Tag Archives: Fun Friends

Fun Friends

Going to school is a big transition and children feel that. From May as children’s awareness of their move to school increases we see slight changes in the children. We often hear individuals saying to their friends or adults “I’m going to miss you when I go to school”. Some of our younger children protest “I’m going to school too”. We see some children become a little more anxious and look for more reassurance, or return to play they had previously moved on from.

At this time children also begin to explore their identity through their friendships and sometimes excluding others and we often hear disagreements about who is allowed to join in or who is in a friendship group. Recently some children made this sign:

As adults we seek to encourage children to be aware of how it feels to be excluded; and challenge children to think how and why we should include others. Parents this is a time when children will soak up the way you interact with others and your values both conscious and unconscious ones.


At Glenwood we use the Fun Friends approach with all children. You may already be familiar with this but I am putting links to previous blogs and a sways to provide more fun ideas to support wellbeing.

 

F is for Feelings

We talk to children about their own feelings and others “I can see that you thought that was funny and it made you laugh but look, your friends not laughing he got a fright. https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/05/21/remote-learning-fun-friends-have-feelings/

 

R is for Relaxing and Self-Regulation

Learning calm ourselves when we are scared, angry or in a disagreement is an important skill and it involves stopping a moment and breathing slowly.  https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/05/28/remote-learning-relax/

 

I is for ‘I can do it.’

We teach children to think positively “I can’t do it yet, but I can try hard. We call positive thoughts green as they help us go and negative thoughts red as they make us stop. https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/06/04/remote-learning-fun-friends-i-can-do-it/

 

E is for Encourage

We celebrate success and encourage on the journey “you are concentrating really hard” or “I can see you are doing your very best” https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/06/11/remote-learning-fun-friends-encourage/

 

N is for Nurture

We are wired for positive connection. Love can be ‘all we need’. https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/06/18/remote-learning-fun-friends-nurture/

 

D is for don’t forget to be Brave. 

Facing new experiences and people requires bravery. Children can practice being confident in new situations or saying they don’t like something.  https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/?s=Fun+friends

 

S stay happy and stay safe

Children learn best when they are happy and safe. They love having Fun. Also they can learn safety messages when presented in fun ways. https://sway.office.com/j8AjRWaA8PxjM1CQ?ref=Link

 

 

Remote Learning – Fun Friends: Don’t Forget to be Brave and Stay Happy!

Hello Fun Friends. This is our last message of this year and we want you to carry on being Brave and Happy!

Remember to use your milkshake breathing and relax when you feel upset or worried. Also it can be good to talk about your feelings with people who care for you. 

Mirror, Mirror

When you are looking at yourself in the mirror (perhaps brushing your teeth or hair) Tell yourself something positive e.g “I can be brave, kind, helpful, try my best” These are positive  (green) thoughts.

You can help other people to have green positive thoughts too. Send a message to a friend, member of your family or neighbour. 

We know that you are Brave! We saw how Brave you could be at Glenwood and we know you will continue to try and be brave. Remember to keep practising being brave. Brave is :

  • Looking people in the eye
  • Smiling
  • Using a brave voice
  • Standing up tall
  • Trying your best and giving it a go!

Making  New Friends

It’s good to make new friends and to play with different people. Friends smile, help, talk, listen, play and share. What would you tell your friend? What would you ask them? Would you tell them about your family?

Family Fun Questions (why not write these out, add some more and then pick a question to answer)

  • Who has the loudest laugh?
  • Who makes the best food and what is it?
  • Who is the funniest person?
  • Who has the smelliest shoes?
  • Who is the oldest person in the family?
  • What is your favourite thing to do?

Our support Team

Sometimes we need help or care from others. On a piece of paper draw yourself and then people who can help or support you round about you.  This might include siblings, wider family, neighbours, teachers (pets can also be included).

Game – What could you do if? (Think of solutions to these problems)

  • You don’t get a plate/book but everyone else does.
  • There’s a lion in the garden.
  • There is a group of children playing and you want to join in.
  • Everyone is doing an activity and you don’t know how to do it.
  • Your friend gets their head stuck in some railings.

Make up your own scenarios – some things that might happen and some funny.

It’s ok to say No! 

