Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Singing Tree Marble Run!

Greetings! It is Barbara Riffert Glick the Central California Account Manager at Discount School Supply®. This is the time of the year that many of us are starting to think about moving learning environments inside and about new wonderful items to keep the children engaged. The Singing Tree Marble Run (SINGTREE) from Discount School Supply® is a wonderful product that can be used in the home as well as the classroom.

Children will enjoy the sturdy wood construction of the colorful tree. As wooden balls wind down along its branches, the “singing tree” creates tones similar to those of a vibraphone or xylophone, which is so much more calming than the sound of metal instruments. The wooden balls included with the tree are of different sizes, so they cause tonal changes. Children may also try different rolling objects to create experiments with sound.

When we display the Singing Tree Marble Run in the Discount School Supply® booth at early education conferences, I love watching teachers gather around it. They really enjoy watching and listening to the tree. And in just the same way, the Singing Tree fosters social interaction among children. This is one of those great gathering devices for children of different ages, sizes and developmental levels who can all play together and have a wonderful experience. In addition to its music, the Singing Tree Marble Run offers learning opportunities about color, gravity, and cause and effect as it develops fine motor and listening skills.

Please see the video below for more information!

The Singing Tree Marble Run is in the Manipulatives section of the Discount School Supply® catalog, and it’s in the Music Domain in the Discount School Supply Head Start catalog. I hope you’ll look for it, and I’d love to hear about your experiences with this product or any others you choose from Discount School Supply.

* originally published on 4/5/12

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Center Board in Action!

Hi! My name is Loretta Ehrhart, and I develop products for Discount School Supply®. My two children aged 2 and 6 have served as an unwitting focus group over the years. Countless prototypes and samples from “Mommy’s office” have been tested and tried out and refined with their input.

I’m always so pleased to see one of the finished products that I developed go on to be used in my own children’s classrooms. About a year ago I finished work on Our Center Board (CNTBOARD). It’s a great tool to help teachers manage center time in the classroom; but, even better, it allows the children to become involved in managing themselves, too. In August, my older son Rainier started first grade. At back-to-school night, his teacher explained that she sets up learning centers and schedules a few times a week for the children to work independently at each of the centers. The centers reinforce daily lessons in math, reading, spelling and writing.
When I asked her how the children know where to go and what to do, I was so pleased to hear that she uses Our Center Board to help her! During the first week of school, she took a photo of each child, and put each child’s photo into one of the red photo pouches included with the product.

She hung the Our Center Board in a central location and explained its use to the children. The children know which centers are open by checking to see which illustrated Center Cards are in the pockets. If there is limited seating or access, the teacher will place a specific number of yellow sticky “dots” under the appropriate center card. The children’s photos are lined up along the bottom of the chart, easy for them to access. They select their red photo pouch and place it under the Center Card for the center they wish to visit. If time allows for multiple visits, they can move their photo to another place on the board to indicate where they are. The teacher and the children can see at a glance which centers are full and which have room for more.

The teacher reported that, after a day or two, they all got to know the rules and the routine and can now function quite well and very independently, practicing skills like self-regulation and time management.

Next, she plans to take photos of her centers and use them in Our Center Board in place of the generic illustrated cards. That way she will make Our Center Board that much more meaningful to the children and distinctively “Ours.”.

I look forward to visiting Rainier’s classroom soon to observe Our Center Board in action.

Be sure to watch the video below for more information!
* originally published on 3/22/12

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Insta-Snow® is Great for Indoor Activities!

Hello. I’m Regina Eardley, Discount School Supply® Account Manager for South Texas. I’ve been working with children and art for more than 15 years, and I have found many art materials that children really enjoy. But I think that Insta-Snow® creates Insta-Fun!

Even if the weather outside isn’t frightful, you will find Insta-Snow® (SNO) delightful! As an educator I have found so many wonderful things to do with this product. And it’s something that can be adaptable for students of most ages and abilities.
This polymer product comes in a powder form and when mixed with water grows to more than one hundred times its size to create a wonderful sensory product with the look and feel of real snow. I use the twist-top Nancy™ bottles (NANTWS) filled with approximately 4 ounces of cold water and about ½ scoop of the powder to produce about two cups of snow. You can use water at room temperature, but if you use cold water it really feels like snow. I love the reaction of someone touching it for the first time. I hear comments like, “Oh, it’s really cold to the touch!” or “It really feels like snow!”

