Soothing Sammy FAQ
Thank you all for your amazing questions about "Soothing Sammy!"
I have been working with preschoolers for over 18 years and one of the most valuable lessons they learn at this young age is emotional intelligence. It is OKAY for children to feel big emotions. It is up to us to teach them what to do with those feelings.
What if they could calm down, communicate their feelings and problems solve INSTEAD of scream or tantrum?
Children learn the best through hands on activities - visual reminders and hands on play!
Knowing this, I wrote the "Soothing Sammy" program!
Here are the FAQ answers that you asked:
1. Does it really work?
Yes! Sammy teaches children how to manage their feelings in a positive way, in a way that they actually understand (and we don't have to talk at them while they are mad." It works by redirecting children to calm down, but also includes one of the most important things - solving a problem. By using the questions in the back of the book, children learn how to talk about what is making them feel upset or sad and how to solve the problem.
Ashlie, mother of 4 year old just wrote in saying: "Sammy has been great and we have used him a few times now when she has been very sad and also when she was super frustrated. She said she needed "Sammy Time" and went to his house all on her own. She returned when she was ready and said Sammy helped her. She even came up with what she can do instead (well she said Sammy told her what she can do instead). We were able to talk about her feelings in a calm manner which was great! Thanks again!"
2. How old is the program for?
It is perfect for children ages 2.5 years old through 7 years old.
3. What is included?
- 1. Soothing Sammy (Children's Book)
- 2. Plush Golden Retriever Dog
- 3. Soothing Sammy Music (MP3 Versions emailed right after purchase)
- 4. Sammy Curriculum, Coloring Pages and Sensory Activities (digital PDF download emailed right after purchase)
- 5. Soothing Sammy Emotions Activities and Behavior Tips Book (Book)
- 6. Feelings Poster
- 7. Stickers to decorate Sammy's House
4. What do I need to build Sammy's House?
All you need is Sammy (the dog included in the set), and empty box (you can use the one he is delivered in) and then items from around your home, such as a ball to squeeze, a pictures of family members, a bag of crunchy snacks (crackers), a small bottle of water, a wash cloth, a calming scent (like lotion or lavender bubbles (recipe included in curriculum set)).
5. How do I redirect my kids to Sammy when they are upset?
After building Sammy's house with your child, and introducing all the components of Sammy to them, using the week long activity plan, all you have to say is "Sammy Time" and your child will know exactly what to do!
6. Should i get Sammy, even if I already have a calm down corner?
Yes! The book and the dog teach children what to do with the items in the calm down house in a way they understand and can see. Children learn the best through seeing, hearing and touching. "Soothing Sammy" uses these three teaching components to teach our youngest family members what to do with their BIG feelings.
7. How much does it cost?
The whole Sammy Program is $49.99 with FREE 5 day shipping! This includes all 7 components discussed in number 3 on this page.
8. Why does it work?
Imagine you're at the very end of your workday and you are late picking up your child from daycare. Your boss hands you a file that needs IMMEDIATE attention and he won't take no for an answer. Your heart starts to race because if you don't pick up Charlotte from daycare in 10 minutes, you will get stuck with the $25 late charge and that dreaded phone call from her annoyed teacher. You scramble to call your mother-in-law to see if she can pick her up. You want to scream, but you don't. When your child has a meltdown, they are feeling the same way.
But .... you didn't yell and bite your boss.
Instead, you were able to come up with a solution. You found someone to pick up your child while sipping your green smoothie in hopes to calm your nerves.
So why is your child flailing on the floor?
Over your lifetime, you learned how to calm down! Humans are not born with the skills to process our emotions properly. Did you know that over 90 different emotions have been identified? A 3 year old has between 300-500 words. Should we expect our kids to identify and describe all of their feelings? Ninety emotion words is one quarter of their total vocabulary! And here is the other issue: the part of our brain in charge of problem solving (the prefrontal cortex) isn't fully developed until we are 25 years old! Children are still learning how to manage their emotions, problem solve and communicate their feelings. Teaching them simple calm down and problem solving skills is a must. More importantly, we need to teach our young kids how to use these skills in a way they understand.
9. I have more than one child. Do I build more then one house?
Sammy's house can be very personal to a child, filled with items for them to use to calm down when they are feeling overwhelmed. If you have more then one child, I recommend having a house for each child, with their very own items in it. You don't need another set of Sammy for this, but you can get an extra Sammy plush dog for each child's house if you would like.
10. Does it work in Preschool Centers?
Yes! Sammy has been used as a calm down corner in preschools all over the country. When children are upset, they are able to request "Sammy Time" and an item they would like to use to calm down (with the choice cards included in the program). Introduce Sammy with the circle time and small group curriculum, as you talk about emotions and feelings together. The activity book includes 60 play-based activities that teach math, language and. more.
Ann, a Preschool Supervisor wrote in recently to say: "We use Sammy at school. I have set up a quiet area in the classroom where we put Sammy and his house. When we introduced Sammy, we did a Circle Time session on Sammy and spent one week adding each object to his house (one day they drank water from a coup or straw and discovered how they felt... one day they pretended they were mad and jumped in place, etc.) The dog home was built and painted by the kids and the kids then placed it in one spot of the classroom with the Sammy dog in it. It was explained how he is there to help you feel better when you are mad and he will let you borrow the items in his house, just like he did with the children int he book, to help them feel better. Throughout t he days, teachers are able to hand the postcard of the Sammy book to the kids that seem sad or upset, redirecting them to go to Sammy for support, then talk to a teacher to solve the problem. This is a fantastic program/tool."
You can find more information about "Soothing Sammy" HERE!
Please send me an email with any more questions that you have.
Jeana, Author of Sammy the Golden Dog