Monday, May 5, 2014

App of the Week | Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Have you heard of Sesame Street's initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges? It is a bilingual, multimedia outreach initiative for military, veteran, and general public families with young children, to help increase self-awareness, boost self-esteem, and help children persevere through challenges. Topics include deployment, incarceration, and divorce.

The reason I'm bringing all of this up is because of the awesome app that has come out of this initiative. Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame is an app that helps young children problem solve and develop coping strategies when challenging situations arise. As an occupational therapist, this is exactly what I'm often helping families teach their children, and for the right kid, this app might be a great supplement!

Here's how it works:

The app has five scenarios with monster: getting upset because he can't get his shoes on, saying goodbye to mom at school, sad because his tower of blocks fell down, waiting in line for the slide, and anxious about going to sleep in the dark. Each of the scenarios using great feeling words to describe how he is feeling.

After the scene is set, the user is encouraged to tap the monster's belly to help him take slow deep breaths, which helps him calm down (Breathe). After that, the child pops bubbles (good for finger isolation too!) to help the monster come up with a plan (Think). Three alternate plans are then given to solve the problem and the child can choose a plan (Do).
After a plan is chosen, another scene is played showing how the plan works out for the monster. The Breathe-Think-Do routine is then repeated and the child is encouraged to use this strategy in his own life. There is lots of repetition in this app, which I think is great for young children.

In addition to the scenes with monster in this app, there is also a parents section that contains tips and strategies, on a variety of challenging situations. These tips are great because they provide parents with language that they can use to help their child understand his or her feelings, as well as strategies to cope with the situation.
This is a cute and interactive app that looks like it could be really helpful for any child learning to cope with challenging situations (which is something all children have to do). I also think this app could be a good supplement to other emotional regulation programs, like The Incredible 5 Point Scale or The Zones of Regulation.

App Information:

Name of App: Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
Publisher: Sesame Street
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch; requires iOS 6.0 or later
Price: free!

*Information was correct at the time of publication, but is subject to change, so please confirm prior to downloading. This post contains affiliate links.

What are your go-to strategies to help teach kids emotional regulation? Would you consider adding this app to your bag of tricks?

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