There are many fun ways to incorporate Insta-Snow® into your daily lessons. I love lessons that can cross curriculum areas such as math, science, language arts, geography and art. Here are some of the things I have done with students. To begin, I have two students paired at a 14” x 8 1/2” tub. I like the translucent bins with lids in clear (BBCL, BBLCL) or aqua (BBCA, BBLCA). One student will measure out 1/4 scoop of Insta-Snow® powder. The second student will hold his hands cupped together over the bin. The powder is poured into the second student’s hands along with about 2 ounces of water from the twist-top Nancy™ bottle. After the snow has formed, we repeat the process, allowing the students to switch roles. This gives each student an opportunity to measure the substance and feel the chemical change taking place in her hands. When both students have completed the process, I have them repeat it. But this time, instead of using plain cold water in the Nancy™ bottles, fill them with one of two primary colors of Liquid Watercolor™: red, blue, or yellow. For example, one student may use blue and the other student may use yellow. When they each add their colors, the snow will begin to turn green because blue and yellow make green. They have just completed both a science lesson on chemical change and an art lesson on color-mixing.

We take the project a step further by putting a lid on the container. The bins have a nice slot for an index card, so I like to label the bins with the student’s name and the date on which we did the project. We set the bins on a shelf in the room, and each day we graph how long it takes to begin to see condensation on the lid. We discuss absorption and how the water is separating from the powder. This is a great way to introduce academic language and teach basic math graphing skills.

During the weeks we are watching the condensation, we may also introduce a literacy lesson and read stories with a snowy setting or write a story or poem about snow. We many also look at our classroom maps or globes and discuss regions that get snowfall and those that don’t.

In South Texas, my students don’t see snow frequently, and, if they do, it is usually very short-lived. This product offers an exciting, interactive way to experience snow, and it is an opportunity to develop knowledge across the curriculum. Insta-Snow® comes in two economical sizes including a 100 gram jar or a 454 gram class size, and it can be found in the science section of our catalog or on our website at

So, if you are looking for a great hands-on activity for the classroom, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…Insta-Snow®, that is! Your students will love it.

* originally published on 1/12/12

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Colorations® Wheat and Gluten Free Dough Helps Children with Food Allergies!

Hi! My name is Allison Craig, I am the Customer Product Advisor, and I have worked at Discount School Supply® for 16 years.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my position is to help parents and caregivers find products to meet their child’s needs due to allergies.

According to the Asthma, Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 6% of allergy sufferers have food/drug allergies as their primary allergy. Food allergy is more common among children than adults, and 90% of all food allergy reactions are caused by only eight foods: milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

Discount School Supply® has many products to meet the needs of children with food allergies. Discover them all on the Discount School Supply® website at Common-Allergen-Free products.

My personal favorite allergen-free product is Colorations® Wheat & Gluten-Free Dough (COLORDO). It comes in a 5 ½ lb. bucket with eight individually-wrapped, assorted vibrant colors. It is soft, pliable, long-lasting, easy to clean up, and it works well with all of our clay tools.

Colorations® Wheat & Gluten Free Dough is perfect for the classroom or at home. It can be used with children young and older, so, no matter the age, it provides hours of fun for all. Plus, it’s so affordable! You just can’t go wrong with this great dough. It’s an excellent sensory tool, and it’s great for developing fine motor skills. It also promotes problem-solving and social skills when children are sitting at the table together, sharing ideas and discussing creative options.

So sit down and have some fun with our Colorations® Wheat & Gluten-Free Dough!

Be sure to visit us online at Discount School Supply® and check out all of our Common-Allergen-Free products.

Watch our video for more information:
* originally published on 3/8/2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sunprint® Kit to the Rescue!

Hi, I’m Laurel Johnston of the Discount School Supply® Sales team. I have had a great time playing with so many of our amazing products, but one of my favorites is the Discount School Supply® Sunprint® Kit (SUNPRINT).

