The Soothing Sammy Emotions Program is a great way to help toddlers and preschoolers learn emotional regulation, or how to manage their BIG emotions. The adorable stuffie and accompanying sensory tools are a great addition to any preschool classroom or home. Sammy fits perfectly into an emotions and feelings preschool theme, which can be done any time of the year!
Soothing Sammy Helps with Emotional Regulation
Wondering how Soothing Sammy might fit into helping preschoolers and toddlers? Here’s a story from a parent.
“Anna was screaming at me for 10 minutes this morning because she asked for cheese, and I gave her the white cheese instead of yellow cheese. The worst part was that it took 15 minutes for me to figure out why she was mad. Instead of telling me the color was wrong, or pointing to what she wanted, she fell on the floor, threw the cheese across the newly cleaned kitchen, and screamed at the top of her lungs.
Have you ever been through something like this? I hadn’t seen anything like this in the 3 years I had been Anna’s mother. Yet today it happened.
Sure she may have been tired (we went swimming earlier), but I didn’t realize that she was so tired she lost all her words!
I started doing some research and found out more about emotions and the developing brain. Did you know that three year olds are still learning how to use words to communicate their feelings? Actually, when they are so overwhelmed, they don’t know how to “calm down.”
This story is all too common and we hear it all the time! Emotions sure do get the best of us! Even as an adult, I have been “caught” in frustrated feelings (like when I get cut off on the road or when my boss insists I work 30 mins of overtime.) The difference is, I don’t scream, fall to the floor and throw my coffee mug across the room.
I usually take a very long sip of coffee or chew my gum harder. Okay, I’ll be honest. When someone cuts me off when I’m driving I’m glad that my window is rolled up and no one else can hear me!
Once I calm down, I’m good to go. I can come up with solutions to whatever has bothered me and move on. So why can’t my three year old do this?
The pre-frontal cortex is the part of our brain that is in charge of problem solving. Did you know that it doesn’t fully develop until 25 years of age? Now teen drivers are making a lot more sense to me! Our little preschoolers need a lot of guidance and support to calm down and problem solve.
Yet, talking to them when they are mad doesn’t seem to work. She tends to just get more upset. Leaving her alone sometimes helps but then she cries and runs to me, still fumbling up her words.
That’s when I found the Soothing Sammy Emotions Program! It uses visuals and some sensory components to help toddlers and preschoolers calm down, without me having to raise my voice at home or in the classroom.”
Teaching SEL to Preschoolers
Sammy is an adorable golden retriever puppy, that through his story, teaches children how to uses sensory objects to calm down. These familiar objects (like a ball, drink of water, cool washcloth, etc) are perfect to have with me, even when I’m on the go! Sammy introduces how to use these objects to calm down when children visit his adorable dog house in the story.
Once the story is over, there are instructions that teach parents (and kids) how to make a simple Sammy house of their own out of a shoe box and the items discussed in the story. To make it even more exciting, the Sammy book comes with a soft Sammy plush dog to live in the house with all of his things!
Now, when a child becomes upset, I just have to say “Sammy Time?” and they know exactly what to do. They run over to Sammy’s house, greet the puppy, calm down with an item and then we can talk about what made them mad and how to fix it! This product is genius! I puts a positive spin on not-so-happy emotions!
The teacher/parent guide includes behavior tips and tricks on how to prevent tantrums in common situations (like leaving the park, cleaning up, sharing) and the many activities that accompany the set allow kids to practice feeling words through PLAY!
Soothing Sammy in the Classroom
I know my kids love dancing to the Sammy songs any day! I know you will love this too! If you are a teacher, the amazing curriculum included in the set gives you a whole week of ideas on how to introduce Sammy to your classroom!
You can find out more about Soothing Sammy here and ask Jeana (the person who created the set) any questions you have through the chat! She is a veteran preschool teacher and parenting coach with over 20 years of experience.
Using Sammy, and other emotional regulation tools, are a wonderful way to support our preschoolers as they navigate all these new feelings at home, in groups of children and out in the community. When parents and teachers prioritize emotional regulation as a skill to be supported, our children will benefit for their entire lives, as children, teens and adults!