Good morning, all!
We wanted to leave a note here about some things we have all been thinking about before we jump into the activities.
These posts are here for you if you need them. We do not want any families to feel like they aren’t doing enough if these activities feel overwhelming or impossible.
If you can do all of these, that’s fine. If you can do some of these, that’s fine. If you can’t do any of these, that’s fine, too!
The most important thing in a time like this is to spend time and connect with your children. That looks vastly different for every family.
If that means that the best moment in your day was giving your child a snuggle and telling them you love them in between trying to work at home, that is enough! You are doing enough.
Care for your family in whatever way you choose. And if you choose to use some of our activity ideas, we will continue to be here providing them for you.
That being said, we are focusing today’s bundle on things that aim to help everyone work though their feelings and hopefully make your body and mind feel a little bit better.
YOGA (INCLUDING BABY YOGA)
Yoga is a great way for kids to use their whole bodies and calm their minds. I often remind children that yoga is about controlling your body and muscles. There are lots of slow movements, you don’t really move super fast while doing yoga. Remind your child to breathe deeply throughout the yoga (“Feel your belly fill up like a balloon.”).
Relating yoga to more concrete topics, like animals or shapes, helps children visualize and connect to the poses more.
Draw your child’s attention to different parts of their body while practicing yoga.
“What does your back feel like in Cat’s Pose?”
“Put your hand on your chest, can you feel your heart beating? Is it beating fast or slow?”
“Can you wiggle your toes while staying in Star Pose?”
Infants/Toddlers: Some of these poses might seem physically difficult, but try your best and making animal noises helps them stay engaged!
ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT!
Sit on the ground facing your child and hold onto their hands while rocking back and forth. (Just like in this video: Row Your Boat.)
This activity can help you feel closer to your child and also help develop some gross motor skills (balance, coordination and muscle development) with the back and forth rocking motions. Repetitive motions, like rocking, can also help your child regulate their emotions and calm down.
Make it extra fun for the child and you with lots of variations of the lyrics!
Row, row, row your boat Gently down the stream Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily Life is but a dream
“Row, row, row your boat
Gently to the shore
If you see a lion
Don’t forget to roar!
Rock, rock, rock the boat
Gently to and fro
If you do it hard enough
Into the water you go
Row, row, row the boat
Gently in the bath
If you see a spider
Don’t forget to laugh
Row, row, row the boat
Gently as can be
‘Cause if you’re not careful
You’ll fall into the sea!
Even more variations:
to the shore – lion there – roar
down the river and if you see a polar bear, don’t forget to shiver
down the creek – little mouse – squeak
down the stream – crocodile – scream
over the waterfall – telephone – call
cross the lake – jellyfish – shake
under the bridges and if you see an insect cloud, watch out for the midges!
Go wild and make up your own lyrics. This is a fun way for preschoolers to work on their rhyming skills, too.
PUPPETS AND FEELINGS
(by Sarah S.)
Puppets are a great way for anyone to express themselves and tell stories. A lot of us are having big feelings right now, and making a puppet can give you and your child a safe outlet to voice them. You can make a puppet out of almost anything: A sock, old pajamas or costumes, boxes, paper or even just a marker and your hand!
Puppetry is developmentally appropriate for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
For more information on all the ways puppet play is beneficial to your child’s development check out this link : https://playandgrow.com/puppet-play-important/
Link to DIY puppet instructions:
A puppeteer and educator (and friend of Sarah’s!) making a DIY puppet step by step and talking about using them to express emotions:
Become a detective on the hunt for feelings with all of your favorite books at home!
magnifying glass, loupe, or a piece of paper with a hole cut out of it
While reading your favorite books, find each face with your magnifying glass or paper with a hole
Ask, “How do you think they are feeling?”
Look at their face first for clues for how they are feeling
Look at their body for clues on how they are feeling
Look at the rest of the picture and listen to the words for clues on how they are feeling
Repeat for as many faces in the book as you want
Give the children a script to work with while you are doing this activity together:
“I wonder what they are feeling…”
“I see some clues from their face. Hmmm, what do you notice?” [pointing to the character’s face]
“Let’s look for other clues…” [pointing to the characters body or another part of the picture]
“You think they look sad. I wonder if anyone else thinks differently…”
“What makes you think they are feeling frustrated?”
This activity helps children learn to label feelings and also figure out the cause of those feelings. Sometimes it is hard for children to be able to label their own feelings because it might be too overwhelming or confusing. This activity helps children practice labeling feelings of others first and once they master this, it might feel more comfortable to label their own feelings.
Older children might even begin to label the cause of the character’s feelings and even what the character is doing to cope with those feelings.
Here is a list of books with a great range of feelings to inspect as a Feelings Detective. There are links to their read alouds, which you can pause to search for emotions on each page.
Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver: https://youtu.be/YKmRB2Z3g2s
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjUFJEduguk
Love by Matt de la Peña: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwrA4UHL9_0
Rollercoaster by Marla Frazee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkduRpnXwq0
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C4IK5B6D4o
The Lion and the Mouse retold by Bernadette Watts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F2dNzIf4jo
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1O-CE6czyE
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNHc2XCultQ
Try this with any book you have at home, too!
GUIDED MEDITATION WITH “CORY’S CONSCIOUS LIVING”
At school, Monday’s are typically the most tired days for children, so rest is extra important to start the week off right.
Lauren has shared her three favorite meditations with us to help children relax their minds and bodies. These are wonderful to put on as you are helping your child fall asleep for a nap or lay down to rest.