Programs or interventions can be authenticated only with scientific research and evaluation. All programs have been supported by ongoing research, published in international journals and the programs have been evolving throughout. Research has helped in making the programs remain relevant at the cutting-edge technology.


Strategies for nurturing positive attitude in young children

Background: Young children need a nurturing environment both at early childhood settings and at home to develop into positive personalities. If the same strategies are used in both environments, the strategies get reinforced and the techniques get internalised in children.

Methods:A multiple strategy intervention was implemented on a sample of 35 children aged 3-6 years in an early childhood setting for a period of 3 months. The intervention involved the use of thinking routines along with the practice of Anjali, Adi, Gyan, Garuda and Padma mudras/hand gestures. Children were observed in same settings before and after the intervention to assess their behaviour with respect to their willingness to make an effort and take a chance, accepting disappointments, recovering from disappointments, appreciating good things and being consciously aware of the present. Technique used for nurturing the positive attitude was through role play.

Results:Out of 35 children, 30 of them showed significant difference in their willingness to make an effort and take a chance in any situation (85%). 77.14% of them were capable of accepting disappointments and recover from them. About 91.43% of them started appreciating good things and consciously aware of the present.

Conclusion:The use of thinking routines blended with the practice of mudras were effective in nurturing positive attitude in young children in early childhood settings. Further research is required to ensure the effectiveness by administering the same strategies at home to ensure reinforcement of the traits developed and internalising the same.

Techniques of nurturing creative thinking in young children

Background: The rapidly growing trends in science and technology in the present century expects man to gear up to this at a faster pace. One of the basic needs in the early years of children is the 21st century skills which need to be nurtured. Creative thinking is one of the most important 21st century skills and young children are born with innate creativity along with curiosity. However, as they grow up, the opportunities for utilising their creativity and nurture them becomes fainter making the children dull and boring. It is the responsibility of every parent and teacher to nurture creativity.

Methods:Creativity can be nurtured through varied activities like the art, craft, music, dance, theatre and a mudra (Hakini) However, theatre activities are not only enjoyable by young children but are used by them to learn social skills and ways of life. The intervention in this study exploited this fact to nurture creativity. Theatre activities were set up and 47 children were provided opportunities to use their creativity in these settings. Children were observed on the ACCT framework for creative thinking before and after the intervention.

Results:66% of the children showed significant progress with respect to the different components of creative thinking observed on the framework.

Conclusion:The use of theatre activities supported by the mudra practice during the theatre activities have influenced the creative thinking dispositions in young children in early childhood settings. Further research on a larger sample could lead us to a refined intervention strategy to nurture creative thinking dispositions in young children.

Implementation of multiple strategies to nurture emotional development in young children

Background: Emotional development is one of the major developmental milestones in the early childhood development. Developmental psychologists across the world have been working on the best environments that can nurture emotional development keeping in mind the roles of parents and carers. As this requires the collaborative effort of both parents and carers, arriving at one single strategy in both settings could provide a rich nurturing environment for the child.

Methods: A sample of 23 children aged 4-6 years, each in two different settings viz., a private preschool and a government Anganwadi were taken for the implementation of the intervention. The intervention consisted of a holistic program which included thinking routines, practice of mudras (Anjali, Mushti, Adi, Apana, Prana, Hakini, Garuda, Padma) and behaviour management technique. Children were observed for their social skills and communication skills on a rating scale before and after the intervention.

Results:In both settings, all the children showed significant progress with respect to social skills. However, the change in social skills of children in private school were more pronounced than the ones in Anganwadis. 82.6% of the children in the private school showed significant progress with respect to communication skills whereas only 65.2% of the children in Anganwadis showed significant progress in communication skills. However, the remaining children showed 48% progress.

Conclusion:The holistic intervention strategy of thinking routines, mudras and behaviour management shows positive impact on the emotional development of children irrespective of the kind of early childhood settings. However, further research is needed to refine the strategy in order to maximise the efficiency of the program.

 Use of Mudras as part of a multiple strategy intervention in cognitive development of young children

Background: Cognitive development in young children plays a major role in the development of young children. It is essential that the children are in a rich, stimulating environment where their cognitive skills will be nurtured and opportunities will be provided where these skills will be utilised.

Methods:This study was conducted on a sample of 32 children aged 4-6 years in an early childhood setting. The intervention included thinking routines, logical thinking activities, exploration, practice of mudras (Anjali, Hakini, Gyan, Padma)and nutritious diet to nurture logical thinking, creative thinking and critical thinking. Children were observed for their cognitive function through varied activities like sorting, memory, communication, logical thinking, situation role play and problem solving. Observations were triangulated with three observers and a video recording.

