Art for Kids

Pop-Up Adventure Play in the Central District June 1st 10am-5pm free to families!

Pop-Up Adventure Play has been described as a “flash mob play date”

Best characterized as child-directed play where children of all ages play with an abundance of loose parts (e.g. cardboard boxes, fabric, tape, string, etc.) with the support of playmakers who have been trained in community-based playwork by Team Pop-Up Adventure Play.

This event is free to families, sponsored by Play=PeaceSeattle Pop-up Adventure Play and Hopscotch CD. Adults are welcome to play with their kids or chat with other parents and playmakers while enjoying the 2 mile long hopscotch route.  We will be in front of Center Stone  722 18th Ave Seattle

photo(4)

 Pop-Up Adventure Play creates a place where children of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to recognize, explore, and express their natural play instincts with peers, parents, family members, and a community of supportive adults. A Pop-Up Adventure Playground or “Pop-Up” is a free, public celebration of child-directed play, “play that evolves when children choose what to play and make up their own rules for how to play – and translate it in ways that are easily ‘gettable’. We help make play easy and fun… as it should be.” – Anna Housley Juster, an early childhood consultant with popupadventureplay.org. While the children enjoy hours of play, parents and caregivers can join in or sit back and relax.

Contact Name: Mary Alice Long, PhD

Phone: 206/200-4542

Email: maryalice@playequalspeace.com

Meet the Seattle Pop-up-play team:
The Seattle Play=Peace Pop-Up Adventure Play team includes Lead Facilitator, creator of Play=Peace, and Play-based Jungian Therapist, Mary Alice Long, PhD joined by fellow play activists Artist & Meditation instructor Karah Pino, MAcOM, Child and Family Therapist, Tana Adams LICSW-A, Jessica Rowley Lord, Meghan Whitlock LMHCA, and Artist Marcia Ann Wiley to support and nurture the creativity and free play during the event.

Protein origami | Nature Chemical Biology | Nature Publishing Group

April 29, 2013

Nature Chemical Biology

DNA origami, make room: proteins can be bioengineered to fold up into three-dimensional architectures from one continuous strand, reports work published online this week in Nature Chemical Biology.

DNA origami, in which specific base pairing has been used to design a large variety of structures such as smiley faces, university logos, and boxes, has provided inspiration for scientists hoping to create ‘smart’ materials or simply explore our understanding of the forces that control molecular interactions. Protein assembly has also been studied, but these experiments have only utilized multiple short sequences interacting together to form larger structures.

Roman Jerala and colleagues show that longer protein sequences – in this case, a polypeptide containing 12 helices in a row – can be prompted to fold into designed structures based on specific pairing of the helices. The authors characterize their newly folded tetrahedron with several techniques, including showing that scrambled or shortened sequences no longer form the right shape. As the building blocks that make up proteins are more diverse than those in DNA, this study opens the door for entirely new architectures that may have new functions as well, such as cargo delivery or the creation of artificial catalytic sites.

via Protein origami | Nature Chemical Biology | Nature Publishing Group.

 

Origami Shelter: Instant Flat-Pack Architecture on Demand | WebUrbanist

origamic architecture

Take a structure, strip away all of the non-essentials, and squeeze out every last unused bit of air space, and what do you get? Something a lot like a folded sheet of paper.

origami inspired instant architecture

This folding shelter designed by Doowon Suh is as elementary as it gets – a series of sheets that unfold like origami to form a robust but basic building.

origami example

Like nesting paper cranes, in its most compact form, each module can be stacked on its siblings, making it easy to pack and ship in containers or store until deployed.

origami flat pack buildings

The modules are bare bones for maximum adaptive capability – they can emergency homes or hospital pods, temporary stores or community rooms.

via Origami Shelter: Instant Flat-Pack Architecture on Demand | WebUrbanist.

Origami Invitational – All Youth Origami Artists Welcome to join in the June Exhibit at Mind Unwind Gallery

In celebration of two Featured Youth Origami Artists, the June Exhibition at Mind Unwind Gallery will include an Origami Invitational

All youth origami artists will be welcome to bring in and share their favorite pieces during the West Seattle Artwalk June 13th, 5pm-7pm.

Orange Origami shape

Blindfolded Origami maker

Included in the June exhibition called “The Sacred Shadow Self” will be a seascape of shadows made by large-scale Origami structures including an 11 foot Origami Albatross folded by 3rd grader Cole Durnwirth and an Origami Sea Anemone assembled by 3rd grader Caroline Byrne.

Please RSVP on Facebook or the Contact Form below, so we know how much space to make for sharing!

Top 10 skills children learn from the arts

You don’t find school reformers talking much about how we need to train more teachers in the arts, given the current obsession with science, math, technology and engineering (STEM), but here’s a list of skills that young people learn from studying the arts. They serve as a reminder that the arts — while important to study for their intrinsic value — also promote skills seen as important in academic and life success. (That’s why some people talk about changing the current national emphasis on STEM to STEAM.) This was written by Lisa Phillips is an author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner. To learn about Lisa’s book, “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World,” click here. This appeared on the ARTSblog, a program of Americans for the Arts.

