Archive for April, 2013

Kids Yoga Class Tips: helping kids create class rules for a positive experience

Kids Yoga Class Rules

One of the most frequent requests I get via e-mail and Facebook messaging is for tips on handling behavior & setting rules/boundaries in a kids yoga class. I’m by no means the biggest expert among us in kids yoga but I have had quite a bit of experience in dealing with a wide variety of behaviors in my work at the JD McCarty Center. Because every situation is unique, I always respond by asking a few questions…..

  • How old are the kids in the class?
  • How many kids are in the class?
  • Do you have any adult helpers?
  • Do any of the kids have diagnosed special needs (ADHD, Autism, SPD, anxiety, etc…) that might be a contributing factor to the behavior?
  • How long is your class? How long is each activity within your class?
  • Where are you teaching the class? Does that setting have any rules that the kids should already be following?
  • What time of day is the class?

I primarily work with kids with special needs….. even the inclusive class I did last summer/fall had a few kids with special needs in it. There is a big difference developmentally between the ability of a 4 year old & an 8 year old to understand & follow rules. Many 4 year olds may have limited experience in a structured setting and may just be beginning to learn the concept of following rules. Most kids over the age of 6 or 7 probably understand the concept of following rules if they have been in a school setting.

Why Go To All This Effort?

Helping kids learn positive ways to treat themselves & others is something that will help them well beyond the particular class they are in with you at that moment in time. Think of it as an investment in “planting seeds” in that child’s life. Not all kids grow up in environments that are nurturing & provide positive structure….. so you may have a golden opportunity to help provide a positive influence and learning opportunity.

Yoga is so much more than just “poses” (asanas). It also includes Pranayama (breathing), Mantras (positive affirmations), Mindfulness (focused attention), Relaxation (includes guided imagery) & Yamas/Niyamas (character education).

A Balanced Approach to Yoga

yamas niyamas

10 Things I Do:

  1. I have kids help me write the yoga rules for their yoga class. What rules are important to them? This gives them ownership in the rules since they helped create them. Often they needed a few examples of rules & a simple explanation on “why” that rule was important to get the discussion started. Even for kids who are not at a developmental level to be able to “create” the rules, they could still help choose them out of a field of a few choices. As a fun craft activity, the kids can make a poster of the rules they helped create & then you will have the poster up as a reminder in the class. See an example of a simple 3-rule poster from my friends at Kid Partners (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=273290582744866&set=pb.148298625244063.-220752 0000.1367070208.&type=3&theater)
  2. I use visual supports and a “social story” (https://omazingkidsllc.com/2012/02/23/3-simple-yoga-class-rules-visual-support/, https://omazingkidsllc.com/2011/11/22/printable-visual-supports-for-kids-yoga/) to help kids understand the rules. More posts about visual supports on my blog: https://omazingkidsllc.com/category/visual-supports/.   I tend to keep my “yoga rules” really simple. The main three rules I typically have are:
    1. Stay on your mat
    2. Mats stay on the floor. I also make it fun by having the kids pretend to “glue” down the corners of their mat with an imaginary glue stick (learned this tip from a post from Mira at Global Family Yoga)
    3. And something along the lines of “Use “kind” words” or “We’re always nice to our friends”.

