Losing Daylight: Help Children Stay Positive During this Season of Change

losing daylight - child playing in fall leaves

It’s finally fall! While the season brings with it exciting things like pumpkin patches, cider, candy apples and Halloween, it also means it’s beginning to get darker outside earlier. Losing daylight has the potential to impact kids and their mental well-being.

The term that accompanies the sadness which corresponds to the change in seasons and loss of sunlight, is Seasonal Affective Disorder. Known as S.A.D. for short, it affects the young more often than the elderly. S.A.D. is identifiable through negative thoughts, an increased amount of time sleeping and isolation once grey skies appear, and can lead to more serious depression.

It’s important for us to help children fight through S.A.D. and find ways to stay positive and motivated throughout fall and winter. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ways to ensure kids are as happy as possible, no matter the weather outside.

Make Home Cozy

As the weather becomes colder, people spend more time indoors at home. Embracing the seasonal change and making home a comfy haven is one easy way to promote happiness in kids. Having your home be a relaxing place to spend time can have a tremendous impact on a child’s mood. Have plenty of soft blankets around to cuddle under while watching T.V. or having a movie night. With constant adult supervision, light a few candles to create a cozy atmosphere. Check any negativity at the door and ensure you and the kids have a calm space to bask in and forget the weather.

Keep Active

When the weather is dark and grey, it’s easy for kids to feel less motivated. Don’t let that impact the time they spend being active. Activity is not only healthy for their bodies, it’s also beneficial for mental health. Exercise, in any form, helps release endorphins and feel good brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to help regulate moods and fight sadness and depression. One great exercise to start is yoga. Combining the physical poses and stretches with the mental focus and meditation, makes yoga a great exercise for children’s happiness.

Aid in Restful Sleep

Sleep is always important, but it becomes even more so when battling sadness and depression. We want to make sure kids are getting the right kind of sleep. This means a good and restful nine to eleven hours per night, depending on age. To help kids accomplish this, make sure they’re comfortable in their beds. This all starts with a good base; your kids mattress should foster a good night’s sleep and benefit the way they like to sleep. Then look to their surroundings. Instead of allowing them to sleep with the T.V. on for noise and light, buy a white noise machine and night light. Listen to what their preferences are and work with them to create it. Beware of oversleeping though, as this is a sign of S.A.D.

Get Creative

When they’re feeling sad, give kids an outlet to express themselves. Children are inherently creative, so giving them the tools to showcase this helps to grow that skill while also teaching them to channel their feelings. Have a dedicated craft box filled with supplies for your child to turn to when they’re feeling sad and need something to uplift them. This also offers the perfect opportunity for you to spend time together working on a project. Having your child explain their craft to you can also give you insight into their feelings so you’re able to understand why they’re sad and think of more ways to help.

Set an Example

You are a child’s biggest role model. In their eyes, you have all the answers and the ability to make anything better. Set an example as the seasons change and show your kids how to be happy. Embrace the fun activities that come along with fall and winter, instead of focusing on the increased grey skies and darkness. Spend more time with them to make them feel less lonely and talk to understand how they’re feeling. Being a positive presence in their lives during this time of year can truly make a difference in the way they view the outside.

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International Day of Peace Class Plan

International Day of Peace Logo

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is a global holiday celebrated annually on September 21. Established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution, Peace Day asks us to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. Here’s a wonderful class plan for celebrating this holiday with your YogaKids!


7-11, 12+


What does Peace Feel Like by Vladimir Radunsky, paper and markers or crayons, music


Children will explore what peace means to them and practice yoga poses to help them integrate the concepts presented.


Introduce the topic. The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on September 21. Established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution, Peace Day asks us to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. What ideas to you have to help celebrate this day with your family and friends?


Peace Breath – Close your eyes. Relax your face muscles. Breathe in. Breathe out and whisper the word “peace.” Do these 3 to 6 times. As you say the word, feel the peace inside you. Send peace to the animals, trees and plants. Send peace to your family and friends. Send peace to countries in the world that are at war. Send peace to all the people you love.


What does peace feel like? Read the book and present the following:

Peace in many languages:

  • Pace – Italian
  • Paix – French
  • Paz – Spanish

What does peace smell like?

Flower Pose – Sit cross-legged, lean back and place your arms under your knees and balance.

Pizza – Sit with your legs wide apart. Roll out and stretch the pizza dough to the right by slowly sliding your hands down your legs from your right thigh to your right toes. Then repeat on the left side. Now spread some sauce on the slice by moving your hands from side to side on the floor in the space between your legs. Add your favorite toppings.

What does peace sound like? Play some beautiful music of your choice.

What does peace taste like?

Popcorn: Start in child’s pose. Stay still and feel the warmth coming up from the popcorn maker beneath you. Now if you are ready – jump high into the air and POP. POP. POP. Repeat and pop!

What does peace feel like?

Sun Salutation – Start standing in Mountain pose, raise arms overhead and stretch upward. Fold forward into Ragdoll. Step back with right leg into a lunge. Step back with left leg to Lizard (plank). Slowly come down to the floor with your knees, chest and chin. Bring your hips down to the floor, and lift up into S is for Snake (cobra). Curl your toes under and stretch into Down Dog. Step forward with right leg into a lunge. Step forward with left leg into Ragdoll (forward fold) . Stretch arms outward and return to standing. Raise arms overhead and stretch upward. Repeat cycle, leading with the opposite leg.

Grugging – gGoup or individual hugs

Imagine what you could with peace.

Ladder to the Clouds Stand tall. Reach up and begin to climb a very, very, very tall, imaginary ladder. Climb all the way to the clouds and beyond. Now slowly lower to the ground as you climb back down to a crouch and rest in Child’s Pose.


Standing Partner Stretch – Stand back to back in Mountain pose. Both partners take one “baby step” forward. Reach back and take hold of each other’s hands or wrists. Keep your feet rooted to the floor. Lean gently away from each other until you both feel a nice stretch opening your chest s and shoulders.

Sit and Twist – Sit cross-legged in front of your partner with your four knees touching. Put your right arm behind your back, reach out with your left hand and grab your partner’s right hand. Breathe in and sit up tall. Breathe out, turn away from your partner, twist your spine, and look over your right shoulder. Switch sides and repeat.


Tree – Stand in a tight circle, each member lifts the right foot, bend the right knee, and press the foot against the inside of the left leg. Reach out and hold hands.


Peace Drawing

Have the children draw their version of peace to celebrate the International Day of Peace.


Peace MeditationLie down and close your eyes. Notice your belly gently rise and fall. As you exhale, feel more and more relaxed. Imagine your exhale melting all your tension. (pause) Notice how you feel, imagine you are filled with peace. (pause) Now send peace to the animals. (pause) To the trees. (pause) Send peace to your family. (pause) Send peace to your friends. (pause) Notice how you feel. Now completely rest. (pause for 2-5 minutes) Now wiggle your fingers and toes. (pause) Stretch your arms overhead. (pause) Slowly roll onto one side. (pause) Gently come up to sitting.


Fountain of Oms– Everyone chants OM at their own pace and rhythm. We start together, but everyone’s duration is different. Just let the OMs keep coming at various intervals; some short, some long. Feel the Fountain of OMs wash through and around you. The sound and vibration is very powerful. Keep your eyes closed and keep chanting. Keep the OMs flowing and allow the sound to cease with its own natural conclusion.

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