Even from a young age children need to learn how to handle anxiety and depression. One nonprofit organization is on a mission to help kids learn how to manage their emotions. HeartMath Institute has created a new online interactive program, called HeartSmarts Adventure, to teach kids all about emotional well being and heart-healthy living. Through the “100,000 Coherent Kids Initiative,” they are giving away 100,000 copies of the program.

Girl on tablet

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 31% of high school students have depression. They also found that one in every four students report being bullied at school.

“We have spent two years creating this program that will teach kids what they need to know to be able to identify emotions and manage them in a healthy way,” explains Jeff Goelitz, the education specialist and senior master trainer at HeartMath Institute. “By reaching children at a young age we can begin to teach them about healthy living principles that will benefit them for the rest of their life.”

The HeartSmarts Adventure is an online program geared towards children ages four to six. Children can take part in 63 activities aimed at getting kids engaged and active as they learn about heart health and emotional well-being. The lessons include videos, physical exercise, coloring, music, and interviews with other children, along with other activities.

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The program focuses on:

  • Mental and emotional health as well as physical health, through six units that include a variety of colorful and fun exercises.
  • Children learn how to talk about what they’re thinking and feeling, which is so important for their mental health.
  • They learn the importance of care, kindness and compassion towards others which promotes tolerance and acceptance.
  • They learn the importance of physical health – being active, choosing good foods and getting proper sleep which initiates good habits early in life.

“It’s important that children from a young age learn about how they can help take care of their heart health, as well as their emotional well-being,” added Goelitz. “This program has been designed to give them that foundation. They can use the lessons to stay healthy for many years to come. It’s never too early to start teaching about heart health.”

The HeartSmarts Adventure program is designed so that children can go through the lessons at their own pace. It’s designed to be a blended program, combining teacher or parent-led instruction. Visit the site for more information about the program, or to obtain a free copy to download.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

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