Highlight: Chipmunks (Twos) - Davenport
A child was experiencing upset because a friend took a toy from him and as he was crying, he went to the safe place and put the balloon pillow in his lap and started performing the balloon breathing exercise. All of this occurred without a prompt in the moment by the classroom staff.
Connection: Safe Place
Safe Places are used during times of upset as teaching moments so children can practice active calming. Safe Places provide a literal safe place for children to have time to themselves to gain self-awareness of their emotions, identify them and choose an activity to actively calm. After a period of calm, this allows children to effectively self-regulate their own emotions and re-enter the group in a healthy way. Having a quiet, comfortable place where a child will not be interrupted is essential to success and having them learn various skills helps each child individualize his or her own action plan for what works for them. It is apparent that this child was not only exposed to the safe place and associated breathing exercises, but also had actively practiced this in the past, prior to experiencing his upset.