Dad Turns His 3-Year-Old Daughter’s Hilarious Sayings Into Art!

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Kids say the actual darndest things.

And, apparently, their funny phrases can inspire art. Martin Bruckner, a Nebraska dad, is turning his 3-year-old daughter’s sayings into hilariously beautiful art and cataloging it all on his Tumblr “Spaghetti Toes.”

Spaghetti Toes is his blog dedicated to the delightfully absurd things Bruckner hears from his daughter Harper Grace — plus the equally bizarre things he and his wife find themselves saying while navigating life with a toddler.

Read the full article and view more of this Dad’s super cute creativity here!

Come Party With Us at the Z-PARTY!

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Z-pARTy is a celebration of creativity showcasing art by children and youth of the Zimmer Children’s Museum and its youTHink program. There will be plenty of family activities, art, and music from our very own resident rock stars Luis and Ana at 6pm and 7:30pm.

The party takes place on Saturday, December 13th from 5:00pm-9:00pm as part of the NELA Art Walk at the Antigua Coffee House: 3400 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065.

For more info on the Zimmer Children’s Museum, click here!

For more info on the youTHink program, click here!

SPEAKING OF TALENTED YOUTH

Photo Exhibit Invite (2-up)

youThink is a program of the Zimmer Children’s Museum that empowers youth to find their voices, think critically and take action for social change. Through school, after school, weekend and community programs, youTHink provides underserved communities with arts and leadership training.

Tonight only, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., 36 students from South L.A., Compton, central city, downtown and the eastside will share their visions of “Where I’m From,” in poems and photographs they created as part of youTHink’s Ambassador program, a year-long arts and leadership program.

“Where I’m From” is the culmination of a photography workshop led by award winning photojournalist Sophia Nahli Allison, with students learning key composition concepts as well as techniques to visually explore their lives through the lens of a camera.

Before the workshop began, students crafted poems on the theme that served as their starting point for inspiration, encouraging them to capture moments, objects and surroundings that define “Where I’m From.” The poems will accompany the photographs.

With Christmas and Chanukah just around the corner, the students’ photographs will be for sale and make great gifts. All proceeds benefit the youTHink program and Zimmer Children’s Museum. The exhibition is free, and takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight only at Blue Five Art Space, 2935 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 90064. Find out more at www.youthink.org.

Read more here!

Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?

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Wade’s approach — used schoolwide at Garfield Elementary, in Oakland, Calif. — is part of a strategy known as social-emotional learning, which is based on the idea that emotional skills are crucial to academic performance.

“Something we now know, from doing dozens of studies, is that emotions can either enhance or hinder your ability to learn,” Marc Brackett, a senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University, told a crowd of educators at a conference last June. “They affect our attention and our memory. If you’re very anxious about something, or agitated, how well can you focus on what’s being taught?”

For children, school is an emotional caldron: a constant stream of academic and social challenges that can generate feelings ranging from loneliness to euphoria. Educators and parents have long assumed that a child’s ability to cope with such stresses is either innate — a matter of temperament — or else acquired “along the way,” in the rough and tumble of ordinary interaction. But in practice, Brackett says, many children never develop those crucial skills. “It’s like saying that a child doesn’t need to study English because she talks with her parents at home,” Brackett told me last spring. “Emotional skills are the same. A teacher might say, ‘Calm down!’ — but how exactly do you calm down when you’re feeling anxious? Where do you learn the skills to manage those feelings?”

Read more about this article here.

Benefits of Blocks and Puzzles for Children

According to researchers at the University of Delaware and Temple University, filling children’s toy boxes with puzzles and building blocks help preschooler’s develop their “spacial thinking.”  Professor Golinkoff of linguistics, cognitive science and psychology at UD states that “parents and caregivers should make sure their kids have experiences that feed into their spatial skill. Simple toys like blocks and puzzles offer kids a foundation for learning subjects like math and science…”

The study wanted to see whether copying block structures would correlate to mathematical skills. Results showed that block skills did predict mathematical skills, and children who participated in puzzles and building block structures were also better at early math.  Click the following link to read the full article!

NEW FEATURE: Ramblin’ by Raider & Ryder

Ryder Brooks and Raider Rivera are both regulars at the Zimmer Children’s Museum. Rambiln’ is the first featured writing gig for either of them, but they both know that in this digital age, if you don’t have a blog by 2, you’re behind the times.

Both Ryder and Raider are looking forward to sharing the museum with you from their perspective (which to most people is from below) and being an active part of the Baby Blog community (which is usually brief in content and high in pitch).

For their first post, R&R filled out surveys to help you get to know them better.

Name: Ryder Brooks
Age: 17 months
Favorite Foods: Whatever is on someone else’s plate. Also, broccoli, Dad’s famous spaghetti sauce, yogurt, and fruits of all kinds.
Impressive Skills: Waving, stomping, taking a bow, winking
Things I Love: Napping (Ugh. My Mom made me put that.), rockin’ out to loud guitar music with my Dad, rearranging flower beds and rock gardens, reading, and BATH TIME!
Things I Don’t Love: Diaper changes and brushing my eight teeth

Name: Raider Rivera
Age: 12 months
Favorite Foods: Whatever I can’t have. Things with salt. String Cheese. Mum Mums.
Impressive Skills: I’m good with the ladies.
Things I Love: My mom. She’s super cool. Being outdoors–preferably near water.
Things I Don’t Love: Diaper changes. Does anyone like them?

Check back next month for the inside scoop from Ryder and Raider!

…because everyone needs a lil’ R&R.