This guest post was written by Kala, a preschool teacher!
As a Preschool Teacher, I have come to realize that children's behaviors are usually a cry for help or for attention... OR they just don't know what to do with their feelings.
This past school year, we have had several children with BIG emotions in our classroom. It was getting hard for me to come to school in the morning. Some children were screaming, some were throwing objects and others we scared of their friends.
These children were experiencing several emotions that they couldn't control, and they reacted with escalating behaviors.
Then I came across "Soothing Sammy Curriculum."
The first time I introduced Soothing Sammy, my day went from scary to AMAZING! The children love him! I couldn't believe it worked. Children need concrete lessons...something they can see and feel that makes calming down understandable. Sammy does that for them.
Sammy helps children that are sad/anxious.
We have a new little girl who has been with us for a few weeks but is very anxious when mom leaves. I reminded her about Sammy and she visited his house and found a fidget to play with which. She loved it. She gave it back to Sammy when she was done. We also listened to some music and later she was ready to join circle time!
Sammy helps children that are angry/frustrated.
We have a little boy who is very aggressive when he becomes upset. When I mention "Sammy Time" he stops instantly and walks over to Sammy for some cuddles and sensory time. When he is calm, we are able to talk about the problem and he moves on. Sammy is magic!
Sammy is relatable and is the class friend.
Sammy is a star with the whole class! We have been implementing Sammy's activities in the classroom for about a few weeks. The kids are really enjoying him and even want him to eat with us at meal time. We have a special dog bowl for him and he sits on a shelf while our food service worker feeds him and comes over to take food out discreetly to show he has ate his meal.
We also talked about dogs not liking people coming over and taking their food or pet them while they eat. This led into some fun conversation and lessons around animal safety.
Sammy also takes a nap after lunch and we cover his box up with a towel (because the kids decided he likes to sleep in the dark.) They all say "night night Sammy!"
Sammy helps the children at home (and parents too!)
My students are beginning to plan their own Sammy house to bring home. They have picked the color they are going to paint his house (shoe box) and what calming tools they will put in it. I am giving them a laminated picture of Sammy to put in their home. They are excited to take Sammy's house home to help them calm down if they are angry or sad when not at school.
Soothing Sammy is so much more then a toy. He is practical, functional, comprehensive, and a real asset to any preschool classroom. I don't know where I would be without him.