Image Source: The Imagination Tree
The holidays are a perfect time to focus on the social emotional development of young children. We can take this time to focus on the giving, rather than receiving. It may sound cliché, but as parents and teachers our goal is for children to develop healthy attachments and maintain secure relationships with caring adults. We also want our children to lean to show awareness of and respond to the feelings of others.
I had the opportunity to work with an amazing professional preschool teacher who was a master at setting up a caring community of learners. It was very apparent that a lot of intentional planning was done to set up her classroom environment in a way that children trusted the adults and were nurtured and accepted. Many opportunities were provided for children to develop an awareness of their own feelings as well as the ideas and actions of others. During the holidays, the class was introduced to the “Kindness Kids” and daily were involved in decisions and planning thoughtful ways they could show kindness to others through-out the school.
Check out this article that explains The Kindness Kids, an Alternative to Elf on the Shelf Tradition.
And for you busy parents and teachers here is a site that provides Free downloadable kindness elves messages. I hope this idea will help you to model kind words, thoughtfulness and giving. I think you will be amazed at the ideas the kids come up with on their own to thank and appreciate others in their lives.
What are some of the ways you encourage awareness of others during the holidays?
Lynn DeVries, Extension Educator | The Learning Child
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