This month all of Mi Families programs have had an “all about me” theme. “All about me, my family and friends” activities help us get to know new participants in each program. From infants to adults it’s been fun meeting new friends and adding members to our Mi Family-tree. Mi Families (“my families”) LLC facilitates programs for families and those who work with families. From provider workshops to family events, parent and me programs, tutor times and child care services … we have a busy fall session planned. Throughout our fall session we’ll be exploring various topics and themes.
I encourage all program facilitators (&parents) to give warnings before transitions to a new theme or activity. We started off this month focused on oneself, then their family and friends … This week we transitioned to discussions about expressing our emotions and reading peoples “feeling faces” to promote awareness of others and being empathetic. This week some of our students talked about empathy towards to our friends and families, and also those far away in areas devastated by nature and in areas where people are fighting one another. Students often become afraid by chaotic news stories and fill helpless. This week we focused on ways to stay calm, look for heroes, and asked ourselves how we can be helping heroes.
Even small children should feel empowered to help others, which helps them feel less frightened and more in control. Feeling in control and empowered helps a child build self esteem and build skills for dealing with emotions. Encourage a child to feel in control by providing them with a monthly calendar overview, help them write out their weekly schedule, let them decide parts of their daily routine. For young children use a visual planner to help them see what to expect and provide transition moments before starting new activities. This time of year is filled with new activities and changes to our routine. This can feel overwhelming coming off summer vacation.
As we move from summer to fall – the first weeks of school and other activities are exciting, but then many experience emotional roller coasters adjusting to the new season. As seasons change our senses are heightened, which for many adds to the roller coaster feeling and meltdowns. Let children know what to expect as you go about your daily routine. Let them know what they will do, see, hear, taste, smell, and feel during different activities. Provide them with many activities to use those senses and ask how they feel about each activity. How does the activity feel according to their senses and their emotions.
Mi Families programs try to individualize activities to meet the emotional, mental, medical, physical and academic needs of each participant – even in a group setting – especially with our youngest participants. Let us know about the struggles and strengths of anyone in your family who participates, so we can make sure activities enrich their experience in our programs. In our “Adventure Academy” program for tots to pre teens we’ll be preparing sensory based activities this week. Warning some sensory play get’s messy! Education through recreation can make a kid messy! But did you know kids often learn more while creating a mess?!
If you know someone who’d like to “make a mess, make friends and make believe” with us during this fall session we still have a couple part time spaces available in various programs. Contact Christi@MiFamilies.com for more information or visit www.MiFamilies.com. You can find out more about our programs and network with our members on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn… You can find out more about curriculums we use by reviewing old articles through this blog or visit www.MotherGooseTime.com. We’ll be using Mother Goose Time’s 5 senses teachers guide this week as little ones explore their “My Amazing Body” kit.