older children will appreciate the stories about real search dogs.  Some publications to download and print, lots of kid friendly activities on the site.


Added by Nancy Bunker on September 14, 2011 at 1:49pm — No Comments

How to remove a tick. Learn a little about bug sprays.

As a general pediatrician and a travel medicine physician, I am asked frequently to remove ticks in my office or to give advice over the phone about tick removal. I have receive quite a few calls over the last few weeks about tick bites, and it seems the ticks are out in large numbers this year.


Start with a pair  of tweezers. Clean the tweezers with alcohol, if possible.  Eye brow tweezers are probably fine, but you can buy tick removal tweezers at many outfitters.  Keep a…


Added by Nancy Bunker on May 14, 2011 at 5:28am — No Comments

World Health Organization Announces Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

An international committment to decrease traffic accidents around the world is just  beginning.  As we thaw out this spring, and start to travel near and far with our kids, we are thankful for our many modern advances in traffic safety.  Car seats,  antilock brakes, crash zones, shoulder harnesses  etc are available to families in most modern countries.


If you travel outside of the country, remember to take car seats for children, choose a driver carefully, avoid drunk ,…


Added by Nancy Bunker on May 13, 2011 at 9:39am — No Comments

Poster "contest" suggestion

As a pediatrician in solo practice, I have spent years trying to figure out how to present the message of health and fitness to my patients and parents. We are up against big business in many cases. The marketing industry is encouraging the children to eat junk food, play video games for hours on end, dress "sexy" at an early age, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. We see very little marketing for time out of doors, natural foods, balanced exercise, sunshine and fresh air. This website may…


Added by Nancy Bunker on December 9, 2010 at 6:18am — 2 Comments

A Mother's Smile

I was watching a "reality" show on television about some wealthy women in California. The women were playing games with their children in the yard, but something was terribly wrong. The interaction between the women and the children appeared to be strained by the lack of expression on the mother's faces. I suspect that these fairly young women had undergone rather expensive cosmetic procedures to remove all facial wrinkles. The women were unable to smile as they watched their children…


Added by Nancy Bunker on November 20, 2010 at 10:50am — 1 Comment

Fabulous footwear : Ice skates

Whether you visit an outside rink or a natural pond, one key to a great skating experience is good skates that fit well. I do not pretend to be an expert "skate fitter" . I am a parent with some experience fitting ice skates for my own kids. For additional information, check with your childs skating instructor or local skating club. I will be discussing only figure skates ( as I know very very little about hockey skates. )

That said, here are a few suggestions for other…


Added by Nancy Bunker on November 7, 2010 at 8:41am — No Comments

Vitamin D and Depression, Where to go for information

A brief little blog post today.

Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in pregnant women, infants, children and adults in many areas of the country, many occupations and many ethinic groups. Vitamin D deficiency has been an increasing problem for the last few decades and seems to be reaching an all time high. Clearly the problem is related to inadequate time out of doors.

The website website,…


Added by Nancy Bunker on November 2, 2010 at 5:39am — No Comments

Keeping kids healthy and fit. Should we boycott high fructose corn syrup?

A recent article posted on the Medscape website was written by liver specialist and medical director of the liver transplant unit of the University of Cinncinatti. William Balistreri, M.D. The article was entitled "Can high fructose corn syrup exacerbate liver disease?"

Dr Balistreri presents a number of concerns about the common practice of adding high fructose corn syrup to beverages and other highly processed foods. One concern discussed was that a person will not feel full…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 30, 2010 at 4:30am — No Comments

Creepy crawlers, flying stingers and things that go bite in the night.

It happens so often after a trip. Your child is scratching, fidgeting and you see a bump on his or her skin.

Your child may not remember what caused the spot or may be too young to tell you. Here is a little primer on what to look for and when to see the pediatrician.

Mosquito bites- The familiar raised wealts, on exposed areas are frequently mosquito bites. Although usually no more than a nuisance in the northern United States, these insects cause numerous diseases in…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 26, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Flashcards challenge- so many things to do outside

Need to add a bit of excitement to outdoor adventures? Try listing all your options on 3X5 cards and letting kids choose a card (without looking) Cards should be reviewed ahead of time to ensure that choices are seasonally appropriate, age appropriate, and compatible with available equipment, available personnel and present weather conditions. Be prepared to negotiate if the kids really want something different. A few to start you off.....