Results:The intervention program had different impacts on different children but all children showed progress with respect to each component observed. Children who were supported at home with the intervention showed 95% progress with respect to every component whereas children who depended entirely on the early childhood settings for their cognitive development showed 65 – 75% progress with different components

Conclusion:The multiple strategy intervention has shown positive impact on the cognitive development of children in early childhood settings. A supporting nurturing home environment with the same strategy would enhance the efficiency of the intervention.

Anger management and self-regulation in young children – an overview

Background: Nowadays, with the extensive use of media, every expectant mother and child right from new born to teenager is exposed to a definite dose of violence on a daily basis. This induces a risk of aggression in children – to-be-born or already born. Since this aggression has become an innate unavoidable trait in children, it is critical to not only manage this aggressive behaviour but also work towards converting this negative behaviour into a positive one.

Methods:Parents and carers come to a dead end on a daily basis when it comes to dealing with aggressive behaviour from the young ones. Although it is evident that these young ones are totally clueless about their own behaviour, adult tendency is to expect children to know why they are doing what they are doing and also modify their behaviour according to the societal norms. This study adopted simple strategies of practicing mudras/ hand gestures (Anjali, Mushti, Adi, Jala, Padma) blended with behaviour management activities to help children identify the emotion anger, learn the techniques to control their anger and also communicate it appropriately to the others. The sample consisted of 13 children aged 4-6 years in an early childhood setting. Children were observed in a role play before and after the intervention implemented for 3 months. They were rated based on the number of times they showed appropriate behaviour and compared.

Results:All 13 children learnt to identify the emotion anger and communicate appropriately to the people around by the end of the intervention. 11 of them learnt to control the anger using the techniques learnt in all the situations. 2 of them were able to recollect the techniques for controlling the anger, were able to identify that they are unable to practice the same in certain situations. This resulted in these 2 controlling the anger only in 89% of the situations.

Conclusion:Young children can be stimulated to think about their emotions, how to handle them, how to communicate effectively and also to rationalise with the way they need to behave. The researcher opines that if the intervention is for a longer duration, the same could prove effective in all the children.

Longitudinal study on strategies to nurture emotional development in young children

Background: Children from early years need to be in the right positive nurturing environment in order to have a positive personality development, especially the emotional development. This contributes to the EQ of the child which plays a pivotal role in the success of individuals later in life. It is a well-known fact that stimulations in the early years results in wiring of the brain. Though brain is apparently plastic in nature and there is scope for rewiring later in life, it is advisable to have the right wiring from the very beginning of childhood.

Methods:An early childhood setting was set up to provide a rich, nurturing positive environment which can nurture positive personalities in young children aged 3-6 years. Teachers and assistants were trained to provide only positive experiences to the children entering the setting. Intervention strategies included the implementation of behaviour management, role-play, story narration, practice of mudras (Anjali, Mushti, Adi, Apana, Jala, Padma) collaboration with parents and children and support beyond child care hours. Children were observed on various parameters of emotional development every month and activities were tweaked to individualize the intervention though the strategies were maintained. Regular meetings and collaborative activities with parents were planned once a month. Children were assessed at the end of each academic year. 26 children were studied over a period of three years with the intervention implemented for the entire period. The same children were assessed for their emotional development after they left the early childhood settings. The observations were recorded after 2,4,6 and 8 years after the early childhood interventions. However, at the end of 8 years, only 22 children were observed.

Results:Outof the 26 children who participated in the intervention, all of them showed significant and steady progress in their emotional development milestones over the three years during which they received the intervention. At the end of 2 years, all 26 of them were well adjusted in the formal school settings. They were socially well adapted in the school and home settings. At the end of 4 years, 22 of them were independent, showing learning for life skills and emotionally well developed and stable. At the end of 6, all 22 of them had developed into confident, competitive and independent individuals, practicing the techniques learnt in the early years. At the end of 8 years, all 22 of them were able to transition into teenage with well-adjusted emotional development and exhibited social skills and maturity above the expected values.

Conclusion:The strategies for nurturing emotional development in early years had a long-lasting impact on the children’s emotional development. Children had internalised the techniques and continued practicing even after leaving the early childhood settings.

Program evaluation of ACE in my Hand for cognitive development in young children – Longitudinal Study

Background: Cognitive development is one of the important aspects of child development and has to be nurtured in early years up to the age of six where brain development happens at a rapid rate. This can be taken care of only with a rich stimulating environment where children are provided opportunities to think logically, creatively and critically.

