Heading into the New Year is a great time to think about what changes and additions you can make to your lifestyle to support your child’s social emotional development.
Here are a few or our favorite things – simple things we feel can help your kids, students, and your family cultivate the healthy habits of mindfulness and self care and nurture emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Some of these tools and references are new, others have been around a while. Enjoy!
1. Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children, by Thich Naht Hahn
This book is a daily reference for me. I find it just as powerful a resource for my own daily challenges and questions as I do a guide for working with children – one that I return to again and again. My favorite suggestion from this book is the Mindfulness Bell. It can be used in so many wonderful ways!
2. Yoga 4 Classrooms Yoga Card Deck
“Tools for Learning. Lessons for Life.” Childlight Yoga & Yoga 4 Classrooms have created a fun, easy-to-use deck of 67 yoga cards for kids. These beautiful, colorful cards provide 200 enriching yoga-based activities to support children’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional wellness.
3. Yoga Skills for Youth Peacemakers DVD, Shanti Generation
If there was ever a time when our youth and teens needed the focus, balance, discrimination, and self-awareness that a solid yoga practice can help us achieve- it’s now. Shanti Generation is leading the movement with their Youth Peacemaker’s Training and their youth/teen Yoga DVD: Yoga Skills for Youth Peacemakers.
4. Your True Nature – Advice From Nature, Cards & Posters
Here’s some Advice from a Bison: Stand your ground / Have a tough hide / Keep moving on / Cherish wide open spaces / Have a strong spirit / Roam wild and free / Let the chips fall where they may
I love this company. I love everything they make. And if you spend $30 with them right now, they will plant a tree on your behalf through the group Trees, Water, & People. A gift that multiplies!
5. Eve Kodiak/ Sound Intelligence
Eve Kodiak was trained at Harvard & the New England Conservatory of music. She’s also a Licensed Brain Gym Practitioner. What is most amazing about Eve Kodiak is the music she creates. One of our favorites is a sensory integration collection for children “Feelin’ Free,” a series of songs & stories”with developmental movement choreographed to improvisational piano music and catchy tunes and lyrics.”
6. The Learning Station and Snatam Kaur: Feeling Good Today/ CD Downloadable Music – Create Your Own CD’s
If there is anything more fun than putting Tappy, Tappy on the Lappy to movement with a bunch of 5-year-olds, I haven’t come across it yet. One of Wendy’s favorite activities is going through The Learning Station CD’s and putting each of the songs to movement. I have no idea how many she has choreographed yet, but every time she puts together a new one, it’s inevitably a hit with the kids in her classes (and mine).
You can download their CD’s in full directly from the site
“I am Happy, I am Good” is my favorite children’s circle time song. We sing it multiple times to set the tone in every kids’ class I teach. And, without fail, we feel happy by the time we’ve finished the first line. This little song uplifts kids of all ages (and that means 0-99). There are simple movements that accompany the tune and we made up a few extras, just for fun!
Wishing You and Yours a Healthy, Happy New Year!
The Move with Me Team