Slumberkins know how children feel when those rough patches in life come along, and children can learn from the Slumberkins’ experiences.
The fox was anxious when his home life changed. He learned that change is an ordinary part of life, even in families, but the love among family members doesn’t change. He shares that lesson with children in his Sleepytime Rhyme and helps them overcome the anxiety with affirmations, such as: “I am safe. I am loved.”
The hammerhead was boiling when a schoolmate wouldn’t let her ride on the swing during recess, so she pushed the schoolmate off of the swing. She had to learn that fighting doesn’t solve anything. She took deep breaths until she was calm. She also has affirmations, including “I felt mad. Now I’m calm.”
Slumber Sloth teaches relaxation, Yeti mindfulness and Bigfoot self-esteem. They also have their Sleepytime Rhymes and affirmation cards that help parents and caregivers turn that precious story time into a loving, positive routine that sows the seeds of social skills that will serve their children well for a lifetime. And they do that with “snuggle-ups” that children love. Slumberkins are made from minky fabric—luxurious, silky, soft as cashmere; they are about 20 inches long and flat enough to double as a lovey blanket.
Kelly Oriard, a school counselor for grades K-8, and Callie Christensen, a special education teacher, created Slumberkins. The two had been friends since high school and were making lovey blankets for their children. Their creativity turned the simple blankets into the cutest, cuddliest creatures. Their educational backgrounds and dedication to instilling in children problem-solving, communication and self-advocacy skills resulted in each Slumberkin representing a specific social skill. The clever Sleepytime Rhymes tell the story of how each Slumberkin learned the skill and what exercises or affirmations will help children learn it also.
Kelly and Callie work full-time now with Slumberkins, but they stay connected to educators and professionals who work with children and are providing grants to fund Social-Emotional Learning programs. They are fervent in their belief that children need to be able to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve goals and establish and maintain positive relationships.
They will continue to contribute to that learning with Slumberkins. It shouldn’t be too long when we’ll have new creatures, new designs, new rhymes, new skill building lessons.