Sunshine Circles® Promote Positive Relationships in Your

Sunshine Circles®
Promote Positive Relationships
in Your Classroom
Using Interactive Play Groups
Phyllis B. Rubin, CCC-SLP, PsyD
The Theraplay Institute
Private Practice, Oak Park
[email protected]
Chicago Metro AEYC, January 27, 2012
• Trainings in Sunshine Circles for school
districts will be available soon. Contact
The Theraplay® Institute:
– 1840 Oak Ave., Suite 320 , Evanston, IL
– Phone: 847-256-7334, Fax: 847-256-7370
– for research summaries.
– e-mail: [email protected]
• Play with Them: Theraplay® Groups in the
Classroom, Rubin and Tregay, Charles C.
Thomas, 1989.
What are Sunshine Circles?
• 99% interactive play groups that
build positive relationships and
classroom communities in action.
• Leader leads and participates.
• Playful and fun.
• Accepting and positive.
• Valuing and caring.
• Focused on cooperation.
• Intentionally involve touch and
What Does Healthy
Interactive Play Teach?
• 1st Sunshine Circles experience.
– High 5 hello.
– Circle rules
– Check-ups
– Copying game
– Pass It Along
– Balloon Bop
– Peanut butter - Jelly
– Sharing (treat, thanks, soft touch, hug).
– Sunshine Song.
What was your experience?
Did you feel safe?
Did you have fun with others?
Did you feel connected with your peers?
Were your needs respected?
How did you feel about yourself?
What does this teach you about
yourself and others?
• How would this help your group?
What can “SC” do for your children?
Rules are simple, easy to understand and
Physical and emotional safety is valued.
Everyone feels important and respected.
Mutual caring is valued.
Feelings are noticed and accepted.
Cooperation is emphasized over
Joy is enhanced and shared.
Adult carries-over Circle values into the
Child-adult relationship grows stronger.
What can “SC” do for your children?
Consistent with social-emotional curricula.
Create warm, positive relationships.
Build resilient classrooms.
Children better able to tolerate
frustration and/or ask for help.
• More peer teaching, more sharing leads to
smoothly running classroom.
• Build social communication skills.
• Good for children with various special
needs, identified or not.
Circle Rules
• No Hurts!
– Helps kids feel important and cared about.
– Increases respect for needs of others.
• Stick Together!
– Helps kids feel connected to others.
– Helps develop ability to cooperate and problem
– Creates shared joy.
– Builds confidence.
• Unspoken rule: The Adult is in Charge!
– Helps kids feel guided and supported.
Creating the Sunshine Atmosphere
• Teacher takes a playful, leadership role.
• DOING is more important than TALKING.
• Accept all behaviors except for hurting
oneself or others. Negative as well as
positive feelings are accepted.
• Use Circle rules to manage behaviors
positively and respectfully.
• Choose activities that are cooperative, not
Rituals of Sunshine Circles
• Check-ups
– Acknowledges each child.
– Shows caring.
– Children get attention without having to
ask or act up for it.
• Food Share
─ Children learn to give and receive.
• Ending Song or Chant
– Provides closure.
Literature and Music
• Books:
– Greetings Sun, Phillis and David Gershator.
– Foo, Richard Thompson.
– The OK Book, Things that Make you Feel
Good/Bad, Todd Parr.
– Yo! Yes?, Chris Raschka.
– Mean Soup, Betsey Everitt.
– How Are You Peeling? Saxton Freymann and Joost
• CD Albums:
– It Starts In The Heart, Becky Bailey, Jack
– All Day Long, Dr. Jean - Dr.
– Tony Chestnut & Fun Times Songs, The Learning
Ending Sunshine Experience
Hello __. We’re glad you’re here today.
Cold Potato – Hot Potato
Silly Bones
Weather Report
Song - (If you’re happy)

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