4 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child to Calm Down Quickly & Prevent Future Tantrums

4 Simple Ways to Teach Your Child How to Calm Down & Managing Their Emotions

Are you tired of turning on the news and being bombarded with stories about violence? Psychologists hope that if children learn how to manage their emotions at a young age, they will be able to respond more positively to stressful situations as adults. How are we supposed to teach our children how to cope with their feelings?

According to Robert Plutchick, professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, more than 90 different emotions have been identified. 

Wow! Imagine being a little person experiencing all of these feelings. How do we, as parents teach our children how to process these feelings when our children aren’t able to communicate what or why they are feeling that way?

Prevent Tantrums

Let’s first find out how you, as an adult, calm down when you are upset:

Close your eyes and think about something that made you mad or frustrated. How do you feel when you think about it?  Does your heart start racing? Do your hands clench a little? Is your internal temperature rising?

Now, open your eyes! What do you do to calm down? Most people use sensory strategies to regroup – such as sipping coffee, chewing gum, going on a walk/run or smelling essential oils. How did you learn that this technique helps you calm down?

When your child gets upset or overwhelmed, they feel the same way inside. There body is “fuming” with emotion but they don’t know how to respond. Unfortunately, humans aren’t born knowing how to cope with strong emotions. We learn these skills through life experiences, but we don’t want our children to tantrum while they are learning. 

Follow these simple 4 Steps to teach your child how to respond to their feelings.

When children feel their body start to “fume” they react.  Reactions don’t involve thinking about why they feel the way they feel. This is why you see young children throwing objects (that they are frustrated with), hitting the toddler sitting next to them (because they are in their space) or running the other direction when mom says it’s time to leave the park.

What do you do in this situation? The initial response I hear from parent’s are: “I try to talk to them, but they won’t listen to me.” This approach doesn’t work often because your child is feeling overwhelmed and are not ready to talk. Instead, give them time to process their feelings and provide them with ways they can calm down independently. Once calm, they will be ready to have a conversation with you.

How is my child supposed to calm down on their own without me talking to them?

After spending over 15 years working with children, I couldn’t find anything written for children that teaches these skills in a practical, hands-on way. This is why I created the “Soothing Sammy Set.” Soothing Sammy teaches children how to process their feelings, identify their emotions and problem solve in a way that is EASY for children to understand and SIMPLE for parents to implement!

Soothing Sammy House

This Four- Step Set includes:

1. Children’s Book –  The colorful photos and simple story is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary aged children. When a young boy becomes upset, he visits Sammy (the golden retriever)’s house. Sammy shows him, and his friends, how to use their sensory system to calm down. He gives each child a typical household item (such as a cup of juice (taste), a cold washcloth (touch), a family picture (see) and many other items) that helps them feel better quickly. Once calm, Sammy helps the children problem solve by asking them questions.

2. Soothing Sammy Plush Dog (Golden Retriever) – Using an empty box or container, follow the directions in the back of the book to construct a “Sammy house” for this plush dog (resembling the house in the children’s book). Place Sammy, a machine washable plush dog, into his new home and fill it with household items discussed in the children’s book. When your child feels upset, redirect them to the Sammy house to calm down (just like the children in the book did). 

3) Parent Guide – This 80-page book explains how to prevent children from becoming frustrated in everyday situations (such as transition times, sharing space and toys, listening and following directions, going on a long car ride, etc.) This book contains activities, instructions and parent reflection sections.

4) Emotions & Feelings Activities E-Book – These 10 play-based activities teach children how to identify feelings in themselves and others, supporting emotional competency. Using items typically found around a home, children engage in hands-on learning activities that teach emotion vocabulary and simple ways to respond to others when they are feeling overwhelmed. 

The children’s book, along with Sammy the plush dog, activity e-book and parent guide, creates a complementary set of tools that supports your child’s emotional development. Sammy’s techniques give children the confidence to manage their emotions.

What our families have said:

“Parenting is hard work! Children do not come with instructions, so knowing how to handle their emotional needs is so hard. Thanks to Soothing Sammy I am better equipped to help my children through their melt-downs and tantrums. Since grabbing this set I have seen not only a difference in my children but a difference in how I handle them in the hard moments. I definitely recommend this set to every parent.” – Stephanie

“My daughter and I had fun reading and building Sammy’s house. She loves Sammy! So far it has helped her feel better when upset. She has chosen something to crunch on when mad and then hugging Sammy when sad. We keep it i the living room where she will hopefully continue to use it.” – Jennifer

Soothing Sammy

 Learn More

About the Author:

Jeana Kinne Author Photo

Jeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked as a parent educator, Preschool Director and Early Intervention Specialist with children with special needs. She loves working with families, providing them with solutions to common parenting concerns, resulting in stress-free parenting! Follow her blog to learn more parenting tips and strategies that support parents navigating through some of the most difficult and puzzling aspects of parenting at www.jdeducational.com

Build a House for Santa While Teaching Fine Motor, Language and Handwriting Skills

Build Santa’s Paper House to Send Him a Letter on Christmas Eve!

The holidays are here and so is the magic of the Christmas season! The vision of the North Pole, Santa’s Workshop and Rudolph’s living quarters is different for every child. Maybe some children think it’s a cold place where everyone drinks hot chocolate and eats cookies! Maybe it is a place where Santa has reindeer pasture and is outside training and flying with Rudolph and his friends all day. Maybe it is a castle filled with toy-making rooms in every corner. 

