Life Skill activities Part 1: Play and learn by Pinki Kumar

A video tutorial on how to teach the different life skills and related activities to our children.

Author Pinki Kumar

Pinki is a special educator, play therapist and a mother of a neurodivergent kid. She has a YouTube channel Play and learn to teach different methods and strategies. These videos are a great resource for the parents to help their child learn various skills.

BloggerSaathi CreativeSaathi

Smile Brightly and Dance SMART Projects

A Month of SMART Projects

December has been a month of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-framed) projects! In this blog post, we are summarizing 10 SMART projects for Ananth. Daily learning is progressing in a systematic and steady way through these SMART projects. The four LIFE (L: Learning daily, I: Interests, F: Family interactions, E: Engagement with community) elements shape SMART projects. In turn, SMART projects evolve daily LIFE. This relationship between daily LIFE and SMART is at the heart of the LIFESMART approach. We will be discussing the interplay of daily LIFE and SMART projects in subsequent posts.

We appreciate the ongoing encouragement, guidance, and support of Dr. Ambika Kameshwar that have made these projects possible. Thanks to Shri Ujwal Jagadeesh (Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning, Bengaluru), Dr. Vaishnavi Poorna (Ramana Sunritya Aalaya, Chennai), Ms. Usha Sankaran (Senior Faciliator, RASA), and Shilpi Mayank-Awasthi (SpecialSaathi) for encouraging, guiding, facilitating, and supporting these projects. Thanks to our LIFESMART community for reading and responding to his shares. We appreciate your ongoing encouragement and support. A great start to Ananth’s 25th year!

Thanks to Jaya Mulraj and Vinayak Raj for the beautiful artwork for this blog post!

Ananth’s LIFESMART Planner

We have started building Ananth’s planner to organize my SMART projects and other elements of my experience. Copy Ananth’s planner in Googlesheet and create your own LIFESMART planner for 2023! You can view his planner in Googlesheet here.

Project 1: The White Peacock

Ananth’s first project for December 2022 was presenting The White Peacock story at a webinar on his birthday on December 2, 2022. Ananth enjoyed sharing the story. Since he blogs for, he also enjoyed narrating the story.

Project 2: Cats are my Purrfect Companion

A second project that was also completed on December 2, 2022 was a blog post for SpecialSaathi. Read Ananth’s blog here. Thanks to Vinayak Raj for his creative representation on Ananth learning storytelling and drama with a teacher and some cats!

Project 3: Creating Lesson Videos for The 100-Days of Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) for Parents Project

A third important project took shape during our visit to the Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning. Thanks to Shri Ujwal Jagadeesh for creating two lesson videos with Ananth. A simple and valuable SMART project that seems likely to set other SMART projects in motion!

Ananth and I are implementing these videos and more in our days 1-7 practice of Smile Brightly and Dance. We invite you to try it with us!

Choose one or both lessons to try and practice. The first lesson is a Bharatanatyam aduvu (structured movement patterns taught to Bharatanatyam students). You do not have to be a Bharatanatyam dancer to try this video! It provides a glimpse of what Bharatanatyam training. Try it with your child and share your experience. The second video is a song about body parts. Both videos were developed as part of our 100 Days of Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) Lab for parents.

Week 1 Lesson: An introduction to Aduvus (a structured movement pattern) in Dance

Week 2 Lesson: Body Awareness

Project 4: Storytelling with SpecialSaathi

Ananth wrote about his first oral storytelling experience with SpecialSaathi. Thanks to Drov Tikoo for the beautiful artwork for the white peacock story. Read his blog post here.

Project 5: Smile Brightly and Dance – Part I

Project 6: Visualization with Folding

Ananth organized what he learned from the interview with Shri Ujwal Jagadeesh using a folded circle.  I have been folding circles using the Wholemovement approach ( since 2007.  Folding is a unique way of organizing ideas by dividing a whole (the circle) rather than by adding parts together. This project was a sub-project of the blog post (see project 5)

Project 7. Ananth’s Adventures on Pinterest

We are compiling Ananth’s Adventures on Pinterest. View his December gallery below.

Project 8. 100-Days of Smile Brightly and Dance

We bought a stand for our IPAD and experimented with ways to tape the practice. Our plan is to share one recording each week. The recording will be documentation for us and a resource for the LIFESMART community as we share our experiences.

Project 9. Preparing for Krishna Dootam Play with RASA

Ananth is busy preparing for his role as Krishna in Krishna Dootam on December 28, 2022. Hopefully, the Smile Brightly and Dance project will help him play this role well!

Project 10. Creating Ananth’s Website

We have also resumed work on Ananth’s website. We expect to do significant work on this site in January 2023.


The LIFESMART canvas is a tool for visualizing learning experiences in a systemic way. We will discuss one or two components of the LIFESMART component in our post each week. The focus of this week is on SMART projects. The canvas shows an important relationship. SMART projects grow our Six Cs (Connections, Conversations, Clarity, Choice, Competence, and Coordination).

Chance favors those who invest in their Six Cs!

Ananth’s Six Cs have started shifting because of his SMART projects in December. We are waiting to see how things evolve in 2023!

We invite parents to do the SMART projects (based on lesson videos and other resources) shared in our 100-Days of Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) for Parents project. Grow your Six Cs! Parents’ Six Cs have an important impact on the child’s Six Cs. Parents’ Six Cs are of particular importance for neurodivergent children and adults who may have communication and other challenges. Join the LIFESMART 100-Day TAHD project here.