Sometimes our friends do or say things we don’t like. Remember it’s ok to say “I don’t like that”. Look the person in the eye and use a brave voice. Next you can get louder and show a cross face. Then use a very loud voice and show your angry face and body (no hitting or kicking). Get help from an adult if you need it.

We follow the rules so we don’t get lost or hurt. We ask for help when we need it and we remember the Pants rule https://youtu.be/_SzbMEVYiyg

Game – Today we will be……

Here are a few positive behaviours (add your own), write them on pieces of paper, fold them up, put them in a container and then pick one out each day. Then everyone playing needs to try and be this word.

Determined   Flexible   Thankful   Friendly   Creative   Funny   Surprising   Tidy   Helpful   Co-operative   Bendy   Strong   Gentle   Playful   Try hard

Keep Learning!

As you grow there are lots of things to learn! Keep practising to achieve your goals and try hard! Remember: ‘No matter how old you are everyday is a learning day’. 

We are proud of you! 

Being in lockdown has been very hard and we want you to know that we have missed you very much but we are very proud of you staying at home or going to a nursery hub. 

We hope you will continue being Fun Friends and will remember:

    • Friends- can recognise our own and others feelings
    • Relaxing and milkshake breathing
    • I can do it – turning red thoughts green
    • Encouraging – I can achieve a goal
    • Nurture – I can be a good friend
    • Don’t forget to be brave!
    • Stay happy!

 

Remote Learning – Fun Friends: Nurture

Consistency is key – the more your child practices, the better they will become at finding ways to work through their own personal challenges.

 

Recap on previous weeks’ learning:

  • Feelings It’s ok to have feelings, everyone has feelings. Learning how to recognise and deal with our feelings is an important skill.
  • Relax Practise relaxation every day if you can and encourage your child to use relaxation strategies to calm down if they feel upset/worried/angry.
  • I can try We can be BRAVE! By looking someone in the eye, smiling and using a brave voice. We now know that RED thoughts are unhelpful thoughts and GREEN thoughts are helpful thoughts. We can choose to turn our RED thoughts GREEN.
  • Encourage Did you encourage your child to try a new skill, develop self-control or overcome a fear? Did your child have the opportunity to practice the skill of being brave as they took on a new challenge?

Nurture

Learning about role models in our lives and how they can influence how we nurture relationships. Spending time together doing fun activities with adults, peers and siblings help us to role model positive relationships. Our family, friends and adults in our lives can help us be brave and we can help them.

Being a good friend Discuss what makes a good friend – helping, sharing, smiling and listening. Then talk about a time that your child has been a good friend and thank them for sharing the story.

Making new friends Remind children about doing things one step at a time. Discuss steps to make new friends by, smiling and saying hello, asking them to play with you, share your toys, invite them to play at your garden, etc

Encourage children to listen to their friends.

Listening game: Play a Simon Says game but with a different action from what is being said. For example, Simon says “touch your nose”, while touching your head. Your child needs to listen and do what you say rather than what you do.

Sharing game: In a small group give each child 5 stickers of the same colour. The aim is to end up with 5 stickers- all different colours. Each child has to ask the other child for a sticker in a brave voice and say please and thank you. Afterward you can discuss the importance of being kind and sharing. What would happen if no one had shared a sticker.

Magical sound box: Put different objects, such as keys, paper, beans in a bottle, etc., into a covered box, and then manipulate one of the objects asking a child to tell you what he or she heard. You might need to introduce the child to different objects and sounds before playing this game.

Guess who is calling you: Seat everyone in a circle, choose one child to cover their eyes. Then choose someone else in the group to shout out the person’s name that has their eyes closed. The child then uncovers their eyes and has to guess who shouted out their name. Continue until everyone has had a turn in the circle.

Useful links for being a good friend.

CBeebies Justin’s Good Friends Song 

What makes a good friend? song on YouTube

Bad Apple: a tale of friendship by Edward Hemingway (YouTube) 

Friendship Soup – a recipe for friends (YouTube)

Can you tell us about when you have been a good friend to your family, neighbours or anyone else?

Share on Google Classrooms or Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Fun Friends: Encourage

Welcome back to Fun Friends.

This week we are looking at encouragement.

Well done to all of you who have been learning about feelings, relaxing (and milkshake breathing) and ‘I can do it!’ (turning red thoughts green).

This week we want to set goals with children, and encourage them to gain a skill, develop self-control or overcome a fear. This is a chance for us to be brave as we take on a challenge!

