Fun ways to help kids enjoy math, science and art

Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) concepts are especially important for young minds. While these are among the most challenging school subjects, at home, these topics can be brought to life through play.

“Children should be encouraged to endlessly explore their creativity and be provided outlets to continuously discover through creative play,” says Hiu Lee, senior VP of Horizon Group USA, a leader in the creative DIY marketplace.

Consider these items that allow children to put real-world science theories to the test while learning fun facts along the way.

Lab Work

A kid’s activity kit gives little scientists an opportunity to start creating. With the Project MC2 Lip Balm Lab, kids can create single- or multi-layer lip balms. This kit includes all of the ingredients required, plus kids can decorate the finished product with science-themed stickers.

Chemistry Connection

Transform your kitchen into a scientific laboratory with the 40 fun and interactive experiments and simple chemical reactions found in the Discovery Extreme Chemistry Set. From creating temperature reactions to testing your taste buds, these hands-on experiments are great for parents and kids to do together. Create liquid ice, work through color-changing litmus experiments, create creepy, crawly, slimy worms and more to show children just how connected to chemistry the world around them is.

Science That Glows

Illuminate your child’s knowledge by combining simple chemistry with glowing power. With the Think Box Glowing Science Lab, kids can explore the basics of chemical compounds and reactions, while creating their own glow-in-the-dark toys and science experiments. The kit includes a ball mold, glow-in-the-dark power ball crystals, zinc sulfate, baking soda, citric acid, guar gum, sodium tetraborate, resealable bags, glow-in-the-dark paint, a mixing stick and a fun poster with instructions.

Bath Time Bubbles

Mix together compounds, add color and shimmer, and create a molded bath bomb in the shape of your choice with YOUniverse Galactic Bath Bombs. Once you have made your creations, pop them into the bath tub and watch as they fizz and bubble.

By giving kids the tools they need to explore the world around them, you can make the most of play time. -StatePoint

Posted on January 27, 2018 .

Help kids get the most out of music education

As the list of known benefits of music education grows, you may be wondering how you can help your kids get the most out of their efforts. Here are five ways to help make music education a success.

1. Be encouraging. Learning music is hard work, but it shouldn’t feel that way. Keep it positive and be encouraging. Fostering a love of music is only possible if a child enjoys practicing and playing. If your child is taking lessons, be sure that is or her teacher practices a similar philosophy.

2. Get practical. Incorporate practical engagement and games to make it fun. For example, learn new musical words with body actions like clapping and stomping, so students can better understand the rhythm and music through movement.

3. Be contemporary. Many kids will prefer playing what they already know and love. If your child is learning to play piano or keyboard, consider a new digital instrument that makes learning the latest tunes easy, such as Casio’s LK-265 keyboard. Outfitted with lighted keys, a voice fingering guide, and a Step-up Lesson System, beginners are able to learn built-in songs at their own individual pace. The instrument can also connect to Casio’s Chordana Play app -- a free app that displays the correct keyboard position for both hands in real-time. The app is expandable through downloadable MIDI files, so students can customize lessons to their taste.

4. Pace yourself. Every child has his or her own musical aptitude and passion for learning. To ensure that your kids are neither overwhelmed nor bored, discover the pace that works best for each individual and don’t pressure anyone into rushing or slowing down.

5. Set goals. Whether it’s working to perfect a particular song, or it’s practicing for a talent show, setting achievable goals can be a great motivation for budding musicians. -StatePoint

Posted on January 27, 2018 .

Theater season announced at Ohio State Newark

The Black Box Theater at The Ohio State University at Newark has released its 2017-2018 season. Directing this season will be Edie L. Norlin, education and theatre lecturer at Ohio State Newark.

