Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SMMART ideas on "Good Things Utah"

Please tune in on July 23rd
at 10:00am on ABC4

Monday, June 28, 2010


Summah, Summah, Summahtime! (That's "Summertime")
...and Summahtime is time for Sidewalk CHALK!

Have your child lay down on the concrete and draw a large circle around her. When she stands up, have her determine where the center of the circle is and draw a dot.

Ask your child to draw a line from one side of the circle to the other, making sure to connect the line with the dot in the center. This forms a DIAMETER. Let your child lay down on the Diameter, so that your child "is" the Diameter.

If your child draws a line connecting two points on the edge of the circle, but that does not pass through the center point, this is called a CHORD.

Ask your child to draw a line from the center dot to the edge of the circle. This forms a RADIUS.

You can draw a line that is outside of the circle and perpendicular to the radius. This is called a TANGENT.
Goodness! Demonstrate these concepts with your child and use correct vocabulary. This will be a nice introduction to Geometry.

Check out these links for diagrams and math lessons about CIRCLES:

I like this video from

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Besides chomping on yummy baby cheeks, I have to say I LOVE soft little baby feet and toes! Love them!

Anatomy 101...Introduce your baby to her body parts as you prep your baby for a nap. Kiss your baby's little shoulders. "Good night shoulders." Now kiss her little chin. "Good night chin."

Your baby will adore the loving attention given to each little piece of her yummy baby body.

"Good night Toes!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"SPACE ICE CREAM" from Emergency Essentials
Tickets from Thanksgiving Point
Two Out-of-this-world Giveaways from

Emergency Essentials is generously giving away a can of 16 Neapolitan Freeze-Dried Ice Cream Slices (on sale right now for $16.99) OR you could win a can of 16 Freeze-Dried Ice Cream Sandwiches ($21.95)! Can you imagine the smiles this would bring to your family around the campfire, or in a time of uncertainty? Just like the space ice cream that the astronauts eat!

Emergency Essentials has been helping people prepare for emergencies since 1987. They offer practical, reliable products that will help keep your family safe in uncertain times-Food Storage, First Aid Kits and components, Emergency Kits and supplies, and Camping Preparedness supplies. Though they sell a bulk of business online at, Emergency Essentials has three locations in Orem, Salt Lake and South Jordan. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the "Space Ice Cream" Giveaway.

Thanksgiving Point is hosting a Solar System Walk in the Gardens. Starting June 21st, this unique experience is designed to teach guests about the sizes of planets compared to the sun and each other, as well as the distance planets are from each other.

At the exhibition, you walk under a 25 feet diameter sun arch which is the scale used to make the rest of the planets. This scale shrinks Earth down to just 2.7 inches and the biggest planet, Jupiter, to 30.8 inches. You’ll walk from planet to planet in a scale of the actual distance between planets. One of the unique elements is that the Holdman Institute, which just won Best in State for Ceramics/Glass will be hand-blowing each planet at the Art Institute at Thanksgiving Point.


NASA BLAST also includes a light exhibit with 20 different exhibits on loan from the Exploratorium in San Francisco and a space garden demonstrating tiny tomato plants and other advances made to feed astronauts in space. The program also offers youth classes, day camps, star parties with Clark Planetarium, and additional family activities.

You can enter to win 2 Adult and 4 Kid passes to see the Thanksgiving Point Gardens "Solar System Walk". The Thanksgiving Point Gardens are already so impressive, but this learning opportunity provides an experience unlike any other! ENTER TO WIN a can of EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS
Freeze-Dried "Astronaut" Ice Cream:
(One winner will receive the neapolitan, and one will receive the ice cream bars.
Shipping only in the U.S.)

1) Visit and leave a comment (with your first name/last initial and e-mail if you like) telling me what one item you would like to have on hand in an emergency from the Emergency Essentials Website. Click on the "SMMART comment" button at the bottom of this post to leave a comment.

2) For an added entry, leave a comment (with your first name/last initial and e-mail if you like) telling me that you follow this blog. Write "Space Ice Cream" by your name. See that new little "Followers" box in my left side bar? I'd so appreciate if you clicked on "Follow" and become a SMMARTideas follower.

"Solar System Walk" Tickets (2 Adult and 4 Child):

1) Visit the Thanksgiving Point Calendar and leave a comment (with your first name/last initial and e-mail if you like) telling me what upcoming event looks interesting to you.

