ART Smart Parenting show

ART Smart Parenting

Summary: Each week we’ll explore why the arts are important to your child, tips on choosing arts activities for your kids, and ideas you can easily implement into your busy schedule to help YOU raise kids that are confident and successful in school and in life. For extra tips on raising smart kids, Head on over to

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  • Artist: Yong Pratt
  • Copyright: © Art Smart Parenting, Yong Pratt, 2013


 Cupcake Flower Lights | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5:27

On this fourth Friday of May, we’re continuing with our May theme of flowers. So far we’ve created flowers from tissue paper flower, duct tape flower pens, and have used flower petals as the basis for a number of games from counting to basic math and anything else you may have been inspired to create. With graduation parties looming and thoughts of gifts to light up your grad's dorm room, these cupcake flower lights may be just the thing. Like all of our May flower projects and activities, you’ll be engaging your child’s multiple intelligences in addition to creating lasting memories. For this simple and elegant project you’ll need a strand of lights or a stem of lights that we repurposed. You’ll also need scissors and cupcake papers in various colors. 5 Steps to Cupcake Flower Lights Step 1:  Make the leaves Choose a color for the leaves and fold fold cupcake paper in half 2 times facing the folded point to the bottom. Cut the edges to make a leaf shape. Step 2: Make 8 -petal flowers Fold a cupcake paper in half 3 times, again with the folded point towards the bottom. Cut a rounded shape at the top. Step 3:  Make flowers with 16-petals. Fold a paper in half 4 times keeping the folded point facing the bottom and cut a rounded edge at the top. Step 4:   X Marks the Spot Cut a small X in the center of each cupcake paper using scissors. The lights will be inserted through the X. Step 5:   Create flowers Layer the leaf and petals onto each of the lights on the strand. Repeat the process on all the lights or just a few to create a unique spring time light for your outdoor parties or to brighten up your graduates dorm room walls.   I hope you enjoy this quick and easy cupcake flower light activity. Together we’re lighting up our kids learning! Next week I’ll be sharing our final flower-focused activity and create a decorative wall mirror out of plastic spoons and a little spray paint.

 5 Steps to Duct Tape Flower Pens | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 6:24

Happy Friday Art Smart parents!   I hope you’ve had an awesome couple of weeks creating and using flowers to fuel your child’s learning.   We are going to continue with our flower creations throughout May.  Today I’ll be sharing a project by Sea Lemon.  We’ll be making duct tape flower tulip pens.  The step by step video for this activity can be found on this week’s blog post at   Not only are we going to be engaging the MI’s in this project, you’ll be creating a beautiful, functional works of art.   Who doesn’t love flowers in the spring?  These flower pen creations can brighten up your home, or your office and give you the opportunity to engage with your kids and have some fun.  Using 5 simple steps, create a bouquet of flower pens today! Here’s what you’re going to need to create this project: Materials: Green duct tape (stem and leaves) Variety of colored duct tape (for centers and petals) Pens with caps   Tools: Scissors  Craft knife Cutting mat Ruler   Watch the tutorial from Sea Lemon: 5 Steps: 1. Create the stem: With cap on, cut green duct tape the length of the pen (cap to the end) and wrap it around the pen.  If you want to cover the cap you’ll need approximately 3.5 of green duct tape (cut away some of the excess with craft knife).   2. Create the pollen center: cut 1” piece of yellow and wrap it around the end of the pen lightly pinching in the sides to close up the hole (pinch one way then the other   3. Create Petal Cut 5 inches of and fold in half leaving about 1/2 and inch of tape exposed - doesn’t need to line up exactly as you’ll cut off the edges to shape the flower Using scissors, cut a tulip petal shape.  For cutting the exposed tape section, you’ll probably find it easier to use an exacto knife so the tape doesn’t stick to your scissors. Make a 1” slit using an exacto knife at the bottom of the petal (where the tape is exposed) Overlap the slits to create a curvature to the petal Repeat 5X more for a total of 6 petals   4. Make your tulip To create the flower end, start with 3 petals on the inside and overlap remaining petals on the gaps.  Secure petals using the exposed tape to the end of the pen Once all the petals are secured around the pen, cut a 1/2 inch green duct tape and wrap around base of flower to secure the petals   5. Create the Leaf - cut an 11” piece and fold in half leaving about 1/2 in on end.Cut leaf shape and tape to stem Slightly crease the leaf so that it hugs the pen and simulates the shape of tulip leaves Cut on last strip of green duct tape about 3/4 inch and wrap on base of leaf   Voila!  Beautiful and functional duct tape tulip pens that you create with your kids - building lasting memories and engaged learning!   Please be sure to post your creations here!