By Lisa Phillips

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

2. Confidence – The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. Perseverance – When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

5. Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

6. Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

8. Collaboration – Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.

9. Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.

10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

via Top 10 skills children learn from the arts.

The Workyard Kit: Teaching science & math through play | KaBOOM!

Posted by Kerala Taylor on January 3, 2013

How do you recreate the value of playing with sticks and dirt? When it comes to playing, industrial designer Cas Holman admits, “You really can’t beat letting kids play in nature.” But that hasn’t stopped her from trying.

The Workyard Kit, Holman’s latest invention, riffs on the idea that “play is children’s work.” Consisting of wooden planks, ropes, pulleys, hooks and pails, the kit is designed for deeply engaging, open-ended play. Or, as Holman puts it: “cooperative, constructive imagining.”

Photo by Rowa Lee, courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Photo by Rowa Lee, courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

A key creative force behind Imagination Playground, Holman was approached by Friends of the Highline and asked to come up with a way to engage families and kids in New York City’s High Line Park, which converted an old railroad into green space. She wanted to take advantage of the narrow park’s many nooks and crannies and harness its industrial spirit.

Photo by Rowa Lee, courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Photo by Joan Garvin, courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

And so the Workyard Kit was born. Seeing its success, Holman realized that the kit could have potential beyond The High Line and set about designing it for mass production.

The kit is currently being tested at a number of pilot schools around the country, where Holman hopes it can enhance STEM curricula. In fact, Holman says, STEM should really be STEAM, because without an ‘A’ for ‘art,’ how can children flex the creative muscles they need to excel in science, technology, engineering and math?

The Workyard Kit has no “right” solution. It’s not a puzzle. It’s designed for open-ended prompts that help children think spatially, use their imaginations, and work collaboratively. Examples include:

With these parts, how can you make something that would hold a 10-pound bag of potatoes?

How can you make something that would fly to the moon?

What can you build with 10 parts?

Left photo by Rowa Lee, right photo by Adriana Stimola. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

If we here at KaBOOM! got our way, every classroom would have a Workyard Kit and every schoolyard would have an Imagination Playground. Because when it comes to true learning, hands-on, creative, collaborative play beats a standardized test any day of the week.

Cas Holman teaches Industrial Design at Rhode Island School for Design and is part of its STEM to STEAM initiative. For more information about the Workyard Kit and to learn about a backyard version, visit WorkyardKit.com. To see Cas Holman’s other projects, visit CasHolman.com. To find the Workyard Kit on the High Line, visit TheHighline.org.

via The Workyard Kit: Teaching science & math through play | KaBOOM!.

Origami Club Afterschool in West Seattle starts Next Week!

Every Tuesday at Lafayette Elementary, have fun exploring math, physics and engineering….what?!

Origami is a creative, fun way for kids ages 7-12 to learn core principles of math while creating art.

Each day will focus on a new pattern including some of the these fun projects: flowers, rockets, paper airplanes, hats and other wearable paper pieces. As skills advance, more complex patterns, such as castles can be built. Kids will have guidance while making something of their own choosing.

Winter Quarter Classes will be at Lafayette Elementary is from 3:45-5:15 every Tuesday.

Registration is done through the Lafayette Elementary PTA, please email create@mindunwind.org to see if there are spaces left!

 

Reaching for the Better Angels of our Nature – Art Installation by Karah Pino, MAcOM

Reaching for the Better Angels of our Nature - #Artpocalypse @Mind Unwind December 2012 l Installation by Karah Pino

#Artpocalypse @Mind Unwind December 2012 Installation by Karah Pino

I began this piece with the idea that our better nature, the nature of humanity in harmony with the natural world, is just a decision away.  All we have to do is reach for the truth in ourselves.

Artwalk December 13th, 2012 at Mind Unwind Gallery in West Seattle.  “Artpocalypse” happening all day December 21st, 2012

Mixed Media “Chime”delier
Vellum Origami Folded Angels
Oil Paint on Industrial Scrap Plastic sheets
Indian Brass Bells

Installation Photo Gallery:

Roosted in the Angels NestThe Light that Shines WithinAwakening to the Gentle Chimes Our own Clarion Call

Reaching for the Better Angels of our Nature – #Artpocalypse December 2012 Final Installation by Karah Pino

Each angel with bell and blessing $120.  
$20 to the artist and $100 to the Mind Unwind Foundation bringing vital Creative Arts programs into local schools and Community Centers in partnership with other local Creative Arts programs.  The Creative Arts are the foundation of natural learning and critical thinking, building the capacity for developing life skills including math and science .

Origami Artist, Karah Pino graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Art in 1998 with experience in Jewelry and other Metalworking, digital production, graphic design, and paper arts.  She is currently an Artists in Residence at Mind Unwind Gallery,  teaching paper arts to children and meditation to adults with a focus on Origami and Creative Collaborations!

Brain Waves Stay Tuned to Early Lessons – NYTimes.com

Brain Waves Stay Tuned to Early Lessons – NYTimes.com.

When children learn to play a musical instrument, they strengthen a range of auditory skills. Recent studies suggest that these benefits extend all through life, at least for those who continue to be engaged with music.