2) For an added entry, leave a comment (with your first name/last initial and e-mail if you like) telling me that you follow this blog. Write "Solar System Walk" by your name. See that new little "Followers" box in my left side bar? I'd so appreciate if you clicked on "Follow" and become a SMMARTideas follower.

Winners for the "Space Ice Cream" and the "Solar System Walk" will be chosen by and posted Tuesday, June 15th. If you left an e-mail in your comment, I'll contact you if you won!

SMMART ART: Sidewalk Chalk Festival

Welcome to the June Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival, ‘Kids and Learning.’

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is “Art” which doesn’t just mean doing craft – it includes music, performance art and appreciation as well! Our bloggers have come up with many different thought-provoking takes on this theme. Please read through to the end to find links to the other participating blogs.

Well, this weekend our little town's Sidewalk Chalk Art Competition was rained out by a slow and constant drizzle all Friday and Saturday. Any group or family could come to the Festival, pick up some chalk and they would be given a portion of the sidewalk downtown to decorate from 6-8. Many of the stores along Main Street were offering discounts and sales to draw in customers... A fun family activity on a weekend afternoon.

Why not host a family Driveway Chalk Festival?
Break out the dollar store sidewalk chalk or whip up a batch of sidewalk chalk paint and everyone gets a small portion of the driveway, or playground asphalt. Listen to tunes on the CD player, slather on the sunblock, and enjoy a little time together creating miniature masterpieces.

Peruse the true chalk masterpieces at a larger Chalk Art Festival with your family, or search online for amazing artwork for inspiration.

Be sure to reward everyone with popsicles and ice cream cones!

Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on “Art.”

  • CatWay at Adventures With Kids is getting the most out of a trip to the art gallery with ideas of how to prepare children and interest them while they are there.

  • Mamapoekie from Authentic Parenting argues for the importance of art and why we should be encouraging it as our children get older.

  • Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources talks about how to create an environment that encourages young children to explore art.

  • Sharon at Hear Mum Roar has done a fantastic video post by getting her children to do an activity two different ways and letting you see the very different results.

  • Amanda at HomeAge has been admiring art with her daughter since she was a baby, taking her to several art exhibitions and reading books.

  • Kate from Picklebums talks about why art is important for little people and has a huge list of activities you can try.

  • The Planning Queen from Planning With Kids has tips for visiting the art gallery with kids, including links to different galleries and some ideas for activities afterwards.

  • Colin Wee at Super Parents is thinking about his son’s musicality as he learns to play the violin.

  • Deb from Science@home has her children investigating materials while making sculptures and bravely let the 2 year old use a hot glue gun.

  • Lisa at SMMART Ideas has a sidewalk chalk festival in her own driveway!

  • Leechbabe from Stuff with Thing started out looking at patterns in nature, but the activity changed because she followed her children’s lead.

  • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has used an indoor activity, giving her children magazines to cut out and create collages.

Thanks for visiting, we hope you enjoy some of the posts in our carnival

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This summer some of my mom friends invited me to take part in a weekly Reading Group. We each pick a favorite children's book and host everyone's children for crafts, snacks, learning and reading fun!

I love the book The Starry Messenger, by Peter Sis. Author and illustrator, Peter Sis, grew up in communist Czechoslovakia. The Starry Messenger tells the story of Galileo Galilei in a unique, artistic way...lots of side stories in his art and style.

Here are a few activities I've planned for when I host the Reading Group:

*What do we see up in the night sky?
STARS- Tape cardstock stars onto the wall in the outline of a constellation. Guide the children as they take turns coming up to connect the stars with masking tape to form a constellation.
FOIL CONSTELLATIONS- A long time ago, people linked the stars to create pictures and stories. Let your child create her own constellation. Fold a piece of tin foil in half and crimp the edges of the foil rectangle. Let your child draw a picture on the foil. Use a bamboo skewer to poke holes all around the edges of the picture. In a dark room, hold the foil constellation up in front of a flashlight. Observe your child's constellation on the wall.
Entertain with a Constellation Dot-to-Dot sheet.

MOON- Cut out the 8 phases of the moon and scramble them on the floor. Talk about how the moon reflects the sun's light. Because of the earth and moon's rotation, we don't always see the moon fully reflecting this light. Help the children tape the correct order of the moon phases onto the wall. (Paper plates work great!)