 Tissue Paper Flowers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 7:05

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope you had an awesome time with the Flower Power activity we discussed last week.  Please post any pictures or comments at or artsmartparenting on facebook.   Today’s project celebrates the colors and beaty of spring.  We’ll be making beautiful tissue paper flowers to brighten up your house, give for mother’s day, or liven up your dinner table.   If your kids are anything like mine, once they learn a new skill, they are eager to perfect it.  I showed my oldest daughter and her friend how to make these flowers in about 5 minutes.  Afterwards, they quickly and eagerly ran with the project and before I knew it, we were out of tissue paper.  I guess a quick trip to the store is warranted to get them to continue to engage their multiple intelligences with this simple art activity.   As with any activity presented on this blog (and podcast), you can choose to engage your child's dominant multiple intelligences or challenge the one(s) she doesn't frequently engage.   Today's tissue paper flower activity could easily be about engaging logical-mathematical intelligence (think measurements and geometry).  Enjoy the activity outside to engage naturalistic intelligence; challenge your child's linguistic or interpersonal skills though conversation.  I hope you’re realizing that engaging Multiple Intelligences is not a difficult task.  In fact, engaging MI's is simply rethinking how your child is learning.   For me, knowing that I can foster my children's intelligences through simple and everyday arts activities is an absouletely wonderful feeling!   Here’s what you’re going to need: Tissue paper any color Scissors Floral wire Wire cutters Tape measure (if you want to work on some math skills or like things to be precise)   Here are the steps you'll take: Cut floral wire (around 4 inches will do) for easy access Layer 6-8 sheets of tissue paper (we used sizes from 8-15 inches wide) Make 1-1.5 inch accordion folds Secure the middle with the floral wire (if you’re worried about symmetry, fold the accordion in half to secure the wire tightly) Cut the ends (round; pointed; or in thin strips) Lay the wire-secured accordian on its side and extend the sides to make a butterfly shape Gently peel the top layer from the bunch to stand up straight Continue until each layer is separated Voila! Now you have a beautiful flowers to give to mom or make lively decorations   Don't forget to experiment with multiple colors of tissue paper or different ends to make a unique bunch of flowers.   Enjoy your new beauties and be sure to share this activity with your friends!   Until next week, go and and celebrate your child's unique intelligence!

 Flower Power Arts Learning Activity | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:30

Happy May artsmart parents!  How did your month of Art in April go?   My girls absolutely loved the projects and have shared ideas for upcoming podcast so stay tuned.   You'll get to enjoy the beautiful spring weather in today's activity, although you could do it inside if your weather is not cooperating.  AND you'll be engaging your multiple intelligences as well as your child's.   Here's a quick recap of MI's since it's been awhile since we've discussed them.   You may recall that there are 8 distinct types of intelligence (Multiple Intelligences or MI's) classified by Harvard professor, Howard Gardner.  Getting in tune with your learning intelligence as well as your child’s will go a long way in helping you assist your kids with their learning.  Just like men are from mars and women are from venus, understanding learning styles will go a long way in helping your kids be successful. 1. Visual-Spatial -  awareness of their environments; like drawing, doing jigsaw puzzles, reading maps, daydreaming 2. Bodily-kinesthetic -  Keen sense of body awareness; enjoy moving and making things 3. Musical -  Enjoy music as well as have a sensitivity to sounds in their environment 4. Interpersonal - The social butterflies; do best with others around them 5. Intrapersonal -Enjoy being alone and have wisdom, intuition, and motivation 6. Linguistic - Relate to the world in words; reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories are activities in which they might engage 7. Logical -Mathematical -  exploring patterns and relationships and are conceptual thinkers 8. Naturalistic Intelligence - like to classify and understand phenomena of nature Now that you’ve had a bit of a refersher, let’s get into today’s activity - one that incorporates all the MI’s My youngest daughter calls this activity Flower Power.   Here’s what you’ll need:   Fake flower petals, leaves, or other objects that can be easily picked up off the ground and a basket or bin in which to hold the objects.   Toss the flowers onto the ground and begin. The object of the game is to collect the proper number of flowers for each math statement or other learning activity. For example, if you say 9+10, the child would collect 19 flowers.  If you have more than one child, you could make this a race to see who can answer the questions in the fastest time.   Alternatively, you could write letters on notecards and help your child spell words, put names of states and call out state capitals, or match the country to its capital, cut up a periodic table of elements and match the symbol to the name you call.  The possibilities here are truly endless. Not only are you actively engaging in your child’s learning, you’re making it much more fun which to me is the best part about learning.  You’ll create lasting memories and remind your child that learning is not about memorizing facts and figures, it’s about having fun and becoming a better person for having learned something. I can’t wait to hear your feedback about this week’s activiity.  Please post them on the blog at or at artsmartparenting on facebook.   Here's to a beautiful spring weekend growing your kids bodies and minds - Cheers!

