March is National Crafting Month and we have some ideas to help you celebrate.
Why Should You Celebrate?
- Crafting boosts creativity and inspiration. Creating without any limitations allows the imagination to soar. Thinking outside of the box, exploring inner life, and processing the world through creativity also builds confidence!
- Being crafty can bring people together. Engaging in a creative activity together as a family helps strengthen bonds. Collaboration that ends in a physical product leads to a sense of accomplishment and community.
- Handmade gifts are fun! Making a gift with love and care is truly a one of a kind experience to not only receive but to create.
Nothing is easier or more fun than sock puppets! All you need is an old sock that has lost its pair, googly eyes, buttons, yarn, markers, or pipe cleaners, and glue. If you do not have a sock to spare, you can use a paper bag, plastic spoon, paper plate, or any other household item. Check out this awesome how-to from NeedlePointers.com to learn how to put together your puppet.
Slime is no doubt a fan favorite and is so easy to make at home. There are many recipes out there to make slime but the fun comes with the add ins! You can add food coloring, shaving cream, clay, pom poms, charms… anything! Our favorite thing to add into slime is glitter. You can make your very own galaxy slime with some food coloring, glitter, and a little creativity. LittleBinsforLittleHands.com has an amazing tutorial for making galaxy slime. They even go into the science of how slime is formed!
You have heard of painting but what about…salt painting! All you need is card stock paper, elmer’s glue, a paint brush, water color or food coloring, and salt! Simply draw a picture with the glue, then add salt on top of the glue and shake off the excess. Dip your paintbrush into the watercolor or food coloring diluted in water and place the color where you want on your design. Then watch the magic happen! Follow IHeartArtsNCrafts.com’s tutorial for some inspiration.
If you are looking for a more advanced craft, we recommend grabbing a few old white shirts and experimenting with tie-dye. It’s fun, easy, and while a little messy, it is impossible to mess up! There are many tie-dye kits out there to buy but here are a few tips to help the process go smoothly.
- Prep your station. If possible, tie-dye outside. Ensure all surfaces are covered with a plastic tarp or trash bags so stray dye will not stain. Set out extra gloves. Grab towels/paper towels.
- Prep your t-shirts or anything else you plan to dye. Most kits will have instructions for how to prep but coloring works best on 100% cotton and pre-washed materials.
Shirts are not the only thing that can benefit from tie-dye! Try a pair of socks, a hat, a scarf, bed sheets… any piece of clothing or household linens could do with a bit of pizazz!
Parents.com also teaches how to tie-dye without a store-bought kit if you are up for a challenge.
These crafts are perfect for National Crafting Month and of course for any other month too! Whatever craft you plan to do, make sure it is fun and share the experience with people you love.
Drama Kids International wishes you happy crafting! Continue building creativity and confidence through acting with one of our many wonderful programs. Learn more and get started today!
According to Researcher Edward Swing, a graduate student at Iowa State University, “(Children) who exceeded the AAP recommendation of less than 2 hours a day watching television or playing video games were about 1.6 times to 2.2 times more likely to have greater than average attention problems.”
So how, in this growing age of technology and children relying on visual media for education and recreation, can we introduce other options into a daily routine that will “counteract” these effects?
Bring Back the Bedtime Story
Reading out loud to your children is a wonderful way to help them thrive in this digital world. Studies have shown that children whose parents read to them have greater brain activation which in turn benefits language development, visual association, and reading comprehension later on in life.
While listening to an audiobook or reading quietly from an e-reader can also be beneficial, it has been proven that babies and children learn best by interacting with people rather than passively through videos or audio recordings. Cuddling up with a good book at bedtime can also be highly beneficial to the growth of the parent/child relationship.
Benefits of Reading Aloud
Here are a few benefits of reading aloud for just 15 minutes a day according to ReadAloud.Org:
- Increases language development
- Develops literacy skill building
- Instills a love of reading
- Provides an opportunity for bonding
- Increases memory retention
- & More…
Books, Books, and More Books!
There are so many wonderful books out there and so many organizations that have made it their mission to help kids get access to them.
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a free book gifting program that mails a specialized age appropriate book to every child who is signed up. You can find a program nearest you and sign up via their website.
- Collaborative Summer Library Program, or CSLP for short, works with nearly 16,000 public libraries to bring summer reading to families nationwide. There are reading programs available to kids of all ages and even adults. Check them out through their website today to see how you can get involved this summer.
