Early childhood poverty can significantly damage the development of self-regulation skills. This is one of the main causes for the socio-economic academic achievement gap. Self-regulation, the ability to monitor and manage one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, is now recognized as integral to all students’ academic and social success. The earlier they learn to self-regulate, the better. http://cfchildren.org/Portals/0/SS_Multi/SS_DOC/Income-Based_Achievement_Gap_SS.pdf
Adventure Skills are simple self-care and self-regulation exercises that give children concrete actions for supporting them-selves and managing their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. All children should know these tools, which enable them to quickly de-stress, re-group, and calm themselves when dealing with everyday emotions, conflicts and stresses
Embodying all 13 Adventure Skills empower kids to build emotional intelligence, self-control, self-confidence and social competence.
AS # 9 Cat Wisdom: (aka: Cat-Dog Stretch) and it releases stress and tension from the body, especially in your back, legs, shoulders and neck.
It can help you feel a whole lot better if you are tight or tired or cranky after focusing or sitting for a long time.
Start on hands and knees, like a cat, keeping your elbows straight and strong. Breathe in and arch your back like a happy cat looking up. Then, breathe out and round your back like a scared cat, looking toward your tummy. Move slowly so both stretches feel good – do 3-4 times. Then, turn into a dog by curling your toes under and pushing your hips up and your legs straight. Let your head hang down and relax your heels to the ground, releasing your calf muscles. Ah that feels great!
Here’s the Cat – Dog Chant that we do with the movements:
Kitty cat kitty cat furry and black – “meow, meow”
Kitty cat kitty cat arches her back
Kitty cat kitty cat when she’s afraid
Kitty cat kitty cat pushes away
Kitty cat kitty cat watch out now
Here comes Dog to chase you down!
AS #10 is called Infinity 8’s: aka: Vision 8’s. This exercise relaxes and strengthens your eye muscles to help you see, read and write more clearly and easily.
If you are having trouble focusing or your vision is blurry or your eyes feel tired or you have a headache, this exercise can really help.
All you do is: Bring one thumb to eye level, let the other hand relax at your side, and draw your thumb through the air, tracing a large 8 lying on its side – which is also the infinity symbol. Follow your thumb with just your eyes as it moves clockwise for the first loop and then counter-clockwise for the second loop. Continue to trace the sideways 8 several times while still following them with just your eyes.
Vision 8 Chant:
Up and down and all around
I’m tracing sideways 8,
Up and down and all around
I love those crazy 8s
AS #11 Deep Down Wisdom is a powerful way to connect your mind and body so you can access the wisdom in your heart.
Use it when you feel super-stressed, upset, angry or scared. Instead of losing your temper or having a meIt down, take a minute or 2 in Deep Down Wisdom. It will definitely calm and ground you!
Here’s how: Sitting, standing or lying down, Cross one ankle over the other. Extend arms out. Turn thumbs down. Cross your wrists and clap, don’t frown. Link your fingers; roll them under Rest them on your chest by thunder, Close your eyes and breathe The air comes in with ease. Think about something you love … and listen to your heart.
Deep Down Wisdom Chant:
Feel your upset melt away
As your wisdom comes to play
Your heart will know what’s best to do.
Listen deep down ….and let it guide you.
#12 Fish Breath is a fun way to use deep breathing to relax your brain and recharge your body.
Try it next time you need to take a break or blow off steam. It’s a great way to recharge and remember to have a sense of humor.
Sit up tall, take a deep breath in through your nose… then, holding all the air in your cheeks, push it out through the mouth with bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop bloop, blooooop. Then repeat.
Fish Breath Chant:
One fin (claw, hand, paw) on my belly, I let it rest
I bring the other fin (claw, hand, paw) to my chest,
I need to do something; I feel like goop
So, I breathe in deep and
Bbloop bloop blooooooooooooooop!
#13 Rock the Boat massages the base of your spine, soothing your nervous system and calming any upset.
You use this techniques when you feel stormy and out of sorts…when someone or something has rocked your boat and you feel upset, overwhelmed, or out of control. Rock the Boat will help you settle down and find balance again.
Sit on a padded floor and lean back onto both hands. Bend your knees half-way and lift both feet. Keeping them off the floor, while gently rocking on your bottom from side to side, massaging one gluteus muscle, then the other.
And here’s the Rock the Boat Chant:
Rock, rock, rock the boat
Gently in the sea
We’re calm as we can be