Open a Jar Full of Summertime Fun
Summer promises sunshine and relaxation, but it can also lead to boredom and sluggishness. Upbeat News to the rescue! We’re sharing excerpts from our In a Jar® products to help you and kids keep busy, be well, and have fun this summer. With boredom-busting ideas, discussion prompts, questions, activities, and more, Free Spirit jars make summer learning engaging, spontaneous, fun, and portable. In this month’s excerpts, you’ll find:
  • suggestions and scenarios to help kids stay calm and deal with anger 
  • mindfulness exercises to teach kids to live in the moment 
  • prompts to teach young children to take care of themselves and be healthy 

Below you’ll also find a free download from Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior by Michelle Salcedo, M.Ed., that helps parents and teachers develop engaging activities for kids. Using a fivefold HOMES scale, this worksheet will help you keep kids actively learning all summer long. We’re also highlighting our new jar release, Mindfulness In a Jar® by James Butler, M.Ed., which encourages kids to be present anytime, anywhere. 
Special Offer
Get 20% off and free shipping on all In a Jar ® products ! Sale ends July 31, 2019. Use code JUL20 at checkout. Shop now .
New Release Spotlight
Kids feel pressure too! Help them through their day-to-day problems with Mindfulness In a Jar® by James Butler, M.Ed. You’ll find quick and easy exercises on mindful breathing, listening, seeing, stretching, and eating so that kids can live in the moment, de-stress, and zero in on the task at hand. With this inventive collection of easy-to-carry cards, you and your kids can remember to be mindful wherever you are.  

Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
Adapted from STEAM In a Jar®: Experiments, Activities, and Trivia for Your Classroom by Garth Sundem, this post includes 10 DIY projects focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math that are sure to keep kids learning this summer. Read now.
Ah, summertime—a source of relaxation . . . and mental slump. These nine scenarios adapted from What If? In a Jar®: Questions and Dilemmas to Get Kids Thinking About Choices will help you get kids thinking this summer by encouraging them to practice decision-making skills.  Read now.
Educational grants available for your school or community:

The Frances R. Dewing Foundation awards grants to support projects in early childhood education and elementary school. Priority is given to new, untried, or unusual educational organizations or institutions experimenting with novel educational methods for young children and elementary-age students. Project proposals must address specific identifiable needs through activities that involve children or students directly.

Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter
Prize: Between $1,000 and $20,000
Application Deadline: April 1 and October 1, annually
Recent Review
“Self-advocacy is the greatest skill a student can learn for leadership, relationships, and school. Stick Up for Yourself! offers skills to help students reason through expectations, needs, and goal setting, then gives practical ways to use this information in everyday life. The teacher’s guide is absolute gold, giving lesson plans that are detailed and perfect for a seasoned educator or anyone new to running groups. My students and I are so lucky to have this resource that I can use as a stand-alone and also incorporate into other groups.”
—Stephanie Filio, M.Ed., middle school counselor, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Free Download

Trying to come up with engaging summer activities? The HOMES Active Learning Scale worksheet, from Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior by Michelle Salcedo, M.Ed., helps parents and teachers invent and evaluate effective activities that will keep young children curious and active. The criteria for active learning activities follow a fivefold HOMES approach: 
  1. Hands-on
  2. Open-ended
  3. Meaningful
  4. Engaging
  5. Sensory-oriented

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Upcoming Events and Conferences 

July 18: Free webinar presented by Mariam G. MacGregor, M.S.: “How to Fill the World with Leaders: Creating School Cultures Where Student Leadership Thrives” 

July 23–25: Military Child Education Coalition, Washington, DC

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“Generosity is the first step toward peace.”—Buddhist saying