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Summer promises sunshine and relaxation, but it can also lead to boredom and sluggishness. Upbeat News to the rescue! We’re sharing excerpts from our In a Jar® products to help you and kids keep busy, be well, and have fun this summer. With boredom-busting ideas, discussion prompts, questions, activities, and more, Free Spirit jars make summer learning engaging, spontaneous, fun, and portable. In this month’s excerpts, you’ll find:
  • suggestions and scenarios to help kids stay calm and deal with anger
  • mindfulness exercises to teach kids to live in the moment
  • prompts to teach young children to take care of themselves and be healthy
In this issue, you’ll also find a free download from Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior by Michelle Salcedo, M.Ed., that helps parents and teachers develop engaging activities for kids. Using a fivefold HOMES scale, this worksheet will help you keep kids actively learning all summer long. We’re also highlighting our new jar release, Mindfulness In a Jar® by James Butler, M.Ed., which encourages kids to be present anytime, anywhere. 



Keeping Your Cool and Coping with Anger

Ideas and discussion prompts adapted from Chill Skills In a Jar®: Anger Management Tips for Teens

Chill Skills In a  Jar Cover Image
  1. Use positive self-talk. Feeling good about who you are can help you feel less angry. Remind yourself every day of the good things about you—including special talents and skills.
  2. You’re working in a small group during science class. You are trying to do your share of the work, but whenever you make a suggestion for the project, the group leader rolls her eyes and ignores what you say. What would you do?
  3. What are two ways you deal with angry thoughts and feelings?
  4. Find a calming place. If you’re feeling anxious about something, find a quiet place you like where you feel peaceful. This might be your room, a local park, or any other place that helps you feel calm inside.
  5. Think of a time you were angry with an adult at school or in the community. What happened and how did you respond?
  6. Play or listen to music. Music can have a calming effect on people. If you play an instrument or sing, practicing can help you feel less angry. If you don’t play an instrument, plug in your headphones and listen to a favorite song.
  7. Your mom loses her job, and a lot of things have to change at home. There’s not much money, and your mom tells you she has to cut off your phone service. What would you do?
  8. Practice listening. You and a teacher disagree about something. You listen carefully (by looking at him, avoiding interrupting, and repeating back what you hear) to understand his perspective. Choose someone to play your teacher. Act it out! 
  9. How does your body feel when you are getting angry? Is there anything you can do to calm yourself when you recognize these physical signs?
  10. Be assertive. Being assertive is not the same as being angry or aggressive. Assertiveness is about standing up for yourself without disrespecting others. In tough situations, tell others how you feel without hurting them or putting them down.
For 20% off and free shipping on our In a Jar® products, use code JUL20 at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2019.

Live in the Moment: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids

Poses and mindfulness prompts adapted from Mindfulness In a Jar®: 101 Exercises to Help Children Focus and Calm Their Minds by James Butler, M.Ed.

Mindfulness In a Jar cover image
  1. Mindful Breathing: 4/8 Breath. Close your eyes or look down. Sit up straight. As you inhale slowly through your nose, silently count to four. As you exhale slowly through your mouth like you’re blowing through a straw, silently count to eight. Do this for five breaths. What do you notice?
  2. Mindful Listening: All the Sounds. Close your eyes or look down. Listen to the sounds all around you. How many different sounds can you hear? Which sounds are softer and which are louder? Listen for one minute. What do you notice?
  3. Mindful Seeing: Nature. Take a moment to notice signs of nature. What objects do you see? What colors do you see? Consider for one minute. What do you notice?
  4. Mindful Stretching: Superhero. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Clench your fists and lift them up over your head like a flying superhero. Stretch your arms as high as they’ll go while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Hold pose for five deep breaths. What do you notice about your body?
  5. Mindful Eating: Noticing Ingredients. Today as you eat, focus on the ingredients in your food. What ingredients do you taste? What new or different ingredients do you notice with this increased awareness? Consider for at least one bite. What do you notice?
  6. Mindful Listening: Singing. (Play a preselected song with vocals.) Close your eyes or look down. Listen to the singers who are singing. How many voices do you hear? What do the voices sound like? Listen for one minute. What do you notice?
  7. Mindful Breathing: Volcano Breath. Close your eyes or look down. Sit up straight. Press your palms together over your heart. Slowly inhale through your nose and raise your hands straight in the air, like lava coming up through a volcano. Slowly exhale through your nose, separate your hands, and bring your arms down to your sides, like lava falling from the sky. Do this for five breaths. What do you notice?
  8. Mindful Stretching: Happy Baby. Lie on your back. Bring your knees to your chest so the bottoms of your feet face upward. Reach up and grab the bottoms of your feet. Gently rock back and forth. Hold pose for five deep breaths. What do you notice about your body?
  9. Mindful Eating: Gratitude for Food. Today as you eat, take a moment to express gratitude for your food. Where did your food come from? What needed to be done in order to get this food ready for you to eat? Consider for at least one bite. What do you notice?
  10. Mindful Seeing: Look at Yourself.  Take a moment to look at yourself. Look at your skin, clothes, and belongings. What do you notice that’s new or different? What’s something positive you can say to yourself? Consider for one minute. What do you notice?
For 20% off and free shipping on our In a Jar® products, use code JUL20 at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2019.

Have Fun, Be Well

Ideas and conversation prompts adapted from Healthy Me In a Jar®: Fun and Simple Health Habits for Little Ones

Visual Learning and Teaching Cover Image
  1. What are three fun, healthy activities you can do outside in the summertime?
  2. Close your eyes and breathe slowly in and out. Imagine the breath going down your legs to your toes. Fresh air is good for every part of you!
  3. What’s your favorite book to read at bedtime? What’s it about? Why is it nice to read before going to sleep?
  4. Be colorful! Eat lots of different-colored fruits and vegetables every day.
  5. Watch out for germs! If someone’s sick, blow a kiss instead of hugging or kissing. Try it now.
  6. Do you cuddle up at night with a special blanket? A stuffed animal? A toy? What makes it special?
  7. Make yourself shiny clean! Do you like to wash from head to toe, or from toe to head?
  8. Friends are fun to play, talk, and be with. Name someone who is your friend. What do you like about your friend?
  9. Brush your teeth for at least 30 seconds. How long is that? As long as it takes to silently sing the Happy Birthday song twice!
  10. Want to dance? Put on some music and get in the groove!
For 20% off and free shipping on our In a Jar® products, use code JUL20 at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2019.


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