Encouraging a child to expand their imagination, especially around the holidays if fun both for the child and for the adult. What fun story is your child going to come up with today? Here is a very special activity that includes art and imagination, teaches fine motor, language and writing skills while also creating a special place to have written communication with Santa himself. 

Right now, this activity focuses on “Santa Clause,”, but this activity can be used throughout the year, regardless of the holiday. During Easter, the children can write to the Easter Bunny and around their birthday’s they can write to family members. You get the idea! Now, let’s get started with this simple, play-based activity.

MAIN IMAGE

Santa’s Paper House Activity Directions (video below)

Materials Needed:

  • Scraps of Wrapping Paper
  • One (1) Roll of tape
  • One (1) Cardboard Box
  • One (1) Pen
  • One (1) Piece of Paper
  • One (1) Pair of Child-Sized Scissors

Learning Objectives:

  • Fine Motor (Writing)
  • Fine Motor (Using Tape)
  • Fine Motor (Using Scissors)
  • Language Expression
  • Creativity
  • Understanding Shapes and Sizes

Directions: (Watch Video Below for More Details)

Step 1: Place a cardboard box (any size), the tape, child-safe scissors and wrapping paper scraps in front of your child.

Step 2: Tell your child that the box is Santa’s house. They can use all of the items in from of them to decorate his house. 

Step 3:Once your child has completed the decorating, tell them that you are going to write a story together. 

Step 4: Ask your child the following questions about Santa’s house. Write down their answers:

  • Tell me about your house.
  • Where will Santa sleep?
  • Where will he eat?
  • What colors are on his house?
  • Who lives in the house with him?
  • Why did you place different paper in their places on the house?
  • Do any pieces represent windows or doors?
  • Where do the reindeer live?
  • Where do they make the toys?
  • Is there anything else you want to tell me about his house that you made?

Step 5: Once your child is done, ask them to trace the words what you wrote, using a pen. 

Step 6: Have your child place the piece of paper in Santa’s House and put the house near the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve for Santa to see.

Step 7: Ask your child to draw a photo for Santa thanking him for coming and wishing him well on his world trip. Ask your child what they would like to tell Santa, writing down what they say. 

Step 8: Have the child place the photo/letter to Santa in the house on Christmas Eve so Santa will get it when he visits.

Optional: On Christmas morning, the parent can write a letter to the child, from Santa, addressing all of the parts of the house and how Santa likes them all. 

For an extra special good time, sing some holiday Christmas songs while wearing these Jingle Bells!

Interested in More Preschool Activities? Join our Free 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Email Series Here!

About the Author:

Jeana Kinne Author PhotoJeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked as a parent educator, Preschool Director and Early Intervention Specialist with children with special needs. Her blog consists of Homeschool Preschool Activities that support educational and social-emotional development. She loves working with families, providing them with solutions to common parenting concerns, resulting in stress-free parenting! Follow Jeana’s blog to view more activities and to learn parenting tips and strategies that support parents navigating through some of the most difficult and puzzling aspects of parenting at www.jdeducational.com.

Teach Children the Alphabet with Pumpkins

Teach Children the Alphabet with Pumpkins

Even though Halloween has ended and the jack-o-lanterns have been “retired”, pumpkins are still everywhere! Fall is a time to investigate these fabulous fruits. There are so many different varieties and sizes to teach children about, but with a little bit of imagination and creativity, pumpkins can be used to teach all sorts of academic concepts! 

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite ways to teach children the Alphabet. Right now I am focusing on use “Pumpkin Jack”, but this activity can be used throughout the year, regardless of the holiday. During the Christmas season, Pumpkin Jack and be changed to “Charlie Christmas Tree” or in February – “Henry the Heart”. You get the idea! Now, let’s get started with this simple, play-based activity.

Pumpkin Jack

Pumpkin Jack Activity Directions (video below)

Materials Needed:

* One empty envelope
* 24 4x6 cards (or pieces of papers cut up into 24 four by six sized paper)
* One Marker (any color)
* One piece of tape
* One large pumpkin.

Directions:

(Watch video below for demonstration)

Step 1: Write the uppercase and lowercase letters on 4x6 cards (see video below for example)

Step 2: With your child, draw a pumpkin face on one side of the pumpkin using a marker.

Step 3: Tape one envelope to the back of the pumpkin (the opposite side that the face is on).

Step 4: Ask your child to sit in front of the pumpkin, facing the pumpkin face.

Step 5: Come up with a name for the pumpkin together.

Step 6: The adult should pick one of the alphabet cards and place either the uppercase side or the lowercase side in the envelope (see video below for example).

Step 7: Repeat the following poem with your child:

Pumpkin Poem:

Child: “Pumpkin (name of pumpkin), Pumpkin (name of pumpkin) what letter did you have for a snack?”

Adult: “My name is Pumpkin (name of pumpkin) and I had”

Child: “letter ___ for a snack!”

Step 8: Repeat steps 6 and 7 for all of the alphabet (both uppercase and lowercase).

 

Don’t have a pumpkin? Use this Pumpkin Balloon Ball Jack O’ Lantern Instead!

For More Fall Activities, view our All About Fall Unit on sale now for $2.99.

About the Author:

Jeana Kinne Author PhotoJeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked as a parent educator, Preschool Director and Early Intervention Specialist with children with special needs. Her blog consists of Homeschool Preschool Activities that support educational and social-emotional development. She loves working with families, providing them with solutions to common parenting concerns, resulting in stress-free parenting! Follow Jeana’s blog to view more activities and to learn parenting tips and strategies that support parents navigating through some of the most difficult and puzzling aspects of parenting at www.jdeducational.com

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