 April Art Part 4 – Peep Sushi | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 7:40

Happy Friday Art smart parents!     It's hard to believe we've nearly reached the end of April.  I'm not sure where all the time goes, I just know it's going fast.   I hope your Easter celebrations were full of fun and with arts and creativity at the helm.   Though egg dyeing and finding were near the top of the list, my oldest daughter couldn't wait to create her very own Peep Sushi!  I am constantly blown away at the creativity of people.  I never would have imagined using peeps, rice crispy treats, and licorice to make candy sushi.   But that's exactly what we did.  All you'll need are some cutting utensils (kitchen scissors, kid-safe knives, or pizza cutters all will do), cutting boards, and a plate for display.   1. Shape the rice crispy treats in geometric shapes 2. Cut lengths of licorice or fruit strips to act as the seaweed and hold everything together. 3. Cut peeps to simulate sashimi or cut smaller to act as ingredients in a roll 4. Complete and enjoy! 5. Share your photos for everyone to see   There you have it!  Four weeks of quick and easy art projects to decorate your home for spring and an edible art project to clean up the leftover Easter Candy.   I hope you've had an awesome time engaging your child's critical thinking and problem-solving skills through the arts.  Here's to you and your dedication to raising smart kids!   Remember that this project is not only about experiencing food as culinary arts, it can be used to supplement just about every subject in school.  Every project shared is one to engage your kids in learning that is fun.   Cheers!    

 April Art Week 3 – Foam Wall Art Project for kids | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:18

Happy Art in April Art Month!  I hope your last two weeks have been ones of creation.    My kids have been loving this month full of new art projects!  What about yours?   This third week of April Art Month focus on Styrofoam Wall Art.   Styrofoam isn't just for insulation - it makes for a brilliant base for beautiful wall art.  The beauty is that It comes in all shapes and sizes, can be cut to fit your space and is durable enough to let even  your young kids work with.   Here are the supplies you'll need: 1" (or thicker) styrofoam sheet or square Solid fabrics that can be painted on or bold fabrics of your choosing Duct Tape Scissors (to cut the fabric) Craft knife (to cut the styrofoam) Ruler, tape, measure or straight edge to mark the foam and fabric for cutting At least one imaginative kid YOU                        Once you've gathered all the supplies, the only thing left to do is decide what you're going to create first.  Are you committed to something large (think 4' X 8') or something smaller (4" X 4").  Make sure each child has their own fabric and foam to make the activity the most enjoyable and rewarding. Step #1 Like I just mentioned, above, you'll need to decide what you're going to create.   Step #2 Cut fabrics and styrofoam to the size you'd like.  HINT: Quilting squares turned out to be a fantastic size for art work.   Step #3 Lay your fabric face down and set the styrofoam on the fabric.  Make sure you leave enough fabric on all sides so you can tape the fabric to the foam.   Step #4 Tear off 4-6 sections of duct tape for easy access   Step #5 Fold over the 4 edges of fabric and tape to the foam.   Step #6 Tape down the edges.   Step #7 Use even more duct tape to secure all the loose edges.   Step #8 Turn over the foam and admire your handiwork.   Step #9 Call all your friends to come and see what you've created.   Step #10 Take photos of you completed projects and post them here on the blog or at   Step #11 Share this episode with your friends so they (and their kids) can all be expert Styrofoam Wall Artists!   Next week we'll be creating our final April Art Project and making something edible from your leftover Easter Candy!    

