a CMM Institute initiative

Developing compassionate, caring and responsible citizens for better social worlds.

CosmoKidz Activities

Also available in digital format suitable for distance as well as in-person learning. Select a membership level HERE.

The CosmoKidz resource activities consist of:

Conversation starters

This set of illustrated cards covers 31 themes designed to explore interpersonal topics that young children face in their everyday social world. These topics were gathered from young children around the world who told us, through small group conversations, what they find challenging and demanding in their own lives. The topics cover a range of scenarios from “feeling unsure” and “bullying” to “saying I am sorry” and “making new friends”.

Each topic is on a separate card and includes

  • the topic
  • a common scenario
  • questions to help children discuss their experience of the scenario
  • two role-play activities to practice acting more mindfully into the situation in the future.

The boxed set also contains

  • 31 supplemental activity sheets
  • a one-page short version of the User’s Guide
  • an 11 page User’s Guide that describes the theory and thinking behind CosmoKidz and ways that adults can effectively use the cards.

Puppets

Suitable for online or in-person instruction.

We have also developed puppets with a smiling face on one side and tears on the other side. The puppets can be used in a playful and fun way to talk about any or all of the topics contained in the CosmoKidz set. In our early evidence gathering stage, we found that the children really took to these puppets. It was the best reward ever to be able to take a puppet home for the night!

The SOAR song and dance

The SOAR song is another useful way of reinforcing the whole idea of SOAR and can be used as a starter to any CosmoKidz activity. It acts as reminders for the children and they love to sing along with it. We have created two versions of the SOAR song and an accompanying dance.

Using the activities

We have produced a short instruction video to show how the CosmoKidz resources can be used in a fun and flexible way.

Using the cards any time during the day

Because the CosmoKidz resource kits are not part of the curriculum, you don’t have to prepare a plan to use them. You can just pick a conversational card or two whenever it seems appropriate and start talking about it. There might be a new student in the class and you pick the card on “making new friends” or, at recess, you hear some students calling another student bad names and you pick that card to talk about later in the day.

Using the puppets

The puppets “talking” can be far more effective than the teacher talking. The kids love listening to the puppets and the puppets can be used to talk about positive social behaviors to get the kids engaged.

For parents

Parents can also work to reinforce SOARing behaviors by spending five minutes (or even more) over dinner or in the car asking their children how they SOARed today. Parents can ask “how did you show kindness today?” or “what did you do to respect others?” Parents only need to tell their children how proud they are when they talk about a positive SOAR behaviour for the children to do it more and more.

Learning how to deliberate

The CosmoKidz themes and puppets can also be used in very simple deliberations that help children as young as kindergarten learn how to engage with others to make decisions. A simple way of doing this is to set up a scenario in which something happens and then offer three or four choices, asking the children to talk about what they like and don’t like about each choice. The puppets can play a great role here.

Example:

Introduce two female puppets, Sally and Susie, as “children” of the same age who are playing at recess. These girls simultaneously saw a ball that they wanted to play with. They each tried to grab the ball and Susie ended up with it. This made Sally very sad (demonstrate both girls trying to grab the ball and Susie getting it and Sally’s sad face with tears). Sally had to make a decision about what she was going to do next and the class needs to help Sally make a decision. Offer them  four possible ways that Sally could act into this situation and ask them to say what they thought about each possible choice by discussing what they liked and what they didn’t like about each choice. The four choices were: 1. Sally could go find someone else to play with; 2. Sally could grab the ball and run away from Susie; 3. Sally could tell a teacher or an adult that Susie isn’t sharing; or, 4. Sally could tell Susie that she is sad that Sally grabbed the ball and that she wants them to play with the ball together.

Playing the SOAR song and dance

Children often get restless in class and can start acting in disruptive ways. Playing the SOAR song and dance clip can help them use up their restless energy and channel their behaviors more appropriately.

Reinforcing SOAR

The SOAR slogan helps the students learn to become aware of some very basic, but necessary, aspects of positive social behaviour.

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