* What did Galileo create to see the night sky?
TELESCOPE- Save those used paper towel rolls! Tape a piece of plastic wrap over one end of the tube. Let your child choose the color of construction paper to wrap around the tube. Encourage your child to decorate her telescope with markers, stickers, glitter glue...

Have your child look through her new telescope at the moon phases and constellation that you posted on the wall.

*What else could Galileo see from his telescope?
PLANETS- Create a "Universe in a Jar". Fill a small jar with water, a little oil and a drop of blue food coloring. Let your child add star confetti, small balls or beads for planets, a yellow ball for the sun, crumpled foil balls as the moon, rocks as asteroids...what else? Close and seal tightly with duct tape. Shake and observe your own little universe.

*Snack time!
RICE KRISPY STARS (with star sprinkle embellishments perhaps?)

FREEZE-DRIED "ASTRONAUT" ICE CREAM- what a fun experience to share with your child. You can explain that Galileo lived a long time ago and could only observe the moon from far away. Only recently have astronauts been able to actually walk on the moon. One food that they eat when they are in space is freeze-dried ice cream. You can pick some up online or at an emergency/camping supply store.

STAR WATER-pour a few star sprinkles into small water bottles and let your child observe how the sprinkles dissolve and their colors diffuse through the water. Regular colored sprinkles work great too, leaving a small white ball after their color coats dissolve.

*I really like the Magic Schoolbus DVD series ( the "Sees Stars" DVD that explains how stars are formed and die, and takes you on a tour of the planets.

I get so excited when I think about all the fun possibilities to share with these reading group kids! Can't wait!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

SMMART SCIENCE: Color Ice Sculptures

Perfect! An art/science fusion project on

Fill a disposable paper cup, cardboard milk carton, or other container with water and freeze over night. Let your child help you remove the ice from the container and place it on a cookie sheet to catch the melting ice water. Let your child sprinkle rock salt onto the ice and observe the ice melt more rapidly.

Check out the reason that the salt melts the ice more quickly at This site has a fun, interactive demonstration when you click “Add Solute” that further demonstrates this principle.

Now help your child drip drops of food coloring onto the top of the ice. The food coloring seeps through the cracks of the ice. You’ve created a beautifully colored, melting ice sculpture. Quick! Snap a picture before it melts away!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

FREE TUITION to Thanksgiving Point
"Junior Master Gardener Program"

I wish my little girls were old enough to be able to attend this wonderful program...I guess for now we'll stick with Papa's garden. The girls get lost in his towering tomato plants. They love to go into the garden with their little buckets and return with their half-eaten treasures.

."Thanksgiving Point, Utah’s cultural gathering place, is enrolling children ages 8 to 12 to participate in the Junior Master Gardener Club, a hands-on gardening program at Farm Country. Offered from 9 a.m. to noon every Wednesday throughout the summer.

Club members plant and maintain gardens, harvest and prepare food, work cooperatively in groups and learn about science and nutrition."

Thanksgiving Point's Junior Master Gardener Club works with the USU extension 4H program where participants will learn skills from canning the garden harvest to learning how water travels through plants to deliver nutrients. The young gardeners are involved in choosing what to plant and cultivating their gardens. A favorite is the pizza garden, rich with tomatoes, basil, onions, garlic and peppers.

"In late August, Junior Master Gardener participants sell their crops at the Thanksgiving Point Farmers Market. Kids experience the entire growing process – from seed to sale."

Enter to win FREE TUITION for your little gardener! This program hosts ages 8-12 and costs $99 for the entire summer. (TPoint is also offering a Saturday program for scouts ages 12-17 to help them earn merit badges. Call them for more info.)

You can enter 2 times:

1) Leave a comment below this post, with your first name/Last initial and tell how enjoying sharing the outdoors with a child (gardening, nature walks...). If you leave your e-mail in your post I'll contact you if you win.

2) Leave a comment below this post, with your first name/Last initial and tell me if you already follow this blog or that you are now following! Thanks for following! If you leave your e-mail in your post I'll contact you if you win.

Enter quickly, I need to choose a winner soon! I'll choose the winner with and post the name on the post. Please leave your e-mail so I can contact you.
Thanks, and Happy Gardening this summer!


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