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Learning from the Ballet: The Colonial Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Learning from the Ballet: The Colonial Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

We recently enjoyed a performance of The Colonial Nutcracker, Performed by Dance Theatre in Westchester, at The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. It was a magical experience for us–the music, the dancing, and the sets were all stunning! Ballet can potentially be challenging for young children but this performance was very accessible. A narrator told the story, which goes a long way towards keeping children engaged. This Nutcracker makes a number of small changes, primarily … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater, Sound

Straw Pan Pipe Craft for Kids

Straw Pan Pipe Craft for Kids

My daughter came home very excited that she had made a pan pipe out of drinking straws at camp. However, she had left the homemade craft instrument there and wanted to make another one. I helped her figure out a way of making one at home. Ours was a little different and she really liked it. Materials: plastic drinking straws tape (clear or decorative Washi tape) scissors yarn or thread (optional)   Directions: 1. Cut the drinking straws in increasingly smaller sizes.   2. Tape … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Music, Performing Arts and Theater, Science

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

This past weekend, we brought some Christmas Cheer to a local home for the elderly. We have been visiting since my two eldest were 3 and 1.5 and we caroled with a play group. That first year, my daughter asked if she could play piano. We didn’t have her music so she just played “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Every year since then she has wanted to go back, this time with Christmas carol sheet … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Featured, Interpersonal, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater

Woodland Animal Masks

Woodland Animal Masks

Masks are fun way for children to explore and move and act in different ways.  For our Forest-Friendly Week of the Smart Summer Challenge, we made Woodland Animal Masks. Some of the things I like about this craft is that it gives them control over the process, encourages them to be observant, and also serves as a fun prop to continue the activity. I’m chatting more about crafts over at the Random House Kids: Read … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Bodily-kinesthetic, Ecology, Featured, Performing Arts and Theater, Smart Summer Challenge

Moving and Grooving to Music Around the World #SmartSummer

Moving and Grooving to Music Around the World #SmartSummer

Music is a big part of our lives. My grandfather was a professional musician and my daughter loves to play piano. And music is a fun way to gain insight into other societies.  As part of my study of history, I delved into how music reflects culture. So, as part of our Me on the Map week, we enjoyed traditional music from around the globe! Since this (history and culture through the lens of art) is my … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Featured, Geography, History and Culture, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater, Smart Summer Challenge, Sound

What Can Drama Do for Children?

What Can Drama Do for Children?

While I am on a short maternity leave, I have invited a few of my favorite activity, craft, and education bloggers to share a guest post. As a former theater major, I am excited to welcome Susan Stephenson from The Book Chook to share why dramatic play can be so important for children. Specialist drama teachers sometimes offer drama lessons to children outside school hours. But how do you know if your child will benefit from … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bodily-kinesthetic, Featured, Guest Post, Performing Arts and Theater

Theater Games for Young Children

Theater Games for Young Children

Kinesthetic learners will jump right in when given the opportunity to play theater games designed for young children. Even the simplest theater games for kids can build a child’s confidence and skills.  Theater activities utilize two of children’s biggest assets, imagination and energy, to build on their ability to focus, creatively problem solve, and cooperate. Before today, I had worked with teenagers and children as young as eight, but since I have a 3 year-old, I decided … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater