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Emotional Regulation through Nature - Helpful During Pandemic
November 13, 2020
I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
-Anne Frank

Nurturing Learning with Nature” is the title of the newest Exchange Reflections, based on an article by Martina B. Albright.

The author outlines many benefits for children of spending time in nature in early childhood programs, emphasizing especially increased emotional regulation. She explains:

“A key concept in early education literature today is the idea of emotional regulation (Sobel, 2016). It is defined as the ability to identify what one is feeling and control that emotion so that it fits one’s surroundings. This means that moments of intense excitement while the group is focused on a story, or anger at not getting the last cracker at snack, or frustration at not getting your choice activity after circle, are all typical emotions that a preschool child must learn to regulate. This is a skill that many believe is foundational to a child’s ability to succeed in getting along with others and adapting to the multitude of situations school presents (Hanscom, 2017).

While being able to regulate energy and feelings indoors is important, time outdoors provides ideal scenarios for children to work through emotions (Hanscom, 2017). When children are outside, their senses are attuned to noises, smells and touch in a different way than when they are indoors, where the environment is often overstimulating (Hanscom, 2017).”

An article on the Kaiser Family Foundation website, “Well Being During the Coronavirus Pandemic” outlines some of the emotional challenges children are experiencing during the pandemic:

“Parent stress due to childcare, schooling, lost income, or other pandemic-related pressures can negatively affect children’s emotional and mental health, harm the parent-child bond and have long-term behavioral implications.”

The Exchange Reflections encourages discussion on ways time in nature can help children cope with troubling emotions, as well as develop positive feelings such as empathy.

Source: “Well Being During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” by Rachel Garfield and Priya Chidambaram, September 24, 2020, kff.org

NEW Resource!
Exchange Reflections

Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a "Making Commitments" idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action and an Exchange Reflections Certificate. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.

We are offering a “choose your price” option during this challenging time. The regular price of Exchange Reflections (which you can distribute to your staff or students) is $10. For those of you able to pay regular price, thank you. It helps us keep paying our staff. For those of you who need to use the 50% off coupon, we understand. Times are tough right now and some budgets are on the edge. Please do what works in your own circumstances.

Use coupon code REFLECTIONS at checkout
For 50% off this new resource

Offer valid through January 23, 2021 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
May not be combined with any other offer.
Not valid on past purchases or bulk purchase discounts.


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