Preschool · Programs · Toddlers · Virtual Programming

Virtual Sunshine Squad: Take a Breath

Almost every emotional management strategy for kids includes the power of the breath. Scientifically speaking, when humans enter a highly stressed state, our prefrontal cortex–the part of our brain responsible for rational thinking–is impaired. Through deep breathing exercises, you force your body to focus on another activity, you can slow the rapid beating of your heart, and you add more oxygen to your brain. (You also trigger your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” activities. This article in Harvard Business Review provides a quick scientific look at the positive effects of breathing.

But saying it and doing it are two very different things–especially when you are caught up in a very powerful emotion like anger, disappointment, or frustration. However, through practice and when we start kids early, breathing when stressed can have positive lifelong implications.

Welcome Song

Tune: Skip to My Lou

Hello (name) and how are you? x3
Welcome to storytime

Welcome Book: The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

3 Ways to be be a part of Sunshine Squad (from Sunflower Storytime)

  1. Being kind to yourself
  2. Being kind to others
  3. Being kind to animals and nature

I am great! (Arms wide)
I  am smart! (Finger to head)
I am strong! (Flex muscles)
I am loved! (Hug yourself)
Today is an awesome day! (Thumbs up)

Introduction to theme: Take a Breath

When we practice mindfulness, we pay attention to what’s happening right now. This is generally what young children do–oftentimes getting wrapped up in their current emotion and letting it take over. So we can help manage that with something we do every day *breathe*!

Participation Story: Hot Chocolate by Kira Willey

Imagine your holding a cup of hot chocolate in your hands.
It’s much too hot to take a sip, so you need to blow on it to cool it off.

Take a long breathe in, and slowly blow the air out, to cool off your hot chocolate.
Take another long breath in, and slowly blow the air out.

Now take a tiny little sip of your hot chocolate and say “Mmmmmm!”
Make the “mmm” sound last as long as you can.
Try it again! Take a tiny little sip and say “Mmmmm…”

Put your hot chocolate down, take a long breath in, and let the air all the way out.

Book: Little Grump Truck by Amanda Driscoll

Mindfulness Activity: 5-4-3-2-1 Senses

Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can touch, and one thing you can taste

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique infographic

Recorded Song: “If All of the Raindrops” by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Be a Bumblebee by Kira Willey

Sit up as tall as you can and let’s be bumblebees!

Make bumblebee wings by sticking your elbows out at your sides.
Wiggle your wings all around, and flap them up and down.
Take a deep breath in and buzzzzzz as you let it out. Make the buzz last as long as you can!

Now make big circles in the air with your bumblebee wings. 
Take a deep breath in and buzzzzzzzzzzz as you let it out.
Now shake out your wings, take a long breath in and let it all out.

Settle Down Rhyme: If You’re Ready for a Story

Book: Chill Chomp Chill by Ayala-Kronos

Craft: Dragon Breath

Craft kits available at library for registered patrons include: 2 pom poms, 2 googly eyes, 2 pony beads, 3 quarter sheets of tissue paper (red, yellow, and orange), 1 green toilet paper tube (pre-painted)

  1. Glue googly eyes onto the pom poms
  2. At one end of the toilet paper tube, glue pom poms with the googly eyes looking across the length of the tube.
  3. Glue 2 pony beads onto the other end of the tube. These are the nostrils.
  4. Cut out or rip 4 strips of tissue paper of each color. 
  5. Glue strips at the end with the nostrils, on the inside of the tube.
  6. Take a deep breathe in and see how long you can keep the dragon “flames” blowing

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