     3 Simple Yoga Class Rules - click on pic to open 1-page PDFYoga Group Social Story

  3. I have adult “helpers” to help the kids that have more extreme behaviors. This is especially important if you work with kids with special needs. I recently had a child with Autism & schizophrenia in my class and she had very unpredictable & explosive behavior. With the loving support of adult helpers, she ended up having fun participating in our therapeutic kids yoga class at JDMC.  See this post: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2012/04/30/tips-for-working-with-kids-with-autism-spectrum-disorders/
  4. I’ve learned not to be too quick to judge whether or not a particular child is “enjoying” yoga or any other activities. I have seen many kids initially be resistant or ambivalent to yoga and other activities end up loving it when given the opportunity to experience it on their own terms & at their own pace within safe boundaries.
  5. I tend to ignore behaviors unless they are at risk of hurting themselves or others and keep moving with the class. If the class is fun and you are the most interesting thing in the room, most kids will be engaged with what you are doing. As a general rule of thumb, behaviors that get the most attention are “reinforced” and are more likely to occur again. So I intentionally focus more attention on what kids are doing “right” and give specific praise regarding the on-task & positive behaviors I see kids doing.
  6. I have also strategically assigned yoga mats so certain kids can’t sit next to each other & the most disruptive kids were right by me. I then assigned them special jobs to be my “helpers”.
  7. Sometimes it also helps to change up the pace of the class when kids start exhibiting behaviors. I have had kids lose interest if I stayed too long on a particular pose or activity, it was too hard/too easy or it was too overstimulating. I put alot of thought into choosing props & music for classes for this reason…… and depending on how a class is going I will often modify as I go to meet what the kids are needing at that moment.
  8. I almost always base my classes around a kids picture book. It gives the kids something to pay attention to, they get to “be” part of the story & a book gives structure of having a beginning & an end.
  9. When I am doing an after-school class, I keep in mind that kids have had to sit all day, may have lots of energy and need to move. One idea is to start out the class with a really upbeat activity to give the kids a chance to get the sillies out. Yoga Freeze Dance is always fave. Then gradually reduce the activity level to calm.
  10. I keep kids attention spans, developmental levels & special needs in mind when determining the length of my class or any activities I am doing within a class.

Want More Info?

Lisa Flynn’s new book “Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children” is full of great tips!

lisa's book

As of the date of this post, Amazon has it on sale for 39% off (http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Children-Breathing-Exercises-Meditations/dp/1440554633). There are also some tips on this post on her ChildLight Yoga blog: http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2010/11/how-do-i-manage-challenging-behavior-in-a-kids- yoga-class.html.

See these posts for more great ideas:

http://rainbowkidsyoga.net/articles/alternative_education.html

http://rainbowkidsyoga.net/articles/alternative_education_part2.html

http://bodylogique.blogspot.com/2013/04/15-ways-to-be-more-effective-yoga.html

http://bodylogique.blogspot.com/2012/05/keep-it-simple-keep-it-real.html

http://littleyogastars.blogspot.com/2012/03/yoga-for-27-first-graders.html

http://www.teachasana.com/2012/08/notes-from-a-newbie-teaching-yoga-to-children/

http://imaginationyoga.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/kind-hearts-kind-words-kind-thoughts/

http://yogainmyschool.com/2010/11/18/5-ways-to-eliminate-disruptive-behavior-in-kids-yoga-class/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/11/is-your-yoga-class-out-of-control/

 

 

facebook-logo

Feel free to share your tips & “tag” your page in the comments in this album on the OMazing Kids Facebook page. I love to connect & learn from others in the amazing kids yoga community: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.545732352144441.1073741837.174264525957894&type=1&uploaded=1

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities (http://www.jdmc.org/)

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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{SPAM Warning} please do not click on any links if you receive an e-mail like this

{SPAM WARNING} I have received this e-mail twice so far. And I just received an e-mail from Jenny at Happy Planet Yoga that she receieved it as well. Please DO NOT click on any links in the e-mail…. even the one inviting you to “unsubscribe” to the solicitation messages. I am sure this is spam and clicking on the link may result in a computer virus. At this point I have no idea if this person has hacked into my e-mail address book, blog, Facebook or other social media. I am reporting it as spam to my e-mail provider & you can do the same if you receive it.
My blog has been slammed with lots of “spam” comments lately. I have removed every one of them….. again I say….. imagine if these spammers used that amount of energy for “good”?!
Who on earth would think it was a good thing to attack the blog & social media sites of someone dedicated to helping kids (especially those with special needs) is beyond my comprehension!
Here is a screenshot of the spam e-mail:
spam

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities (http://www.jdmc.org/)

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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Free Storytime Event at the JD McCarty Center on 5/18/13

The J.D. McCarty Center is offering a FREE storytime event for children in the community to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month.

It's Not a Box

This event will feature a story, children’s yoga, a creative snack & a cooperative play activity. Come let your imagination run wild! The center’s Speech-Language Pathology department is hosting the event.