Fly a kite

Go Ice…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 22, 2010 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

A different kind of gardening book.

I have shelves and shelves of gardening books. Old books, new books, red books, blue books. ( I may have a few Dr Seuss books as well) I have books set up like calendars of gardening, books about herbs, books about crafts from the garden, books about vines and books about trees, birds and rocks... I have one book that is just a bit DIFFERENT from all the rest.

Most of the general gardening books have chapters about digging and composting, chapters about planting seedlings and…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 19, 2010 at 3:55pm — No Comments

Preventing Tummy Troubles on the Trail

Speaking with parents I frequently hear about kids with recurring abdominal pains, constipation and other belly discomforts. Many kids will refuse to exercise when they are uncomfortable and this may worsen over time. In order for kids to be healthy and happy, we need to understand a bit about the gut physiology, and need to promote healthy eating.

Certain medical problems increase the risk of recurring abdominal pains. Hypotonia (frequently associated with developmental…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 17, 2010 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

You may notice a few recipes in my Children and Nature Blog. If the kids are well nourished, then they will have more energy and more stamina to hike, bike, climb, ski, and paddle. This recipe is a favorite of my own kids and I hope your kids will like it as well. I have been making it every week or two for a couple of years. This recipe is lactose free and uses only traditional, natural ingredients. The sweetness comes from honey, which may be easier to digest than table sugar or high…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 13, 2010 at 5:26am — 1 Comment

Cairns and Castles

We were on a hike recently to Buck Mountain, near Lake George NY, and happened to find this good sized cairn near the peak. It got me to thinking about how kids just don't get much chance to build with natural materials. This particular cairn looked a bit like an ancient castle. What a great introduction to engineering. Small children piling up a few rocks in the garden as a focal point; older children designing more complex arrangements. Simple…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 10, 2010 at 5:18pm — 2 Comments

Beyond Red Delicious: A Guide to Apple Picking

You managed to wake the kids up, feed and dress them, and mapquested your local apple orchard. What now?

1. Decide what you plan to do with the apples. For incredible apple pies, try to use a 50:50 mix of Empire and MacIntosh. For fresh and mulled cider, avoid the sweet dessert apples and go straight for the tart apples, the ones with tannins (Cortland, Haralson, MacIntosh, Granny Smith). For fresh eating through the winter, choose apples with a good storage reputation…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 9, 2010 at 5:43am — No Comments

Learning to Spin Wool, a great outdoor project for kids of all ages.

I went to a local fiber festival last month. While I was there I purchased a fleece from an Icelandic sheep. The fleece was about $30.00 and will make lots and lots of yarn for many projects.

First step- buy good quality , well skirted spinning fleece. I like Icelandic because it is soooo soft. The fibers are a great length for novice spinners and the finished articles feel great next to the skin. Great variety of natural colors…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 8, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Making fresh butter at home

So you plan to spend the afternoon at the local farmers's market. Are you interested in trying something new?

Buy some fresh heavy cream from the local dairy farmer. Pasteurized cream is OK. Take it home and chill it well.

Put the heavy cream in the kitchenaid mixer bowl and turn the mixer on to medium speed. I put some freeezer blocks near the bowl to keep it cool while mixing (about 1/2 hour or so) Stay in the room while the cream mixes and whips up. It will pass…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 8, 2010 at 9:28am — 1 Comment

New York State Sheep and Wool Festival

October 16 and 17, 2010

Tremendous show at the fairgrounds in Rhinebeck New York.

Great day outside for the whole family. Watch sheep shearing, spinning and weaving demonstrations. Get up close and personal with angora bunnies, alpacas, llamas and sheep. See hand dyed wool . Learn to spin on a spindle and make your own yarn from scratch. Stock up on unique knitting and crochet yarn for the fall. Learn where clothing comes from,…


Added by Nancy Bunker on October 3, 2010 at 7:30am — No Comments

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