small thingsMar. 4th

Last night I sat in a quiet diner and ate a late dinner after working a very long day. There were only a couple of other tables filled in the whole place, until a grandfather and granddaughter walked in and sat in the next booth. I couldn’t help hearing them, and was moved by their kindness toward one another. 

From generation to generation we have this opportunity to put each other first. 

He told her about his years as a sheriff, and she beamed at him, telling him that his stories are amazing and she’s so proud of him. It’s her first year of college. He asked her if her major is decided and she said she’s torn between teaching elementary or middle school. He assured her she would figure it out. 

He had liver and onions. 

He promised to take her shopping the next day. 

She told him she can’t drink coffee this late at night or she won’t sleep. He ordered milk. 

This young lady was on a break from school and she came to stay with her grandfather. She came to spend time with a man that led her family through time and supported her mother. I was reminded of the importance of giving back, not only to work toward a sustainable future for generations to come, but to honor the generations before us. 

The generations before us may not have known what we know now–about recycling, the environment and other global health issues–but here they are, many of them willing to learn. Many of whom have paved the path toward educating ourselves about the issues we face as a whole.

No matter what, the people before us raised us up and let us go, and we have the choice to take the good, and run with it, to better this place, simply because we can.

Showing up is key, friends. To Grandpa’s house. To spending time having fun with our children. To making small efforts to improve the health of our families. Even if we feel overwhelmed by the issues that face us and the pace of life, we can do small things.

Visiting grandpa, taking a loved one out for dinner, recycling, helping our neighbors, taking a walk, playing, noticing the fall colors all around, cleaning up the streets, planting gardens, giving back… 

“Do small things with great love.” Mother Theresa 

Grateful (even in winter) MondayMar. 2nd

The driveway to the elementary school is long and curvy, tucked in next to woods and a pond, a playground settled in at the bottom of the building. As we pulled in this morning, we watched the snow-suited kids, running up and down the hill, splashes of bright color they were. All the trees were painted white over night. The evergreens, the spruce, the cedar, the oaks. Gone from dark greens and drab browns to sparkling white.

Winter has a hold on the country for now. All the Facebook statuses speak of strange conditions in warmer places, and unusually extreme conditions in the wintery northern parts. People are snowed and iced in. Roads and highways are closed. So many snow days call off school and cabin fever sets in.

We are on hold for spring. And it will come.

I pointed out the kissed trees to my three small children, and they stared wide-eyed, though here in Minnesota, they see this all winter long, on and off. Then when I dropped the smallest of my set off at daycare, she gasped as the minivan door slid open and pronounced the snow-covered lawn “lovely”. Look, she said, the snow is sparkly from the sun. It is glittered!

Let’s face it, it’s getting hard for some of us to stay grateful for any kind of beauty in this long winter. But the truth remains, always, that small things are the beautiful things, and spring always comes.

Professor ChildFeb. 26th

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We believe in the power of story. And now we have discovered Professor Child and had to share this rich resource for children with you. Professor Child creates educational films that enrich a child’s understanding and supports their healing through difficult life circumstances. These powerful works are created through story-telling as children share their experience, strength, and wisdom. 

If you or someone you love could benefit from these helpful resources, check out these films: 

Children and Grief

Children and Divorce

Siblings and Autism

Children and Military Families

Professor Child also provides an excellent resource for teaching children mindfulness in Guided Meditations for Children which is available on CD or downloadable MP3 files. 

Teaching our children mindfulness through skills like meditation and yoga is a gift we can give to them as they face all of life’s changes and challenges, joys and excitement.

We’re going to be following along as Professor Child grows and provides our playful planet and its people with invaluable gifts. You can come along as well by following Professor Child on Facebook and Twitter

 

Head Start adopts Condor Trek Kids!Feb. 18th

We are beyond honored to announce that Playful Planet’s children’s yoga storybook, Condor Trek Kids, has been chosen as part of the curriculum in Head Start programs* here in California!

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 (logo from Head Start website)

Head Start serves 35 centers across these California counties….  

We could not be more honored, thrilled really, to be a part of the Head Start curriculum in these counties, and to be moving forward with so many other exciting endeavors behind the scenes. Stay tuned for more great news! (I know we keep saying that, but hey, we’ve been revealing a little at a time!)

*The Head Start Program is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. The program’s services and resources are designed to foster stable family relationships, enhance children’s physical and emotional well-being, and establish an environment to develop strong cognitive skills. (from wikipedia)

 

Highbrow: Quality educational screen time for kids!Feb. 16th

Today screen time for our children is (so very) accessible, and mostly fun. Our kids obviously enjoy kicking back with their tech-y gadgets. What many parents and caregivers are concerned about (rightfully) is the quality of the videos their children are coming across. Are they safe? Educational? Ad-free?

We have great news for you! Highbrow is making guilt-free screen time possible by curating educational videos created by award-winning producers and newbie video makers alike. Highbrow brings children productive screen time designed to engage them and support learning. All videos are pre-screened for quality and delivered ad-free.

You and your children can choose from categories of fun and educational videos…

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(images from Highbrow) 

 

Highbrow also allows you to choose videos by age ranges…

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(images from Highbrow)

One of the best parts about Highbrow is how videos are curated. They have made it possible for you and I, teachers, producers and directors, and other grown-ups, to submit videos for consideration, and then if accepted, they pay video creators for sharing their work through Highbrow.