FREE storytime event for kids in Pre-K to 2nd grade featuring the book “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis. It is an inclusive event open to kids of all abilities.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

J.D. McCarty Center, 2002 E. Robinson St., Norman, OK 73071

Printable PDF Flier: JDMC Not a Box Free Storytime Event for BHSM 5-18-13

not a box BHSM event at JDMC 2013 - with logo

register early limited spotsLimited spots are available, so register early! To sign up, call Tiffany Sullivan at (405) 573-5336 or e-mail tsullivan@jdmc.org by May 13, 2013.

{Guest Post & A Way To Give – Giveaway} from Happy Planet Yoga & HMH Kids (+ lesson plan for “Rain!” by Linda Ashman)

HMH Kids, Happy Planet Yoga, OMazing Kids

It has been so fun to connect and exchange ideas for using kids picture books in yoga with Jenny Williams from Happy Planet Yoga! So it is my pleasure to have her for a Guest Post on OMazing Kids today.

Here is Jenny’s lesson plan for kids yoga inspired by the book “Rain!” by Linda Ashman illustrated by Christian Robinson:

9780547733951_hres

This review summarizes the book “Rain!” well: “Good and bad moods alike can be contagious, as this rainy-day story handily demonstrates. Writing solely in dialogue and exclamations, Ashman contrasts the ways two people view a city rainstorm. “Rain!” grumps a cantankerous man, staring at the storm from underneath bushy furrowed eyebrows. “Rain!” shouts a boy from the window of a building whose sunny color matches his outlook . . . Along the way, the boy charms everyone he meets—the exact opposite of what the older man is doing (frowns abound when he’s near). When the two eventually meet, it’s not certain which attitude will win out, but luckily for the diverse townsfolk, the boy’s kindness and openness rule the day.” — Publishers Weekly

 

Introduction:

Discuss all the things that make spring a special season. What is the weather like? How does the temperature feel? Do you still have to wear a heavy coat, hat and mittens? What are things you see in nature in the spring? What are sounds that you hear? What do you smell? Talk about why rain is so important in the season of spring and then use one of these fun songs as a warm up.

Warm up:

Read the book RAIN!  by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christian Robinson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (For more about this book visit: http://www.hmhco.com/shop/books/Rain/9780547733951#sthash.JF3jHV8M.dpbs)

  • Poses inspired by the book: Bird, frog, puddle jumping around the mats, down dog and up dog, tree, flower, baking pie or cookies sequence (see OMazing Kids lesson for Apple Farmer Annie), table, chair, bike pedaling.
  • Partner Poses: Rooftop partners, Rain taps on backs partners
  • What did you notice in this book? How could you tell it was spring (refer back to opening discussion.)

Games to play inspired by the book RAIN!

  • Waiter/waitress Game (with partner)
    • Objective: Work on balancing objects (on hand, on back in table pose) also work on focus
    • Materials: Large plastic or paper plate (this will be the serving tray), Play food (plastic is best as wooden may be too heavy) paper cups, plastic cutlery
    • How to play: One person is the waiter/ress. One person is the table. Waiter places one or two pieces of food, plastic cutlery and a paper cup on their plate and balance plate on open palm (for younger children holding the sides of the plate and keeping the cup upright and walking may be enough). Walk across the room to their partner who is the table and balance the plate on their back. Then partners switch roles.
    • Try this! Place obstacles in the room (yoga cushions, stuffed animals, other children) so that the waiter/ress cannot walk in a straight line
  • Contagious Energy (Children 4 and up) Played in a group or with partners
    • Objective:  Children use their own energy, emotions, or gestures to communicate to a group or their partner. Group or partner must guess the emotion or gesture. These are all positive emotions/gestures meant to help “guessers” feel good or happy (they are the Grumpy man in the book RAIN!)
    • Materials: Emotion flashcards (PDF), Energy ball
    • How to play: Teacher gives a card to the first child (only this child sees the card), this child acts out the emotion on the card to the others to communicate the emotion. Example: the card may be a SMILE, the child would then smile at the rest of the group (or their partner) and the group or partner would guess the emotion/gesture. Continue until all children have had a turn.
  •  Closing activity with Energy Ball: Group sits in a circle and talks about the Contagious Energy game and how they felt acting and receiving the emotions/gestures.  Which one was your favorite? Which one was hard to guess? Are there any other emotions/gestures you might try? Have you ever felt some one’s bad mood or negative energy? Now you have some ways you might help a person who is in a bad mood. Can you see how your energy can make a difference? Still not sure about your energy? Teacher takes out energy ball. All of the children hold hands except the teacher. Teacher explains we are all made up of energy and that this energy ball conducts energy and that the group will now prove how they make energy by complete the circuit (or circle). The teacher places her finger on the shiny metal strip (thumb on bottom) and asks student next to her to do the same (be sure teacher and student thumbs do not touch). Then they each hold the hand of the child next to them – BUZZZZ – the ball will buzz and light up!