A friend of mine -- who happens to be a curriculum developer -- was looking for an activity to accompany a science lesson about sunlight. She needed the activity to be hands-on and something that a group of children of multiple ages could enjoy. Many activities she researched were too complex for younger kids; however, she wanted the activity to challenge older kids as well as younger ones, so it couldn’t be too simplistic. She also wanted something eco-friendly and low-mess since she wanted to encourage teachers to complete the activity outside in a natural setting. She was stumped.

Discount School Supply® to the rescue! I suggested she try our Sunprint® Kit. It’s super easy to use for children of all abilities, exciting for people of all ages, and a great, no-mess activity.

The kit comes with light-sensitive paper that children can use to create interesting and one-of-a-kind prints. They can use items from nature, found items, paper cut outs or any favorite object to place onto the special paper. Exposing the paper to sunlight for a few minutes will create a reaction on the areas of the paper where there is no object covering it. The paper will turn white, and, after rinsing with water, the prints will appear. Anywhere an object touched the paper (and blocked the sunlight) the image will appear! This proved to be a great science activity that teachers could use in classrooms and with children of many ages.

Check out this video about this great product and to see more ideas for cool creations kids can make with the Sunprint® Kit available at Discount School Supply®.

* originally published on 2/23/12

Monday, October 22, 2012

Visit Booth # 1720 at NAEYC®!

Discount School Supply® is a proud sponsor of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC®) and this time of year we are busy preparing for the NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo which takes place Nov. 7-10 in Atlanta, GA. Thousands of early childhood professionals will attend the conference to attend workshops, listen to experts in the field and to visit the display booths of early childhood supply vendors and other companies that serve the education marketplace. Our booth (#1720) will have free crafts, a “Wheel of Fun” with amazing prizes, new products on display, contest entries and friendly Discount School Supply® staff ready to answer any questions and listen to educators’ supply needs.

All of the elements in our huge Discount School Supply® booth take a lot of coordination and planning to be sure that everything makes it to the conference center on time, and that all booth areas have all the items they need for a successful show. NAEYC® conference time is an especially busy time for the departments who coordinate all of the booth elements: Brand Marketing, Graphics, Merchandising, Sales, Operations, and, of course, the intrepid travel coordinator who handles travel, lodging and unexpected crises for all of us! These crews work day and night to be sure everything for our booth gets set up as planned, and that the conference runs smoothly.

We hope you'll stop by the Discount School Supply® booth #1720 where we'll showcase a wide variety of early childhood educational products. In our booth you can explore fun-filled arts and crafts activities at our make-and-take tables, spin the ever-popular "Wheel of Fun" to win terrific prizes and enter a contest to win your choice of an Angeles® crib or MyRider® trike. Each day we'll have educational consultant Sharron Krull on hand to get everyone moving with her “Circle Time” demonstrations! While at our booth, be sure to check out our popular furniture collections and browse our innovative products in Arts & Crafts, Active Play, Curriculum, Special Needs, Infant & Toddler and more!

We're looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beach Explorations with Moon Sand®!

Hello. I’m Amy Foley, an Educational Consultant with Discount School Supply® based in Ohio. Although I am new to Discount School Supply®, I have worked with teachers in early childhood classrooms for the last 10 years.

Growing up in Central Ohio, I didn’t get a chance to see or feel sand on a beach until I was a teenager. Finally, we went to spend two weeks over the 4th of July holiday, and I can still remember that feeling of warmth and calm between my toes. Do you remember what it felt like the first time you felt sand between your toes?
Everyone can get that same feeling with Moon Sand® (PMOONSET) from Discount School Supply®. Let your senses be excited with this unique product that shapes into whatever you ask it to- sand castles to letters and anything in between. Moon Sand® is specially coated sand that molds without adding water, and it retains its shape until you want to make something new.

Little ones will love using simple shovels and rakes (SHOVRK8) to play and practice gross motor skills while others may want to mold T-Rex dinosaur bones with our sand molds (EXBONES). My personal favorite would be to practice letter recognition with our Uppercase Alphabet Sand Molds (CAPITAL). By filling these primary colored sand molds with red, blue or yellow Moon Sand®, children can recognize and practice their letter recognition and learn to spell their names. What fun!

Where to store and use my Moon Sand®? How about a sand activity tub (TUBS)? Or for toddlers, the Sand and Water Table with Shelf (2856) keeps your Moon Sand® clean and fresh, while storing your sand toys underneath on the birch shelf.