Doubt: a Parable by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright John Patrick Shanley will open the season on Nov. 9. In this brilliant and powerful drama, Sister Aloysius, a Bronx school principal, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with one of the 12-year-old male students. Equity Actor Susan Pingleton* will make a special appearance as Sr. Aloysius Beauvier. *Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 9 and will run through Sat., Nov. 11 and again Nov. 16-18. Additionally, there will be two matinees at 2 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 12 and 19. The production is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Opening just in time for Valentine’s Day is Love Letters by A.R. Gurney starring local favorites Dennis Kohler and Edie Norlin. This two-character play follows the relationship between an affluent man and a free-spirited woman, throughout their lives from childhood to death, as chronicled in the letters they write to each other.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 14; Thurs., Feb. 15; and Fri., Feb. 16. The production is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Closing out the season in April is George Axelrod’s Goodbye Charlie. Shot by a jealous husband, Charlie falls out of a porthole and is lost at sea only to find himself returned as an attractive blond woman. His best friend is staying at his house as he puts Charlie’s affairs in order and after being convinced, finds himself an unwilling helper in Charlie’s new plan to marry into money.

Performances are Thurs., Apr. 5 and will run through Sat., Apr. 7 and again Apr. 12-14. The curtain opens at 8 p.m. Additionally, there will be two matinees at 2 p.m. on Sun., Apr. 8 and 15. This production is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

All performances are held at the Black Box Theater in LeFevre Hall located on the shared campus of Ohio State Newark and Central Ohio Technical College at 1199 University Drive, Newark, OH 43055. General admission is $10 and student tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door. For more information, contact Norlin at enorlin.123@osu.edu.

Posted on July 25, 2017 .

The art of the seam! Chrysler Museum honors baseball folk artist

(NewsUSA) - All artists have one thing in common -- they start with a blank canvas.

In the case of George Sosnak, a folk artist whose work is being exhibited through August at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va., his canvas of choice happened to be a part of America's favorite pastime -- baseball.

To understand the artist, you have to understand the medium, its history, and the man behind the art.

It was around this small, leather ball that the artist found a way to express his love of the game.

While Sosnak was passionate about baseball, he was athletically unskilled as a player. So, he did the next best thing -- he became an umpire. After World War II, he landed in the Pioneer League for the 1956-1958 seasons, later going on to umpire in the Three-I League (Iowa, Idaho, and Indiana) and Southern Association, before both leagues folded. With that, his dream of becoming a Major League umpire died.

The Artist Within Emerges

His calling to art came in the form of an odd request from a female fan while he was umpiring a game in Idaho in 1956: Could he paint her favorite player on a baseball?

From there, the seed of an idea began and became an outlet for Sosnak to maintain his passion and connection to baseball in a way that he had never envisioned.

Demand soon followed -- from politicians to U.S. presidents to baseball players and fans to foreign dignitaries, sportswriters, churches, and charities. On occasion, Sosnak would be paid for his work; oftentimes, he would give the baseball to the player, person, or organization as a gift.

Over time, as with any artist, Sosnak's technique developed to the point that baseballs became murals for his work. Using India ink, Sosnak would meticulously and elaborately cover the ball with microscopic text and colorful backgrounds. Many times, he would include logos from a certain team, using arcane material that he researched, commemorating everything from a player's stats to the night of Aug. 6, 1967 when Dean Chance of the Minnesota Twins pitched a perfect no-hitter against the Red Sox for five innings before the game was called because of rain.

Collectors Abound

Before his death in 1992, auction houses believe Sosnak created somewhere between 800 and 3,000 baseballs. As for worth, prices started creeping up posthumously as more people realized the individuality of his work. In 2009, the market was anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars for a ball.

For fans who may not be able to afford a Sosnak baseball but would love to see his work, the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA., is exhibiting his baseballs until Aug. 27. Admission is free.

"His work combines the whimsical, artistic expression with endless statistics and game descriptions, that are so beloved by baseball fans," says Susan Leidy, deputy director of the museum.

"Even if you're not a folk art fan, it's fun to see every possible detail about someone's career [because] everything is on these balls in the tiniest possible writing."

For more information, visit www.chrysler.org.

Posted on July 24, 2017 .

How to make practicing music fun for kids

While many children enthusiastically elect to study music, not all of them stick with the program. This is because many kids are surprised by the challenges associated with learning to play an instrument.