Bio: Jenny Armor Williams is co-founder of Happy Planet Yoga and is a yoga instructor for children and adults. She discovered yoga when her daughters were babies yoga was the calm to the busyness of motherhood. Through a dedicated yoga practice, Jenny discovered her love for teaching and completed the Radiant Child Yoga Program Teacher Training, ChildLight Yoga Teacher Training, Yoga 4 Classrooms Instructor Training, and is currently enrolled in Spirit Tree Yoga Teacher Training (a 200-hr Registered Yoga School (RYS) with the Yoga Alliance). Jenny says “I love working with children, their energy and their curiosity keeps me on my toes and feeling young at heart!”

Email: jenny@happyplanetyoga.com

Happy Planet Yoga – Jenny Williams and Lynda West are co-founders of Happy Planet Yoga. At Happy Planet Yoga we strive to empower children to find their own light, peace, and creativity through yoga. Working with movement, breath, and meditation we seek to guide children and those that work with children on a path of discovery and joy.
happy planet yoga + pics

Jenny also works for also work for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing where she has access to many of their books and tests them out in her yoga classes with toddlers and young children.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Happy Planet Yoga & OMazing Kids have partnered together to bring you the following A Way to Give Giveaway:

Rain-themed Kids Yoga Collection

Rain-Themed Kids Yoga Collection that you can enter to win:

  • 1 copy of RAIN! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Christian Robinson donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
  • a PDF of the kids yoga lesson plan for this book, an Energy Ball & PDF of emotions flashcards from Happy Planet Yoga
  • three rain-themed mp3 song faves from OMazing Kids
    • The Rain is Coming by Penelope Torribio
    • April Showers Bring May Flowers by Amanda Ellis, MT-BC
    • Underneath the Rainbow by Kira Willey

HMH Kids Spring Book Collection

Plus the HMH Kids Spring Book collection (1 copy of each book donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers):

For the “Way to Give” portion of this giveaway, you will also nominate a friend, relative, teacher, therapist, school, clinic, library, etc… it can be any individual (other than yourself) or a setting that you feel would benefit from the HMH Kids Spring Book collection plus the book RAIN! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Christian Robinson.

A Way to Give - Giveaway

How to enter the A Way to Give – Giveaway:

This particular giveaway is a “fans only” giveaway. It is only open to folks who like/follow all of the following:

Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know you have done that step (this is required to be eligible to enter this giveaway).

Then Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids – Contests & Giveaways Facebook page (http://a.pgtb.me/plpbTf) & mention:

  1. Why you would benefit from having the Rain-Themed Kids Yoga Collection (RAIN! by Linda Ashman illustrated by Christian Robinson donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers; the kids yoga lesson plan, an Energy Ball & PDF of emotions flashcards from Happy Planet Yoga; & three rain-themed mp3 songs from OMazing Kids) plus the HMH Kids Spring Book collection (My First Day by Steve Jenkins, Lots of Lambs by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, Like A Windy Day by Frank Asch, Possum and the Peeper by Anne Hunter, Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry & Curious George Plants a Tree by HA Rey).
  2. Also nominate a friend, relative, teacher, therapist, school, clinic, library, etc… it can be any individual (other than yourself) or setting & why they would benefit from having the HMH Kids Spring Book collection (My First Day by Steve Jenkins, Lots of Lambs by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, Like A Windy Day by Frank Asch, Possum and the Peeper by Anne Hunter, Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry & Curious George Plants a Tree by HA Rey) + the book RAIN! by Linda Ashman illustrated by Christian Robinson.

