NDSU Extension - Dickey County


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Schools Out For Summer!

Aimee Ellinger, 4-H/Youth Development and FCW Agent

Summer KidsSummer is officially here and that means schools out and kids are home for the summer. School has been out a few weeks now and you are probably busy with sports, summer trips and family vacations. It’s the best time of the year.  The weather is perfect, the clouds are big and puffy, and the grass is soft and green.  The only thing that can ruin a perfect sunny summer day are the dreaded words “I’ bored”. How do you keep your kids from saying this al summer long? I have a few activities that you can do at home to help with summer boredom. Studies show that students lose months of reading and math skills over summer vacation. That knowledge loss adds up. On average, students lose the equivalent of two months of math and reading skills during the summer months. (National Summer Learning Association)

To help your kids keep us on math and reading skills consider putting them to work in the kitchen. Reading recipes and measuring ingredients helps keeps math and reading skills sharp. You can even throw in science and talk about the chemical changes happening to the food as it cooks.  This cheeseburger quesadilla recipe is from this year’s edition of Eat Smart Play Hard. If you want your own copy visit me at the extension office in the courthouse!

Cheeseburger Quesadilla
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. seasoning salt
8 10-inch flour tortillas
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Direction: In a large pan, combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce and seasoned salt. Cook until brown and drain. Set aside. Carefully wipe out the pan and spray with cooking spray. Place one tortilla on the pan, top with one-fourth of the meat and fourth of the cheese and then top with another tortilla. Cook for a few minutes on medium high heat until one side is browned and then flip, cooking until that side is browned and the cheese is melted.
Repeat the same process three more times. Cut each quesadilla into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with your favorite burger toppings.

Another fun activity that gets your kids outside is bird watching! We have a educational bird coloring book in the office available to purchase for $5.50. this huge coloring book teaches kids about birds related to North Dakota and has facts and tips scatted throughout. If you’re interested Stop by the office for one. A fun activity that helps you attract birds to your home, so you can study them are home made bird feeders! This pine cone one is fun and cheep to put together. Grab your feeder and books and get outside for some fun family time watching birds!

Pine Cone Bird Feeder
Large pine cones
Ice pop sticks
Peanut butter or suet
Mixing bowl
Natural string
Thumb tacks

Steps Place any tight pine cones in a 300-degree oven for about 10 minutes to open them. Use an ice-pop stick to spread a layer of peanut butter or suet all over the inner "petals" of the pine cone. Set the pine cone in a mixing bowl filled with birdseed mix. Roll the pine cone in the seed mixture.

Attach string to the top of the pine cone for hanging. Push a thumbtack into the bottom of the cone, wrap tack with another length of string, and tie to the top of another cone. Repeat process until desired length is achieved. Hang bird feeder, and replenish with birdseed as necessary.

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