heart activities

February Heart Connections: What Is Your Child’s Favorite Object?

The month of February invites us to connect with the heart; to start, what is your child’s favorite object? What’s yours? Choices give clues–and practice.

Recently, I registered in a video challenge event. Each day, for 30 days, we create a short video and share it with the group. This helps to get past the reasons why and we get support and encouragement from others. The challenge for today was to ‘show and tell’ about a favorite object. Here is mine, entirely unedited and done all at once.

When we think about what objects we would choose, we get information about our own values. We reveal something about ourselves. Are the items rare or valuable? Or is it something these items represent and mean to use at a deeper level? In the video below, I’ll share with you two of my favorite objects. Obviously, there must be some meaning to choosing a potato masher. You are welcome to be an armchair psychologist but I hope you got a chuckle too.

Choosing isn’t easy for adults or kids. It’s a process and involves lots of thinking. As a skill, it’s critical. Where we live and what we do has depended on choices we’ve made in the past. To make good choices, kids need opportunities and lots of practice. This could be choosing what clothes to wear or toys to play with, what color of cup for a drink or book for story-time. You may need to guide the choices by making a few alternatives. Another way to play with choosing and choices might be showing someone a favorite object or telling about the best thing that happened in a day.

How a child makes choices also gives us clues about what kind of support is needed. Hesitant kids may respond to encouragement and need more time. Children who make choices impulsively, can name their number 1 choice and tell us about it, their number 2 choice and explain again, and a third choice. Then, they can choose from those 3. This way, they have engaged in some thinking beforehand.

Picking a favorite object was hard for me. There were so many things I could choose. When I did find something, I realized the choice was based on the story of the object and its connection. A super way to start February. For some fun and play today, what is your child’s favorite object?


May The Force Be With You – The Force of Kindness

Today’s play-of-the-day combines the power of stars with another force—the force of kindness.

Stars are really quite magical. We see them as tiny with our eyes but use them to mean very, very big. Famous people are called Stars, and there are Rock Stars, Super Stars, and Sport Stars. Stars are considered to be a sort of Royalty although not everyone will agree on who is a Star. Businesses and school assignments are given stars of different numbers and colors. It’s no wonder we use stars for making wishes. In lofty goals, we shoot for the stars. Is it any wonder the Star Wars movies have gone from millions to billions of dollars?

The star for today, is being kind. While any month of the year is a wonderful time to be kind to others, February is the Month of the Heart. Brain Gordon, of FowlLanguage kindly gave permission to use this cartoon in my blog. Daddy Duck’s feelings and words are great for all parents and caregivers.

force for kindness-fowllanguage
(with permission of Brian Gordon/FowlLanguage)

Are preschool kids too young to show kindness? Not by any means. Young children have generous hearts. And there are lots of small things they can do to show kindness. Here are 10 simple ideas for kids:

Random Acts of Kindness for Young Children

random acts of kindness for kidsYou and your child may want to do one of these today, or save it for another day. There’s no limit on how many to do! And may the force–the force of kindness–be with you…

Wear Red Day for Healthy and Happy Hearts

valentines and Wear Red Day for kidsWear Red Day happens in February just before Valentine’s and it reminds us to keep our hearts healthy. We can and need to share the message with kids.

Healthy living starts when children are young. Kids need to be active and have plenty of time to play inside and outdoors. Muscles, including the heart, need to be strengthened and so does the skeleton. Physical activity and exercise can change the shape and density of bones. They also affect the heart, circulation, and more.

There is so much competition now for children’s time. Screens and electronics take a big chunk and sending kids outside to play is much more difficult, requiring planning and supervision. Communities are starting to recognize the needs and may offer special activities and programs to support kids and families.

Another challenge is encouraging healthy eating and sleeping. Children are notoriously picky eaters and parents use a variety of strategies to get kids to eat vegetables and fruit. Sleep habits are another area that will impact kids. Research is discovering that patterns developed in childhood will affect adult sleep.

hear-your-heartFor some heart fun today, besides wearing red, help children find their heart with their hands and try to feel it beating. Do some exercises like jumping jacks or running on the spot and then try again. Kids should be able to feel their hearts going thump, thump quite easily. In the book “Hear Your Heart” by Paul Showers, kids make a homemade stethoscope with just a paper roll or cardboard tube. Some children’s doctor kits may have play stethoscopes that work. It’s very exciting to hear the heart as it beats.

Besides healthy, hearts also need to be happy. Valentine’s is a special celebration for caring and sharing with others. That helps hearts feel good. What red can you and your child wear for Wear Red Day?