Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All Eyes on...
SMMART SCIENCE ideas on "Good Things Utah"
March 11th at 10:00am on ABC4
St. Patrick's Day Science ideas for your little people!

SMMART MATH: Shamrock Places

Cut out 20 shamrocks...that's alot of cutting. If you like, I have pasted 20 shamrocks onto one page and you can just cut out the 20 squares (make it a bit easier...e-mail me at and I'll send you the page).

Actually, before you cut, write the numbers from 0-9 on each shamrock. Twice. Now you have two sets of numbered shamrocks from 0 to 9. You can let your kiddos color the shamrocks and practice writing their numbers on the shamroks.

Ask your child to help you "build" the numbers from 10 on up. Put the 1 and 0 shamrocks beside each other to build 10, then build 11, then 12..

Or you can build a number and ask your child to tell you the name of the number.

You can build all "10s" numbers (10,20,30...) or count by 5's...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

SMMART GIVEAWAY: Bananagrams!!!
(Claimed-Giveaway over)
You'll "go ape" for BANANAGRAMS!

This fast-paced game requires no board, paper, pencil or timer...AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO WAIT YOUR TURN! Play on the go- the yellow banana shaped cloth pouch contains 144 ivory-like letter tiles. Players race to complete their own individual crossword-style puzzles, can rearrange already formed words and even "dump" hard to use letters for different ones. Cries of "Split", "Peel", and "Dump" can be heard as players focus on being the first to use up all their letter tiles. A victorious "Bananas!" declares a player has no remaining tiles. But you must be certain that your words are correctly spelled and acceptable, or you'll be declared the "Rotten Banana"!

Bananagrams is for 2-8 players (ages 7 to adult), and makes an excellent family game for children playing right along with their parents.

Fun and Educational!

Keep your eyes "peeled" for Appletters and PairsinPears games too.

BANANAGRAMS TM is generously giving away FIVE Banangram games!!!!

You can enter three times:

1) Visit the BANANAGRAMS site and comment (click on "SMMART Comments") on which method may be the most fun way to play Bananagrams with your "bunch"..."Best of", "Banana Smoothie", "Banana Cafe", "Banana Solitair", "Banana Challenge" (under instructions). Leave your name in the comment!

2) Comment "Follower" and become a SMMARTideas Follower or tell me if you already "follow" SMMARTideas. Leave your name in the comment!

3) Comment and tell me your methods of getting in READING TIME and LETTER PRACTICE with your child (shaving cream letters in the bathtub, hiding-letter-go-seek...). Leave your name in the comment!

The Winners comments will be posted on Thursday, Feb.25th. Winners must contact me at with their mailing information by midnight that night or a new winner will be chosen.

"The Anagram Game that will Make you go BANANAS!"

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Kids love...stickers! They love to peel them and stick them on anything they can! Well, this game incentivizes reading with permission to put stickers all over themselves.

  • Write several words onto address labels (you can fit one or two words per label and cut them to size). You may wish to write as many "at", "an", "it"...words as you can think of so you are working in word groups.

  • Turn all of the little stickers over so you cannot see the word.

  • The first player rolls a dice. This player gets to choose a turned over word and attempt to read the word.
  • If he guesses the word gets to STICK the word onto himself! Then he gets to choose another word. This player's turn ends when he does not read a word correctly or he has read the number of words that the dice rolled. For example, if he rolled a five and has successfully read all five words he chose, then it's the next player's turn.
  • When the words are all gone, the person most covered in words is the winner!
(You can adapt this little game to younger readers. Use upper and lower case letters and when you turn over a letter, you must say the letter sound.) much sticky fun!
...Great for learning sight words too!
Check out this link to see SMMART REading ideas on "Good Things Utah":


This could make for some serious SPELLING WORDS practice fun!

  • Write several words on notecards that you would like your child to practice reading. (You can use words that are all "at" words, "it" words, or "in" words...)

  • Place the notecards face down on the table or floor.

  • Take turns choosing a card and acting out the word. For example, if I chose the word "hat", I could pat my head and pretend to put a baseball cap on my head.

  • If you guess the word, you get to keep the card.

  • If you also SPELL the word when you guess correctly, you get a little piece of candy (skittle or m&m) dropped right onto your tongue!

  • The person who has the most cards by the time all of the words are the winner!
(You can adapt this to practicing letters by writing upper and lower case letters on the cards. Then when you choose a card, you must say the letter sounds and try to create the letters with your body or fingers. For writing practice, when you turn a card over you must write the letter on a piece of paper and say the letter sounds.)

SMMART ART: Brushing the Bath Blue

This activity has been a HIT with my two oldest girls. A little tempura paint, brushes in hand...and standing in the empty bathtub.

The littlest enjoys naming the colors that she's painted up on the tile wall. The oldest creates new colors as she blends two paints or more together.

The clean up is easy enough with a spray of water and a light sponging.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SMMART Reading ideas on "Good Things Utah"

Be sure to watch "Good Things Utah", ABC4 at 10:00am

on February 18th!

I'll be sharing some fun SMMART Reading ideas and announcing the "Bananagram Giveaway!"

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Yes, I do love a freebie!

Little people learn so much from music...lyrics, tempo, rhythm, and how a song can lighten the soul and make clean-up a little less of a task.

Take a listen to the songs on the following sites. Download the songs that strike your fancy and burn a CD for your child's room, and for the car. A new CD will brighten their day...and yours! (click on the "[Filed under...]" link on the main page or in the sidebar by the little orange fish "Artists A-B") (click on a country to see traditional regional songs, some have MP3 downloads)


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