“Children see magic because they look for it.” –Christopher Moore

Looking for and finding magic is what our new pARTnership with the Early Learning Institute (ELI) of Sonoma County is all about.  ArtThread is helping ELI add new technology and training to their Tech n’ Tots program, a technology focused support program designed to expand and enhance a child’s access to play, communication and ultimately his/her social connections through the use of high tech (iPads, smartphones, computers, etc.) and low tech (pictures, icons, texture and touch cues, etc.) resources.

ELI serves children with developmental delays and/or disabilities in their homes or other most natural environment, provides support for childcare providers serving typically developing children and children with special needs, and home visits first time parents during the first year of their new baby’s development.

ELI artThis pARTner program brings us into the world of early childhood development, and we are very excited about helping these families. We are exploring strategies that support emerging developmental skills through the use of augmentative devices, and assists the child’s efforts in his/her overall interactive play and academic and social experiences. Long term benefits of the skills acquired through the Tech n’ Tots program enable a child to have greater participation at home, school, and in their community.

ELI’s home visits now include art-making activities using Splash, ArtThread’s no-fail online art app. ELI staff work together with the child and the parents to create art on iPads, and this art is posted on their ELI partner gallery.

The first years of a child’s life are precious. Not only are they an important time of learning, but they also provide the lifelong basic foundation for forming relationships with parents, grandparents, siblings, caregivers and friends. Incorporated in November of 1998, the Early Learning Institute (ELI) is a private, nonprofit organization that provides and promotes developmental services, education and support to young children and their families in a variety of settings.

ArtThread also understands the role of healthy creative expression in the early intervention child and his or her family. Families with special needs children are at increased risk for stress and maltreatment, and we believe ArtThread technology and training can make a measurable difference. With pARTners like ELI we are investigating the use of ArtThread training, and our “no fail” art making tools in play therapy. The goal of this data-driven project is to use art and creative expression to foster positive interaction between parents and the at-risk child and thereby reduce stress for parents and the entire family.