About Soothing Sammy
Children aren't born knowing how to respond to their emotions, so let's teach this skill in a practical, hands-on way! Soothing Sammy can stop future tantrums by teaching your child how to:
- Realize they are feeling overwhelmed or upset.
- Calm down in an effective way.
- Process their emotions in a positive way.
- Talk about how they feel.
- Solve the problem through communication.
- Make a plan to solve the problem happens again.
- Move on with their/your day.
Details - How it Works:
Step 1: Complete the Emotions & Feelings with your child.
There are so many different feelings and it is hard for children to put those feelings into words. These activities provide opportunities for academic development while learning how to identify feelings in themselves and others, supporting emotional competency.
- Examples Include:
- "Excited vs. Surprised"
- "Angry March"
- "Sunny Side Up Wiggle"
- "Emotion Patterning"
- and so much more!
* Note: All activities utilize items/materials typically found in the home (no need to buy more stuff to complete these activities.)
Step 2: Read the Soothing Sammy book with your child.
The colorful photos and simple story is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary aged children. In the story, children who are upset visit Sammy, a golden retriever, at his dog house. Sammy shows his friends, how to calm down with items he has in his home. The items Sammy uses resemble typical household items (including a child's cup, a washcloth, a crunchy snack, a picture and more). Once calm, Sammy and his human friends ask the children questions to help them identify their feelings, find out why they are mad, and develop a solution to the problem.
Using these sensory-rich calm-down strategies, your child will learn:
- How to process emotions.
- How to communicate feelings.
- How to problem-solve.
- How to use their sensory system to calm down
Visit this page to find out more about what sensory strategies are and why they are important.
Step 3: Build Sammy's House.
The children’s book includes instructions on how to help your child build a house for Sammy (resembling Sammy's house the children visit in the book) using an empty box.
Step 4: Furnish Sammy's House.
With your child, fill the house (from step 3) with simple calming items described in the book (such as a wash cloth, empty cup, crunchy snack, a family photo and more). Place Sammy the plush dog (included in the kit) into his new home. This machine washable Sammy Plush dog (11.5” L x 3”W x 10” H), encourages children to implement the calm down strategies they learned in the book.
*Note: The Sammy Plush dog is safe for children ages 2 years old an up.
Step 5: Read Parent Guide.
This 80-page parent guide teaches you how to prevent your child from becoming frustrated in everyday situations (such as transition times, sharing space and toys, listening and following directions, going on a long car ride, etc.) This book contains activities, instructions and parent reflection sections.
Step 6: Gently Encourage Your Child to Use Sammy's House.
If your child becomes upset, redirect them to Sammy's house (in Step 4), encouraging them to use the materials in his house to calm down. Once calm, read the Soothing Sammy together. Use the questions at the end of the story to help your child identify why they are mad, how to fix the problem and how to prevent it from happening again in the future!
Have more questions, visit our Soothing Sammy FAQ page.
“Parenting is hard work! Children do not come with instructions, so knowing how to handle their emotional needs is so hard. Thanks to Soothing Sammy I am better equipped to help my children through their melt-downs and tantrums. Since grabbing this set I have seen not only a difference in my children but a difference in how I handle them in the hard moments. I definitely recommend this set to every parent.” – Stephanie
Why is this important?
More than 90 different human emotions have been identified! Wow! Young children haven’t had the practice to develop self-control or learn how to respond their emotions. Some feelings can be intense, especially frustration and anger.
Have you observed young children react to their feelings? Maybe they throw objects (that they are frustrated with), hit the toddler sitting next to them (because they are in their space) or kick their mom when getting buckled into the car seat (because they don't want to go anywhere)? Reactions don’t involve thinking of how to solve the problem. Instead of reacting to their feelings, I want to help you teach your kids how to Respond!
Responding allows your child to process their feelings in a constructive way so they can calm down and problem-solve instead of scream!
Mastering the Emotional Development Process is the foundation to success in all other ares of development. I developed the Soothing Sammy Program so children can learn calm down strategies in a way that is easy for them understand, remember and implement when they are overwhelmed. Once calm, they can problem solve and move on with their day (happily).
About the Author :
Jeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked for over 16 years in the Early Childhood Education field. She has been a parent educator, Preschool Director and Early Intervention Specialist (working with children with special needs). Jeana loves working with families, providing them with simple solutions to common parenting concerns, resulting in stress-free parenting!