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Mindfulness (a.k.a. focusing your awareness on the present moment and calmly acknowledging your feelings) is a term you hear a lot about lately, with good reason. Emotional intelligence has only recently been introduced to some schools and the resources for teaching about it are pretty slim. When I first read about the Generation Mindful Kickstarter campaign for their Time-In Tool Kit, I jumped on board immediately. I ordered 2 full packs including the Peacemakers cards, one for myself and one for a gift. You can read more about when we started using it as well as our favourite story books for mindfulness in a previous post HERE.
This past weekend, GEN:M a company which creates tools and toys that build emotional intelligence through play and positive discipline, revealed their newest product. They are called SnuggleBuddies and they are super soft and snuggly plush toy.
We have yet to try these cute stuffies in our house, but I can't wait to get my hands on them. We already use the Time-In Took Kit daily (read more or get your own Tool Kit HERE). It has been an invaluable resource as a parent of a strong willed and very emotional boy. When I am back in a classroom again, I know that this tool kit will be coming with me and I will most certainly be adding a few of the Snuggle Buddies to my class resources as well. I've never met a child who doesn't like soft toys. They act as a comfort object and a confidant. Children can care for them and model behaviour for them and teach them. I have used soft toys in so many ways for both circle time with 30 children or just the two of my own.
The following description is from their media release:
SnuggleBuddies are the 7 animals featured in the Peace Makers collection, each one representing a different theme: red bear is power, orange fox is joy, yellow lion is balance, green hummingbird is love, blue dolphin is peace, indigo owl is intuition, and violet elephant is forgiveness.
SnuggleBuddies come with a set of “storytellers”, four plush mood emojis that tuck inside a pocket on the back of each plush. These emojis represent the four main mood groups and help children learn to recognize emotions in themselves and others. Children and adults share their thoughts and feelings, prompted by the SnuggleBuddies song “When did I feel happy today, and when did I feel sad? When did I feel calm and when did I feel mad?”
Studies show that the simple act of naming and sharing one's feelings strengthens a person’s emotional intelligence, growing the prefrontal cortex -- an area of the brain largely credited for determining a person’s self-awareness, social awareness, self care, and social skills, including things like self-control, empathy, focus, and mindfulness, among others.
If this sounds like something that you'd like to have in your house as a learning tool or even that you'd like to give as a gift (Christmas is fast approaching!) then follow this link to the newest Kickstarter campaign which closes in just 12 days (Sept. 28).
SnuggleBuddies are HERE.
To read more about the creator of GEN:M, Suzanne Tucker and the other available products, head to their main website HERE.
I hope these tools help you with the little people in your life whether it is at home or in your classroom!
Hello! I'm Deb,
a book-toting mother of two and an elementary (primary) school teacher. I love making stories engaging and interactive for kids.
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