Little kids learning about their hearts: The Early HeartSmarts Program for Preschool Children

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The Early HeartSmarts Program for Preschool Children, developed by HeartMath Institute in California, USA, is designed to enhance the social and emotional development in children aged 3 to 6. The program is based on research showing the impact of positive emotions on the healthy functioning of the body, brain and nervous system.

Over 11 core lessons, children learn to recognize and understand basic emotional states, regulate their emotions, strengthen expression of positive feelings, and solve problems peacefully. The heart is a key focus in the curriculum, both physically and symbolically (a squishy, anatomically correct toy heart is used in the teaching), and used, in addition to stethoscopes, a bear puppet, picture cards and a heart pillow, to facilitate lessons on heart-brain connections, emotions, cooperative play, and the development of empathy and caring for others.