 Art in April – Part 2 (masterpiece re-creation) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:15

I hope you had an first week of April creating Artwork with your kids.   If you haven’t posted pictures or comments about your potato art creations, please do so below this post or on Facebook.  Be sure to like our page when you're there!   When considering the art projects I’d share this April, I spent some time looking through photographs of the art created by my preschool aged students enrolled in our Arts Learning Program.  Seeing the images again sparked the idea behind today’s project - recreating a famous piece of art.  Whether you’re drawn to painting, sculpture, photography, or assembling items together and making 3-D art, you’re going to love today’s project and so are your kiddos.   If you're new to art, here's a list of some of the artists and projects we created in our program:   Franz Kline: tints and lines; opaque painting  Jasper Johns: American Flag; wax encaustic Vincent van Gogh: layered painting; outlined finger strokes; cooperative color wheel Georges Seurat: cotton swab painting; bubble-wrap pointillism; sticker dot art Henri Matisse: hat designs; cutout collage; wallpaper cutouts Jackson Pollock: action painting; action brushes Pablo Picasso: instrument pictures; cubist bodies; blues and pinks; collages Louise Nevelson: box art; assemblage art Frederic Remingon: western brands; action figures; animal rubbings   Once you've picked an artist or style, all you have left to do is create your own masterpiece!  Be sure to document the process with pictures and post them in the comments section below this blog post or on Facebook.   No matter what you decide to create, what you create it with, or where you create it, know that by creating art together with your kids, you’re encouraging them to use their crativity and problem-solving skills.   The fun you’ll have laughing and creating together will lead to positive memories and keepsakes for years to come.   Happy April Art Creating!

 Art in April – Part 1 (potato painting) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 11:05

Happy April Art Smart Parents! This week is spring break for my kids.  As usual, the break is filled with loads of activities at the beginning of the week, but by midweek, the "B" word is uttered.  Boredom has set in... Over spring break, I like to rearrange my furniture and artwork to bring new perspective to my life.  The April change-up seems to be a yearly occurrence not only at home, but at my performing arts school as well. I like to rearrange artwork, move the furniture, and simply change things around to create a spruced up feeling.  This rearranging often leads to the creation of new artwork.  In the past, I've created a number of large pieces (8 feet) from bold fabrics over wooden frames.  This year, my girls have dubbed April the month of Artwork. To commemorate April Artwork, we created potato paintings.  Yes, we played with our food and created stampers out of potatoes.  If you search up potato paintings on any search engine, you'll see loads of examples.  The one I liked best was found at  While our prints were not nearly as big or as precise, we had a fun couple of hours letting our imaginations run free.     Letting your kids use their imaginations to create artwork engages their multiple intelligences and reinforces that there's no one right way to do anything - a thought that seems to escape traditional education. Here are the steps we took to create our potato art masterpieces:   Select potatoes for the project Slice potatoes in half Create shapes on the cut ends of the potatoes using an knife or blade (we covered ours in tape to make handing a bit easier) Choose your acrylic paint colors Dip potato in paint and apply to paper (we used glossy for ease of erasing) Decide upon a design or let your imagination guide the process Show off your new artwork Hang the artwork to create a change of scenery in YOUR house.   I wish you an awesome week of creating your potato art masterpieces and look forward to hearing your comments on your changes in perspective!   Until next week, happy creating!