If you are familiar with the many benefits of music education, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help kids commit to practicing. From learning to read music to getting comfortable with an instrument, the process of becoming a musician is rife with challenges and potential frustrations. But by making it fun, you will give kids more of an incentive to stick with it.

Make it Personal

While music lessons in the past may have followed a very structured formula, today there is an endless wealth of music available online. This gives students more opportunities to personalize their lessons, even at the earliest stages of music education. As kids make progress, let them pick out increasingly challenging songs they want to learn to play. They will be motivated to hone their skills as they begin to see doing so as an opportunity to play more of their favorite music.

Use New Technologies

When selecting instruments for kids, consider newer interactive technologies that can make music more fun and aid the learning process. For example, the LK-265, a lighted 61-key keyboard with a Dance Music Mode, which allows kids to get creative while composing and remixing electronic dance music.

Tools like Casio’s Voice Fingering Guide, the Step-up Lesson System and Lesson Lite enable beginners to learn built-in songs at their own individual pace. The keyboard also is compatible with an app that allows you to import any standard MIDI file off the Internet, giving users opportunities to learn what they want. Its LCD display and light up function help students master both music notation and correct hand positioning. Users can also track their progress in a way that is fun, with the keyboard’s Scoring System. For more information, visit casiomusicgear.com.

Get Together

One tried and true method for making music fun is camaraderie. Encourage your child to join the school band or orchestra. These programs can introduce students to a wide-range of instruments, musical styles and theory, and help them make lifelong friendships. Many programs will carry them throughout high school. Or, if they prefer, help them form a musical ensemble or band with friends or family at home.

To help your children develop a long-lasting appreciation for music, you can provide them with opportunities to learn and play in ways that are fun and engaging. - StatePoint

Posted on July 15, 2017 .

The Tuscarawas Philharmonic to host the Kent Dance Ensemble for a thrilling performance

On June 3rd, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic will take the stage of the Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center, along with the Kent Dance Ensemble, to deliver an exciting performance of Music and Dance.

The program will be chock full of popular tunes, with surprises and thrills thrown in for good measure. The orchestra and guests will perform a variety of music and dance treats, including classic works by Grieg, Holst, Respighi, and Strauss.

The Kent Dance Ensemble is a student dance company in the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University. The group will join the orchestra along with choreographers Kim Karpanty, Joan Meggitt, MaryAnn Black and Barbara Allegra Verlezza.

Among other works, the dance ensemble will perform to Leonard Bernstein’s “Three Dance Episodes” from On the Town; and the dancers will add extra flair to the premiere of “Fantasia on Libertango,” a new work by Conductor Eric Benjamin, which features Elaine Anderson, cello.

Melanie Winn, soprano, will join the orchestra for Joseph Canteloube’s “Bailero” from Songs of the Auvergne. And three local soloists—Chad Roberts, Tom Morris, and Larry Sams—will perform Bernstein’s “New York, New York.”

Make a full evening of it by attending the pre-concert fundraising event in the lobby. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Philharmonic will host a wine tasting event, featuring many local wineries serving their best offerings. Concert-going guests will receive a special Tuscarawas Philharmonic stemless wine glass with vouchers for each winery. Also included is a ballot for selecting a favorite winery at the event. 

At the end of the concert, the winning winery will be announced, and their wines will be featured at the Performing Arts Center for the 2017-18 Philharmonic season. Participating wineries include Baltic Mill Winery, Breitenbach Winery, Casella Winery, Raven’s Glenn Winery, and Swiss Heritage Winery. Tickets for this special fundraising event are $15 per person and will be available at the door.

Music and Dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center.

Tickets for the concert are available at www.TuscarawasPhilharmonic.org or by calling the Performing Arts Center box office at 330-308-6400. Tickets range from $24-$36 with student and senior discounts available. 

Guarantors of Music and Dance are Dover-Phila Federal Credit Union, Progressive Foam Technologies, Mary Renkert Wendling Foundation and WTUZ FM 99.9; sponsors are Zimmer Surgical and Dover Chemical Corporation.

Posted on May 12, 2017 .