Methods:The environment in an early childhood setting was prepared to be richly stimulating children’s thinking and nurture their logical, creative and critical thinking. 60 children over a period of three years were nurtured in this stimulating environment with the strategies of thinking routines, creative activities, theatre activities and practice of mudras to enhance the cognitive development. Children were assessed on the various parameters of logical, creative and critical thinking before and after the intervention which was implemented for a period of nine months. The progress of the children was tracked after 5 and 10 years of their leaving the early childhood setting through parental interviews and questionnaire in a survey.

Results:95% of the children’s parents reported that they showed excellent performance in all the parameters of cognitive development at 5 years. After 10 years, 83.33% of the children’s parents revealed that children continued to use the strategies of learning for life even after leaving the early years settings.

Conclusion:The stimulating environment and the strategies used for nurturing cognitive development in young children had not only influenced the children while in these settings but also had a long-term effect on the children’s cognitive development after leaving the early year settings.

Effectiveness of the program ACE in my Hand for emotional development– A longitudinal study

Background: Emotional development in early years prepares the child for future life. It is essential to nurture children with the right strategies and techniques in order for the children to internalise these and utilize them at appropriate circumstances later in life. ACE in my Hand is one such program which trains the children to internalise the strategies and techniques and comes in handy in their future life.

Methods:A sample of 15 children with emotional difficulties were selected as the sample for the intervention which utilised behaviour management, thinking routines, theatre activities and mudras to not only manage their emotional difficulties but also train them to identify, communicate and manage these emotions. Collaboration with parents were part of the intervention where parents were trained to use the same strategies and techniques to deal with the difficult situations. Follow-ups and refresher programs were conducted every six months to ensure that the children continue to use the strategies and techniques. Emotional maturity and self-regulation status of children were evaluated based on parental interviews and questionnaires based on the various parameters of emotional maturity and self-regulation. The parental reports were collected every year for a period of 5 years.

Results:All the 15 parents reported that the children were practicing the strategies and techniques on their own. However, when the child used to forget to practice these strategies, parents were reminding them to do so. Over years, children showed positive development and at the end of five years, parents reported that children had become emotionally mature and independent in thinking.

Conclusion:It is not enough to nurture the emotional development in early year settings but is more important to provide support after children leave the early year settings. This calls for two actions. First to internalise the strategies and techniques in children so that they carry them forward in future. Second to collaborate with parents and follow up the progress and practice of children even after the children leave the early year settings.


Nurturing executive function in a CP child – A case study

Background: Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that affects movement and co-ordination due to an abnormal brain development before, during or soon after birth. Some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy are delays in reaching developmental milestones, weak arms and legs, learning difficulties which normally become noticeable during the first 2 or 3 years of a child’s life.

Methods:The study involved a female child of age 6 years who was affected by cerebral palsy. Before the start of the intervention, the child was clinically and psychologically assessed. The child was unable to follow instructions, stand up on her own, walk, talk or comprehend conversations and respond to them. An intervention involving creative activities, mudras and peer teaching was implemented for a period of six months. The child was assessed by a clinical psychologist at regular intervals of one month.

Results:At the end of first month, the child was able to comprehend conversations and respond with signals almost immediately. At the end of the second month, the child learnt to follow instructions. The third month onwards, the child tried to practice Anjali mudra, Mushti mudra and Adi mudra. At the end of fourth month, the child attempted to stand up on her own. At the end of fifth month, the child was able to speak with the first word spoken being the ‘Omkara’! In the sixth month, the child started walking with the support of the wall and speaking 2-3 letter words. At the end of sixth month, the child was able to perform on stage by singing a rhyme.

Conclusion:Including the children with special needs in regular settings provides opportunity for the children to develop with normal children. Care needs to be taken to prepare the other children to be caring and loving and accept the child for what he/she is. This will set the stage for both the peers as well as the child in need. Children with special needs need a society of support to overcome their challenges and when provided with this kind of support, they achieve the impossible.

A case study on management of aggressive behaviour in a child – study over a period of 3 years.

Background: Aggressive behaviour among children is commonly found in every other family. It is an expected behaviour from children in this generation as everyone is exposed to a definite dose of violence on a daily basis. However, it is a challenging situation for the parents and teachers to deal with aggressive children both at home and at school. This calls for positive proven strategies and techniques not only to manage aggression but also channelise it into a positive direction.

Methods:The study involved a male child aged 30 months with very aggressive behaviour. Occurrence of aggressive behaviour was at 5-8 times per day. An intervention involving behaviour management, mudras, thinking routines and creative activities along with collaboration with parents and peers. The child was observed on thinking routine framework at regular intervals of 30 days to evaluate the progress. Parental reports were also collected to support the evaluation.

Results:The child started showing emotional maturity after six months of intervention. It was not until the end of the first year that the child was able to control his aggressive behaviour on his own. At the end of second year, the child was able to identify the reason for his aggressive behaviour and started communicating in an appropriate language about his needs and emotions. At the end of third year, the child became independent in identifying and managing his own emotions, communicating appropriately and was independent enough to train other children to manage their aggressive behaviour.

