Art Music Drama

Mayhem and Messy Play #10: Kids Scribble Messy Play

Have there been any scribble messy play art attacks on the walls, floors, or furniture at your house? Scribble messy play took to the stage here recently. Lots of kids got up close and personal with scribbles, as well as some adults, at the annual Children’s Book Fest hosted in the city.scribble book ruth ohi

Many of us have ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to early scribbles. Children’s author, Ruth Ohi, has just written and published a book called Scribble. In the story, the regular shapes of Circle, Triangle, and Square meet scribble. At first, they are not sure what to make of Scribble, but together they create waves on the water, a string to hold tight to a balloon, and more.

ruth-ohi-scribble-1z

At the event, children were able to see and hear authors in small sessions. Ruth Ohi invited kids to come up to her giant easel and scribble. She talked to them and helped them feel comfortable in front of the group, called out Go, mimed scribbling herself with great animation and excitement, and then Stop. She added to the scribbles and it became a unicorn dragon. She passed out papers and crayons to all of the kids and encouraged them to scribble.  (in the photo above, we made the scribble lines darker in order to see them)scribble play ruth ohi

Seeing all the kids scribbling away reminded me of a blog post on the site Messy Monkeys, “learning to ‘dot dot dot’ and ‘scribble scribble scribble’ gives your child a head start in the muscle development required for when they (sob…) head off to school.” Just like children babble and coo when they are first learning to speak, they make random marks and scribble when they are first learning to write.

holiday art fun
photo courtesy of MFair

Scribbling can happen with crayons, pencils, chalk, paint, a stick, and more. As for options to paper—and the walls—they can scribble on sidewalks, driveways (watch for cars) and old sheets hung on a fence. Scribbles do not have to ‘be’ something. They might very well just be scribbles. As children scribble, they are not only learning about writing, they are experiencing the joy of creating and of expressing themselves in a form other than words. Could messy scribble play be part of your child’s day?

 

Mayhem and Messy Play #6: Messy Painting Activities for Kids

One paint brush and a few colors can engage kids in fun and learning over and over again, so it’s worth it to set up some messy painting activities. Some communities have art centers with studios where kids can go and paint up a storm.messy painting activitiesIn the history of the world, art has a special place, and that includes paintings. As adults, we visit museums with masterpieces worth thousands and even millions of dollars. Works of art can affect our emotions deeply. In a way, they are time machines, allowing us to not only see, but feel the past.

children's art activities

For children, painting touches many levels. Physically, it gives kids the opportunity to practice their coordination and motor skills. It’s also highly sensory. Mentally, children are developing the skill of visualizing, or seeing images in their mind. There are other thinking skills too, like choosing, patterning, organizing, concentration, problem-solving and more. Emotionally, kids are exploring another way to express themselves besides words and behaviors.

painting for kids

It would be wonderful to have a home studio where we didn’t have to worry about kids, messes, and paint but there are solutions. Old sheets, newspapers, and plastic pieces can protect floors and tables. Spreading a tarp out in the yard gives lots of space to paint. Messy painting activities only need 3 ingredients: colors, some kind of tool, and a surface to put the paint on. Here are some tips from previous posts:

Ideas for paint materials: (in addition to regular paints)

liquid paints, paint dabbers, paint crayons and sticks, food coloring, colored shaving foam, jello, puddings, water, mud, powdered chalk and water, candies like smarties,/skittles/m & m’s soaked in water, koolaid powder

Various paint surfaces: (besides paper and parts of the body)

driveways, sidewalks, plain side of cereal boxes, old sheets, leftover wood scraps, aluminum foil, rocks, ice cubes,  newspaper, fences–painted with plain water, coffee filters

Different tools for painting: (as well as brushes of all sorts)

q-tips, hands, feet, spray bottles, sponges, marbles, string, bubble wrap, straws–for blowing paint around, plastic spoons and forks, potatoes and other fruits and veggies, stampers, old toothbrushes, paint rollers, pastry brushes, leaves, branches, toy dinosaurs and cars

Alternatives to set-up: (other than easels)

floors, counter tops, tables, big trays, empty bathtubs, big boxes,

Tips for preparation and clean-up: (sanity savers)

wear play clothes or just essentials, cover the floor or other surface with newspaper, spread a tarp on the deck or patio, undress kids and set up paints and paper in the bathtub all ready to be rinsed when done, keep a hose handy outside, have camera ready for unbelievable moments

helping children develop creativity

Maybe if we think of art play as creating art work, we’d include more messy painting activities for kids?

Music Is Important For Early Development – Wish for More Music in Kids’ Programs

Music is important for early development. One parent’s wish is for more music in kids’ programs, daycares, preschools, and kindergartens. Bet kids agree.

hand-play

This month, parents, grandparents, and adults who work with young children are being asked the question, “If you had one wish you could use for children’s early education and development programs, what would it be?” The answers give clues about what matters.

When it comes to priorities of kinds of activities kids need, music often comes lower on the list. Maybe it’s because we take it for granted. When we think about it, major events and celebrations for adults include music. Music is part of the background in stores, theatres, tv shows, and work and fun spaces. Sporting events use music as part of the package for watchers and players and companies use music for branding. Without us thinking about it, music plays a big part in our lives.

music important for early development

It also plays a part in early development. Bright Horizons, in an article on kids and music,  gives these reasons, “Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.” (Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development)

Singing can happen anywhere and anytime. Besides favorite songs like Eensy, Weensy Spider, The Alphabet Song, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Old Macdonald, and The Wheels on the Bus, make up your own for getting dressed, picking up toys, and making the bed. Combine different words with familiar tunes.

This is the way we make the bed, make the bed, make the bed.
This is the way we make the bed, we pull up the covers.
(Tune: This is the way we go to school.)

music important for early developmentListen to all different kinds of music. When you can, dance to music too. Or, hop, skip, and jump. Music can be both energizing and relaxing. Music is important for early development. Is it something you wish for your child too?

 

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? The word … Continue reading Combine Art, Manners, Kids for Magic – #7 Magic for Preschool – Kindergarten

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. 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 … Continue reading March: 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. 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 … Continue reading How to Steal a March #7: Art Play Boosts Brain Power

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

February Friendship #6: Kids Can Be Friends with Art Tools, Toys, and Other Materials

Not all children enjoy art activities, but kids can be friends with art tools and toys, things like crayons, chalk, play dough, paper, scissors, glue and even chocolate pudding. That’s not an art tool, you say? Certainly it isn’t usually, but every now and then, it can be. Not all kids like drawing with crayons … Continue reading February Friendship #6: Kids Can Be Friends with Art Tools, Toys, and Other Materials

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