We are proud to present Highview Wilson Daycare Centre, our Client Spotlight! Highview Wilson is a non-profit organization in Toronto, located inside Highview Wilson Public School. They provide high-quality care and an inclusive learning environment for all children. The childcare centre is licensed by the ministry of education and inspected by the city.
Highview Wilson Childcare follows a play-based emergent curriculum, allowing children to grow and develop by cultivating their interests and talents. One of the main goals is to create an environment where learners can reach their full potential by learning through trial and error and creative exploration.
Playocity has been partnering with Highview Wilson as one of their extracurricular programming facilitators, and It’s been an absolute pleasure. As an organization, we feel that we have a lot in common with our client spotlight, especially when it comes to the overall educational approach and philosophy.
We believe that children learn best when they have opportunities to explore and express themselves through play, and that’s exactly the kind of environment that Highview Wilson has created for their learners.
Highview’s experienced teachers understand that learning and development are not just about teaching children facts and figures, but rather helping them reach their full potential while enjoying the process. To do this, they create individualized activities that allow chilcren to explore topics they are passionate about while still developing essential skills.
Highview Wilson Daycare Centre is truly a fantastic facility where kids can learn and grow in an enjoyable environment and we look forward to continuing this amazing collaboration!
Mood-boosting activities can do wonders for you and your students’ overall well-being. Aside from elevating your mood, these activities offer plenty of other benefits, such as reducing stress, nurturing cognitive skills, and promoting values like responsibility and teamwork. We’re sharing our favourite 10 mood-boosting activities you can introduce in your classroom.
Music can be used as a powerful tool to reinvigorate your students when they’re feeling a bit flat. It can also be a source of inspiration for them, as well as a tool for emotional support. Moreover, listening to music has a host of benefits. It can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and enhance mental alertness. Ask your students what songs they like listening to and use their suggestions to create a unique playlist for the classroom. You can also encourage your students to get up and dance, as movement can be one way for them to process what they’re feeling. If you’re feeling a bit low yourself, you may want to join in on the fun and experience the power of music.
It might sound like a cliché, but laughter is indeed the best medicine and offers several short- and long-term benefits. A good laugh can help ease tension and stress as it can lower cortisol levels, helping you and your students feel more relaxed. Moreover, laughter improves your endorphin levels, giving your mood an instant boost.
You can start by cracking a joke or two to break the ice. You can give your students a heads-up that they’ll be asked to share their favourite jokes, or you can do it spontaneously to get the ball rolling.
Engaging in physical activity promotes better physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It can improve cognitive function and sleep, as well as reduce anxiety and depression. It can also help you and your students manage stress. The thing is everyone has different thresholds for physical activities. But there is some good news—you don’t need to engage in strenuous exercises to reap the benefits of physical activity. You can do something as simple as stretching, dancing, jumping, or playing indoor ball games.
Practicing mindfulness brings in a lot of benefits. It can improve not just your physical and mental health but also your overall well-being. Regular mindfulness practice can help reduce stress and hone our capacity to be aware and observant.
One of the most common myths about mindfulness and mindfulness exercises is that they’re only for adults. The good news is anyone can practice mindfulness, even kids. Plus, there are many ways to practice it. You can ask your students to sit down, stand, or move around. The key to mindfulness practice is paying attention and being present in the moment.
If you can, schedule a regular nature walk for your class. Being in nature and breathing fresh air can elevate your mood and give your energy levels a boost. It can also help reduce stress and promote better sleep. Plus, you can do it for free. Check your local area to see if there are any parks that you and your class can visit.
Gardening is a great mood-boosting activity that can easily be done in the classroom. It can reduce stress, help with fine motor development, especially if you’re with younger children, and it teaches them early on about responsibility and patience. It’s also a wonderful way for kids to use all their five senses. Plus, a classroom garden doubles as a teaching tool. As you plant, you can teach your students about how plants grow or what they need to thrive.
Classroom pets not only promote curiosity and learning but also help improve children’s self-esteem and teach them about responsibility. Moreover, class pets can provide richer experiences in the classroom for young learners and gives them something to look forward to when they go to school. Lastly, having a classroom pet can help enhance the well-being of your students and become a great alternative to screen time. Pets can relieve stress, offer emotional support, and enable students to feel more at ease.
Reading is always a welcome activity, whether it’s at home or in the classroom. It supports the development of students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, improves their self-esteem, and nurtures their imagination. Reading can also do wonders for your mental health. It can help reduce stress and give your students a way to cope with daily stressors, making reading an excellent mood-boosting activity.
Allot a specific schedule or time for reading, such as making it a weekly or monthly activity. Set up your classroom to make it more conducive for reading, like bringing pillows or blankets. You can also ask your students to bring some snacks.
Group activities like art projects give children the opportunity to learn about cooperation and teamwork. Moreover, art and art education are powerful tools for learning, self-expression, and creativity. It can relieve stress, keep students engaged, and make them feel excited. After all, isn’t it exciting to see your ideas come to life? Moreover, learning how to make or appreciate art can help young learners become happier.
Unstructured play allows your students to simply have fun while squeezing in some physical activity. In unstructured play, they can run around or dance to some of their favourite tunes. This not only gives them a sense of freedom, as structured play can feel a bit limiting sometimes, but it also helps elevate their mood.
Aside from introducing these activities, you can go a step further and create your own mood tracker for the classroom. Your students can select colours or icons like emojis that represent their mood. This way, you and your students can monitor the state of their mental health regularly. A mood tracker will also let you see any progress or fluctuations, allowing you to take the appropriate action to help your students effectively manage their moods.
Teaching can often be a very stressful and demanding job and it can take its toll on our educators, which is why promoting better mental health for teachers should become a priority. As new challenges crop up, how can you take better care of your mental health?
