Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Kindness Curriculum Theme 1

I am so excited to be using the Kindness Curriculum from the Center for Healthy Minds. You can download this free mindfulness curriculum easily. We'll be doing this for a total of eight weeks in our Early Childhood class.

We are on Week One, which has "MINDFUL BODIES AND PLANTING SEEDS OF KINDNESS" as its theme.

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines.

Circle Time

Monday, February 3
Lesson 1: Mindful bodies and awareness of attention and breath

We used paper straws (I had a different fun design for each child so they wouldn't get them mixed up) and cotton balls. The kids loved it! We also used my chime as our bell, and they each got a turn to invite the bell. It works best if children sit with their eyes closed, so they are truly listening for the sound of the bell fading away and not just watching to see when everyone else puts their hand down. They really enjoyed this first lesson!

It was also super-warm today so we spent a ton of time outside in free play.

Tuesday, February 4
Lesson 2: Growing seeds

Thank you to the University of Illinois Extension for sharing free packets of seeds at the Christmas Walk! We each planted a different kind of flower.

    L - Verbena bonariensis - Tall verbena

    Z - Silphium perfoliatum - Cup plant

    B - Cleome hassieriana - Spider flower

    RNS - Liatris spicata - Blazing star

The children were fascinated at the different sizes and shapes of the seeds.

Thursday, February 6
Lesson 3: Growing friendship with kindness

A busy lesson, since we made our own Kindness Garden poster and Seeds of Kindness stickers. We used scrapbook papers (including blue sky, green grass, bricks, and a sheet of real cork for the soil) to make our poster and then added flowers and butterflies with rubber stamps and different colors of stamp pads. For our Seed stickers we used mini foam dots. Everytime you see somebody being kind you add a seed sticker to the Kindness Garden.

The entire group of children, ages 3-10, came to listen to our story about kindness. I chose Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. It is a class favorite and still makes me tear up every time I read it! Next week we will work on making valentines, another way of showing kindness to others.

The kids also enjoyed learning the Growing Friendship Wish and learning to sign it too. Here's the video for the Growing Friendship Wish in sign language (Vimeo).

Of course, we made Stone Soup today! There was barely anything left in the pot (usually we try to leave a portion for Natalie to taste when she gets home from school) once everyone was done getting all they wanted. Today's contributions were vegetable broth, red onion, red bell pepper, carrot, celery, sweet potato, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and rotini. Yum!

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