To achieve our goal we can break the task into smaller steps. An example is learning to complete a jigsaw puzzle:

  1. Find the four corner pieces
  2. Find the pieces with a straight edge
  3. Match up the pieces with a straight edge
  4. Match up pieces with the same colour and join together
  5. Fill in the gaps with remaining pieces.
  6. Jigsaw complete

Can you pick a goal you would like to achieve? What will you pick?

If you can’t think of a goal here are some ideas:

  • Getting dressed by yourself
  • Sleeping in your own bed
  • Learning a new sport (for sports week)
  • Eating new food especially fruit or vegetables
  • Fastenings- zips, buttons, studs or velcro
  • Riding bike or scooter
  • Finding and tidying up your belongings
  • Being brave when ……….

Can you make a picture to show what you want to learn or get an adult to help write a list of steps to get you to your goal. If you want you could post it on your Google classroom.

Now start at step one and try and achieve it. If it takes practise try hard! Remember to think green thoughts. When you have achieved a step, Celebrate! Give yourself a cheer or do a little dance.  When you achieve your goal maybe you will get a reward.

What reward would you pick? Maybe playing a favourite game as a family, or getting to choose what Mum or Dad will cook. Fun Friends Koala likes choosing activities with others more than sweet or toy rewards. Can you do the same?Additional resources 

CBeebies radio programme on encouragement: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/radio/treasure-champs-encouragement

Using zips:  https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/kids/resources/ot-activityinformation-sheets/zips/

Learning to button:   https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/teach-kids-button/

Introducing new food (its part of info on fussy eaters): https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/kids/resources/ot-activityinformation-sheets/fussy-eaters-information-sheet/

Staying in your bed: https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/sleep/night-time-problems/calling-out-getting-out-of-bed

Learning to ride a bike: https://blog.halfords.com/how-to-teach-a-child-to-ride-a-bike/

Remote Learning – Fun Friends: I can do it!

Recap on feelings:

  • It’s ok to have feelings
  • Everyone has feelings
  • I can recognise feelings in myself and others
  • I can ask for help with my feelings
  • Hitting, kicking or breaking things is not ok, no matter how we feel

Keep encouraging your child to identify feelings in themselves and to do things that make themselves feel better when they are experiencing unpleasant feelings.

Practise relaxation every day if you can and encourage your child to use relaxation strategies to calm down if they feel upset/worried/angry e.g use milkshake breathing and imagine a peaceful place.

We can be BRAVE! Being BRAVE is:

  • Looking people in the eye
  • Smiling
  • Using a brave voice
  • Standing up tall
  • Trying your best
  • Trying something for the first time

Red and Green thoughts:

This week in the Fun Friends programme we teach children about negative (RED) thoughts and positive (GREEN) thoughts. There are some activity ideas further down the post.

What children think has an impact on their feelings and actions so it is important we help children develop positive mindsets and be more confident.

What we want children to learn is we can have RED (unhelpful) thoughts or GREEN (helpful) thoughts. We can choose to turn our RED thoughts GREEN.

GREEN thoughts are the things you say to yourself in your head that make you feel good which makes them HELPFUL thoughts.

  • I can do it! I will give it a go
  • I will try my best
  • I am brave
  • I will help Mum/Dad/Brother/Sister
  • I’m good at lots of things
  • It doesn’t matter if I make a mistake
  • I have lots of friends
  • I’m going to have a good day. I am looking forward to it
  • I’ll ignore people who say nasty things to me
  • I’ll try this game because it will be fun
  • Mum/Dad/Gran/Grandpa always pick me up at the end of the day – they won’t forget

RED thoughts are things you say to yourself that make you feel unhappy feelings or make you feel less confident which makes them UNHELPFUL thoughts.

  • I can’t do it and/or I can’t do it without Mum/Dad
  • I don’t want to go because I won’t have fun
  • No one likes me
  • I got something wrong so I’m silly
  • I’m not good at this
  • I have to win
  • I don’t want to do something new – its too scary!
  • Reading is too hard
  • I’ll look silly if I do that, people will laugh at me
  • I’m going to have a bad day
  • Mum/Dad/Gran/Grandpa will forget to pick me up at the end of the day!

