It has been a couple of days since my last post as I am still recovering and have promised myself that I will not work at the weekend as this allows my body to reset from the week and I get time to make myself and my family spend time smiling. So here is my guide to the joy of a smile.
So this weekend we did all the things that make us smile. Some you you might think we did special things that were treats, no! I sent my eldest out with her father on a 10.5 kilometre walk with rucksacks (she is preparing fro Duke of Edinburgh expedition!), I took my youngest to her dancing sessions which take 3 hours and I went and took my dogs for a long walk. My eldest came back exhausted but I understand from my husband that she did not stop talking all the way, now something you need to know, my eldest is not a sporty, athletic child she is the couch, cosy, cooking child! So this was a BIG deal, we underestimated her resolve and the ability for her moving system to be settled and in rhythm to be chirpy and happily vocal all the way around. My youngest came out of dance smiling and starving and I had the opportunity to enjoy a walk in nature allowing my dogs freedom and me time to reset.
The reason I tell you all of this is because all of these activities involved movement and movement makes us smile. Research shows how important movement is for mental health, this does not mean we need to be exercising what it does mean is we need to find opportunities for bi-lateral movement, this can come from walking, painting, playing an instrument, dancing, climbing trees! and yes, sports also are included in this list. I am so encouraged when I hear stories of classrooms moving outside, interventions such as forest school Forest School , opportunities for young learners to move within the classroom. When I witness the engagement and contentment in childrens’ faces when they have opportunities to move they are in an emotional space to learn and absorb.
Tips for creating opportunities to Smile:
Begin the day with a group positive statement. Spend time when having breakfast to each make a happy statement to support each other during the day.
Walk to school / work if possible. Opportunities in walk together enables opportunities for conversations that get missed during busy family time
Encourage your child to make the most of playtime by suing climbing equipment or using play equipment such as skipping rope or hop-scotch (the old ones are the best!)
After School spend five minutes telling jokes. It has been shown that when laughing we cannot be emotionally low, thereby providing opportunity to wash of the days events if needed. Jokes also speed up the working memory to recall and remember communication skills, important facts, listening and emotional connection.