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Bright Ideas for Learning favorite web sites

If you enjoy exploring new and innovative art activities for children, then you will LOVE MaryAnn's favorite websites!

Sites are divided into categories:
1) arts and crafts activities and projects
2) other creative experiences and general advice and information about children
3) art supplies and books

If there's a site you'd like to share with MaryAnn, feel free to e-mail her the URL and she will add it to the list! Please add Bright Ring to your list of favorites too!

Arts and Crafts Activities and Projects Sites

Abrakadoodle Art Classes -
Abrakadoodle offers classes for children ages 20 months to twelve, focusing on process art. has activities for kids, information and ideas for parents, research about arts education and more! Abrakadoodle is one of my favorites of all favorites!

The Imagination Factory -
Find creative ways to make art by recycling junk. Surprisingly good ideas!

Incredible Art Department -
Some of the artsy projects at this site are: Fun with Painting, Dress-up to the Olde Masters, Nature Color, Primary Color Mixing, Painting Without a Paintbrush, Colors for Infants, Melted Colors, Fun Ways to Paint, Foil and String Art, Painting to Music, Dough Recipes, and Paint with Baby Oil.

KidsArt -
The home site of none other than Kim Solga, co-author of our own book, Discovering Great Artists! KidsArt is filled with Kim's art activities for children with free instructions for art projects. Kim offers KidsArt Booklets for children and teachers. There's a wonderful gallery of artwork created by kids.

KinderArt -
Visit the largest collection of free art lessons and art education information on the Internet. When I can't think of a thing to do, I visit KinderArt and in less than five minutes, my art smarts are rejuvenated!

The Perpetual Preschool
One of my top favorites! This site was created to celebrate those who contribute to the perpetual education of young children. Explore such areas as the preschool newstand, bookstore, activities and curriculum suggestions. Don't let the word "preschool" keep you away... these ideas work for many ages.

Preschool Rainbow -
More craft than art, but lots of good ideas, especially holiday and season related.

Rainy Day Ideas for Children -
"Even much worse than a storm or a riot, Is a bunch of kids who are suddenly quiet!" Lots of basic ideas in nice big lettering you can read from across the room.

Scribbles -
Scribbles is a place for children of all ages who love to create art. Explore artists and their artworks. Do simple art projects. Enter fun art contests with great prizes! Submit art which may be displayed at the Scribbles gallery. There's a fun interactive coloring book, paint on line, and games. Bright Ring is proud to be a prize donator and supporter of this superb website for kids and their art.

Other Creative and Child Related Sites

Aluminous Publishing's Aluminum Can Craft Ebooks
Recycle aluminum soda beverage cans to wreaths, baskets, Christmas ornaments, wall hangings, pull-tabs purses with full-size patterns, pictures and instructions. Download, recycle and create!

Artsonia is an online students' art museum showcasing artwork from around the world, including contests, art ideas, and teaching suggestions.

Resources for Kid Artists - New!
Engaging kids in art education at an early age has been proven to have a profound impact on the way they learn and how they view the world. Check out the resources on this page from BetterTextures.

Patricia Cleary Berlin
The phenomenon of Science Art has been one facet of the New York art scene since the 1960's. Patricia C. Berlin was one of the artists who incorporated science in her abstract expressionism. Her work at the Rockefeller University in Manhattan was the lifeblood of her inspiration. She is an artist whose subjects would be magnified 100,000 times before she could begin to paint them. "The world was always changing for me. There was no time that everything stood still. Life has just been one of constant change."

Color with Leo®
The Color with Leo® site nutures a child's boundless creativity and insatiable curiosity. Young Leonardo (Leo) da Vinci guides them through interactive games and activities as they learn the principles of art and other vital educational skills.

Early Childhood Resources-
Early Childhood Resources, is operated by a great person/author/educator/presenter - Kathy Lee. Early Childhood Resources serves early childhood professionals and parents of young children through innovative training and resources, thus promoting quality experiences for young children. Explore the website and see why Kathy Lee is one of MaryAnn's favorite people.

Kids Did It!
Delightful unique artwork created by kids and produced in a variety of ways to enjoy. Check out the creative possibilities from USPS stamps to tote bags.

Miss Jackie Music Company -
Jackie is a personal friend of mine, as well as an educator whom I admire and respect tremendously. Miss Jackie Music Company is dedicated to providing developmentally appropriate books, music and training for teachers, caregivers and parents of young children. Her site shares her books that educate and entertain young children and their parents and teachers. Even listen to some of Jackie's songs at her site!
Nancy Stewart is a Seattle musician who specializes in music for children. Her site will interest teachers and librarians, and has a huge section of music and craftsthat are free to all who visit. Lots of great free information for parents and teachers of young children - including a song of the month (complete with sheet music, activity, and sound!) - and instructions for making and using homemade instruments! You can even learn how to record the freesongs onto a CD to use in the classroom or at home! Visit Nancy and sing your praises!

Natural Learning -
Natural Learning: Print out fingerplays and art, and enjoy songs that will promote learning to read and write. Two of my favorites are Do Wah Diddy Dee to tune of Do Wah Diddy Diddy and The Vowel Song to the tune of Y-M-C-A.

Ooey Gooey, Inc.-
Ooey Gooey, Inc. is an educational consulting firm headed by the Ooey Gooey Lady herself, Lisa Murphy. Lisa brings high-energy, exciting and informative hands-on workshops to teachers, directors, parents and family child care providers. Lisa supports the creation of child-centered environments where children are actively engaged in real, meaningful experiences, not "cute" fluffy time fillers. She is committed to providing parents and educators with the knowledge, facts and research that supports this educational philosophy. Lisa has presented her workshops to thousands. The Ooey Gooey Lady is available for your next conference keynote, parent workshop, staff in-service training or community workshop. MaryAnn loves Lisa’s messages and says Lisa is dynamic and fun — HIGHLY recommended.

