Education and Outreach
Southern Nevada families face a school year like none before, with Clark County School District and various charter and private schools pursuing remote learning.
Full-time learning at home can feel unusual for students – but using the arts can help ease this transition.
Physical activity stimulates the brain and can promote better academic performance, according to a study published in the Elsevier medical journal.
The Smith Center offers ideas below of activities to give young ones quick breaks during the day, which will have them moving and even gaining early exposure to the arts.
Kids often need to release some steam after sitting and focusing.
Let them do so! Crank some tunes for a few minutes as a study-break dance party. Try playing a variety of music to introduce them to various styles, and encourage them to dance a different way to each genre.
For instance, ask kids to dance as fast as they can to rock music, then twirl to Golden Oldies, and move in slow motion to jazz.
Act Out a Book or Story
With children reading on their own at home, acting out a scene or a situation from the text can help with interpreting and understanding the material.
If kids feel restless after some required reading, invite them to put books down and get up to play their favorite character. If they’re studying history, families can even encourage them to act out a historic event or figure — such as Jesse Owens winning at the Olympics, or pilgrims sailing to the New World.
Parents can also promote good listening by simply telling a story and prompting children to act out the actions in it. Mix in lots of hopping and running and crawling, and kids will be eager to participate.
Challenge kids to practice something they’re learning with colorful chalk on the sidewalk.
Just a few options can include practicing writing letters and numbers, writing a poem, working math equations or drawing an animal or body part they just learned about.
While this involves kids using art to reframe their studies in a creative way, it also requires squatting and stretching to scrawl on the ground, providing more of a workout than children might realize.
Some kids might feel confused, frustrated or upset over this new learning environment. But not all children can express these feelings easily.
Help kids explore these emotions by asking them to draw how they feel, or to make a collage with clippings from a magazine.
Then, give this a positive spin by asking them to draw or craft a picture of what they think will be the most fun about learning at home.
While this won’t necessarily have kids moving, it might help with accepting their new circumstances.