When it comes to self-care, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. For some, it can be something as simple as taking a short break. For others, it’s setting healthy boundaries to promote better work-life balance. You can start taking better care of your mental health by prioritizing it and incorporating self-care practices in your daily life. Knowing what your stressors are and how you respond to them, as well as looking out for the signs of burnout can be good places to start. Take some time for yourself or do what makes you happy at the end of the day, whether it’s trying out a new hobby, doing something fun over the weekend, or meditating.
Setting your boundaries early on allows you to have a better work-life balance. Remember that you’re also human and even if you have a very hectic schedule, you need to take some time for yourself to de-stress at the end of a long day. Here are some things you can do:
Learning to manage your expectations can help you cope with setbacks or cope when things don’t turn out the way you planned them to. By setting reasonable expectations and being able to adapt to changing circumstances, you’ll be better able to keep things, including setbacks, in perspective.
Life can and does get in the way sometimes, which is why it’s important for teachers to set goals and stay focused on achieving them. These goals can help you go in the right direction. However, make sure that they are realistic and measurable. This way, you can track your progress and see how far you’ve come. Think your goals are too grand? You can try breaking them down into more manageable ones.
Your family and friends can offer you support, especially during difficult times. Not reaching out to loved ones or colleagues during trying times can make you feel unsupported and this can negatively impact your mental health and well-being. You can talk to a colleague, visit your family, or set up a video call with some of your closest friends. Doing so will help you feel connected with your support network.
Checking in on your colleagues to see how they’re doing can do wonders. It can help them feel supported and this can be an opportunity to tap into shared experiences and spread mental health awareness in your school. If someone reaches out to you, you can let them know that you’re willing to listen to them and help them out with what they need.
This means engaging in physical activities regularly and getting enough sleep. Physical activity offers significant benefits to your health and well-being. It can reduce stress, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression, help prevent or manage diseases, and nurture critical skills, such as thinking and judgment. Even something as simple as taking a brisk walk for 10 minutes can elevate your mood.
In addition to regular physical activity, you need to practice good sleeping habits. Not getting enough sleep can adversely impact your physical and mental well-being. Getting enough sleep helps you think more clearly and improves your mood because you wake up feeling refreshed. Plus, it can reduce stress, help you maintain a healthy weight, and strengthen your immune system.
Taking good care of your body also means eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated.
Practicing mindfulness allows you to focus on the present and be aware of your surroundings, thoughts, or what you’re feeling physically or emotionally. Furthermore, it may help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as symptoms of depression. Lastly, mindfulness may help you manage your emotions better, which, in turn, can have a positive effect on your mental well-being.
The prospect of rewarding yourself might seem a bit indulgent, but it’s an important component in promoting better mental health for teachers. You can reward yourself for all your hard work or celebrate small wins. Even a small reward like sleeping in or getting your favourite treat can help you stay motivated. It also allows you to reframe your perspective to focus on the positive.
Moreover, rewarding yourself is a form of encouragement. When done repeatedly, it can promote better self-confidence, which can help you take more pride in what you’re doing.
Promoting better well-being and mental health for teachers also means seeking out professional help, if necessary. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, burnout, anxiety, or other mental health problems, you need to seek support for your mental health from a medical professional. When left untreated, these symptoms can affect how you teach and can prevent you from living your life to the fullest.
Promoting better mental health for teachers is a community effort.
Teaching has always been a demanding and stressful job, even before the pandemic and educators are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, as well as more frequent job-related stress. In light of working toward nurturing better mental health for teachers, districts and school leaders should also play an active role in ensuring that our educators get the support and mental health services that they need. In doing so, we can start creating a thriving community that will have a positive impact not just on our teachers but also on their students.
Challenge accepted! We’ve joined the Government of Canada’s 50 – 30 Challenge to increase diversity in our workplace. Companies, organizations and not-for-profits across the country have joined the Government of Canada’s initiative to increase the representation and inclusion of under-represented groups in leadership positions.
The challenge is rooted in two aspirational commitments:
1) Gender parity (50%)
2) Significant representation (30%) on boards and senior management
If you’re ready to take on the challenge, just like we did, get started by visiting Canada.ca/50-30challenge. @CanadaBusiness
Alanna and Alena, the co-founders and owners of Playocity, are currently participating in the Early Stage program facilitated by the Parkdale Centre of Innovation. Playocity is a women-led start-up company that was created in the midst of a pandemic. It is not an easy journey, especially during the current circumstance, so the opportunity to join the incubator could not present itself at a better time.
Parkdale Centre is a non-profit Incubator & Accelerator that was created to fill the accessibility and inclusivity gap to innovation, tech, and entrepreneurship, especially for underrepresented groups: women, newcomers, and those from low-income backgrounds. Playocity is honored to be a part of The Early Stage Program that supports entrepreneurs with a focus on preparing for user growth, team growth, revenue growth, and fundraising.
“We are so grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the Early Stage program and Parkdale Centre of Innovation ecosystem. It is very refreshing and inspiring to be able to learn and grow alongside like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs, and leaders, hear their stories, share ours, and just feel the support and encouragement from a group where everyone gets it – all the joys and challenges of running your own business.”
“For me, the Parkdale Program has been a fundamental part of my journey as a business owner in an ever-changing landscape. I think it is really wonderful to know that despite the pandemic, Parkdale Centre has continued to support innovation, create a non-judgmental space, and help business owners from a variety of industries.
A feeling of togetherness is of utmost importance right now – and you can feel that if you are part of the incubator program. Knowing that others are in the process of creating their own paths and dealing with similar challenges, can be very useful, and listening to the stories of others is comforting and uplifting. I think that the fusion of this type of environment with business basics is a fantastic way to retain important information that is essential to, I think, everyone’s success.”