Our Kids Press-
Founded in 1997, Our Kids Press is dedicated to publishing and distributing the highest quality children's books and teaching posters that show young children with and without disabilities doing what they love best: playing and learning together in natural, inclusive settings.

Parents' Place Home Page -
This parenting site is a family-run home business offering articles on all kinds of issues relevant to parents, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, baby needs, adolescence, parenting twins, step-parenting, single parenting, children's health and education, family activities, and more.

Preschool Express -
PRESCHOOL EXPRESS is a super site run by a good friend of mine, Jean Warren. Remember Totline? Remember the Piggyback Song Books? Yes, that Jean Warren! Her site is dedicated to helping preschool children obtain the necessary skills to succeed in school. Jean says, "The most important factor to their success is YOU! The preschool years are special years of growing connections in the brain and developing inner confidences. Preschool Express is proud to offer parents and teachers OPEN-ENDED, NO-LOSE activities for helping children in these formative years." Sounds like a winner to me!

SegPlay is a fun, free, and challenging interactive artistic experience which allows you to color in detailed photographic patterns, without lifting a paint brush or crayon. Its the largest collection of Paint by Number patterns on the Internet!

Sites for Teachers -
What a great jumping off spot for people who work with kids, whether they are teachers, moms, or caregivers.

Sheppard Software
Hundreds of free, educational games, activites, online quizzes, online geography games, and much, much more. Loads of fun!

Art Supplies, Books, etc.

ABC School Supply-
Few experiences are as appealing for young children as those involving arts and crafts. Talents abound when children explore, experiment, and create with materials from ABC School Supply. I like the people that run this company. They really care about kids.

Art Supplies Direct- New!
Art Supplies Direct has discounted prices and a huge selection of wonderful art supplies for kids!

Everyone loves crayons, and I think Crayola are the best. This website has art ideas, contests, products and "inspiring ideas". Encourage flexibility and enjoyment with the most versatile material available for kids – crayons!

The Creativity Institute-
Toy pianos, puppet theaters and puppets, big foam blocks, easels, doll houses, creative and educational toys for home or classroom. Child development articles to boost creativity in infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children.

Discount School Supply-
Discount School Supply offers great prices on quality products for early childhood educators, caregivers and parents of young children. MaryAnn’s Favorite products are the arts and crafts supplies, some found nowhere else on earth, and especially Liquid Watercolors. Select from Arts & Crafts, Active Play, Curriculum Resources, Dramatic Play, Manipulatives, Learning Center Equipment and Furniture and Special Offers. Use coupon code MAKTEN for a 10% discount on in-stock orders over $79 total. Only in-stock orders apply for this discount. -
I love this company, and love the people who run it. They have the very best art products around, like BioColor and Liquid Watercolors. Check out their amazing art activities too. The following link is specifically for liquid watercolor ideas. It's my favorite!

Elmer's Glue Arts & Crafts
Find projects for all ages, adults included, with great pictures to lead the way. Projects are organized by how long they take, and also by grade level. Very helpful.

Gryphon House, Inc.-
My best friends are people at Gryphon House. They sincerely care about the education of young children and I'm proud to write for them. Visit their website for free activities from the books they publish, and to browse their books for people who work with young children.

Henne's Art Supplies -
Check out Henne's, the place to explore all your artistic pursuits. They offer a wide variety of fine art materials for the most discriminating artists. Art classes are offered for every age and ability, with quality teachers. Henne's strives to provide the best service, quality and price, all with a touch of hometown friendliness. If they don't have it, they will find it for you!

Kaplan Early Learning Company -
Kaplan Early Learning Company brings the very best in early childhood and elementary school supplies, teaching materials, and outdoor classrooms to educators, child care professionals, homeschool, daycare, and parents around the world.

Lakeshore Learning-
Innovative learning materials and top-quality educational products have made Lakeshore a favorite with teachers, parents, and kids for over 40 years! From language and literacy to science and mathematics, Lakeshore gives the very best in school supplies, teaching materials and classroom tools for all levels of education.

MicNik Publications, Inc.--
MicNik is the brainstorm of a good friend of mine, Michelle O'Brien-Palmer. Michelle is a creative dynamo with new books and ideas just spilling out of her endlessly! Michelle really loves children, and her books show it. I think her books and ideas are top of the line.

National Association for the Education of Young Children-
I'm a lifetime member! Find out about what is best for young children, as expressed by NAEYC, who exists for the purpose of leading and consolidating efforts to achieve healthy development and constructive education for all young children. Primary attention is devoted to assuring the provision of high quality early childhood programs for young children and developmentally appropriate practice (DAP).

School Speciality-
All the educational products you've come to know and trust in one convenient location.

Starlight Press-
Star Light Press, a bilingual children’s book publisher Established in 1988 by Esther LaMadrid-Esparza, a teacher with more than 40 years of classroom experience and Thomas Esparza, Jr., a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, Star Light Press has published several bilingual titles for the education and book trade markets, and is venturing into software publishing with Esther’s Playhouse.Their vision is to publish fun, exciting and quality educational products for everyone.

The Sycamore Tree -
I have been working with The Sycamore Tree for many years, and have great respect for them and the items they carry as well as their online school. The Sycamore Tree, Inc. has been going strong since 1982 providing homeschool educational services to students in grades K-12 all over the world. Anyone needing Christian based educational materials will enjoy their catalog purchasing service which provides a wide range of more than 3000 educational items. You need not be enrolled in the school to order from the catalog. They provide a free printed catalog, and an on-line, internet catalog. Check them out, and feel free to purchase your Bright Ring books from them. Look into their discount plan, too.


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