Playful Planet’s Storyland Yoga videos, and more, can be found on Highbrow now! 

To keep up with what we have to offer through Highbrow, click this cute lil’ owl and stay connected! 

We got to hang out with Riane Eisler!Feb. 2nd

 

“Recovering our lost relationship with nature does not just entail replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs; we’ve got to replace the stories and assumptions that broke that relationship in the first place with a partnership story that works.”  –Riane Eisler

We had the opportunity to visit with Riane Eisler to shoot a video for PlayfulTube. Riane graciously opened her home to us in Carmel, CA, and made us instantly feel like old friends. After a powerful one-hour interview, in which Riane’s eloquence, accessibility and laser detail left us in awe, she asked Karen and I to take a walk around her neighborhood. The sun was setting as we journeyed down the hill under a canopy of Monterey Pines. Riane held my arm as we traversed the rough terrain of an open field and witnessed the luminescent golds and oranges of the setting rays of sun as it disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. It wasn’t until we returned that I learned that Riane is 84 years old and had escaped the Nazis as a child! This remarkable woman is an inspiration, a powerful change agent and the real deal–gracious, joyful, humble, and funny. 

Rianne & Us

Bryan, Karen, Riane, at sunset.

Riane’s success goes beyond even her law degree, distinguished awards, and her ability to create and share valuable lectures to the likes of Congress and the UN General Assembly. These are all impressive, lovely, and inspirational things, but what sustains Riane is impactful because of where her abilities come from–her heart and mind breathe hope for a peaceful future. She lives the values of a belief system that can change our lives, our relationships and, most importantly, our dysfunctional violent ways. She believes in teaching our kids, and everyone, the power of sustaining peace and equality in our relationships and what that could mean for the future of our species and our planet.

“Why, when we humans have such a great capacity for caring, consciousness, and creativity, has our world seen so much cruelty, insensitivity, and destructiveness? This question has driven my research.” – Riane Eisler

 

Don’t miss what Riane had to share with us, friends:

“Our real wealth consists of the contributions of people and of nature.

We need an economic system that truly values the most important

human work: the work of caring for people, starting in early childhood,

and caring for nature.” -Riane Eisler

5 TED talks on caring for the planet and sustainabilityJan. 20th

TEDtalks

Sustainability. What does it really mean? How do we look at it? Where do we go from here?

We’ve rounded up some of the best TED talks on sustainability for you, all in one place! 

 

THEN, TED has 12 talks in one place that focus on green architecture, called Sustainability by Design. If you or someone you know has a building project on the horizon, you don’t want to miss these talks, rich with resources, inspiration and ideas. 

 

and lastly, here is another excellent series of talks called Earth, appreciated. Any of the above would be great for a classroom or workshop, or simply to educate ourselves. Enjoy! 

links for your New Year!Jan. 8th

Happy New Year, Playful Planet friends! It’s that time again, when many of us think to begin again, to reach our highest potential, fast! Our goals and resolve to make positive changes in the new year are good things. Until they are not. Just like anything else, putting our minds to improvements can take on a negative life. We can fall victim to putting so much pressure on ourselves that we inevitably fail.

At Playful Planet, we believe in making positive changes, and we also believe in keeping our expectations realistic, so we have more personal sustainable energy for the long haul.

Life is full of trials and joys, we must go easy on ourselves so we can feel more free to live the beliefs we have.

So, in starting the new year, we simply want to share some good reads with you. Maybe for today, a small step we can take is to fill our minds and hearts with little doses of education and empowerment. Happy reading!  

Why yoga and kids go together on PBS Parents

Is Yoga Religion by Mary Rountree on YogaKids

“If I had a dime for the number of times someone in Alabama asked me if yoga were a religion, I would be a very wealthy woman. This question is one that arises a lot in all regions of the country, but especially in the Bible Belt where religion is a very important component of daily living. As a practicing yogini in the south, how does one address this question with a “yoga-like” answer? Well, its simple…”

 

Are Goals Setting You Up for Failure? on Karma Spot

“What a compelling reason to come to our mats! The more we get comfortable with the feelings of uncertainty, the more likely we can make sound choices for ourselves. The more we sit in discomfort, the more we find our voice of reason.”

 

May 2015 be filled with fun and a few more healthy choices! 

 

Yoga for Kids: Holiday gifts!Dec. 4th

This year, give your child (or any child you love) a gift that’s healthy and keeps the FUN in the holidays! Playful Planet has you covered, from stocking stuffers like our award-winning children’s yoga DVD, Storyland Yoga, and its accompanying Condor Trek book, to a travel set complete with a colorful kid-sized yoga mat! 

Holiday14Pinterest

 

 

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 Winner of 4 national Awards, Storyland Yoga is a fun-filled adventure that teaches kids yoga poses along with an eco-conscious message. In “Save the Whale” and “Condor Trek” kids engage in a story where they learn yoga poses by imitating animals.

 

 

 

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Now Storyland Yoga is also available for download or rental via Amazon Instant Video! Download it today!

 

  

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Condor Trek Kids is the book version of the fun-filled Storyland Yoga Adventure that teaches kids yoga poses, while it infuses children with eco-conscious messages, physical activity and literacy. And now you can get Condor Trek Kids FREE with a 30-day trial of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited! (700,000 book titles to choose from!)

 

or 

Save with Gift Sets!

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Storyland Yoga DVD + Condor Trek Kids book

 

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Yoga poses book, mat, and travel set