Monday, August 22, 2011

Playful Learning Blog Tour and Giveaway - A Place for Peace

Mariah Bruehl - author of one of my favorite blogs,  Playful Learning - has  released her debut book,  Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder.
Playful Learning is a valuable resource for parents and teachers who want to share in those incredible ah-ha, sparkle in the eyes, fire in the belly moments of discovery and learning with the children in their lives.
Mariah is guest posting today to give us a glimpse into one of the learning experiences from the chapter, Raising the Citizens of Tomorrow:  
A Place for Peace
As a classroom teacher and a parent I have witnessed first hand the enormous benefits that come from the explicit introduction of social and emotional skills to children. 
When children have the language and skills that are necessary to effectively express themselves and to navigate through a variety of circumstances, they have more energy and time to dedicate to playing, learning and growing.

A child that has been lovingly taught strategies for managing various social situations, within a safe environment is better equipped to handle life’s challenges and is given a foundation that allows for optimal brain development. 

Having a special place in your home or classroom that is dedicated to finding peace sends a powerful message to children about your classroom or family values.
Having a peaceful place to go to during times of conflict serves as a great trigger that can help children gain perspective during difficult moments.

It is helpful to start out by reading some stories and exploring the concept and definition of peace (see book recommendations below). Next, you can introduce the idea of creating a special place where everyone can go to feel peaceful.
A peace place can be created in a cozy corner or at a pre-existing table or seat.  Involve your children in the whole process of selecting the space and choosing the special decorations that they would like to include. Some possibilities could be pictures, pillows, stuffed animals or special trinkets, such as stones or shells.

You can build on the momentum by suggesting that they make a sign that lists the things they would like to do in the space (see the Our Peace Place Printable). 

This is an important step—your place for peace needs to be space that children want to go to for a variety of reasons, such as relaxing, reading, talking, playing, and resolving conflicts.

As children get older you can introduce specific steps for resolving conflicts peacefully, which can also be displayed in the space. 
Yet, keep in mind if you use it solely for resolving conflicts, it will begin to feel like the consequence or time-out place, which defeats the purpose. 
Openness on your part to participate in the peace place will go a long way with your children or students. Remember to utilize the space for a variety of special moments—it is a great place to share some precious one-on-one time.
Books to Inspire...
A Quiet Place by Douglas Wood
Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean

Giveaway.....entries now closed.

Would you like to win a copy of Playful Learning: Develop your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder AND a space in the 6 week e-course, Playful Learning Spaces, starting Wednesday 24 September 2011.

Simply leave a comment here by Monday, August 29th at 9pm EST.  The winner will be picked randomly and announced here on Tuesday, August 30th.

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition.  I am happy to announce that the winner has been randomly selected and is:
Michelle, I will be contacting you via email.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds very interesting!
    i like the post very much keep it up
    Yah this blog is making a dfference. I love it.
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