Moon Sand® is sure to offer hours and hours of fun, educational play time for kids of any age: preschoolers to grandparents and anyone who loves to remember that first time they felt the sand in their hands and between their toes.

Watch our video for more information!

* originally published on 2/9/12

Thursday, September 6, 2012

IncredibleFoam® Dough: Delightful, No Mess Art

Hello, I am Anna Reyner and I am the Southern California Account Manager for Discount School Supply®. I love learning about new art products and teaching children and preschool teachers about new art techniques in the classroom. Here is one of my favorite Discount School Supply® products!

Colorations® IncredibleFoam® Dough (FOAMMIX) is a light modeling compound (think substitute for clay) that’s wonderful to touch, squish, and sculpt into 3-dimensional art. It comes in dozens of colors and it’s an inspiration for creative young minds, like 4-year-old Jordan pictured here. Does he look proud of himself or what? Jordan came up with this idea on his own, by pressing several colors of IncredibleFoam® Dough onto an 11" x 17” piece of construction paper, then later gluing down the pieces with white glue so they’d stick.

Colorations® IncredibleFoam® Dough also makes a great small group activity, as illustrated by this collaborative artwork. A small cluster of school- age students created a picture by working together and pressing IncredibleFoam® Dough onto the tabletop where they were seated. Each child was given a different color of IncredibleFoam® Dough to start, and they were asked to work cooperatively to decide on a theme and create one unified picture. I loved the result, as well as the teamwork it inspired.

Other 3-D figures and sculptures can be created in simple or more complex fashion, depending on a child’s age and interests. We’ve created them here on paper plates so they’re easier to carry around, and they can later be glued down onto the paper if desired.

Whether you apply IncredibleFoam® Dough to paper, or shape it into a freestanding 3-D sculpture, it looks great and is always easy and fun to work with. And did I mention it doesn’t make a mess? IncredibleFoam® Dough is clean, soft, and mess-free, yet it’s also completely open ended so it brings out children’s natural creativity. Plus, it never dries out, even if you forget to bag up the leftovers. Experiment with it yourself, and you’ll find that IncredibleFoam® Dough holds lots of discoveries. It even floats! Imagine making little boats for your sand and water table, or combine it with collage elements like the Shining Star Rhinestones, Sparkle Stem pipe cleaners, and Colorations® Washable School Glue pictured below.

The IncredibleFoam® Dough Classroom Pack is my favorite, since the color cubes are a delight to look at and easy to distribute. But, you can also purchase IncredibleFoam® Dough in a larger Set of 7 Basic Colors or a smaller Sampler Pack. However you try it, you’re guaranteed a lot of active learning and pure sensory delight!

Watch the video below for more ideas:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Colorations® Best Value Dough Is Versatile!

My name is Barbara Wolfmueller, and I am the North Carolina Account Manager for Discount School Supply®. I’ve been working with DSS for over nine years now and have really grown to love the early childhood education community and discovering ways in which our customers use our proprietary products. It gives me great pleasure to hear such positive comments about the quality of our products and how early childhood programs and students throughout the state of North Carolina benefit from our materials.

One of my favorite products is our Colorations® Best Value Dough (BVRD). It has a very smooth texture and doesn’t feel sticky to the touch. It comes in large three-pound re-sealable containers, and the set is available in bright classic colors that make it fun for children to play with. The set is also economically priced, which is an added bonus when so many of our public schools, Smart Start Partnerships and childcare programs have been affected by the state’s budget cuts.

My niece Lynsey recently moved to Raleigh, NC from Buffalo, NY and took a position with an early childhood center as a Pre-K teacher. In her position, she uses play dough frequently for teaching cooperative play by dividing the dough into smaller pieces, children can learn the importance of sharing with each other. The dough can be shaped, poked, squeezed and manipulated in many ways. It really gives children the opportunity for self-expression in their play.

One of the lessons that Lynsey likes to teach is asking her kids to use the dough to shape different letters or numbers. Sometimes her lessons using dough are structured, and, at other times, she allows her kids to create one of their favorite pets or objects.

