When children learn self-regulation skills in preschool, it supports their success in school and beyond. In many preschool classrooms, children who are disruptive are simply put in 'time out' with no guidance on how to calm down. We are partnering with preschools to pilot a program that teaches children mindfulness techniques to help them manage their emotions. In our partner preschools, children who are feeling overwhelmed by emotions are invited to go to a "safe place," which is a bright, colorful area with a few games based on mindfulness that they can play to help them regulate their emotions. For example, in the balloon game, children fill up their bellies like a big ballon, and then let all the air out in one big gust. In the facet game, children put their arms above their head, and then drop them down while making the 'shhhh' sound of running water. With these simple games, children are learning concrete strategies to regulate their emotions.
- Learn more about self-regulation at Harvard Center on the Developing Child
- Watch TED talks on mindfulness