 National Take A Walk In The Park Day 2014 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:15

Happy spring art smart parents!  I hope you're having beautiful spring weather where you are.  We've had snow, rain, ice, and sun this first week of spring.   How did you do with last week's challenge of using your knowledge of MI and the arts and plan travel or actually travel?  In the next few weeks, I'll be bringing on a guest speaker that will give us some insights on how we can make family travel more cost effective with travel hacks.   I'm super excited out our very first guest speaker and have planned many more in the coming months.  If there's a topic you'd like to know more about, please post in the comments below this blog.  I'm learning more each day that the people we meet, sometimes randomly, can positively impact our lives and take our message to new heights.    This Sunday, March 30 is National Take a Walk in the Park Day.  The origin of the day is unknown, however, the day reminds us to get outside and celebrate our parks.   It's a vastly different experience to walk through a park than somewhere more familiar like our neighborhoods.   Sometimes this simple change in scenery can clear the head and allow us to breakthrough plateaus we may be experiencing.   Kinesthetic Intelligence: Walking is Kinesthetic Intelligence at its most basic.   Why walk when you can hop, skip, jump, or dance through park?   Kids interact with the world around them differently than most adults and we should take their lead.  In the wise words of Dr. Seuss,   Logical/Mathematical Intelligence: Walking can be a numbers game.  Use your child's current math concepts to observe the park environment.  From geometry to basic math skills, using nature to explore math concepts can be a fun endeavor.  Just don't let the idea overwhelm.  You are, after all, at the park to enjoy nature and your child's company.   Interpersonal intelligence:  Use this intelligence to inform your walk.  Talk to your kids or bring along some friends and be privy to their conversations - you never know what you might learn! Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence: Talks can turn into stories in the moment to be captures with a recording device or after some time to contemplate the plot.   Musical Intelligence: Let the sounds of nature inspire a new musical score or poem.  Add in your own sounds and rhythms to the mix.   Naturalistic Intelligence:  A walk in the park could lead to identifying species of flowers, trees, birds, or insects.  Bring along a notebook and camera to record all the details for later categorization.   Visual/spatial Intelligence: Don't just stop with the walk.  Let it inspire beautiful creations like paintings, drawings, or photographs.   Letting your child witness you engaging in these activities will demonstrate that these activities have a place and important. Interpersonal Intelligence: Spend time with you.  Find some friends and head to the part together.  Allow each adult to wander off and enjoy some much needed alone time.  Or let your child walk ahead of you and allow interpersonal intelligence for each of you.   I know I'm looking forward to a walk in the park Sunday and hope you are to.  Don't forget to share your thoughts about National Take A Walk In the Park Day and share your pictures.   Cheers my friends.  I wish you happy trails!

 Smart Kids, Arts, and Travel | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:21

Spring has certainly sprung and with it, so do my ideas about travel.  I absolutely LOVE traveling and taking in the sights, sounds, and especially the art of a new city.  When I think about traveling with my kids, I'm always looking at the arts and cultural activities taking place during a trip.  The arts shed much light on the history of our great planet.  I find that I am better able to enjoy a culture, once I can immerse myself in its art.  Who can resist going to the Lourve when visiting Paris or the great temples of Asia?  Certainly not me!   While not every city or village you visit will be a mecca of art, others will provide so much art it will bring a smile to your face.  Here are some pictures of the trip we took to visit family in South Korea a few years.  The artwork was amazing--and everywhere!  It seemed like every corner turned, offered a visual feast for the eyes.  Even under bridge passes had art to enjoy.                     The arts engage each multiple intelligence and inspire new thoughts and ideas, seemingly without effort.  It's through the arts that intelligent, critically-thinking, and problem solving leaders are developed!   So now it's YOUR turn! In previous weeks, I've shared loads of ideas to engage your child through the arts.  I encourage you to take your new-found knowledge of the multiple intelligences, and dream up new ways to appreciate the arts or create art in YOUR environment.  Whether in your own backyard, your child's bedroom, or in a public locale, engaging the multiple intelligences through the arts is the first step to creating tomorrow's leaders today! Don't forget to post pictures and feedback from Art Smart Travels or Art Smart ideas you and your child dream up this week!  