Details will count in selecting the winner. Comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; must use respectful people-first language, 1 entry per person.

  • Bonus Entry Options  (only available after liking/following all the pages above + entering via the Facebook tab):
    1. Invite some friends to “like” the OMazing Kids Facebook page (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
    2. Share this review on Facebook & include a @OMazing Kids to tag my page – (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
  • Helpful Info & Tips: I use the “Giveaways” tab because it saves me the step having to obtain your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail. FYI…. I use a free app from Shortstack for that tab and have no control over technical difficulties either on their end or on Facebook. The Facebook tab may not work on a cell phone. If you experience that, try again on a computer. Make sure you are logged in as yourself (not a page) when using the tab. In the event that you experience difficulties with the FB entry tab, please e-mail me specific details so I can attempt to fix it. E-mail to: amoorad1@juno.com . The entry deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of OMazing Kids in the event of prolonged entry tab problems

Entry Deadline: 11:59pm CST on April 25, 2013 .

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Only USA entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway. (each company that I host a giveaway for decides how this is handled. It is often based on shipping costs & the focus of where they are marketing their products)
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • The winner will be chosen via a drawing of valid entries on April 26, 2013.
  • The winner will receive the items listed in the “Rain-Themed Kids Yoga Collection” & the “HMH Kids Spring Book collection” described above. The “HMH Kids Spring Book collection” described above + the book “Rain!” will be sent to the person or place they nominated in their winning entry (I know this is a bit out-of-the box & different than most typical giveaways where the person who enters wins all the “stuff”.  This is the “A Way To Give” portion of giveaways on OMazing Kids. I was inspired to make giveaways more meaningful after this experience. Think of it as a way to plant some seeds.)
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail, will be posted on the blog post & will be posted on the OMazing Kids Facebook page. The company offering the prize may also post the winner’s name on their website, blog, Facebook page and/or other social media sites at their discretion.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the company and they will be mailing the prizes directly to the winners. Any questions about the prize should be directed to the company.

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just kids books, printables, mp3’s & an Energy Ball but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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{Review & Thanks} Therapeutic uses for Bumpidoodle cushions

bumpidoodle thank you

Huge “thanks” to bumpidoodle for their generous donation of 11 of their floor cushions to the Jd McCarty Center for Children With Developmental Disabilities! They sent two of each of the following: Dillon Dog, Ellie Elephant, Leonard Lion, Mason Monkey & Parker Pig plus one Olive Owl. The JD McCarty Center, where I work full time as a SLP, is a non-profit pediatric rehab hospital for kids ages 0-21 years with developmental disabilities. Budgets are usually tight so we really appreciate donations of items that can help our kids!

We look forward to using these in our adapted Storytime Group, OMazing Kids yoga, OT/PT/SLP therapy sessions, as a special “thinking” spot for kids to take a break, etc…. I will be adding more pics to this album on Facebook:

click pic to go to bumpidoodle album on the OMazing Kids Facebook page

Here’s how I have used my Bumpidoodle cushion along with an  “I am feeling…. I will…..” visual support to assist kids in telling how they are feeling and to help them learn self-calming strategies:

Many of the kids I work with have severe behavioral and self-regulation issues and having a Bumpidoodle cushion recently worked wonders with one of my 6 year old inpatients who has a TBI as a result of severe physical abuse. He learned how to take a break & choose a self-calming activity (his faves are deep breaths/blow away the “grumpies”, squeezing a sensory ball & hugging a pillow). A huge breakthrough was when he was able to also show me where he was on a behavior thermometer & let me know when he was ready continue working. The smile on his face was priceless & it made my heart smile to see him experience the power of self-regulation. ♥