Using our clay cutting tools (CLAYSET) and rollers (DOROLL), her children can use their little fingers and wrists to manipulate the dough, which improves their manual dexterity and strengthens their grip. Colorations® Best Value Dough also fosters hand-eye coordination, helping a child’s brain to take shape. It’s really a diverse product and makes a tremendous impact in her classroom each day.

For a fun and versatile product that children will enjoy in their classroom I highly recommend our Colorations® Best Value Dough. The price will fit easily into your budget!

Watch this video for more information!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Construct Instantly Without Adhesives!

Hello! I’m Shirley Daniel and I’m an Account Manager here at Discount School Supply®. As a member of the Inside Sales team - and a rep for five states - I am often called upon to recommend multi-use, “budget- friendly” products for the preschool classroom. One of the most versatile arts and craft products in our catalog is Bright Magic Nuudles™ (BN). A great open-ended craft material, Bright Magic Nuudles™ are lightweight – made from corn starch – and they are wood-free and biodegradable.

They can be used to make creative constructions or to add fun dimension to drawings or collage projects. The possibilities are endless and the results are as unique as the junior artists creating them. Their bright colors stimulate the imagination and inspire a variety of inventive creations.

Just dampen Magic Nuudles™ with water and they stick together – so no glue or tape has to be used. Also, they can be broken or cut into smaller pieces or shaped by hand, which means they can be used safely by even the youngest artists.

Their use is not just limited to art projects and construction. They can be used for color and size matching activities - or they can be a fun math manipulative, perfect for patterning, sequencing, sorting or counting activities.

Another great feature - they do not contain the following common allergens: Latex, Dairy & Casein, Egg, Gluten, Peanut or Tree Nuts.

I highly recommend adding Bright Magic Nuudles™ to your next order, and you will see imagination take flight in a flurry of colorful, creative fun!

Watch the video below for more information!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Magna-Tiles® Great for Creative Play!

Hello, my name is Kate Meade and I manage the furniture category for Discount School Supply®. I am also the mother of a very imaginative 8-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder about five years ago. One thing that I realized early on was his fascination with shapes, sorting, and how things go together. I sought out learning materials that would encourage his development, and Magna-Tiles® (LTMAG100) fit that need perfectly.

I have seen my son sit for long periods of time, first sorting the tiles by shape, then by color, and then he would stack them in neat, orderly columns. Finally, when every tile had been sorted to his satisfaction, he began to build. Sometimes the structures he built were quite ordinary -- a house, a car, a pyramid. However, sometimes his imagination took flight and he manipulated the magnetic tiles to become a broccoli-eating robot, a sun and moon that he could “eclipse”, or a time machine that would take him back in time to meet his favorite dinosaurs.

Beyond the basic play value of this set of tiles, there were aspects of math and science that he did not even realize he was learning. We would count the tiles and ask questions like:
  • “How many large triangles are there?”
  • “How many blue tiles?”
  • “Count the red squares and the green triangles and tell me how many tiles you have.”
  • "If you took away four green triangles and two red squares, how many tiles would you have left?”
  • “What is the difference between an equilateral triangle and an isosceles triangle?”

When he would build something interesting, I would ask him questions about that item. If he was building a house, I would ask about who lived in the house, what their names were, and whether or not they have pets or children. This would lead to discussions of social issues, such as how to meet new friends, or we would talk about family dynamics, or we would just become pirates and sail off on our houseboat to find lost treasure.

The thing I liked the most about this set of Magna-Tiles® was not the colors, the shapes or the creative way they stack together. While those are great aspects of this product, what I really liked the most is the unlimited possibilities that these tiles bring out in young minds. I have always preferred open-ended learning products, and it was wonderful to see my son’s imagination blossom with the use of one simple set of Magna-tiles®. I highly recommend this bright and colorful set of tiles, whether you are using them to teach sorting or math, or just letting your children’s creativity take them wherever their young minds want to go.

For more information, watch our video!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Get Creative with Oodles of Nuudles™!

