We found ourselves over the rainbow in group this week as we continued our journey on mindfulness and Social Thinking®. The children focused on paying attention to the here and now and learned about the importance of being mindful by treating others with kindness and compassion. The mindfulness strategies also help us defeat the Unthinkables Energy Hare-y, Brain Eater, and Mean Jean from Michelle Garcia Winner’s Superflex Curriculum! For more information about these Unthinkables, please go to www.socialthinking.com. Superflex® and the Unthinkables© were developed and copyrighted by Michelle Garcia Winner and Stephanie Madrigal.
For our Warm-Up, we got into Partner Yoga Bridges while we listened to Kermit the Frog singing “Rainbow Connection.”
The Partner Bridge Pose is a great way to practice balance and cooperation. It’s a more difficult pose as it requires a great deal of strength, trust, teamwork, and communication. It took some time, but we were eventually able to balance long enough to get a picture taken!
Next, we calmed our minds and bodies using our Origami Rainbow Prop for Breath Practice. Leah Kalish, founder of Move with Me Action Adventures, shares this idea for helping kids improve posture! For more information, click on this YouTube video:
For Storytime, we read a heartfelt story called The Rainbow Stick Boy by Michael Santolini. Huey, the hero of our story, looks different than anyone else in his town and he longed to fit in. The kids in Chromaville make fun of him because they have never seen anyone with many colors. One day, Huey finds a friend that helps him discover the beauty within himself. This is a wonderful story that reminds us to accept others without judgment. The Rainbow Stick Boy is FREE right now on Amazon! Click here for more information:
Our next activity is called “Flexible Creations.” This is a fun mindfulness activity to help with attention, flexibility, and cooperation skills. First, I divided the group into two. Each group was given a black laminated poster board as a base and a set of Wikki Stix. You can do this same activity using toothpicks, pool noodles, pieces of yarn, or even lego blocks.
Silently, each student can add one Wikki stix to create one scene as a group. This time, they were to design a house.
Materials: Wikki Stix & a black laminated poster board
Recommended players: 2-4
- Use your imagination.
- Read someone’s plan.
- Add to someone’s idea.
- Read non-verbal body language.
- Take turns.
- Give compliments non-verbally.
- Pay attention.
- Be flexible.
- Don’t judge someone’s creation.
- Build a house together as a team.
- No talking allowed. Use non-verbal language only.
- Place only one stick during your turn.
- You can’t build something else while someone else is building. Take turns.
- You can’t move someone else’s stix unless you accidentally moved it and you are placing it back.
- It’s OK to add items beside your house as long as you are still working together to make one scene.
This is such an easy project. All you need is an empty water bottle, duct tape, a sock, dish soap, and some food coloring.
Step One: Cut the bottom of the water bottle off.
Step Two: Slide the sock over the bottom of the bottle.
Step Three: Use duct tape or a rubber band to secure the sock.
Step Four: Pour some dish soap into a shallow container with a little bit of water and gently mix.
Step Five: Dip the bottom of the sock into the solution. Place a few drops of food coloring onto the wet sock covered end.
Step Six: Step away from others. Now blow gently through the bottle. Be sure to remind your kiddos to blow air out not suck air in!
For our Cool Down Relaxation, I read The Rainbow in Me from Imaginazium’s Empowerment Pack for Kids.
Everyone took home their own mini pack of Wikki Stix that I found through Amazon.
Another tremendous Tuesday!
Group lesson was inspired by Social Thinking®, Superflex®, and The Incredible Flexible You™ curriculums by Michelle Garcia Winner, CCC-SLP and by The Zones of Regulation®, by Leah Kuypers, MA. The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Social Thinking® is a term coined by Michelle Garcia Winner and represents a coordinated teaching framework of curricula, vocabulary, teaching tools and strategies for individuals aged preschool through adults. Learn more at www.socialthinking.com.