Friday, July 1, 2011

how can I help an angry child in the classroom?

Everyone gets angry. Usually, the younger the child is the more help they need from us adults in managing their emotions. Helping kids to label their feelings, listening and talking with them and providing a safe environment for open communication is key. But what about activities we can do with our little ones during the cool down process? Young children face a full spectrum of emotions throughout their day. We have complied some tried and true activities to do with kids to help them relax and relieve tension and stress.

Great Activities For Helping Angry Kids Relieve Stress in the Classroom:
1. Poking, punching or pulling: Play dough or clay is a great activity to have on hand! Encourage kids to poke pull and pound it. After feeling it's smooth cool texture, kids can't resist making a work of art.
2. Throwing: Bean bags, balls that are soft, or wadded up newspaper or socks help kids that are angry and feel a need to throw. We have made a special CD with music from STAR WARS and kids throw the items into a wastebasket. It's always a hit!
3. Hitting: Hammer toys are excellent for focusing in and relieving tension. Pounding inexpensive golf tees in Plasticine clay or Styrofoam blocks have the same effect.
4. Kicking and pounding: Giant inflatable punching bags not only relieve stress and anger but get kids laughing and trying out special kicks.
5. "I'm so angry!": Some angry kids just need some quiet time to sit and think. Water has a soothing effect on everyone! Offer water colors to paint with or tubs of water to scoop and pour from.
6. Relieving overall stress: Have kids bring their own lotion at the beginning of the year. Suggest they sit, relax and they can apply cool lotion to their skin.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Peace for Kids Poem

If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.
~ Unknown
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Inspirational Poetry for Kids

Poetry inspires!

There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into his shell.

It was only a grain,
but it gave him great pain.
For oysters have feelings
Although they're so plain.

Now, did he berate
the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?

Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?

'No,' he said to himself
As he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.

Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate
Destiny ­ stew.

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral,
for isn't it grand
What an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand?

What couldn't we do
If we'd only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

how do I help kids identify their skills?

Everyone is has something they're good at. Often times we focus so much on getting better at things we forget to be content to recognize the skills we already have. Helping kids identify their own skills helps them celebrate their uniqueness and feelings of self worth.
Identifying our own skills can be a life long adventure!

Try making a "Good-At List":
Here's How: Get a piece of paper and some markers. Ask each child what he or she thinks she is good at and write it down. Both you and the children can work together to get as many good-at's on the list for each child.
Later on you can also make a chart of similar good-at's everyone has. We always keep adding to our list because once we are looking for what we are good at, we are sure to want it written down!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

understanding what social skills kids need

We often don't give it a second thought as to how we know a certain look or gesture someone has. This is because it comes naturally to many of us. social skills are often broken down into categories, or types of skill according to the level of complexity and interaction. An example of one way of categorizing social skills is by this list below.
Social Skills Our Kids Need:
Foundation Skills: Basic social interaction Ability to maintain eye contact, maintain appropriate personal space, understand gestures and facial expressions
Interaction Skills: Talk to the kids! Skills needed to interact with others Resolving conflicts, taking turns, learning how to begin and end conversations, determining appropriate topics for conversation, interacting with authority figures.
Affective Skills: Skills needed for understanding oneself and others Identifying one's feelings, recognizing the feelings of others, demonstrating empathy, decoding body language and facial expressions, determining whether someone is trustworthy.
Cognitive Skills: Skills needed to maintain more complex social interactions Social perception, making choices, self—monitoring, understanding community norms, determining appropriate behavior for different social situations.
(Canney and Byrne, 2006; Waltz, 1999)
Every one's social skill profile is different. That's what makes us all unique! But sometimes there are problems that arise with our children we just can't put our finger on...or even know what to look for. If you have a child in your care you have a concern about. Be sure to ask a parent to talk to the child's pediatrician.

Monday, August 16, 2010

how do I teach kids about self control?

Self discipline comes in many forms. As kids get older there are fun ways to measure these acquiring skills with fun and simple games. These games involve lots of listening and self control. Keeping games such as these as staples in your curriculum work well in assessing developing skills.

Games That Teach Young Children Self Control:
Simon Says
Red Light Green Light
Freeze Dance
Musical Chairs

What are some of your favorite games?

Friday, August 6, 2010

how do I teach kids about empathy?

Can we teach empathy to our kids? This sounds a bit strange, especially if we think of empathy as a talent or as something we either have or lack. But did you know that research suggests that empathy is a complex phenomenon involving several component skills?

Components of Empathy:
*A sense of self-awareness and the ability to distinguish my own feelings from the feelings of others.
*Taking another person’s perspective  (“putting myself in another person’s shoes”).
*Being able to regulate my own emotional responses.

Emotions Flash Cards
These skills might seem like standard-issue adult social skills, and they surely are. But even us big folks have trouble managing some of our own emotions. This can lead to hesitation or confusion on how to manage the skills of others. Empathy may not necessarily be something we have or lack, most likely it develops in degrees. One thing is for sure, we can always develop stronger empathetic skills.
I use picture flash cards that show faces with a broad spectrum of emotions and simply ask the children how they think this person is feeling...why? Do your remember a time you have felt that way? Very young children are very open with sharing personal stories. I often tell children my own life lessons of how I felt during certain situations at their age.
Talking to our kids about what we see through out the day; how it makes us feel and why, really help children to develop a s sense of awareness towards others.

What kinds of ways or scenarios could you use to teach or show empathy?