A Wonderful Juniors Afternoon of Memories


Hello all,
We had another busy, fun day with the group. To continue discussing our emotional thermometer today, we used the movie Inside Out as inspiration for more emotional language. We chose our activities based on the group interest in the movie!

We sat as a group, passed around our ball and each told a "core memory" we had. We then decided which color to make the memory based on how the memory made us feel. Everyone did well with this either independently or with some directed questions from the teachers! We explained to the group that it's so nice to "give five" to others because you can learn so many new things you may have in common!

Our hangout time was geared toward Inside Out

We had "memory beads" in the sensory table and started some "memory necklaces."

We worked on marble run in small groups, which resembles the "core memory" machine from the movie. While working here we encouraged and reminded the groups to "follow the group plan." 

We also introduced a new rule during hangout. If a child picks an activity where they are the only one there, they can either invite someone to do that activity with them, or join a busier activity. This rule ended up working out very well and some collaborative play developed!

The Playmobil toys became very popular and led to some great, collaborative play. At one point the play became a little aggressive (they are pirates after all!) and some of the children expressed their frustration and discomfort with this type of play. The adults facilitated conversation to suggest other ways to play with the pirates. We decided to hide the treasure and look for it, but to look out for the shark!

It is in these highly motivating play scenarios we are able to define rules, negotiate wants, needs and feelings and through all of this boost social confidence. While trying to guide the play into a space where everyone can participate, we really encourage the children to try to find solutions on their own using the principles of our "have-to" list. Today we heard: "that makes me mad," when some characters were knocked over. "I was using that, can I have it back?" This was followed up with, "can I use that when you're finished?" We love to hear this pro-social problem solving happening in the group!

Some of us played an Inside Out game to review feelings and what causes certain feelings. At the end of group we took a vote, and it was nearly unanimous that we read a book instead of play Kids In Action. We read Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses and reviewed the emotional thermometer while we read it. This was a great tie-in and we can really see how the group comprehends how the thermometer works. We also discussed how good friends ask, "what's wrong?", then offers advice, like finding a calming strategy.

Now that we have checked for understanding, and we are using emotional language appropriately, we can move onto the next step in more depth: finding calming strategies. We've already touched on this a few weeks ago, but we'd like to go into more detail and teach some more calming strategies.

Thanks everyone! We look forward to seeing everyone next week!

Becky and Meghan