But a study published last month is the first to show that music lessons in childhood may lead to changes in the brain that persist years after the lessons stop.

Researchers at Northwestern University recorded the auditory brainstem responses of college students — that is to say, their electrical brain waves — in response to complex sounds. The group of students who reported musical training in childhood had more robust responses — their brains were better able to pick out essential elements, like pitch, in the complex sounds when they were tested. And this was true even if the lessons had ended years ago.

Indeed, scientists are puzzling out the connections between musical training in childhood and language-based learning — for instance, reading. Learning to play an instrument may confer some unexpected benefits, recent studies suggest.

We aren’t talking here about the “Mozart effect,” the claim that listening to classical music can improve people’s performance on tests. Instead, these are studies of the effects of active engagement and discipline. This kind of musical training improves the brain’s ability to discern the components of sound — the pitch, the timing and the timbre.

“To learn to read, you need to have good working memory, the ability to disambiguate speech sounds, make sound-to-meaning connections,” said Professor Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University. “Each one of these things really seems to be strengthened with active engagement in playing a musical instrument.”

Skill in appreciating the subtle qualities of sound, even against a complicated and noisy background, turns out to be important not just for a child learning to understand speech and written language, but also for an elderly person struggling with hearing loss.

In a study of those who do keep playing, published this summer, researchers found that as musicians age, they experience the same decline in peripheral hearing, the functioning of the nerves in their ears, as nonmusicians. But older musicians preserve the brain functions, the central auditory processing skills that can help you understand speech against the background of a noisy environment.

“We often refer to the ‘cocktail party’ problem — or imagine going to a restaurant where a lot of people are talking,” said Dr. Claude Alain, assistant director of the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto and one of the authors of the study. “The older adults who are musically trained perform better on speech in noise tests — it involves the brain rather than the peripheral hearing system.”

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are approaching the soundscape from a different point of view, studying the genetics of absolute, or perfect, pitch, that ability to identify any tone. Dr. Jane Gitschier, a professor of medicine and pediatrics who directs the study there, and her colleagues are trying to tease out both the genetics and the effects of early training.

“The immediate question we’ve been trying to get to is what are the variants in people’s genomes that could predispose an individual to have absolute pitch,” she said. “The hypothesis, further, is that those variants will then manifest as absolute pitch with the input of early musical training.”

Indeed, almost everyone who qualifies as having truly absolute pitch turns out to have had musical training in childhood (you can take the test and volunteer for the study at http://perfectpitch.ucsf.edu/study/).

Alexandra Parbery-Clark, a doctoral candidate in Dr. Kraus’s lab and one of the authors of a paper published this year on auditory working memory and music, was originally trained as a concert pianist. Her desire to go back to graduate school and study the brain, she told me, grew out of teaching at a French school for musically talented children, and observing the ways that musical training affected other kinds of learning.

“If you get a kid who is maybe 3 or 4 years old and you’re teaching them to attend, they’re not only working on their auditory skills but also working on their attention skills and their memory skills — which can translate into scholastic learning,” she said.

Now Ms. Parbery-Clark and her colleagues can look at recordings of the brain’s electrical detection of sounds, and they can see the musically trained brains producing different — and stronger — responses. “Now I have more proof, tangible proof, music is really doing something,” she told me. “One of my lab mates can look at the computer and say, ‘Oh, you’re recording from a musician!’ ”

Many of the researchers in this area are themselves musicians interested in the plasticity of the brain and the effects of musical education on brain waves, which mirror the stimulus sounds. “This is a response that actually reflects the acoustic elements of sound that we know carry meaning,” Professor Kraus said.

There’s a fascination — and even a certain heady delight — in learning what the brain can do, and in drawing out the many effects of the combination of stimulation, application, practice and auditory exercise that musical education provides. But the researchers all caution that there is no one best way to apply these findings.

Different instruments, different teaching methods, different regimens — families need to find what appeals to the individual child and what works for the family, since a big piece of this should be about pleasure and mastery. Children should enjoy themselves, and their lessons. Parents need to care about music, not slot it in as a therapeutic tool.

“We want music to be recognized for what it can be in a person’s life, not necessarily, ‘Oh, we want you to have better cognitive skills, so we’re going to put you in music,’ ” Ms. Parbery-Clark said. “Music is great, music is fantastic, music is social — let them enjoy it for what it really is.”


This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 11, 2012

A previous version of this post contained an incorrect hyperlink for a paper by Alexandra Parbery-Clark.

Crafted by Kids: Delicious Recipes from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

First Look: Delicious Recipes from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

Posted by Colleen Curtis on August 17, 2012

On Monday August 20, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome 54 talented young chefs to the White House for the first-ever Kids State Dinner. The guests — ages 8-12 — are all winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, and each of them created an original recipe that is healthy, original and affordable, and contains the five food groups (fruits, veggies, protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains).

The recipes have been gathered into a digital cookbook, which will be published by Epicurious and available as a free download starting this week. But we’re previewing a few of them here — just click the links below and get cooking!

via First Look: Delicious Recipes from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge | Let’s Move!.