Changing RED to GREEN

How can we change RED thoughts into GREEN thoughts? Help the children come up with GREEN thoughts for certain situations e.g

  • Someone being mean – its not my fault I’m still happy
  • Feeling sick – I’ll feel better soon, I can cuddle with Mum/Dad
  • Can’t find a toy – I’ll keep looking, I can play with something else
  • Best friend didn’t come to school – I can play with someone else, I can still have fun

Feelings vs Thoughts

Talk about the difference between our thoughts and feelings. Talk about how feelings are in our bodies, and thoughts are in our head.

Activity 1

Draw a big traffic light on paper/cardboard with emphasis on RED and GREEN lights – GREEN light means GO!, RED light means STOP! Explain that this is to help us tell the difference between thoughts that help us feel BRAVE and good inside (GREEN) and thoughts that make us feel scared, worried or angry inside (RED). The AMBER light can be seen as a time for changing RED thoughts to GREEN thoughts. It may help to draw happy and unhappy faces onto the traffic lights. Please make sure it is known that RED thoughts are ok to have. You can use examples of RED and GREEN thoughts from the lists above.

Activity 2

Say ‘Hello’ to GREEN thoughts – talk about times when we might have a RED thought and how we can help ourselves to feel better by turning it into a GREEN thought instead.  Write/draw GREEN thoughts on a sheet of green paper (or use a green pen) and turn them into a GREEN thoughts book.

Say Goodbye to RED thoughts – Write/draw a RED thought on a sheet of red paper (or use a red pen), jump up and down on the RED thought, rip it up and throw it in the recycling bin!

Practise identifying RED and GREEN thoughts as much as possible. Model turning RED thoughts into GREEN ones and help your child to do the same with their own RED thoughts.

Praise your child for using these strategies in times of stress and for being BRAVE.

Helpful Links for explaining feelings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akTRWJZMks0

Songs

Stories 

Healthier Minds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWeB_xzlUpc

Remote Learning – Fun Friends Relax…

Recap on feelings 

  • It’s ok to have feelings
  • Everyone has feelings
  • I can recognise feelings in myself and others.
  • I can ask for help with my feelings.
  • Hitting, kicking or breaking things is not ok, no matter how we feel. Keep encouraging your child to identify feelings in themselves and to do things that make themselves feel better when they are experiencing unpleasant feelings.

Relax

It’s not easy to relax and there are many different ways people choose to relax. Yoga, reading, singing, exercise, meditating, listening to music and much more. In the world today it is important that we help our children develop this skill of RELAXING as the world around them becomes busier with more challenges. When we help our children and ourselves to develop this skill of RELAXING will in turn help with resilience, self control, good mental health and well being. How many times have you heard an adult say “I don’t have time to relax” but we need to make time and show children how to nurture this positive life skill.

BREATHING 

Milkshake breathing is a term we use a lot with the children in Glenwood and it is one of the tools used in the Fun Friends program. In your family fun bags you should have a straw. Use the straw without any water and get them to practise breathing in through their nose and out through the straw big, long slow breaths. Tell them this will help them to blow out their worries so they can begin to feel more relaxed. After a few practises put the straw into a glass of water to practise their milkshake breathing. Try to emphasize how important it is to do this very slowly and gently. The slower we breathe the better. Slow breathing calms us down!

Belly breathing Find a warm quiet place and lay down. Encourage your child to close their eyes. Ask them to lay one hand on their tummy and start to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. As they breathe in ask them if they can feel their tummy moving up and when they breathe out feel their tummy going down. Tell them that this will help them to blow out their worries so they can begin to feel more relaxed. Again try to emphasise how important it is to do this very slowly and gently. Slow breathing calms us down! Do this for 10 minutes everyday or week. Whatever suits your family life.

The more often either one of these strategies is practised the more natural it will become for them to use in a challenging situation. By saying “I can see and hear you are feeling angry, could we try and do some Milkshake breathing?” you are acknowledging their feelings (that they are allowed to have) and also offering a positive way to release them.

When you’re feeling confident that your child is aware of their breathing and has mastered the skill, music could be introduced and essential oils like lavender. Perhaps as time progresses and the child gets older sessions could last 15mins and even allow them the space to do it themselves in a safe environment.

These suggested strategies can be done in pairs or as a family. Only you know how your family works best. In Glenwood these sessions are done in small groups with key workers scaffolding learning.

