It had to be a fun attention grabber in order for the preK children to grasp the meaning of setting a goal. After all, it is not a concept that is normally taught to preschoolers. It had to be an irresistible image …..something that would be an unforgettable. So I decided to explain the steps, one by one, needed to achieve the goal. And the goal? Balance a plastic bird on my nose without it falling off! Now that I have YOUR attention (hahaha), here's how I proceeded!
Breaking down simple steps to accomplish a goal is essential for young children. It has be be fun. It has to be easy and short. It has to be something they can accomplish. In my demonstration I explained steps to accomplish the goal: 1) Take a deep breath to calm myself. 2) Focus on the bird. 3) Gently place the bird on my nose. When it was accomplished, children wanted to balance birds on their heads, noses, elbows, etc. A fun goal just can't be beat!
I was able to combine goal setting with pre-taught self-calming and focusing skills. Be calm, focus on one thing at a time, establish a goal. Summertime called for an outrageously fun lesson. With my non profit 501(c) 3 Superkid Power, Inc. organization, I secured funding to purchase buckets and squirters for 17 children. Off to the park we went.
We filled buckets with water and filled squirters. Then we took slow deep belly button breaths to calm ourselves and focus on one thing at a time. The goal: drench me! While remaining calm, they focused on me and then aimed. SUCCESS! They LOVED using their Superkid Power Skills and accomplishing this goal...a guaranteed unforgettable lesson!
According to parents.com, it is best to start small with a goal, something that can be achieved in a short time. Think: Find two dandelions in the yard and put them in a vase. Something fun may stick with the absorption of goal setting in the beginning like think of a joke that makes you laugh and the goal is to tell it to somebody else to make them laugh. The steps: Think, laugh, tell joke. KISS is the key....Keep It Simple Sweetie.
Applaud all efforts with Superkid Power skills. Review and discuss if a child
falls short of accomplishing the goal. It is all a learning process and can serve for children to try harder, understand why something didn't work and promote problem solving as a skill. Encouragement is an essential ingredient in teaching goal setting, regardless of outcome. It all counts and every effort is valid.
Here's the first fun goal activity I that I initiated with the concept: I gave children a paper cup and a little bag of several beans. Goal steps: Set cup down in front of their feet. Hold bean above cup at chest level. Do calm deep belly button breathing to be calm and focus. Drop bean into cup. Repeat. It was like a carnival game to them!
More factors that enter into motivation of goal setting with children are for them to design steps for a stated goal. Experiment. Let them be creative! They'll have fun and be involved with responsibility. Using the word 'goal' is another key. Keeping it in the language system every day imprints the concept as being a normal part of life. Giving steady encouragement of efforts will give children great boosts of confidence. In addition, remember to state your goals with them and for the day. Allow children to be a part of what some steps can be and help to manifest the goals.
In the artwork you can see that a kindergarten girl has a goal to remember to take deep breaths and stay calm when she is old enough to drive. She said it would keep her out of accidents! In the second art piece a boy stated the goal of being nice to kids who look different than him. Forward thinking in action at a young age!
In my book Superkid Saves the Day (Amazon) Superkid had a goal to help her dog get rid of mad feelings in a healthy way without hurting himself or others. She accomplished for her own mad feelings and then could help him. Point out goals in stories and how they are achieved. Children enjoy visualizing others' approaches and successes.
Goal setting is fun when it is taught with delight and serves children to think in a forward manner building positive steps and accomplishments that stabilize self confidence in having SUPERKID POWER!
Superkid Saves the Day by Janai 'Grandma Boom' Mestrovich (Amazon)
www.superkidpower.org (Free video for children to view plus downloads for reinforcement for parents/teachers). Also recommend Superkid Stories that have skill messages in fun stories.
Www.grandmaboom.com (View my book titles available on Amazon)