As children, parents, caregivers, and educators return to variations of distance learning, explore resources to embrace the positive and emerge stronger during challenging times.
An affirmation is a personal statement which affirms a positive thought to be true.
"As our children learn behaviors and wire their brain, affirmations are very effective in nurturing self-belief in childhood, which will stay with them throughout their life." —Ripple Kindness Project
Write or draw affirmations for the academic year with your child:
Use art materials from our ABCs of Loose Parts, to create, construct or build visual representations of your empowering statements:
Consider displaying your Artful Affirmations at home in your work or study space. Turn to them as a source of self-expression, conversation, and comfort between Zooms!
CARING ACROSS DISTANCE @HOME
Mitigating Pandemic Fallout on Developing Brains
Hilltop Children's Center | Video: 45-Minute Listen (It's worth it!)
Amelia Bachleda, I-LABS Outreach Specialist:
Support children's continuous cognitive development during the school year and beyond—plus, what children notice about race at an early age.
"If we got used to having challenges, our brains would grow to the size of elephants." –Ollie, Age 9
Pro-Tip: Give yourself grace as a caregiver.
Hint: We can get through hard times when we are kind to ourselves and others.
I. Every Moment is a Learning Opportunity: "Children are learning SO much all the time. Every moment of every day, children are...forming new physical brain connections."
II. Learning Doesn't Only Happen in a Classroom: Teach and learn together through everyday activities like cooking, organizing the house, building a shelf, or planting a garden.
III. Children are Resilient: "We have this amazing brain which is FLEXIBLE, and ADAPTIVE, and allows us to survive and hopefully thrive in any environment we are going to be."
IV. Connection is Key—Plant Seeds of Social Interaction: In an age of physical distancing, maintaining interpersonal connections is paramount. Help children continue to cultivate relationships and build community in new ways.
• Throw a virtual dance party with grandma!
• Wave to your neighbor from across the street.
• Write a letter to a friend you miss seeing in person.
Greater Good Magazine
How to Reduce the Stress of Schooling at Home
Advice from a school psychologist:
• Relax Productivity Standards: Revise your expectations.
• Connect with Teachers: Ask for help if your child is struggling.
• Get Ahead of the Meltdowns: Practice empathy & compassion.
"The thread of feelings connects us all." –Aleeza, Age 7
Greater Good Magazine
Discover New Practices: Explore pathways to happiness.
• Write a Gratitude Letter (or Draw a Gratitude Picture)
• Embark on an Awe Walk: Stroll through Nature
• Engage in Random Acts of Kindness
Keep Calm & Structure On: How to manage emotions and build structure at home during COVID-19.
Video #1: Keep Calm & Schedule On (12 minutes)
Video #2: The Need for Daily Check-Ins (9 minutes)
Video #3: Emotional Regulation (13 minutes)
5 Tips for Prioritizing Your Family's Mental Health: Academics is not what your children need most right now. What they need is you.
Social-Emotional Learning at Home: Hilltop Learning Center explores activities to build resiliency and engage children in social emotional learning.
READING FOR RESILIENCE:
Stories of hope and strength during adversity.
Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
A fable about confronting and conquering fear. A tall pink house stands in a snowy forest; outside is a big black dog.
I Am Enough by Grace Byers
In this ode to female self-confidence and love, girls from across the racial spectrum play, fight, hug, read, and perform beneath a series of florid platitudes in rhyme.
I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids by Gabi Garcia
What we tell ourselves matters! Help your child tap into inner strength and find the encouragement they need to navigate.
The Hard-Times Jar by Ethel Footman Smothers
The daughter of poor migrant workers longs to own a real book. When she attends school for the first time, she is amazed to discover a library in her classroom.
Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour
A young girl relies on her pebble best friend as she acclimates to being a refugee in a new country. Eventually, she finds someone who needs Pebble more.
My Strong Mind by Niels van Hove
A Story About Developing Mental Strength: Your children will be introduced to mental strength and learn about techniques to develop their own strong mind.
Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall
A young Mayan girl who is not allowed to use her mother's thread to weave, exercises her ingenuity and repurposes plastic bags to create colorful weavings.
Ruby Bridges Goes to School by Ruby Bridges
My True Story: Ruby Bridges tells the story of how she helped end racial segregation in the New Orleans public school system.
The Three Questions by John Muth
Based on a story of the same name, written by Leo Tolstoy, the picture book follows the quest of a young boy to find answers.
Tomorrow I'll Be Brave by Jessica Hische
A child's bedtime promise to strive the next day to be adventurous, strong, curious, and more.
What Do You Do with a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
A story that inspires you to look closely at the problem and find out why it's here. You might discover something amazing about your problem...and yourself.
When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
A young girl is upset & doesn't know how to manage anger.