Resources from the Counselors

Dear Parents,

We are so proud of our school community and the work we've done together during the 2020-2021 schoo year!. This page is a collection of resources, organized by topic, that we hope you'll find helpful. We'll be highlighting new topics and resources throughout the year. As always, if you have any questions or need more support around these issues, please reach out to us at KemezisN@tantasqua.org or JohnstonC@tantasqua.org .

Sincerely,

Mrs. Kemezis and Mrs. Johnston

Summer is here! While we know most families look forward to the slower pace of summer vacation, we also know that sometimes families are looking for activities to help keep kids engaged while school isn't in session. Activities that engage their bodies and minds over the summer months will help students be more prepared when they transition back into the school routine next fall. Below are some programs we think are great at helping students stay active, both physically and mentally.

The Holland Public Library offers free and discounted passes for some great local museums. Follow the link for more information.

Parents will receive age-appropriate themed learning experiences for students each week via email, including a list of supplies needed to complete the activities, These curated activities take about 1-2 hours each day to complete and blend online and off-line learning to help keep kids engaged.


Kids Bowl Free is offered at two local bowling alleys, Bayberry Bowling and Bogey Lanes and includes two free games of bowling per registered child each day of the program. Shoe rentals are not included. Follow the link to register or for more information.

Internet safety is an important topic for families to discuss at any point in the year, but as we move closer to summer break and more "free" time, it's important to remind kids how to be safe online and set some guidelines around the time they spend using the internet. Below are some resources that we found helpful.

This article offers basic guidelines for online safety, as well as a "cheat sheet" of things kids like to do online and suggestions of how to build safety measures for each one.

This website by Google offers a comprehensive guide to online safety for families, as well as games to help kids think about and practice concepts discussed in the guide.

The resources below explore the ways that our physical bodies are connected to our mental health. When we’re eating well, sleeping well and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise, we’re doing things that can benefit all aspects of our lives.

Learning to identify healthy friendships and set appropriate boundaries within those relationships is an important skill. Below are some resources that help explain what healthy boundaries are and provide some age-appropriate strategies for teaching this skill to your child.

This article offers an in-depth look at the many components of healthy relationships and how to address each topic with your elementary-aged child.

This article explains how empathy and self-awareness are involved in healthy relationships and gives some practical suggestions for explain and model these concepts for children.

"Growth Mindset" is a term you may have heard us use around school. In short, this term refers to the ability to see areas in which you can improve, create a plan to help yourself improve in that area and taking the steps necessary to improve. Growth mindset is a highly valuable skills for children and adults alike! Studies have shown that having a growth mindset can help ease anxiety, give us a sense of purpose and control and helps to increase our overall sense of self- worth. Below are some resources that explain the concept of growth mindset and provide some practical suggestions on how to help your child develop this skill.



This article offers a great explanation of growth mindset and it's benefits, as well as offering other resources on related topics, such as building self-esteem and self-advocacy.

This video offers a great, kid-friendly explanation of what growth mindset is and why it's so important.

Setting goals and making a plan to meet those goals is a pivotal part of having a growth mindset. This article offers parents some suggestions on how to help children develop these skills.

It’s no secret that this year has felt very different for most of us. These changes can add to the already overwhelming load of stress that most of us carry each day. Have you ever wondered if there was something simple you could do to help ease the tension of those around you while lightening your own burden as well? Developing empathy and following it up with showing kindness toward others has been proven to have positive effects for both the person receiving the kind deed and the person doing it. The resources below help explain what empathy is and how to help develop it in your children.

Being kind and showing empathy can have significant positive effects on our social, emotional and physical health.

Practical steps for modeling and building empathy in your home.

Listen as Mark Ruffalo and Murray explain empathy.

Practicing gratitude has been shown to have numerous positive effects on our mental, emotional and physical health. These effects can even be noticed in children as young as 5 years old! Maintaining a grateful attitude doesn't always comes easily or naturally to us, especially during difficult times. Below are two resources that talk about the many benefits that are associated with regularly practicing gratitude and some practical tips and activities to help make gratefulness a part of your every day life.

This article from VeryWellMind discusses the benefits of practicing gratitude in more detail, as well as offering some practical suggestions about how to practice gratitude yourself and teach your children to do the same.


This video from Greater Good Science Center explains an easy way to incorporate practicing gratitude into everyday family life.


Mindfulness can be described as focusing your attention on the “here and now” and observing what you are thinking and feeling in that moment without passing judgement about those feelings being right or wrong. Practicing mindfulness can help us understand our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and help us regulate our responses to stress. Below are a few resources that help explain the concept of mindfulness and how we can incorporate it into our daily lives.

This article from the New York Times explains in more detail what mindfulness is and the many benefits it can have for our brains. It also gives some great examples of how to help children practice mindfulness during different stages of their development.

This video helps explain how practicing mindfulness can help parents create space for their own feelings and model flexibility in adjusting to unexpected changes around them.

These tools may be helpful to you in setting up new routines for your family, building communication between family members and talking with children about returning to school in person.

The resources below are specifically designed to

help parents talk with their children about the Covid pandemic.

Please review them first to ensure they are appropriate for your child

PuttingMasksonMyToysStoryColoringPages.pdf

A printable book for young children about wearing protective masks.


trinka_and-sam_fighting_the_big_virus.pdf

A storybook about different ways the Covid virus is being handled.


Tips on Self-care



Tips for Helping Children Cope.pdf



disasters_family_readiness_kit.pdf

Promoting social and emotional learning intelligence has been proven to help children develop a healthy view of themselves and the world around them. Below are resources that briefly explain a topic within social and emotional learning, along with short activities to help you foster these concepts within your child's life.

Promoting-SEL-at-Home-OT.pdf

A brief explanation of Optimistic Thinking with activities/ talking points for each age group.


Promoting-SEL-at-Home-SelfA (1).pdf

A brief explanation of Self-Awareness with activities/talking points for each age group.


The following resources are helpful for parents to handle challenging behaviors, to support your child through this difficult time of change and to navigate the difficulties that arise with remote learning.

Responding to Children's Emotional Needs During Crisis.pdf

Responding to Children's Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis


Handling Children’s Behaviors.pdf

Handling Children's Behaviors


The following activities help to promote family relationships and to encourage bonding and cooperation among family members.

small-talk-discussion-cards.pdf

Family Discussion Cards

Activities that Build Family_Sibling Relationships (Cooperative, Not Competitive!).pdf

Activities that Build Family/Sibling Relationships


The activities below are helpful to promote gratitude, self-esteem and positive thinking.

101 Positive Thinking Affirmations.pdf

Positive Affirmations

Gratitude Checklist.pdf

Gratitude Exercises

The activities below are helpful to try if your child is experiencing anxiety or stress.

The following activities are designed to help children understand and manage their emotions.

100 Coping Strategies.pdf

Coping Strategies to Try

Daily Coping Skill Journal.pdf

Coping Strategies Journal

SelfRegulationCopingStrategiesJournal.pdf

Self-Regulation Journal

Emotions

CBT ART for a bad mood.pdf

Art to Turn a Bad Day into a Good Day

zones of regulation visual.pdf

Zones of Regulation

CalmDownToolKit.pdf

Calm Down Tool Kit