How to Throw a SMART Party
Rule #1: Everyone have fun!
Rule #2: There are no more rules.
SMART Parties are informal gatherings of families with young children where learning occurs.
Things you see at a SMART Party:
People standing up, walking around, mingling, sitting on the floor or chairs, breaking off into side conversations, soothing babies, singing, eating, telling jokes, adults playing games along with kids, adults talking to their own kids and somebody else’s, spontaneous fun.
Things you do NOT see at a SMART Party:
People sitting in neat rows of chairs, people raising hands before speaking, Power Point presentations, boring things, aggression, tests.
Are there structured things at a SMART Party?
There is a plan, but it is not school.
It is a facilitated plan, so there are objects that provide cues for learning to happen and clues for stimulating curiosity.
The learning style of SMART Parties is about discovery, exploration, creativity, curiosity, and investigation. Activities are hands-on, interactive, collaborative and cooperative.
SCHOOLS AND RULES
We love schools and understand the need for rules. When there are many children and few adults, rules and formal structure are needed to keep everyone safe and healthy.
SMART Parties are an informal learning opportunity where the ratio of adults to children is high, so children can be supervised in a different way. They can learn different styles of absorbing and observing the world. The SMART Party with engaged parents is an example of the village helping to raise the children.
SMART PARTY BASICS:
PAPER AIRPLANE WORDS
Pot-luck works for the SMART Party food. We try to provide nutrition education by modeling good things to eat. This is an opportunity for everyone to learn from each other about foods they don’t normally eat.
Sometimes, a specific food is related to the book or hands-on activity. For example, we eat strawberries when we read The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the BIG HUNGRY BEAR by Audrey and Don Wood. Sometimes, we bake a cake in a Texas-shaped pan, so we can use the cake to learn about geography.
Paper Airplane Words