Understanding Body Clues Help children identify “Body Clues” with the “Body Clue Match Game”. Draw around your child to create a body shape. It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as your child can identify a head and arms and legs. Using the body shape with body clues (ie butterflies in tummy, jumpy heart bear, stamping giant head) talk about the body signs and how this person might be feeling.

Next, have your child pick out what emotion they want to talk about first. Remember, “good” or “bad” aren’t emotions – there’s no such thing as a good feeling or a bad feeling! Some feelings might be comfortable and some might be uncomfortable, but every emotion is helpful to recognize. Explain that body signs don’t mean you are sick – these signs are telling us it’s time to relax, drink some water and have some quiet time. Your body is your friend – it gives you clues and signs that it is time to take a deep breath and have a rest. It’s important to listen to our bodies.

Talk about what their body tells them when they feel tired or worried or upset or angry or happy or brave. e.g sore tummy, sore head, red cheeks, need the toilet, warm inside and sweaty hands. Let children know that other children and adults also feel these signs in their bodies.

Further Links:

Breathing exercise – 2 Minute YouTube Video 

Further relaxation activities – ERC Healthier Minds 

Music for relaxation – CBeebies Calming Sounds

Yoga – Mrs Russell’s yoga video

 

Remote Learning – Fun Friends have feelings

Fun Friends is a programme we use in Glenwood to help children develop their emotional resilience – to find out more click on the link to the Sway at the bottom of this post.

 

Part of the Fun Friends programme is learning about feelings in ourselves and others. It is also a key part of Curriculum for Excellence.

What we want children to learn:

  • It’s OK to have feelings, everyone has feelings.
  • To recognise feelings in themselves and others.
  • Hitting, kicking or breaking things is not OK.

Feelings – talk about different feelings: happy, sad, angry, scared, tired, nervous, excited, jealous, calm, silly, lonely, playful, brave etc.

Being brave is a feeling we will encourage through the Fun Friends programme.

Learning about feelings through play – role play feelings (eg show me excited or angry), act out scenarios (eg going on a bear hunt), demonstrate how people you know show their feelings.

Feelings are OK, actions we control – Explain that feelings are OK, everyone has feelings but how we choose to act is very important. You could use thumbs up for good choices and thumbs down for bad choices.

  • When we are scared we can choose to run away, hide, not try something new or we can choose to stand up tall, speak in a loud voice, give something a try.
  • When we are angry we can choose to stamp our feet, shout or break things or we can choose to calm down, have a drink of water, have some quiet time and talk to someone.
  • When we are happy we can choose to shout and scream very loudly and runn around like crazy or we can choose to laugh, smile, sing or cuddle a soft toy.

Sing the traditional song If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. Introduce alternative feelings and actions, such as:

angry….stamp your feet, sad….have a cry, scared….hide and shake, brave….stand up tall

  • Can you predict other people’s emotions? eg when you have news to share or when something unexpected happens
  • Think of ways to change how someone feels. Can you make someone happy, can you give them a surprise?
  • Draw pictures of things that make you feel sad, worried or angry and talk about ways to feel better.

CBeebies has some more feelings activities and songs you could try. https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/joinin/talking-to-your-child-about-emotions

“Men don’t feel sad” 

Talking to children they frequently say men don’t feel sad, worried or frightened. They misread these signs as angry. So men in particular need to help children by explaining their feelings, eg “I know I shouted at you when you went out on the road but I felt frightened you might get hurt.”

Mr Fleming from Glenwood

As children misread men’s feelings, they often say men don’t need help and they don’t know how they manage their feelings. Dads, tell your child what helps you – “I feel sad not seeing Granny and Grandpa too but your cuddles make me feel better” – “I go for a walk when I feel angry.”

Please keep in touch as you explore your feelings together @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

Follow these links for futher information:

Glenwood Emotional Intelligence Sway

ERC Healthier Minds Website

Go to this Sway

Emotions

Through our Fun Friends programme we encourage children to articulate their emotions. We provide the vocabulary to talk about how they feel and we provide strategies to manage emotions such as Red and Green Thoughts (turn negative red thoughts into positive green thoughts) and Milkshake Breathing (pretend to blow out through a straw to blow out your negative feelings). Children can recognise their emotions by thinking about how these emotions look and feel.

Using our emotions mirror