Welcome to “On the Horizon”
Issue 37: Learning to Think: Part Three – Continuing Mindfulness Throughout the Day
On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.
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Development and Activities
A Note from Nicole: Conference, New Families and Programs
Idea of the Week: Fun on the Go
Feature Article: Learning to Think: Part Three – Continuing Mindfulness Throughout the Day
The Horizons Team Recommends: Sibshop; Flex Your Brain DVD
Upcoming Events: Sibshop; HANDLE® Intermediate Training
I just got back from a conference in Los Angeles where the weather was sunny and warm. My plane landed in Michigan while it was snowing. While I’m glad to be back at home I am not glad to be back to the gray snowy weather! My kids and husband were waiting for me at the airport, and my youngest son just couldn’t resist asking me right away what I had brought him. I guess I know the real reason he comes along to get me at the airport!
We’ve got tons of great things happening around Horizons – no slowing down for us at the holidays! It’s been a pleasure to welcome so many new families into our programs over the past month. We’re looking forward to getting to know you better and helping you make the upcoming year the best yet for you and your child!
Thanks to everyone who gave us such positive feedback on our new “Flex Your Brain!” program! We’re glad you like it, and stay tuned for more to come in the new year.
Have an awesome week!
Looking to the horizon,
Fun on the Go!
It’s a busy time of year for travel. You may be traveling for the holidays to go see grandparents or other family members, and being in a car for a long period of time can be boring for the kids. A great idea is to get a Rubbermaid bin and put some items in it so that you’re ready for the trip ahead. Here are some ideas to keep the kids busy, fed, and clean!
- Small dry erase board to play games like tic-tac-toe, hangman, etc.
- Music/Story on CD’s
- Variety of snacks in Ziploc bags – trail mix, crackers, etc.
- Hand sanitizer
- Water bottles with children’s initials
- List of fun games:
- ABC game – find billboards & license plates with letters – be the 1st to complete the list of A-Z
- Lines & Dots – make a grid of dots – connect 2 dots together and then it’s another person’s turn – once you complete a square you put your initials inside – the person with the most squares wins!
- License Plates – for long trips see how many different states you can find and keep a list
- Rock/Paper/Scissors – the traditional game
Learning to Think: Part Three – Continuing Mindfulness Throughout the Day
By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.
Fall is well underway here in Michigan, and the beautiful fall colors can be seen for miles around. It is such a wonderful sight to see children, young and old, out and about enjoying the wonderful scenery. My young son has become increasingly aware of the seasons, and it has been amazing for me to watch him make discoveries about the changes in his world. During this time of change, I continue to think about the mindfulness that is so important for every child. Watching my son think, learn, and process information related to the changing seasons has brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined.
In my last article, I discussed two strategies to increase students’ mindfulness throughout the school day. It is so important for our students to be learning to think independently, and not just learning rote skills that they cannot apply. Here are a few more strategies that I would like to share with you that will help increase the mindfulness of your students.
Flex Your Brain
It’s Here—A Simple Way to Build Flexibility and Thinking Skills in Your Students!
Help your preschool and elementary students learn to: think creatively; flexibly adapt to change; notice similarities and differences; and compare and contrast perspectives
This fun and effective learning tool has two components:
The “It is a _____” component uses colorful inkblot paintings to promote creative and flexible thinking. Spend a few minutes looking at a different inkblot each day, and think about what it could be. This can be done as a great morning warm-up activity, in an individual therapy session, or as a discussion with the whole class.
The “Daily Differences” component provides teachers with simple ideas to incorporate variations into the day. Ideas include:
- Change the location of items in the classroom
- Sit in different shape configurations at “circle” time
- Serve “chilly cookies” from the fridge instead of the cupboard for snack time
- Take different routes as you travel throughout the building
Note to Parents: These make great gifts for the teachers and therapists in your child’s life!
For more information, click here
Sibshop – Horizons Sibling Network!
Next Session: January 17th, 2009
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at our center
We feel strongly that as part of our family-focused mission we need to be attending to the needs of all of your children, not just the ones with disabilities. Siblings of children with disabilities have their own unique needs and experiences, and we will be using the renowned Sibshop model that is designed to provide them with support, education, and fun.
Limited to 20 children. Participants must have a sibling with disabilities and be aged 7-14. Lunch will be provided. The cost is $20.00 per child for Horizons families and $30.00 per child for non-Horizons families.Click on the links below for more information or call the office with any questions!
To sign up online, click here
Please join us!
See our Event Calendar for more details…