 Absolutely Incredible Kid Day | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:37

When’s the last time to told your kids they were incredible?  Have you ever thought about writing them a letter to let them know how you feel. Well nows your chance. Next Thursday, March 20th is Absolutely Incredible Kid Day. The day honors our nation's youth by asking adults to write letters of encouragement and inspiration to the incredible kids in their lives. It is a simple, meaningful way to let youth know how much they are appreciated. Lives are changed by this act of love and kindness. Every child deserves the chance to feel special - when is the last time you told them that? The day was created by Campfire USA as a day to show kids they are loved and cared for. It is held annually on the third Thursday in March. Created by Camp Fire USA in 1997 and is a call to action which encourages adults to participate in the national letter writing campaign where kids recieve letter of support, love and encouragement” What is our goal for Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®? For EVERY child to receive a letter. Can you imagine the impact of loving letters in lunch boxes, on pillows or tucked in backpacks! What is so special about a letter? A letter is personal, tangible and something a person can hold onto for years to come. Through written words, people can express emotions they may hold back in conversation. and during the often challenging times of adolescence, children maybe more open to reading a letter than having a talk that may "embarass" them. Children need positive reinforcement in their lives. The right words of encouragement can come at just the time a child needs them most — helping the child make better decisions, build self-esteem, and even be more compassionate and successful. Letter-Writing Tips... Research shows that writing a letter is a powerful way to make a difference in the life of a child. To make writing Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® letters easier, follow these tips: 1. Set aside 10 to 20 minutes in a place where you will be undisturbed. 2. Take a moment and think about all the things you enjoy and appreciate about your child. 3. Start with a list of adjectives that describe the child: funny, honest, smart, skillful, helpful, caring, kind 4. Don’t be vague. Be direct and descriptive to let you kids know how you feel. Humor can be a useful technique. Here are some starters: Try “Do you know what I like about you? I like it when you ...” 5. Jog your memory. Think about fun or special times you’ve shared with your child and share why you enjoyed it and it was so special. 6. No need to write a lengthly letter. A brief letter that can be cherished is better than no letter at all. 7. Write it by hand and embellish using your art smart skills 8. If paper and pen isn’t your style, why not send an encouraging email or video? 9. Set aside time to make your letter writing a habit. Kids are eager to please and if they know what you like best about them, they’ll continue to behavior. 10. You’ve got it, finish listening to this podcast, share it with a friend, and write your letter today! Still Stuck? Here are Sample Sentences To Get You Started… • You always make me smile. • You are very special in your unique way… • I know that growing up today is sometimes really hard… • Did you know that the world is a better place just because you’re you? • This letter is my way of letting you know that you are special and that someone is thinking about you. • When I was your age, sometimes I felt lonely and overwhelmed. Everyone does from time to time. I like to look ahead to good things, like making new friends, spending time with old friends or listening to music. • I hope you discover what your own talents are and share them with the world. • When I think about you, I think of... • Spending time with you makes me so happy! I really enjoy when we... • Has anyone ever told you that you can do anything you truly believe in? You can!

 Celebrate Music this March | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 13:01

CELEBRATE MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH in MARCH 2014 Did you know that March is Music In Our Schools Month?  According to the National Association of Music Educators, "Music In Our Schools Month – March 2014  is a great time to highlight the importance of  comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators for all through concerts, lessons, and public performances and advocacy activities." The website does a brilliant job dividing the benefits of music into 5 distinct categories: Brain Development, Inherent Benefit, Academic Achievement, Filling Gaps, and 21st century skills. Brain Development (Improved Cognition)  Music helps engage students in a variety of subjects including math, science, history, culture, lintuistics, and physical education.  Students that diligently train in musical instruments from an early age trains their brains to remain focused when learning other subjects.   Inherent Benefits While not necessarily quantifiable, the inherent benefits of music are many: Decision making skills are enhanced Students develop Grit - a purpose and determination Multiple Ways of Knowing (i.e., Multiple Intelligences) Emotional awareness is heightened Grows Reflective Learning and Introspection (self-smart)   Academic Achievement Loads of studies have quantified the improvements in many aspects of academic achievement such as increased involvement and improved self-esteem.  In addition, music education aids in: Improved reading skills Higher GPA Spatial reasoning (logical/spatial intelligence) Higher graduation rates   Fills the Gaps Music and the other arts can fill the gaps that often occur in traditional eduction  Music transcends socioeconomic levels  Increases student engagement in other activities Here’s a story on the website about filling music filling the gaps of traditional education and therapies: My daughter was born with a neurological impairment affecting the right side of her brain and left side of her body. After receiving years of physical and occupational therapy, her coordination, gross and fine motor movement improved greatly. However, she still continued to have great difficulty with her math skills. She started taking musical instruction, initially, with piano, then went on to become skilled in the guitar and ukelele. Once she became proficient in the first instrument, her math skills improved greatly. Actually, she just blossomed in terms of math skills as well as personality. She went on to become an honor student and graduated high school. She was accepted into an honors program at the college level, achieving a position on the Dean's list since entering college. 21st Century Skills To me, these skills should already be part of the school day, however, for most kids, these skills often do not get developed. Creativity in problem solving Collaboration (what's called cheating in schools is called collaborating in the real world) Communication - the nuances expressed through musical performance transcend into verbal and written communication skills Critical thinking - synthesizing, evaluating, and applying information in different scenarios   March is going to be AWESOME!  Celebrate music in your kids school - support your kids performances and encourage teachers to stage them.  Help out at the performances and enjoy the sense of pride your child will feel during and after each performance. If your school doesn’t have a strong music program, please take some time this month to seek out a professional school of music and the performing arts.  These types of schools have several advantages over home-based learning (whether in your house or someone else’s).  You can check out podcasts 3, 5 ways to get the most out of music lessons and 10, which provides greater scientific detail about the benefits of music.  

