Saturday, June 04, 2011

Play and Grow Smart-er Tips

Nancy Pyne-Hapke, author of "Play and Grow Smart, A Guide Supporting Brain Development, Birth through Five," has been giving tips to aid your child's optimum skill development through proactive neuroscience-based activities, now every Sunday. These ideas come from scholarly sources to personal interviews, from the internet to periodicals to books.
“CREATIVITY” involves imagination, ingenuity, invention/originality, creative thinking, dramatic/visual/musical arts.
THE CRITICAL WINDOWS during which the circuits of the brain are being most heavily wired for Creativity is 1 – 4 years with lifelong expression. The more opportunity children have to experience healthy, positive and nurturing Creativity experiences during this critical period, the more efficiently their brains will work over the long run.
A FEW DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING TOOLS (toys and other objects) for CREATIVITY: • blocks • dolls and stuffed animals • sandbox • water • costumes and props • play figures • child-sized dishes and tools • art materials • construction sets • music and instruments
Forms of creativity: ART (visual), LANGUAGE (written or spoken), MUSIC/MOVEMENT (bodily movement), FANTASY (pretending).Some general Creativity: ART tidbits:
•• REMEMBER: avoid making models in clay or drawing pictures for him to copy. He learns more by working out his own ideas, and adult-induced items can actually hinder learning and healthy self-expression.
•• FOR OPTIMUM fine motor ease, use art tools (crayons, pencils, brushes, etc.) that are FAT. These should be used through the first grade in consideration of physical fine motor development. “Regular-sized” crayons will break with the strength and lack of refinement of little hands and fingers, get lost, be underfoot and cause frustration for everyone.
•• FROM 3, some activities include using primary (blunt) scissors, drawing (circle and face), color matching, tracing circles from objects, rocks glued together to make animals/people/bugs (add faces with markers), sorting beans into egg crating (red navy, small white, dried garbanzo, etc.), stringing large buttons/beads on a shoelace, endless construction with large snap-together components/blocks.
•• FROM 4, encourage exploration with new media (cork and wire, soda straws, string, yarn), mix colors with paints, make a collage out of differently-shaped/colored leaves, make play dough from a recipe, decorate a small box (gift for mom?) with uncooked macaroni and paint it.
Next week – “Creativity: LANGUAGE, Pt. 1”
Any ?’s – email

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