Art Music Drama

Combine Art, Manners, Kids for Magic – #7 Magic for Preschool – Kindergarten

If you need a formula for magic, combine art, manners, kids and imagination. This month, people who work with kids are sharing  their wishes for programs like preschool and kindergarten. Both moms, Nicolle and Catherine, wanted more hands-on activities and Nicolle had a suggestion. Not just play dough, how about a clay station?play with clay

The word clay reminded me of a friend Terri Hardin, a Disney sculptor. In her book, she writes she was “Constantly creating and always in motion….” Doesn’t that sound like kids too? Always on the go with minds thinking and bodies making. Even when kids are taking things apart, they are still creating.

Terri also wrote about why clay was so appealing to her. We live in a 3-d world. Sculpting is creating in 3-d while drawing is trying to squeeze three dimensions onto a 2-d paper. There are other differences too. While both use imaginations, clay is far more sensory for hands than paper, paints, and crayons. Kids can really dig their hands into clay. No wonder a clay station is a wish for children’s care programs and school.


In an e-mail from Terri she is sharing her latest project, a show for kids that combines art, manners, kids, and imagination in both 2-d and 3-d. Some 2 dimensional characters, Dabbler and Bump, explore manners along with the host Mifren who “will draw, sculpt, paint and glue, do origami and pumpkin sculpt, carve ice, or do just about anything, to show kids all the different ways they can express themselves besides just talking.” Using a magic art easel, they travel into the 3-d world of out-going teen Buddy. Here is a link to the KickStarter campaign now until there is a website:


Often on this blog, I’ve written about the critical importance of social skills for children’s development. The goal of the show is something we all want, “If we teach appropriate behavior and social tolerance during these years, we can create a safer social and school environment.” This is surely something we all want. Isn’t it wonderful to have a wish that can come true?


March: Kids Marching, Drumming Play Activities

The name of the month inspires today’s post on kids marching, drumming play activities. After all, life is based on rhythm: breathing, heart rate, sleep-wake cycles, seasons, and more.

importance of music for kids

Kids seems to drum naturally. They will tap a pot lid on the floor or hit it with a wooden spoon. Hands clap over and over or shake a set of keys rhythmically. No matter the age or stage of children, drumming activities will occur over and over, with or without a drum. Little Sister is discovering how hitting the floor makes a different sound from hitting the drum. Like all kids, she will drum on a variety of surfaces. Some will bring parents running to see what’s making that terrible noise, like drumming on the heat registers which echoed all over the house. Make sure dogs, cats, and babies are not within reach of a toddler with a drumstick. importance of rhythmic activities for kids

Big Sister has made drums with a variety of items from the kitchen cupboard and the recycling basket. An old tin ,that holds buttons, as well as some plastic tubs, and empty food containers are being explored for the sounds they make. Chopsticks are an alternative to drumsticks. kids marching drumming play activities

Children are highly sensory, and drumming includes the senses of hearing and touch. You can ask your child to make some loud sounds, and some that are soft. So soft it’s almost a whisper? Can s/he make the drum beats fast, faster, and very fast? How about slow, slower, and really slow? These drumming play activities encourage careful listening, exploring, and concentrating.

Christmas music and songs for kids

Marching adds the sense of the body’s movement. Find some drum music and let your child march around. Is the music for slow marching or fast? Try some dance music. There are hundreds of YouTube videos on kids marching, drumming, and dancing to music. Even ants march. ants-go-marching

The website, Childhood 101 has a super post on Drumming Activities for Preschoolers with more ideas and suggestions, like echo drumming. Kids can copy a drumming pattern that you make. They love drumming something and then we have to copy them. Or they can drum for us to march. Doing chores to the beat of a drum makes it so much more interesting. Any chance kids can pick up their toys and put them away while we drum? Sometimes, counting out “1, 2, 3, march” will get kids out the door if we’re in a hurry. What are some other kids marching, drumming play activities?


How to Steal a March #7: Art Play Boosts Brain Power

We often don’t think of it as serious or important as academics, but art play boosts brain power. Art play helps develop the important skills of visualization and creativity.pre-printing activities for young children

Brains think in words, but we also think in images. When we hear the words in a story, we create the images in our mind. When we describe an event to someone else, we use words to help them picture what happened too. Reading books and telling stories is word play; art activities are image and sensory play.

painting for kids

Usually, when we think of art activities for kids we think of drawing. Art tools for drawing aren’t limited to crayons. They can include chalk, paint, sticks, rocks, buttons, and recycled and nature items of many kinds. Besides paper, kids can create on sidewalks, driveways, dirt, decks, cardboard boxes and sometimes, walls. That’s not such a great choice, however. Kids can make pictures with a stick in the dirt, or rocks on a beach. The recycling basket often has treasures for art with school tools

When it comes to painting, food colors, fruits and vegetables, and even clear water are more choices. Brushes can range from fingers to old toothbrushes to marbles rolling around on a tray.
In addition to drawing, hands love to play with play dough. Whether you make your own at home or purchase it at a store, kids of various ages can play with it over and over. There are ­countless variations of play dough with different textures to appeal to the sense of touch. Another part of it’s appeal is that kids can create whatever they want. The possibilities are unlimited.

art play with rocks

We might think of creativity as a talent we are born with. It is also a skill that we can help kids develop by letting them explore and create. Businesses are finding the value of creativity as they look for innovative ideas and solutions. Have you heard the saying to “steal a march” on someone? This refers to having an advantage over somebody. Art play boosts brain power and can do just that–give kids an advantage. What kind of art play might happen today for your child?

How to Steal a March #6: Include Music Play for Kids

We know the importance of exercise for bodies, and it’s also important for brains; for some brain fitness, include music play for kids. Music stimulates many areas of the brain at the same time. If we could see inside the brain when it’s listening to or creating music, we would see an amazing amount of … Continue reading How to Steal a March #6: Include Music Play for Kids

February Friendship #7: Kids Can Be Friends with Music and Singing

Kids can be friends with music and singing. Is music part of your child’s day? Food is nutrition for bodies, and music is nutrition for brains. This excerpt is from an earlier post on the importance of music for children: Wow, is there ever a lot of research on music for learning and brain development. … Continue reading February Friendship #7: Kids Can Be Friends with Music and Singing

Kids Dragon Songs with “Old MacDonald Had a Dragon” Children’s Book

There are not a lot of kids dragon songs but this children’s dragon book turned an old favorite about farm animals into a very funny, silly one to sing. Old MacDonald Had a Dragon is written by Ken Baker and illustrated by Christopher Santoro. In the story, the farmer likes having a dragon on the … Continue reading Kids Dragon Songs with “Old MacDonald Had a Dragon” Children’s Book

Halloween Double Doodle Drawing Trick for Hands and Brains

For a play-of-the-day, try this Halloween double doodle drawing trick. It’s a trick on paper but a real treat for brains, fun and sweet. What is double doodle drawing? This is the name given to drawing with both hands together by Jean at The Artful Parent. We tried it and it was both a trick … Continue reading Halloween Double Doodle Drawing Trick for Hands and Brains

Fun Bus Activities: The Wheels on the Bus Fun and Learning

The Wheels on the Bus fun and learning is today’s bus activity. Singing is the only activity that engages all parts of the brain. A song with action words is great for both mind and body. This one was written by Verna Hills in the UK and it’s been around for almost 80 years. The … Continue reading Fun Bus Activities: The Wheels on the Bus Fun and Learning