  • A large Bumpidoodle Olive Owl floor cushion (Owl’s Thinking Spot) was placed in the corner of the room along with the “I am feeling…. I will…..” visual support, squeeze balls & a pillow. The feeling cards and self-calming choices were customized to fit this child’s interests, developmental level & needs.

visual support + bumpidoodle

I love the Olive Owl Bumpidoodle for the following reasons:

  • calming blue color
  • soft cozy texture
  • the tie-in with the concept of owls thinking and making wise choices
  • Since it is unlike any cushion or beanbag chair a child has seen before, it is novel and doesn’t come with any previous feelings or experiences attached to it.
  • It also has a removeable cover that is machine-washable and is easier to get in/out of than a beanbag chair.
  • Since the cover is removeable, you could also add extra “fluff” or even beanbag filling if you wanted to change how much support it gives as a seating option.

I got a great deal on mine in the clearance section at Target (only $14.98) but have also seen them on Amazon.com.

  • I introduce the visual support & the Owl’s Thinking Spot during sessions where they are exhibiting a good mood & positive behavior. This “pre-teaching is critical”. None of us learn something new very well in the middle of stress or a behavior meltdown.
  • During the “pre-teaching” sessions, this child verbalized interest in these items (“cool”, “I like that”).
  • During subsequent sessions, the child said “I need a break”, sat down on “Owl’s Thinking Spot” and looked through the emotion pictures. He usually chose “mad” or “frustrated” and then on his own chose what he wanted to do about it (usually chose “squeeze a ball”, “hug a pillow” and/or “take deep breaths”). After a brief break he usually said “I’m ready” or “I’m ok now” and returned to the therapy table to continue working.
  • This special “thinking spot” should be talked about in a positive manner and never used as a punishment or as “time out”. The child should be praised for successfully taking a break & using self-calming strategies. Refrain from asking the child “why” they are feeling a particular emotion (“why” questions are really difficult & during a meltdown is not the time to ask this). Instead, allow them time to express how they are feeling and to pick what they would like to “do” as a self-calming activity.

Have Boardmaker? Get a copy of the visual support on my page on Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Activity/1817562/Behavior-Thermometer-I-am-feeling-I-will-with-f. Then you will be able to customize it to meet your kids individual needs. This is a visual support I made many years ago for a Social Skills summer camp we did at JDMC. Many of the kids at that camp had Asperger’s and liked very detailed & specific language. So that’s why there are so many feeling choices. But that many choices was too many for the 6 year old I described above. After a few sessions of getting to know him, we started with 10 feeling choices. Some kids may need to start with even less than that. You can always add more as you teach them.

Don’t have Boardmaker? Here is a PDF of the simplified version of this visual support: Behavior Thermometer, I am feeling…. I will…… with feelings and self-calming choices (with kids yoga & Bumpidoodle cushion)

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities (http://www.jdmc.org/)

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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{New on OMazing Kids} Giveaways that are “A Way to Give”

A Way to Give - Giveaway

{New on OMazing Kids} Giveaways that are “A Way to Give”

I know this is a bit out-of-the box & different than most typical giveaways where the person who enters wins all the “stuff”. I was inspired to make giveaways more meaningful after a recent outreach experience. Think of this new format as a way to think beyond just your own needs & plant some seeds when entering a giveaway ♥

If you have a kids product that you would like me to review & host an “A Way to Give Giveaway” for, you can e-mail me. I often have a waiting list of items to review and handle reviews in the order in which the items are received so it may take a few weeks before I can get to yours. While many of my reviews focus on kids wellness/yoga, I am also interested in a wider range of kids products including books, toys, equipment, educational products, therapy materials, etc. that I can use in my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist with kids ages 0-21 years with special needs. I also am interested in doing reviews for online trainings.

The JD McCarty Center, where I work full time as a SLP, is a non-profit pediatric rehab hospital for kids ages 0-21 years with developmental disabilities. Budgets are usually tight. Doing reviews & giveaways on my own time in the evenings & on weekends is the primary way I get new materials to use with my patients and a way that I can attend online trainings to learn new things to help them. Plus it’s a fun way to spread the word about great products!

