The ABCs of Movement
A is for activities! Getting students moving is more than encouraging them to exercise or otherwise expend their energy. Movement can increase their learning too. Jam and jive with April's Upbeat News and help children of all ages get active. In this month’s book excerpts you'll find:

  • tips to help babies’ motor development, strength, and growth
  • information on the social-emotional benefits of movement
  • how jumping, hopping, leaping, and skipping can support self-regulation

Below you’ll find a free activity from Move, Play, and Learn with Smart Steps by Gill Connell, Wendy Pirie, and Cheryl McCarthy that helps young children practice coordination. We’re also pleased to introduce our new title From A to Z with Energy! 26 Ways to Move and Play by Connie Bergstein Dow. This imaginative alphabet book encourages children to be active, live a healthy lifestyle, and, most importantly, have fun.
Special Offer
Get 30% off and free shipping on our movement and learning resources.* Sale ends April 30, 2019. Use code APR30 at checkout.

* Excludes already discounted sets, clearance items, and ebooks.
New Release Spotlight
From A to Z with Energy! encourages children to move, play, and learn through their ABCs. The twenty-six activities help teach young children about a healthy lifestyle, and the alphabet format helps children develop early literacy skills. A special section for adults provides tips for using movement to teach social-emotional skills along with additional movement activities to extend the fun. Learn more.
Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
Amanda C. Symmes, LICSW, offers ideas for movement activities to help students stay connected with their bodies and feelings and be better equipped to manage challenging experiences.  Read now.
Michelle Salcedo, M.Ed., author of Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior, shares three skills children develop through play that will serve them well as adults. Read now.
Educational grants available for your school or community:

The Pet Care Trust provides small grants to preK through grade 9 teachers in public and private schools for the purchase or care of small classroom pets. Grants are intended to support pets or aquariums in the classroom for the purpose of teaching children to bond with and care for pets responsibly.

Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter
Prize: Awards vary according to grant type.
Deadline: Applications are due June 1, annually.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, provides grant support for education projects related to optics and photonics, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities with an optics or photonics component. Proposed projects are judged on their potential to impact a large audience and increase awareness and interest in optics and photonics.

Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter, Other (including homeschool, 501 (c)(3) organizations)
Prize: Education Outreach Grants up to $5,000 and Sustaining Grants up to $2,000 are awarded.
Deadline: Applications are due May 31, annually.
Recent Review
Mindful Classrooms offers wonderfully concrete activities for teachers who want to lead mindful movement and breathing exercises with their students in the classroom. It’s the perfect complement to the daily guided sitting practices that more and more schools are embedding into the school day to benefit both students and teachers. This book can help educators foster a more mindful classroom in which to support their students’ social and emotional learning.” —Laurie Grossman, director of social justice and educational equity, Inner Explorer, Inc.
Free Download

Help young children learn coordination with the Farmer Gates activity from Move, Play, and Learn with Smart Steps by Gill Connell, Wendy Pirie, and Cheryl McCarthy. The patterned movement requires “instant messaging” between the body and brain for on-demand control of the body’s moving parts.

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Upcoming Events and Conferences 

April 23: Free webinar presented by Char Ryan, Ph.D.: “Advances in PBIS: Contributions for Creating Equitable Systems”

April 25–27: Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, Sandusky, OH

May 7: Free webinar presented by James Butler, M.Ed.: “Making Mindfulness Work in Your School”

May 11–12: Loft Wordplay, Minneapolis, MN

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“In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.” —Charlie Brown