Crafting Compassion at TMH Juniors

It's been a while since our last update but things have been super busy and we are having a great time in TMH Juniors. We are so excited to have made two new friends in 2017...welcome to Sophie and Christian!

The first few weeks of this new year have focused on reviewing the expected behaviors when at TMH. Most importantly, we have been focusing on personal space, using a kind voice and being part of the group. While we encourage our kids to show affection and be kind to everyone, we have been trying to teach them about giving everyone their space and being aware of boundaries. Through a variety of activities, we are working on getting all of the kids to be more aware of how to navigate their environment without bumping into or invading other people's space. Today, we had the best time practicing this using the parachute and playing games. One of the games we played was having to swap places with a friend while running under the parachute without bumping into or trying to take the same spot. It was tricky at first but after a few turns, the kids were looking at their friends and making smart choices about where they should go and not get in their space.

We've really had fun with some great art activities these last few weeks. One of the things we have been most proud of is how some weeks we have done crafts that the kids aren't able to take home. In the beginning of the year, this would have been incredibly difficult for them but they have all become so much more flexible and understand that some things go home while others are just for TMH. One of the things we have done these last few weeks are making Valentine's Day Cards for friends and family. Our rule was that kids had to make a card for someone they cared about before they made one for themselves. While this was hard at first, it ended up becoming natural by today. We loved seeing the kids talk to each other today about who they were making their Valentines for and not making one for themselves! During our craft activities, we are trying to challenge everyone a little more each week. By having fewer supplies, we are requiring everyone to share, wait their turn and ask their friends for supplies. It's so great to see how they are asking each other for materials, waiting their turn and most importantly, they are praising each other for the good work they are doing.  

One of the great things we do each week is end our group by reading a book about friendship, kindness and empathy. The kids LOVE these stories each week and we love finding the books. Some of the favorites from the last few weeks have been:

Be A Friend by Salina Yoon

Making Friends Is An Art by Julia Cook

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

We love working with your kids and want to make sure that we are always addressing issues that are relevant to helping them be as successful as they can be in social situations. Please keep in mind that we are always working on our curriculum and wanting to address issues that are important to our kids. If you have something that you want us to work on, please let us know and we will work it into TMH Juniors!