The purpose of creating a calm down area is to provide a space to support the child in learning to self-regulate. It is a safe place for a child to take a break away from a stimulus that is causing stress, anxiety or anger (e.g., loud noises, having to share, feeling tired, or being excited). The child learns to identify overwhelming feelings and step away to regain self-control. Through this process the child engages in calming and relaxing activities and, once calm, is able to return to the activity or routine in progress. A calm down area should never be used as a time out or as a punishment.
There are a lot of different things you can include in a calm down kit and you will want to tailor it to your child(ren) and ensure the calm down area is supervised at all times. The kit should be readily available for both indoor and outdoor and can include: Continue reading
The calm down area in our school age program has gone through several different versions since I began working here 4 years ago. There were times it was non-existent and there were failed attempts at hanging curtains from hula-hoops from the ceiling that came crashing down. For a long time, it consisted of a large dog bed pillow on the window bench with a couple of breathing visuals slapped on the window beside it. One thing it never seemed to be was inviting and, as a result, it was never used. Continue reading
Inclusive programming is crucial for the progressive development of skills in children. It provides the means and structure to incorporate children’s interests and to motivate each child in exploring, engaging and learning new skills. Programming reduces challenging behaviours within a group environment because children are actively engaged, motivated, and focussed on play.
While children are engaged in play, adults are able to observe abilities, needs, interests and learning styles to identify the goals and objectives. Programming should include a balance of both child-led and adult facilitated learning. Continue reading
The role of the caregiver is to support the child to become aware of their emotions and guide them through the use of coping skills. Feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, excitement or fears can be overwhelming to any child. Regaining a sense of calm can be challenging for both the child and the caregiver. Continue reading
We’d like to share our experience with La Coccinelle – Le Prélude daycare service and acknowledge the help and support received from CISS through the Positive Outcomes Program (POP).
Following a request to POP, we were given assistance that helped us complete necessary changes within a few months thanks to the work and collaboration of the whole teaching staff. Continue reading
The child care community is currently in the process of change and educators/home child care providers are continuously making efforts to create engaging environments and experiences to foster children’s learning and development. They are deeply engaged in recognizing and adapting their own personal perspectives to support children’s well-being and their sense of belonging.
We as educators/home child care providers and parents/guardians all have our own personal perspectives, values and belief systems, and it can feel unnatural to change or adapt how we express ourselves. Recognizing and being more conscious of the statements we use with children helps shift the focus to a more positive approach that can lead to a decrease in the intensity and frequency of challenging behaviours. Continue reading
Did you know that preparing children for upcoming transitions saves time, energy and reduces challenging behaviours from occurring?
Examples of transitions include:
- Getting ready to leave home to go to child care or child care to go home.
- Leaving play for lunch.
- From outdoor play to indoors.
- Getting ready for sleep time including nap and night.
By planning and organizing your transitions, it creates a plan that can be implemented by anyone. Continue reading
Did you know that when you ask a child to say sorry following a situation, you are teaching them an automatic response. Often that response reinforces the behaviour and does not teach them how to rectify the situation.
Although it is important to model and teach manners, a child needs to experience a true sense of empathy in order to be compassionate to others. Continue reading
Below are 2 pictures from a school age program that runs out of a gym. They have 5 minutes to set up, and aim to have a quiet area, table top activities and a help yourself bin with a variety of activities that is easy for the children to access. Staff regularly rotate items to keep the children’s interests.
Note: some tables, mats, as well as the small bench as used as a divider. Creative thinking!
Floor Toys Continue reading
Did you know the impact of pairing positive reinforcement with a child’s name can;
- Provide positive attention
- Enhance self-esteem
- Build self-confidence
- Establish a sense of belonging
The whole family is sitting at the table for dinner. Charlie is looking at his plate and notices a new food. He pushes his plate away and says; “I don’t want that”. The parent says, “They’re peas, they taste good”. The parent refrains from using Charlie’s name. After Charlie eats the preferred food on his plate, he decides to take a small bite of peas. The parent waits until Charlie tries again and then says with a big smile; “Charlie, you tasted your peas”. Charlie smiles. Continue reading