I really don't know how it happened, but it started happening. At pick up times some of the children would greet their parents with " I had a bad day", or "I had a good day". Then I started taking notes and observing and found out it was a code for if I had an incident where I had to talk to Ms. T about it then it was a bad day. I knew then that we needed to start having more conversations about our feelings; how to identify them, understand them, and create ways to manage our big feelings. There also needed to be a mindset change, one that went from talking about the behavior to talking about our feelings.
When I came across this Time-In ToolKit By Generation Mindful. I knew this was exactly what we needed to incorporate into our program at Studio One. The Time-In Tool Kit comes with posters, stickers, charts, games, a quick start manual, and a digital manual that is delivered to you when your order actually ships. This manual helps changes the mindsets of the adults and the child's mindset from Time Outs to Time Ins, which is very necessary if the child your introducing the Peace Corner to has ever been exposed to Time Outs, or if you as an adult have used Time Outs. It also gives you the tools to help identify the feelings we're having, how identifying those feelings can be empowering when we talk about them, and you and the child also learn ways in how to co- regulate your feelings.
Before our actual kit arrived we choose our Peace Corner area together. We did the suggested activities in the manual like , "Throw Time Outs Away".
We waded up paper to symbolize time outs and tossed time outs into the trash can!
The pillows were first in our Peace Corner, and then we added the posters from the Time-In ToolKit, the table/chair and our Calm Down Tool Kit Cart .
The children look to the posters to help identify their feelings, find calm down strategies, and learn affirmations that are embodied by PEACEMAKERS.
The posters on the table show the facial emotions that can help the child understand how they may be feeling, also there are PEACEMAKERS and the poster shows the colors related to each PEACEMAKER. The table is also where a child may want to sit to use the calm down tools in found in the cart.
Our Calm Down Took Kit Cart houses more tools from the Time-In ToolKit. I was inspired to put this together by their suggestion list for making your own "Calm Down Tool Kit".
The PeaceMakers game also came with the tool kit. The picture above shows a few of the cards that describes the attributes the Peacemakers and stickers, oh my there are so many resources included in the kit that I have not mentioned in this post. We have kept it simple.
I am sure you will see lots more of our Peace Corner in future postings as it is well loved by all who also look for it as a quiet space to go to when everything may seem loud to them.
Our Peace Corner had definitely been a game changer. The conversation at pick ups have changed from I had a bad day, or good day to "I am powerful!", "I choose love!".
Our programming is highly focused on social emotional competencies and building relationships. No doubt Studio One is moving in the right direction.