Crack open an old favorite or dive into something new but most importantly, get reading!
Drama Kids is proud to help children of all ages develop their reading comprehension and literacy development through all of our programs. Using the power of prewritten scripts, students use their voices to read, create, and perform. To learn more, visit Dramakids.com.
Being dramatic is a good thing! But only if that drama is steered in the right direction.
Dramatic behaviour is generally just an outburst of emotions. If taught how to properly process and understand those emotions, children can then efficiently empathize with others emotions. According to PBS.org, “The ability to understand emotions — both your own and those of others — can positively affect self-esteem, personal relationships, career success and overall happiness.”
What is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to another’s thoughts and feelings.
From infancy, we begin to develop affective empathy, which are the feelings we get in response to another person’s emotional state. By two years old, children begin to develop cognitive empathy, which is the ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.
Playing Pretend Builds Empathy
When playing pretend, children put themselves in the shoes of another person and begin to act like them. This includes acting out their “character’s” emotions. When taking care of a baby doll, the child pretends they are a parent. When the baby doll cries, they tend to the needs of the crying baby and try to comfort them. When the baby doll needs a diaper change, the child might make a grossed out face. It is then highly likely that when the child encounters a parent trying to comfort a baby, the child will begin to understand the emotions of the parent.
Theatre is a Safe Space for Building Empathy
It is important to give a child a safe, controlled space to experience and explore possible negative emotions. A child can safely watch an actor “bully” another actor, and because the situation is dramatized, can engage in communication to learn how both parties experienced and responded to this situation. They know the situation isn’t real, but this does not undermine the strength of the empathetic response.
Why is Empathy Important?
Helps to build a sense of security and stronger relationships with other children and educators, positioning them well for learning
- Encourages tolerance and acceptance of others
- Promotes good mental health
- Promotes social harmony and can reduce the likelihood of bullying
- & More
Through the Drama Kids program, children can learn empathy in a fun and safe environment. Our highly trained teachers and award-winning curriculum allow students to explore emotions through student created scenes, improvisational situations, and scripted scenes. To get more information, contact us today!
Summertime is typically when parents start thinking about what kids will be doing outside of the classroom. Will it be a learning and development opportunity? A new club? Tutor? Favorite sport or activity?
As you consider the options available to your kids, don’t forget about drama and the Arts.
Drama Participation Increases Academic Performance and Raises Test Scores
According to a frequently cited study of almost a quarter-million students by UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Dr. James Catterall, students who participate in the Arts don’t just do better in school, they perform in areas that drive success outside the classroom. Children who are active in the Arts demonstrate higher academic performance and standardized test scores. They are more likely to participate in community service and be elected to class office. They are also more inclined to participate in a math and science fair and to be recognized for academic achievement.
Self-Expression Learned Through Drama Instills Life Skills.
In a strong drama program, students do more than memorize lines and act. They will focus on creative skill and voice development, improvisation and movement – skills that go beyond the stage and are used every day in general communication. They work on clarity and expression, critical factors when it comes to public speaking and presentation skills, both as students and throughout their adult lives.
Drama Fosters Teamwork and Confidence
Contrary to what many think, an effective drama program actually embraces both extroverted and introverted kids. Drama Kids programs draw all kids together to share creative ideas, and all children, not just the confident, are given the opportunity to share their own ideas and collaborate. Natural leaders learn cooperation and how to include others’ ideas, and those who prefer the sidelines are encouraged to lead. All creative ideas are welcomed and encouraged so that every child feels positive about their contribution.
Drama also allows children beyond their social circle to meet new friends and build compassion for others. They learn respect and empathy by working toward a common goal with teachers/directors and fellow students.
Drama Nourishes the Imagination.
Drama instills creativity and aids children in “thinking outside of the box.” Drama- related activities nurture spontaneity and help students think on their feet and use their imaginations.
Students learn empathy and to understand how others feel. They identify emotions and have to express them. Drama also teaches patience and commitment. Children learn through patience and perseverance that they can produce something wonderful. They learn that hard work leads to gratification. We see this every year as Drama Kids students perform in front of family and friends each spring.
Is Drama Right For Your Child?