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities (http://www.jdmc.org/)

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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Review & A Way To Give – Giveaway: The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs + Sound-Eaze & School-Eaze CD’s

Pocket OT & CD's a way to give giveaway

A perfect trio of products to celebrate April as National Occupational Therapy Month & Autism Awarness Month!

Product Description:  

The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children With Special Needs by Cara Koscinski

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (December 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849059322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849059329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches

If you are unsure about what occupational therapy (OT) is and how it can help your child, this accessible overview is for you. Answering all of the common questions about the issues an occupational therapist might address with a child with special needs, including core muscle strength, feeding, fine motor skills, sensory sensitivities, transitions and life-skills, this book also offers simple activities to practice at home that are inexpensive, fun and, most-importantly, OT-approved.

This will be an illuminating and essential guide for parents and carers of children with physical and developmental disabilities or parents of children in rehabilitation from illness or injury. Professionals who want to learn more about the principles and practicalities of occupational therapy will also find it useful.

Table of Contents

TOC Pocket OT

See a fabulous review on Special Needs Book Review : http://www.specialneedsbookreview.com/2013/03/27/interview-cara-koscinski-mot-mom-of-children-with-special-needs-speaker-author-and-entrepreneur/

Here’s what I love about the book:

  • includes important details in a concise, easy to understand format that makes this book very parent-friendly. I’ve worked with lots of great OT’s over the past 23 years of being a SLP so I know quite a bit about what they do & why they do what they do. But even I learned some new things reading this book. Don’t let the small size fool you. This 144 page book is packed with loads of info!
  • explains “why” certain skills & activities are important.
  • explains “why” kids engage in certain behaviors.
  • lots of info about picky eating & food aversions
  • lots of info about sensory processing
  • great developmental checklists
  • large easy to read font
  • it’s filled with tons of great “Out of the Pocket Activities”….. these are the real gems in this book! I work with lots of kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders & Sensory Processing Disorders. The “Out of the Pocket Activities” will be great to incorporate into my therapy sessions & to share with parents.

Sound-Eaze CD

This CD was written by Cara Koscinski (an Occupational Therapist) and Kimberly Josephs (a Music Therapist) as a fun way for parents, teachers and therapists to help children with auditory sensitivity and fear of loud noises. It combines vocals and rhythm with sounds that can be upsetting to many children. The music and rhythm are eased out until only the sound remains. Allowing your child to adjust the volume may give the feeling that he/she is in control of the sound.

Encourage your child to begin at a low volume and gradually increase it. It is our goal that your child has fun while developing tolerance for loud noises.

Sounds included are: baby cry, vacuum cleaner, fireworks, dog bark, siren, phone ring, thunder, fire alarm, blender, hairdryer, lawnmower, toilet flush. Each is about 3-4 minutes long.

School-Eaze

This CD was written by Cara Koscinski (an Occupational Therapist) and Kimberly Josephs (a Music Therapist) as a fun way for parents, teachers and therapists to help children with auditory sensitivity and fear of loud noises. It combines rhythm with sounds that can be upsetting to many children. This unique collection gives children control of the sounds and lets them know exactly what to expect to hear at school!

Encourage your child to begin at a low volume and gradually increase it. It is our goal that your child has fun while developing tolerance for loud noises.

School-Eaze includes the following sounds: school fire drill, cafeteria, bus ride, gym class, changing class bell, swim meet, classroom noise/group of people talking, and field trips such as baseball game, restaurant, carnival, walking to school/construction site, parade, party, movies, and stock car race. Each is about 3-4 minutes long.

Here’s what I love about the CD’s:

  • love that each song is a new twist on a familiar tune. Building upon a familiar tune will help pair something a child may already enjoy with something that they are learning to tolerate.
  • many kids with ASD, SPD and other special needs are fearful of or sensitive to particular sounds. I love the concept of the child being in control of the volume so they can experience being in control of the sound.
  • love that each song starts out with just the tune & rythym. The sound that the child is learning to tolerate is gradually faded in. And then the tune/rhythm is gradually faded out until only the sound remains. This transition starts happening about halfway through each song.
  • The company is very clear that these CD’s are NOT part of a formal therapeutic listening program but rather are a fun way to help kids develop a tolerance for noises they may encounter in their lives at home & school.