My name is Kathi Shane. I have been the administrative assistant for the Outside Sales Department for over ten years. One of my main responsibilities is to make sure that our sales representatives have the products they need for their conferences, workshops and sales calls. That’s why I was excited about the opportunity to share Magic Nuudles™ (GNTNDL) with my daughter-in-law, Kim. She teaches a class of energetic three-year-old children in Southern California, and she is always looking for new ideas for art projects.
I wish I could have been in her classroom to experience the joy first-hand, but her pictures confirm that the children loved this product. Have you ever played with the white packing peanuts that accompany your on-line purchases? Magic Nuudles™ are similar in appeal but they offer lots more fun. Just ask the kids! They loved this colorful, earth-friendly medium made from cornstarch.

You can decorate or build most anything with them. No glue or tape is required, simply moisten Nuudles™ lightly and press them together to create interesting shapes and designs.

I encourage you to experience the same excitement with your children. Beautiful rainbows, silly hats, unique shapes……….

Your imagination is the only limit to your Nuudles™ creation……….Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dramatic Play is Fun for Girls and Boys!

My name is Lindy and I am an Administrative Assistant for the Merchandising Department at Discount School Supply®. My favorite task here at Discount School Supply® is to assemble, build, and “test” products.

As a child, I LOVED playing with Barbie®*! Unfortunately growing up in a neighborhood full of boys, no one would ever play them with me (sniff, sniff). So being the social child I was, the next best thing to do was play house. I had the satisfaction of playing with my baby dolls and concocting extravagant recipes for my guests while the neighborhood boys were able to be tractor driving police officers who raced cars on the weekend. Ahhh…memories…

So you can’t believe my excitement when the Modern Family Kitchen (MODERN) came through the door for me to assemble and test! The kitchen is perfectly sized for children to act out their fantasy home lives on a safe and sturdy structure. With the faux stainless steel accents, real turning knobs, and built-in appliances, the Modern Family Kitchen is more like the kitchen a child would find in her own home. There is also plenty of cupboard and refrigerator space to store all the kitchen accessories from pots and pans (like CHEFSET), appliances (like APPLSET), and most importantly food!

I have assembled many items in my time here at Discount School Supply®, and I have to say that this was one exceptionally quick and easy, which leaves lots of time for the children in your classroom to enjoy all the modern comforts of home. Foster creativity, imagination, and confidence in your classroom with this modern edition to your dramatic play area. I’m already dreaming of making chocolate banana chip pancakes with peanut butter cherry syrup on the flat top stove. Oh, how I wish I was a child again…

Watch our video for more information here:

*“Barbie” is a registered trademark of Mattel Inc.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Experiment with Our Large Sunprint® Kit!

My name is Carol Marquez, and I work in the Inside Sales Department here at Discount School Supply®. I take pleasure in my job as an Account Manager and working with customers who also enjoy the many products of Discount School Supply®.

Many times here in the Sales Department we enjoy playing & experimenting with our products.

Recently I tried out the Discount School Supply® Sunprint® Kit (BIGSUN). Since I enjoy photography I thought this would be an interesting experience in creating images using light sensitized paper and the use of sunlight. I was surprised with how fun and easy this project was and what great outcomes; learning about the sun, energy, shapes, science and more.

I experimented with different objects by placing them on the sun art paper, waiting a couple of minutes, and I noticed how images were being created with sunlight and how shadows created partial images too. After rinsing under water, it was exciting to see how the final prints were emerging. After trying sunflowers, plants, leafs and shells, I found the more intricate the object the more detailed a print would arise. The results were great and fascinating pictures!

This is a great outdoor project for any age for experimenting creatively and I would highly recommend trying the large Sunprint® Kit as a fun activity! Be sure to view the video about this product and ideas using the Sunprint® Kit at

Or, you can watch our video now by clicking below!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Using Art to Celebrate Diversity!

My name is Francine Towbridge, and I am an Account Manager for the Washington D.C. area. I take pleasure in working with customers who really love our Discount School Supply® products!

The United States is a very diverse country. I happily reside in a suburb of Washington D.C., and I live in an exciting community with a beautiful mosaic of people and cultures. We all know that technology propels the world and because of the internet we are a global society. Therefore, it is important that children learn lessons of appreciation and tolerance for those that are different from them. Do you remember the Ray Stevens song “Everything Is Beautiful”? It is a song of unity, and it celebrates diversity and the beauty of all people.