If you talk to our Drama Kids instructors and parents and you’ll hear inspiring stories of students making monumental strides in self-confidence, public speaking and teamwork. If you ask any Drama Kid instructor they might tell you the questions they get asked all the time is, “Is Drama Kids right for my child?” These cases range from the parent of the child who memorizes all the lines from T.V. shows and dances around the living room whenever ‘Let it Go’ plays, to the parent whose child has speech delays, is extremely shy, and has trouble making friends. To those parents and every parent in between they will always say wholeheartedly – Yes, drama education is going to be perfect for your child!
Drama Kids is the world’s most powerful, beneficial, and FUN drama program, with over 10,000 students enrolled throughout the United States and over 50,000 enrolled worldwide. So whether your child is hankering for the stage or reticent to step in the spotlight, effective drama instruction – the Drama Kids way – can deliver important benefits for every student that last beyond a single play for an entire lifetime.
Welcome to 2021! Ringing in the new year should also mean finding new ways to boost your child’s self confidence. But how does a parent go about encouraging confidence in a child who might be a bit on the self-conscious side?
We at Drama Kids International are in the business of helping kids unlock their confident sides daily! Here are 10 tips you can work on over this year with your child:
Acknowledge when they are being brave.
Has your child stepped out of their comfort zone and done something they used to be scared of? Be sure to acknowledge this act of bravery, as this is one of the first steps toward growing out of his or her self-consciousness.
Take small steps in uncomfortable social situations.
Is your child a bit on the introverted side and working toward becoming more comfortable in social situations they would normally shy away from? This is another positive step toward becoming more confident, but encouraging them to do too much too fast is not advised. Help your child continue to ease into new social situations and get ready to see them blossom.
Model self-love and positive self-talk.
Our kids are always watching us, so by modeling self-love and positive self-talk we are teaching them how to not be so hard on themselves. We all know that accidents and mistakes happen, but instead of talking poorly about ourselves, demonstrate that it’s OK!
Give genuine compliments.
Compliment your child for something that took an act of kindness or bravery. Complimenting your child on something they have been working hard to perfect is also a great place to start.
Use the seven C’s of resilience: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control. Embrace the seven C’s and watch your child’s resilience blossom.
Support the pursuit of a passion.
Has your child taken a keen interest in a new activity? Do your best to support him or her in this new pursuit—it’s as simple as that!
Set rules and be consistent.
Consistency in a child’s life is key to many success factors and can apply where confidence is concerned as well. Make sure your child knows the rules and that you follow them as well.
Coach relationship skills.
We’re talking about relationships with peers, teachers, advisors, etc. Your child needs to understand what healthy relationships look like on all fronts.
Help your child set realistic goals.
Never deter your child from chasing dreams. Instead be sure to steer them toward goals that can be accomplished and crossed off the list.
Help your child prepare for public performances.
There will always be instances where your child must engage in public speaking or other performances, and by enrolling your child in one of our drama programs, you’ll be helping them put their best foot forward in these situations!
Along with your phenomenal parenting skills, Drama Kids International is able to step up and help your child build up confidence and push self-consciousness to the side with our specialized drama classes. Come find out why the “difference is dramatic” today!
The holiday season has come and gone and a new year is here! If you are looking for a fun and engaging activity for the kids, try giving back this year.
Volunteering is a great way to not only enjoy quality time together, but you’ll also be giving the perfect gift to those in need!
How Volunteering Benefits Kids
There are plenty of benefits for children who volunteer, including:
- Teaches appreciation
- Enhances world perspective
- Influences balanced habits
- Builds social skills
- Develops sense of purpose
- Improves self-awareness
- Teaching valuable life skills
And so much more!
Ideas for Holiday Volunteering
- Donate to Nonprofits
- Volunteering at food banks or pantries
- Deliver meals and groceries to vulnerable seniors
- Donate medical supplies and equipment
- Stay in touch with neighbors, family, and friends
You can find local volunteer opportunities by visiting AllForGood.org.
Keeping the Volunteer Spirit Year-round
Now, more than ever, keeping the giving spirit alive throughout the holidays and beyond is needed.
You can help your child learn that it’s not about what you have, but about empathy and the value of giving to others by keeping volunteering a year round event. You can help encourage your child’s altruistic side by letting them pick a cause to support and discussing the difference between donating time and money. Both are valuable donations for the cause/charity of your family’s choosing, but it’s still important for your child to learn the difference between the two types of donating.
Looking for other ways to inspire your child to become his or her best self? Check out the programs Drama Kids International offers that are specially designed to help kids gain valuable life skills.