 Art Smart Seuss | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:49

Hiya Art Smart Parents!   I hope that last few weeks have been amazing.   As you've grown your knowledge base surrounding MI and the arts, I know you've been able to help your kids gain new found confidence in school and life.   March 2 is a special day for me…it's Dr. Seuss' Birthday and he happens to be one of my most favorite authors.  What would life be without Green Eggs & Ham, after all?   My most favorite Dr. Seuss book is Oh, the Places You'll Go.  This seemingly childish looking books contains perhaps some of the most wise words about life - its challenges and adventures.      The birthday of this great author was the driving force behind the National Education Organization's yearly literacy campaign “Read Across America” now in its 17th year.   After 27-28 attempts to get published (sources varied), Seuss  AKA Theador “Ted” Seuss Giesel published his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (Vanguard Press) in 1937.  Truly a lesson in persistence.  A trait we could all use a little more of these days.   In his lifetime, Seuss wrote 46 children’s books, 11 TV specials, 4 feature films, a broadway musical and four television series.  Generations to come will continue to enjoy and remember the comical characters, lively drawings and words of wisdom (and silliness) of Dr. Seuss.   Check out my daughters' costume creations to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday!                                                     To celebrate Seuss' 110 birthday, use your knowledge of MI and the arts and dream BIG!  Here's an activity you can do with the whole family:   Re-create or tell Seuss' story in your own words: Gather up all the Dr. Seuss books in your house. Have every family member pick a favorite Let your kids use their preferred intelligences whether linguistic, visual, naturalistic or any of the others to re-tell the story.  Create costumes, scenery, videos, poems, and pieces of artwork are just a few of the things you can create.  The mathematical members of your family could even analyze the words and meter in Seuss’ books to create a mathematical re-telling of a story. Share stories, artwork, etc. with one another Remember this Seuss saying to drive the activity, “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.   Here are some more ideas for hours of arts activities: Seussville 5 Ideas to Celebrate Seuss' Birthday National Education Organization - Read Across America   Please post pictures and activity ideas for everyone to see!  

 Fairy Tale Day – MI and the Arts | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:51

