Sunday, September 28, 2008

I recently attended a seminar where Becky, a registered dietician, spoke to an audience of women about preparing healthy meals for the family. She also discussed the value of helping your family appreciate the importance of eating dinner together as a family. She had a few suggestions to help make dinner a special event:

-Let your child choose from a variety of fun tablecloths to set the table

-Use fun, colorful placemats- personalized to each person in the family

-Try using “school lunch” trays to serve dinner

-Set the table with different styles of plates, or a “your special” decorated plate, or special birthday plate

-Take turns pulling conversation starters from a “Conversation Pail” (“What do you like about school?” “If you could change places with your sibling for a day, what would you like best?” “What was the best and worst part of your day today?”)

-Read excerpts from books such as: 365 Manner Every Kid Should Know, Sheryl Eberly or 10 Minute Life Lessons for Kids, Jamie C. Miller or 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families, David Niven

Here are some other ideas (more can be found on the “Studio 5” website at:

-Place big utensils on the table (ladle, noodle spoon, tongs, spatula) instead of silverware

-Use chopsticks instead of silverware

-Feed the person on the left his dinner from your plate

-Food color in certain foods (red mashed potatoes for Valentine’s Day, green scrambled eggs for St. Patricks)


Sunday, September 21, 2008


Fill a zipper plastic bag with a little squirt of shaving cream (not too much). You can also use tempura paint, pudding or yogurt to use in the plastic bag. Seal the zipper bag and let out all of the excess air.
Lay the bag flat on a table and spread out the shaving cream inside so it fills into the corners of the bag. Tape the top (seal part) and bottom of the bag to a hard surface, such as a table top or even onto a glass door or window.

Now your child can practice writing letters with her finger or with a round end implement (like a rounded pencil eraser, capped pen top, even a crayon or capped marker with a round top).

-For little ones just learning to master their hand coordination, you can draw a straight line on the bag. Let your little one try to trace the line with her finger. Now try a curvy or zig-zag line.

-Your child may be just learning the letter sounds to start words. Ask your child to write the first letter of a word. “Write the letter that ‘ball’ starts with.”

-Your child can practice spelling words. Dictate a word from your child’s spelling list and she can spell the word letter by letter.

Squishy Spelling = Squishy Fun!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I am enjoying a creative blog called:
"Amy" shares fun ideas on many different topics.

This activity on reminded me of an art project I once did in elementary school, so we gave it a go.

My 3 year old was a little perplexed as she drew with a white crayon on white paper and nothing showed up...but the payoff came when she began to watercolor her "relief" masterpiece.

It is wonderful to expose your child to many different artistic techniques and mediums. This activity provides an opportunity to explore the "crayon-relief" or "crayon-resist" technique:

*You'll need paper, a white crayon (you can use other colors too), watercolor set with a brush and water. (You can also used watered down tempura paint.)

Have your child draw a picture with the white crayon on white paper. Be sure to press down hard so the "relief/resist" effect will work.

Now when your child watercolors on the paper, the white crayon will resist the water color and stay white wherever it is on the paper.

Your child can watercolor a wash of colors over the whole piece of paper, or like my three-year old, just watercolor where she wants and the crayon relief will expose itself in random places.


Sunday, September 7, 2008


Empty and dry four tall plastic water or soda bottles. Pour a little bit of rice in one, water into another, and dried cereal into another. Leave one bottle empty.
Set the bottles up and give your child a ball as she stands a little ways from the bowling bottles. Encourage your child to throw the ball at the bottles to knock them down.
Ask your child to describe the different sounds in the bottles as they fall. Let your child shake the bottles to explore the sounds that each bottle makes.
Older children may enjoy:
-Have your child try to just hit one bottle. Can he name what is inside the bottle when it falls down, just by hearing it shake around?
-Fill empty yogurt cups or containers that have lids with different substances. Let your child build a pyramid to knock down. Listen to the loud crash.
-Play a game of bowling and keep score to see who can knock down the most pins after 5 turns.
-Toss the bottles back and forth. As you catch a bottle, name what is inside just by hearing the sound. Have your child toss the bottle back to you to check if he’s correct.
-Blindfold your child as you shake a bottle. Ask your child if it’s easier to recognize what is inside the bottle if he can see the bottle or not.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Here is a link to the SMMART MATH video on the abc 4 "Good Things Utah" website:
Be sure to try this activity out with your children. It's a lot of fun!
Thanks for watching and stay posted for the date when I'll present SMMART MUSIC!


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