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Smart Learning Games

Creative pursuits

From Learning, the Arts and Me Nursery at the Third Street Music School Settlement, New York City

Wonder colors

  • Cover a table with an old tablecloth and tape down a piece of waxed paper. Then:
  • Pour diluted blue, red, and yellow food coloring into bowls.
  • Drip a red dot onto the waxed paper with an eyedropper (for a toddler, try a plastic spoon). Have him use another dropper to squeeze a yellow dot right next to the red.
  • Watch the colors swirl together: orange!
  • Ask: What might happen to red and blue? Yellow and blue?

The hidden lessons: He's learning to associate colors with their names. The eyedropper or spoon will also fine-tune his fingers for writing.

Dance fever

  • Turn on some music.
  • Have your child make up a simple movement.
  • Repeat her move and add another one.
  • Tell her to repeat the first and second movements and add a third.
  • Keep going until you both break into giggles.

The hidden lessons: Improvising with you shows her how much fun cooperation can be and sharpens her ability to remember a sequence (a math basic). This is also a great way to introduce her to new kinds of music.

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