If you're a regular of the Raising smART kids podcast/blog, you know that I find story telling and creation a family-fun activity and one that engages all the multiple intelligences.   This week we'll be discussing story creation for Tell A Fairy Tale Day.   According to, Tell a Fairy Tale Day takes place on February 26, 2014.   Tell A Fairy Tale Day is celebrated world wide as is a day designed to enjoy fairy tales.  I'd like to explore how parents can use this fun day to engage all the multiple intelligences in a creative way. Engage all the senses and the Multiple Intelligences in the arts this World Fairy Tale Day.   VERBAL/LINGUISTIC - Begin by reading (or co-reading) a few fairy tales your children may already know to inspire the possibilities.   Be sure to actively engage in this activity by creating voices and personas for each of the characters and see how much fun you and your kids are sure to have!   INTRAPERSONAL - Have each family member choose a topic for their individual stories through brainstorming or using any of the following sites and products to assist you. Scholastic  The Story Starter (and Starter Junior)  Meddybemps Pinterest Creative Writing Now Add to your personal collection:   LOGICAL/MATHEMATICAL: Create a story by numbers.  Grab a pair of dice and assign each numbers with a topic, character, or bit of plot.  Roll the dice and watch as stories come to life through numbers. KINESTHETIC - Use the above rolling the dice method to determine any or all of the following: the dance skills, emotions, area to perform on the stage; entrances, exits, and more. Your kids will certainly have lots of great ideas.     NATURALISTIC  - For your naturalistic kids, get out into nature to create stories. Whether you  drive to a special location or head to the backyard, changing the scenery can have a magical effect on your creativity   MUSICAL - Rhythm and sounds that surround us everyday can positively impact our imaginations and are inherent for Musically-Intelligent kids.  Writing song lyrics, creating a fairy tale poem, or composing the melodies for a fairy tale will go a long way. VISUAL/SPATIAL - Illustrate a story through drawing, paintings, claymation, or stop animation videos.  Be sure to document through video.   INTERPERSONAL - Here’s the really fun part - share the stories with each other or embrace the spirit of sharing by visiting a local nursing home or hospital and offer to tell stories for their residents. Not only will your kids embrace the act of story telling, this activity will instill in your child a sense of giving and thinking about others. It’s never too late to teach and model the idea of serving others as part of the human experience.   I am looking forward to hearing about, reading, or watching all the fairy tales you create for Tell A Fairy Tale Day. Please post your stories on our blog post for the world to enjoy!   Here’s to create budding story writers and story tellers!

 Valentine Activities for Multiple Intelligences | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 12:14

Happy valentine’s day art smart parents! We've spent the last 8 weeks diving into specific study strategies for each of the 8 Multiple Intelligences.   I'd like to take a departure from such academic discussion and offer some activities you can use this Valentine's Day weekend to engage your child's Multiple Intelligences.   I have to give props to my 7 year old that helped me brainstorm ideas for this week's episode!  Talk about engaging the Multiple Intelligences (MI's)! Today's activities are categorized simply a single intelligence, however, many activities will engage several of the MI's.   Here are some pictures from the art projects that my daughters created.     Interpersonal Intelligence: dialogue about love and relationships (school friends, after school activities, family activities); romantic relationships (YIKES!)   Intrapersonal:  journaling; independent activities indoors or out   Kinesthetic: culinary arts; sculpting; choreographing a dance or acting out a monologue.  My girls absolutely LOVE making cookies with our cookie press.  Here's our Favorite Recipe.   Visual spatial: paintings; puzzles; creating patterns for a quilt or large art project   Logical mathematical: culinary arts (measuring, sorting, calculating); Valentine's inspired math games; science experiments (i.e., How do different Valentine's candy dissolve in varying solutions?   Predict, track and chart rates of candy dissolving in different solutions such as soda, tap water, vinegar, etc.)   Naturalistic Intelligence: gather objects found in nature (rocks, sticks, feathers, pine cones, needles) to make cards or gifts.  You could even have hours of fun to engage in one of our favorite  outdoor activities, building Fairy Houses.   HELPFUL HINT: The fairies that visit our house often leave handwritten notes and ask lots of questions of my girls.  Here are some Fantastic books to inspire fairy houses (and the notes they often leave).   Dear Fairies - comes complete with fairy sizes notecards, envelopes, fairy dust, and a pencil.   Fairy houses.  Lots of great ideas and locations for fairy houses.  Examples by season…love!   Fairy Boat (from the Fairy House Series)   Verbal Linguistic Intelligence: Reading stories about love and relationships is a wonderful everyday activity.  You can "up the ante," so to speak, and create poems or stories together.  For some ideas to spark story creation ideas, read/listen to a previous episode, "Igniting Creativity Through Stories"   Musical Intelligence: create a song or poem about love and relationships; listen to songs about love and relationships while driving or whipping up a vday dinner or weekend menu.   I would love to see pictures of your weekend activities and hear your feedback about this week's blog/podcast.  Leave your comments or ideas for future episodes below.   Wishing you an activities-filled and FANTASTIC Valentine's Day Weekend!    


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