Happy stamp is a simple visual scanning game. Google emojis on your computer. Lots of images will come up. Pick an image with multiple emojis and print it. Emoji stickers are also available on Amazon. Put the stickers on a blank piece of paper or card stock and make copies of it. Then give your child a bingo stamper and ask them to find happy emojis.
What are the Benefits?
Happy stamp improves visual discrimination. Children must be mindful or they may stamp the wrong emotion. It also improves fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
What to Say
We are going to find all the happy emojis on this page. When you see a happy emoji we are going to stamp it. Remember we are only stamping the happy ones!
A variation of this game for older children is to color all the O’s on a newspaper page or poke holes with a toothpick through the O’s.
You have the power to change your brain – one thought at a time!
Did you know you have the power to change your brain? You, not doctors, have the power to change
your thoughts. There are a lot of things
you can’t control in your life, BUT you can control your thoughts. Even though this sounds simple, sometimes it
is hard to change your mindset. Your brain is a muscle and just like the
muscles in your arms your brain needs to work out to grow strong, healthy, and
happy. Luckily there are lots of mood-changing
workouts for your brain.
Here are four mood-changing workouts for your brain:
Take Deep Breaths
Take 10 deep breaths. Find a peaceful place in your home or yard and practice taking ten deep slow breaths. Practice breathing throughout the day when you are happy and calm. Breathe all the way down to your belly to help your brain feel calm.
Go for a Walk
Walk out your stress and worries. Just 10 minutes of movement, in nature, can change how you feel. Relaxed movement reduces stress-hormone production, resulting in a happier, healthier you.
Have an “Attitude of Gratitude”
Have an “Attitude of Gratitude.” Gratitude shifts your mood and helps you to realize how much you have to be thankful for. Beginning your day with a short gratitude list is a powerful way to promote positive thinking and an overall sense of well-being.
Meditate Your Way to Happiness
Do a short meditation. Meditation actually changes your brain. When you meditate your brain makes the brain chemicals that help you feel happy and relaxed. Science tells us that the more you meditate the more brain chemicals your brain makes. Try making meditation a daily habit, even if it is only for a few minutes every day.
Focus on the Now
Neuroscience demonstrates you can actually grow happy centers in your brain by feeding them happy thoughts. When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, notice the feeling and then do one of the brain workouts above to change it. You can’t change unpleasant things from the past, but you can choose to change the present by focusing on the good in the here and now. Want to learn more about how movement, mindfulness, and breathing can change how you feel? Sign up for our online aerial yoga and mindfulness classes. If you are in the Kansas City area, hang out with us for 12-weeks this summer in our aerial yoga classes and camps.
This week our camp theme was gratitude. At Camp Gratitude we made mini gratitude journals. When children think of things they are grateful for it activates the calming part of the nervous system. This helps children to feel not only calmer, but happier. With school getting ready to start, now is a perfect time to make the gratitude journal a healthy habit. Every morning, before school, have your child write or draw one thing he is grateful for in a journal or on the bathroom mirror. What a great way for a child to start, not only their day, but their new school year!
Here are a few prompts to get you started. Ask her to write or draw about:
A person you appreciate.
A place that makes you happy.
An item you love (e.g., backpack, waffles, bike).
A skill or ability you are awesome at.
A person who makes you laugh.
Your favorite song.
Something that you accomplished that made you feel good.
A sport or hobby you enjoy.
A pet you love.
A teacher who showed you kindness.
Learning to be grateful helps children to develop executive function skills, which are higher level cognitive skills needed to self-regulate. Being grateful increases mindfulness and compassion for others. Being grateful can shift your child’s mood and enhance her overall well-being.
What to Say
Did you know that practicing being grateful can make you feel happier and healthier?
Each morning think of one thing you are grateful for and write or draw it.
Notice how you feel.
Check out our mini gratitude journal from Camp Gratitude.