Conclusion:Children need a logical explanation to accept a concept. Emotions need to be introduced to children in the right manner helping them to not only identify but also to communicate them appropriately. This helps children to understand themselves and people around them. The intervention used in this study was effective in achieving all these objectives.

Management of dyscalculia in a toddler – a case study

Background: Dyscalculia is a math learning disability also known as number dyslexia or math dyslexia in which a child has difficulty with simple basic math tasks like counting forward or backward, comparing quantities, associating a quantity with a number or telling time.

Methods:Thinking routines involving logical thinking, creative and critical thinking activities and mudras for brain power (Hakini Mudra) was used an intervention for the child 4years of age affected by dyscalculia. The child was also supported by peer teaching for a period of six months.

Results:Through the routine thinking activities, the child started on logical thinking and problem solving after 2 months. Practice of Hakini mudra especially before beginning a thinking task stimulated the child to think and perform. The practice of Prana mudra and Gyan mudra along with chanting enhanced the child’s concentration and he was able to focus on the numbers while connecting to a quantity and while counting. At the end of six months, the child was confident with numbers, counting forwards or backwards and telling time. The child was able to concentrate on a particular math activity for 30 minutes at a stretch.

Conclusion: Practice of mudras are not an end all solutions. However, if blended with the other strategies, they act like catalysts and enhance the efficiency of the intervention. The intervention used in this study used a good blend of thinking routine activities and mudras which enhanced the math ability in the child.

Inclusive approach to incorporate remedial measures for managing slow learning capabilities in a toddler.

Background:Slow learners are children who reach their milestones with a delay. Some of the symptoms of slow learners include inability to follow multi-step instructions, short attention span, short friendship times, often lack self-confidence and need support and encouragement to keep their interest.

Methods:The study involved a male child 32 months old who showed signs of slow learner. Before the implementation of the intervention, the child was having an attention span of 3 minutes, was not able to count after 5, was having such a low self-esteem that he hardly spoke to the teacher or peers. The intervention involved thinking routines in a culture of thinking with mudras to enhance the thinking dispositions for a period of three years. In the first year, the child was just immersed in an environment rich with varied and interesting activities and was made an observer rather than a participant. The peer support and encouragement along with the support and encouragement from teachers and parents brought in a significant change in the behaviour of the child. In the second year, the child was made to participate but with the freedom to choose his classes. In the third year, the child was inspired to start reading and writing which he never did so far.

Results:The thinking routines created interest and curiosity in the child to at least be an observer. The practice of mudras enhanced his concentration and improved his attention span to 30 minutes on creative and writing activities. As peer collaboration was part of the intervention, he started making friends, now that he was able to communicate. At the end of three years, the child became completely confident and was able to follow multi-step instructions, was no longer scared of numbers, was able to count numbers forwards up to 100 and backwards up to 20.

Conclusion:The intervention strategy involving the combination of thinking culture, mudras and peer teaching is useful in building confidence in a child. This inspires the child to achieve milestones at a faster pace. In this case, the intervention proved effective in removing the fear of numbers and enhancing the child’s concentration and the math ability.

Nurturing concentration and learning skills in an inattentive child – a case study

Background: Often, when children are ignored in the home settings or when the children are not spoken to, at home, they tend to become inattentive and unresponsive in most settings. These children do not feel the need to communicate their emotions or opinions to others and often are found inattentive in the present or lost in thoughts.

Methods:Practice of mudras are simple and easy and do not require the adult supervision. Along with mudras, peer support and teaching are the strategies used in this study to draw the attention of the male child 3 years old. Parental collaboration was sought where parents were trained with the strategies and techniques along with instructions for having activities seeking the attention of the child in activities.

Results:The child started responding to conversations by friends/teachers/parents one month after the intervention. When the child started responding to conversations, it was an easy task for stimulating the child to get involved in the practice of mudras and conversations with peers. At the end of the first year, the child was able to appreciate creative activities done by peers, focus on a particular activity for at least 15 minutes and respond to conversations by peers or teachers. At the end of second year, the child started taking part in most of the activities but was not prepared to communicate with the peers. However, the child started communicating with the teacher. At the end of third year, the child was fully confident, focused on the task at hand, fluently conversant with peers, had learnt how to make and maintain a friendship.

Conclusion: Mudras are simple and easy to practice which influence the central nervous system. Accurate and regular practice of mudras show significantly beneficial impacts on the different aspects of child development. Though mudras have shown to make significant contributions to the child development, it should not be taken as a sole strategy instead to be used as part of a holistic integrated practice.

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