Sunday, October 26, 2008


The art of role-play proves to be a fun activity for all ages and comes in handy as a resource when helping a child adjust to a new situation. Any type of role-play engages your child, but this activity highlights a dentist and doctor visit that may be scary for your child. Acting out the situation prepares your child for when the visit arrives.

Material suggestions:

Tongue depressor or spoon
Make-believe stethoscope, like a jump rope or funnel

Thermometer (you could use anything small and straight like a pen cap or kazoo)

Have your child sit up on the couch or on her bed. Act out what a doctor or dentist might do at the upcoming visit. Some ideas are:

· Help your child pronounce the doctor’s name and become familiar hearing it.
· You may use a spoon to tap on your child’s knee.
· Take your child’s temperature.
· Have your child stick her tongue out and look in her throat with a flashlight.
· Use a jump rope stethoscope to listen to your child’s heartbeat on her chest and back while she takes deep breaths.
· You may wish to pretend to give your child a shot with a crayon. Then place a bandage on the spot.
· You can have your child lie back and open her mouth while you inspect her teeth. You can count her teeth with a toothpick or toothbrush. Give your child a pair of sunglasses to wear to protect her eyes from the dentist light, if that is the norm at your dentist’s office.
· Brush your child’s teeth or allow her to do so in the mirror.

Praise your child for performing these tasks so well and for obediently listening.
Now help your child to perform these activities with you acting as the patient. This will help your child feel a sense of control and solidify the activities that are performed in a doctor's office.

All of these activities are fun to perform together and will help prepare your child for the unknown. Role-play together will help your child to feel more comfortable at the doctor when she is asked to perform these patient tasks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Tape a piece of crepe paper, a tissue, scarf, or a ribbon to the end of a stick, or toy that is shaped like a wand. You may also use a bamboo skewer as the handle if you cut off the sharp end and tape the entire skewer in masking, duct or painters tape to protect little hands.

Turn on some music and let your child wave the streamer to the beat of the music. Help your child shake the stick back and forth quickly when the music is fast, and wave the streamer softly when the music is slow.

Teach your child to lead music. Find simple leading patterns online with a 2/2 or ¾ time signature. Write out the shapes with arrows for your child to follow and post on wall. Stand in front of child and demo or behind your child to guide his arm at first. Explain that you are keeping the beat of the music as you follow the leading pattern. Sing a song to your child as you both beat the leading pattern together. When your child is comfortable leading with one hand, he may wish to try both hands together. The left hand will lead opposite the right in the leading pattern.

Just let your child feel the rhythm and soul of a song and move around the room to the music with his streamer.


Friday, October 17, 2008

THANKS FOR WATCHING SMMART ideas on "Good Things Utah"!

Thank you for watching SMMART MUSIC ideas today. Little Halee assisted in a darling demonstration of the "Rhythm Streamers"(up for the next post, Oct. 19) and "Beastly Bowling" (SMMART Music: Bowling Sounds, Sept.7) activities.

You can check out today's activity procedures on the "Good Things Utah" site:

Check out the video from today's segment:

The co-hosts expressed that a lot of you have written e-mails or phoned in your support of SMMART ideas...and so for that, I thank you!

I will be presenting SMMART ART ideas on Monday, December 15, abc4 at 10:00am!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


“Bigger (Greater) Than”/ “Less Than” are the vocabulary words to introduce to your child through these sorting activities. Be sure to use a mid-size object in these activities as a reference to decipher between objects that are “bigger than” or “less than” the reference object.

-Lay out a few toys of different sizes in front of your child. Use a medium size toy as reference or you can even use the palm of your child’s hand as a size reference. Help your child sort them into two piles. As you sort a pile of large objects, state that: “This object is bigger than your hand, so it will go into the big pile” or “This object is smaller than your hand, so it will go into the small pile”.

-You can sort flashcards. Sort the numbers that are greater than your child’s age and less than his age.

-You can sort buttons by size. Use one mid-size button as a standard to sort “bigger than” and “smaller than” buttons.

-Sort snacks. Give your child a variety of snacks (toasted oat cereal pieces, crackers, raisins). Let your child sort the bigger snacks from the smaller snacks. You can use a mid-size snack as the standard. Anything “bigger than” the midsize snack goes in one pile and any snack “smaller than” goes into another pile.

-Encourage your child to sort your family’s socks as you do the laundry together. Sort the big socks from the small socks. Help your child to articulate who has bigger socks. “Your socks are smaller than my socks!”…and… “My socks are bigger than your socks!”

-Sort your family’s shoes. Place several pairs of shoes into a large pile and sort the shoes by size. You can use your child’s foot as a size reference.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


This activity will help your child develop her sense of experimentation. Magnets are made of iron ore and have a magnetic field around them. Whenever an object enters that field, it pulls on the object if it is made of iron, steel, nickel or cobalt.

-Find a magnet that is pretty strong. Lay out several small items onto the table. Be sure to include metal items such as paperclips, nails, and twist ties. Have your child experiment by holding the magnet over objects to see if they’ll be attracted to the magnet.

-Draw a line down a piece of paper. Place items that stick to the magnet on one side of the paper and the other side houses items that do not respond to the magnet.

-Place an item that is attracted to the magnet on top of a piece of cardstock. Move the magnet beneath the cardstock and watch the object move around as you move the magnet. Try moving the magnet under a piece of cardboard with the attracted object on top. Is the cardboard too thick or does the magnet still work? What else can you use to separate the object and the magnet? (Plastic, glass or ceramic plate, your child’s hand, an old CD…)

-Do magnets work under water? Fill a large bowl with water and place several magnetic and non-magnetic items in the bottom of the bowl. Let your child explore the power of magnets under water.

-Talk about the kinds of objects that are attracted to magnets and what objects are not.

(Check out this and other ideas:,,sklbldr_d67w-5,00.html)


Thursday, October 2, 2008


Watch "GOOD THINGS UTAH" on October 17, 2008 on abc4 at 10:00am for my segment on SMMART MUSIC!!!


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