The value of art expands beyond theories of color and design. Like music, art projects can be used to teach children valuable lessons of appreciation and tolerance for other cultures. You can celebrate diversity by making beautiful diverse people with Colorations® Multicultural Dough (MDS). I’m inspired by the Ray Stevens song, so I call this activity the Everyone’s Beautiful Art Project!

This project will encourage children to take pride in their own cultural identity while gaining respect and appreciation for others. I believe the children’s positive attitude toward others will help promote peace and harmony in your classroom!

The multicultural dough is affordably priced and it comes in six skin tone colors. It’s non-toxic, does not crumble, and is soft and pliable. It gives children an opportunity to practice their fine motor skills and experience making 3-dimensional art. Also, you will be happy to know that it does not stain surfaces and hands.

The Everyone’s Beautiful Art Project is simple and fun. I found a cute picture on the internet of dough people. In addition to the Colorations® Multicultural Dough you will need paper plates (DIXIE), wiggly eyes (100C), and Colorations® Classic Dough (BVRD). The paper plate serves as your canvas, and you use the multicultural dough to form the faces. The classic dough can be used for making hair, jewelry, etc. Have fun celebrating diversity with this project, and I hope you have a beautiful day!

Watch our video for more information!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Take a Tropical Vacation!

Hi! My name is Cory Smith and I develop and design curriculum products at Discount School Supply®. Curriculum, as in Math, Language, Science, Social Studies…so why am I writing about an art supply like Colorations® Tropical Colored Dough (TROPICAL) you ask? Two main reasons: I have a degree in art, and Colorations® Dough is a useful classroom material for all curriculum areas! Plus, Colorations® Dough is used in several methods of teaching, especially our Colorations® Best-Value Dough – Tropical Colors (TROPICAL).
It’s great! You get three pounds each of six tropical colors including buttercup yellow, sea foam green, lavender, light blue, melon and pink - that’s 18 pounds of top-quality bright and squishy dough! It comes in big, reseal-able plastic tubs that make storing and organizing easy. It can be reused again and again without drying out or crumbling, and it never stains. Plus, it’s non-toxic and doesn’t contain common allergens like latex, dairy and casein, egg, or even peanuts or tree nuts!

Naturally, Colorations® Best-Value Tropical Dough is a perfect fit for your Arts and Crafts curriculum. It provides children with varied opportunities to develop and widen their artistic skills! It targets NAEYC curriculum content areas for Cognitive Development in Creative Expression and Appreciation for the Arts. Plus, it’s excellent for practicing fine motor skills.

But, I like using it outside the world of Arts and Crafts to help widen children’s imaginations, especially when teaching ‘dry’ math skills, like geometry, or retelling the same nursery rhyme over and over. Need a new way? Ask the children to bring the characters in a story to life by modeling them in fantastic fantasy colors! Tropical colors! Who says the cow jumping over the moon can’t be lavender? And boring old geometry? Make the connection between 2-D shapes with 3-D with Tropical Dough! Roll out some dough and cut flat circles, squares, triangles, etc. Ask the children to form buttercup-yellow-colored dough pyramids, melon-colored spheres, or even sea-foam green cylinders and match them to the flat 2-D shape partners. Add faces to the 3-D shapes, name them, and have the shapes tell a story about themselves! I haven’t even mentioned the endless uses and how beautiful our dough is for forming letters of the alphabet and numerals in Tropical Colors – think about the bright future in learning your children will have!

Back to our Tropical Colored Dough and art usage, you could always ‘just’ make a brightly colored dough scene with sea foam green-colored breezy palm trees, a native island woman dressed in buttercup yellow with a pink fruit basket on her head, walking in front of Caribbean light blue-colored houses and call it a day. Wait! That sounds really nice. Make it more beautiful and realistic with Colorations® MultiCultural Dough (MDS)! Plus, add Colorations® Scented Dough (ORANGE) to make the fruit basket on the head of the island woman come to life! You’ll triple imaginations and possibilities when you add additional dough sets for endless combinations!

Watch our video and check out the different varieties of dough we have available below!
Colorations® MultiCultural Dough - 6 lbs. (MDS)
Colorations® Scented Dough - 6 lbs. (ORANGE)
Colorations® Classic Colors Best-Value Dough - 18 lbs. (BVRD)
Enjoy your classroom tropical vacation!