✦ TG's children are going to be learning lots about wellbeing and healthy choices with a friendly giraffe!
Healthy Harold is a friendly giraffe who is really good at helping children understand how to make safe, healthy choices. Some of you who are parents may also have known Healthy Harold the Giraffe from the time when you were a child!
This year, Healthy Harold is visiting TG's Child Care in Armidale and Uralla to teach the children about wellbeing. By helping children to understand how they are feeling and giving them little tools and tips, the children are empowered to not only care for themselves but also for others.
Children can experience big emotions too, and it is not always easy for them to articulate or understand them. TG's has always been known for building and nurturing caring, respectful relationships and engagements with the children, Educators, families and even their local communities. Children build meaningful relationships with each other in their interactions that involve care, kindness and respect. TG's curriculum and activities planned by the Educators focus on the children's wellbeing through Playing is Learning for Life.
TG's Children are Experts in Mindfulness
Mental health outcomes at TG's are for everyone - children, Educators, families. Children are supported to reach their fullest potential by learning what promotes their wellbeing. This involves helping them to understand their emotions and teaching them to use self-regulating skills. They gain life-coping mechanisms to create a wellbeing toolkit that they can keep using long after they have left TG's. This is Wellbeing for Life, starting at TG's.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is embedded into the philosophy at TG’s and it is the underlying support mechanism for TG's to have mindfulness within their service. By supporting and protecting children’s rights, it contributes to their wellbeing and TG's is giving children techniques to succeed in life.
TG’s is in a trusted position to promote and provide empowered environments such as their mindfulness area to support children’s autonomy and agency.
Some of the tools TG's is providing the children include:
Mindfulness area – where children go to reflect, self-regulate and centre themselves to be able to continue on with their days if they start feeling overwhelmed. In this area there are sensory resources, breathing cards, books, emotion cards that children can choose what most resonates with them.
Yoga experiences daily within TG's rooms.
Calming cultural music to support relaxation.
Guided Mediation which includes body scanning.
Group time mindfulness activities – breathing techniques, listening experiences, body awareness, stillness to be present in the now.
Give the children the skills to be able to communicate their feelings to others and themselves in a positive way.
Storytime includes mindfulness books being read to the children. Children are allowed and encouraged to recognise their emotions, feel them and validate them. "I feel frustrated!", "I feel happy!" etc. and the children learn how to respond to their emotions in a positive way.
Fortnightly beach and bush kindy walks where sensory experiences, openness and curiosity to ask questions are encouraged. Fresh air, sunlight and open spaces help children to connect to nature and relax their minds.
According to the Greek physician, Hippocrates, otherwise known as the father of medicine, “walking is man’s best medicine”.