Buzz like a bee to help calm down. This strategy is taken from GoNoodle.
To do bee breaths, first, stick your index fingers in your ears and close your eyes.
Then, take a slow breath in.
Next, breathe out through your nose while humming/buzzing.
Repeat these steps a few times.
If you'd like to do it with the video, you can access it on GoNoodle or here.
This is a super simple calm down strategy!
First, take a break.
Next, slowly count to 10. You can use your fingers to help your or you can just count.
When you are finished, stop to see how you are feeling. If you feel better, you can get up and return to your activities. If you do not feel better yet, you can try counting to 10 again or try a new skill. Or, if you are ready, you can talk to an adult about how you feel.
This is another fun way to calm down! Your child traces the maze with his finger and breathes in and out according to the symbols on the maze. These are very relaxing and great for adults, too!
Can be purchased here.
Another breathing strategy to help your child calm down when upset, this one is derived from the book Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey.
Pretend you are holding a candle.
Take a long, slow breath in.
Next, slowly blow the air out toward your candle, but don't blow it out! Just make the flame wiggle a little.
Keep taking long breaths in and slow breaths out for a few more times or however long you feel like.
Finally, on your last breath out, blow out your candle!
Hello EC Families!
I wanted to share a great craft idea from one of our Halloween parties this week! The students used playdough, sequins, pipecleaners, and googly eyes to create their own monsters. The best part of this activity was that children could take their monsters apart and create new ones for as long as they were engaged in the activity! Thus, the children were entertained by this activity for longer!
This activity could also be modified for other parties. For instance:
Another awesome idea for this activity is to put all the materials in individual ziploc bags for the students so they can take them home after the party! That way, they can still have fun with them at home OR if we run out of time at the party, the children can still do it when they get home!
One way we can calm down when we are feeling upset is to try different breathing strategies. A simple one we use at school is called "Flower and Candle Breaths."
Pretend you are holding a flower. Smell the flower to breathe in.
Pretend you are holding a candle. Blow the candle out when you breathe out.
Keep going back and forth a few times or until you feel better/calm.
Hello EC Families!
My husband came across something that I wanted to share with you in case you were interested in reducing the amount of sugar your child consumes on/around Halloween. There is something called Switch Witch that is kind of like Elf on the Shelf, but for Halloween. The idea is that children can switch out candy for a toy. There is a book that goes along with it, which explains that witches need the candy to power their brooms and heat their bath water. If you would prefer not to use witches, you could create a different character such as a Candy Fairy or a Giant Pumpkin. One part I do not like is that in the story, witches will only exchange candy for toys for kids who are good. However, I do not believe the exchange needs to be tied to good behavior, so that is another piece you could choose to modify depending on what works best for your family.
There is also another version of Switch Witch that is less like Elf on the Shelf, but still involves switching out candy for something better. Children leave their candy by their jack-o-lantern and the Switch Witch trades it in for a special toy/book/other item. I like this book a little bit better. It is by Charity A. O'Neill-O'Kane.
The article my husband found lists some other potential modifications:
I just thought I would share this information in case there are any families who are interested in limiting sugar. Have a fun and safe Halloween!
One of the first skills we learn at school for regulating our emotions is the STOP skill. This skill is essential because it helps lead us to use our other skills so we can get back to the Green Zone.
S - STOP
First, if you notice you are feeling upset, STOP. Just freeze.
T - TAKE A BREAK
Next, take a break. In our classroom, we go to the Cozy Corner to take a break. But you can also find a quiet spot at home or somewhere else to take a break if you need one.
O - OBSERVE (or LOOK/LISTEN)
Then, look and listen to what is happening around you. Pay attention to how your body feels. Put a name to how you are feeling right now.
P - PROCEED MINDFULLY (or MAKE A GOOD CHOICE)
Finally, make a good choice. If you are ready, you can go back and join the activity. Or, you can use one of our calm down strategies to feel better.
Hello EC Families!
During our Feelings/Emotions Unit, we learn about a lot of different feelings and the zones that they fall into--green, blue, yellow, or red. Being able to identify emotions is very beneficial for all of us. Simply being able to name what you are feeling actually helps to calm your amygdala! This is one reason why it is so important for children to learn to name their feelings. Here are the feelings and zones that we learn about in class:
Green Zone - happy, calm, okay, focused, ready to learn, can do my best, show expected behaviors
Blue Zone - sad, tired, sick, bored
Yellow Zone - silly, frustrated, excited, worried
Red Zone - mad/angry, mean, terrified, hitting/yelling
We also learn that even though it is okay to experience all of these feelings, there are strategies or tools that we can use to get back to the Green Zone. We will learn more specific strategies throughout the year, but here are a few:
1) Take a break (in our classroom, we use the Cozy Corner)
2) Go for a walk (with a grown-up)
3) Drink water
4) Talk to an adult
5) Use breathing strategies (these will be learned throughout the year)
6) Use a calm down strategy (these will be learned throughout the year)
You can help your child at this at home by:
Hello TK Families!
We will be working on sight words at school throughout most of the year in TK. We will be doing monthly sight words for the months of September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and May. You can help your child master these words by working on them together at home. Our goal is for children to be able to read the words when they see them. Here are some ideas for how you could practice these words together at home:
Have fun! :)
I'm Mrs. Soldner, the early childhood teacher and director at Immanuel Lutheran School. I have been teaching preschool since 2016 and have been teaching here at Immanuel since 2018.