Purchase: book publisher’s website: http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book/9781849059329, CD’s: http://www.route2greatness.com/ & http://pocketoccupationaltherapist.com/Products.html (via PayPal)

Also available on Amazon:  book – http://www.amazon.com/Occupational-Therapist-Families-Children-Special/dp/1849059322; CD’s http://www.amazon.com/Autism–Sound-Sound-Children-Noises/dp/B000B5UIOW & http://www.amazon.com/Route-Greatness-School-Eaze-CD-Route2Greatness/dp/B000B5SYDY

Websites: http://pocketoccupationaltherapist.com/, http://www.route2greatness.com/. Also connect with them on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/PocketOT, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Route2Greatness-LLC/131330716891115; Twitter: https://twitter.com/pocketot; Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pocketot/; Teachers Pay Teachers: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Special-Needs-Kidstore; Blog: http://route2greatness.wordpress.com/

Cara has two sons with special needs. See more about Cara’s story here: http://pocketoccupationaltherapist.com/Author_Info.html and on pages 30-31 in this e-magazine: http://somethingspecialmagazine.squarespace.com/spring-issue-savannah

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed are my own.Starting in 2013, a new component of reviews & giveaways hosted on OMazing Kids is that a review will be added on Amazon.com (for products sold on that site). See my Amazon profile at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A1JKVLELLSX7FD?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_aya_bb_pdp.

A Way to Give - Giveaway

How to enter the A Way to Give – Giveaway:

  • Required Entry Method: Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids – Contests & Giveaways Facebook page (http://a.pgtb.me/plpbTf) & mention why this book would be helpful to you. Also nominate a friend, relative, teacher, therapist, school, clinic, library, etc… it can be any individual (other than yourself) or setting that you feel could benefit from having the book + both CD’s & tell us why they would benefit from having them (details will count in selecting the winner) (comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; must use respectful people-first language, 1 entry per person).
  • Bonus Entry Option: Like all 4 of these Facebook pages: OMazing Kids, The Pocket Occupational TherapistRoute2Greatness, LLC & Special Education Resources from Jessica Kingsley Publishers (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did). Facebook fans of all 4 pages are then entitled to the following bonus entry options:
    1. Invite some friends to “like” the OMazing Kids Facebook page (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
    2. Share this review on Facebook & include a @OMazing Kids to tag my page – (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
    3. Tweet the #SpecialNeeds #Autism #giveaway on Twitter with a @amoorad link – (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
  • Helpful Info & Tips: I use the “Giveaways” tab because it saves me the step having to obtain your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail. FYI…. I use a free app from Shortstack for that tab and have no control over technical difficulties either on their end or on Facebook. The Facebook tab may not work on a cell phone. If you experience that, try again on a computer. Make sure you are logged in as yourself (not a page) when using the tab. In the event that you experience difficulties with the FB entry tab, please e-mail me specific details so I can attempt to fix it. E-mail to: amoorad1@juno.com . The entry deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of OMazing Kids in the event of prolonged entry tab problems

Entry Deadline: 11:59pm CST on April 15, 2013 .

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Only USA entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • The winner will be chosen via a drawing of valid entries on April 16, 2013.
  • The winner will receive one copy of the book. One copy of the book + both CD’s will also be sent to the person or place they nominated in their winning entry (I know this is a bit out-of-the box & different than most typical giveaways where the person who enters wins all the “stuff”.  This is the new “A Way To Give” portion of giveaways on OMazing Kids. I was inspired to make giveaways more meaningful after this experience. Think of it as a way to plant some seeds.)
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail, will be posted on the blog post & will be posted on the OMazing Kids Facebook page. The company offering the prize may also post the winner’s name on their website, blog, Facebook page and/or other social media sites at their discretion.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the company and they will be mailing the prizes directly to the winners. Any questions about the prize should be directed to the company.
  • Prize Value: book: $19.95, CD’s: $16.99 each

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just a book & CD’s but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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