Welcome toBig Heart World
Big Heart World is an initiative produced by Sparkler in collaboration with Noggin that enables parents and educators to help children explore what it means to have a “big heart” and how to grow one. This means:
- Learning About Me — Awareness of self: identity & belonging, feelings and self-regulation
- Learning About You — Awareness of others: empathy, appreciation of diversity
- Learning About Us — Relationships with others: interpersonal strategies
To succeed in school and in life, children can’t just be little mathematicians, readers, and scientists; they need to grow confident in themselves; they need to understand others; and they need to work together with others to solve problems. Educators and pediatricians often refer to this set of skills as “social and emotional” skills. We like to think of them as what it takes to have “a big heart.”
“Heart” skills are always important, but they are especially top-of-mind today as we cope with global pandemic, inequality, and social discord. Families and educators are wondering:
- How can I help my child manage feelings, especially anger, frustration, and sadness?
- How can I help my child develop social and communication skills when they’re separate from peers?
- How can I prepare my child to “phase back in” and restart “normal” life?
Big Heart World is a place where parents, caregivers, and educators can ask and answer big questions related to children’s social and emotional learning. If you’re wondering how to help your child express their feelings, figure out friendships, share, get ready to go back into a classroom, or learn what makes them special, this site is for you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pandemic, school closures, and endless change and transition, this site is for you. If you feel like you can’t handle one more tantrum and you want to know what your child is really trying to tell you when they act out, this site is for you.
Each month, Big Heart World will provide new science-based, engaging content, including Noggin’s Big Heart Beats music videos, answers from experts, podcasts, play-based learning activities, and more.
The work draws from a body of research that recognizes the vital importance of these skills to children’s positive outcomes. Social and emotional development in early childhood lays the foundation for children’s development throughout life. Helping young children build the skills today to develop positive relationships, feel confident in themselves, identify and manage their emotions, and stand up for what is right, will help them to succeed in school and transform them into the leaders and change-makers of tomorrow (C. C. Raver, 2002).
Below, learn more about the themes Big Heart World will explore so you know what to expect.
We’ve all been through a lot in the last year. Take a deep breath. Let’s build up ourselves; let’s build up our kids. Let’s build big hearts.
How wonderful would it be if everyone lived in a Big Heart World?
All About Me: Big Heart World Unit 1
The question, “Who am I?” seems simple, but it can take a lifetime to answer! Children start learning about themselves when they are babies: They wiggle their fingers! They touch their feet! They develop loving relationships with family members, which help them develop a sense of belonging! By around their first birthday, children realize that the person looking back at them in the mirror is “me,” and by about two, they can recognize themselves in photos. Children learn more and more about who they are and how they fit into the world as they grow — and their parents, caregivers, and educators can help them along the way. The materials in Unit 1 enable parents, caregivers, and educators to help children understand their “identity” — who they are, from their skills and passions to their language and culture, to the other things that make them them. Helping a child develop a strong sense of self will help them grow their self-esteem, self-awareness, and confidence — all vital components of healthy brain and child development.
Big Heart World: What to Expect
What does it mean to have a big heart? That’s a BIG question! Big Heart World will roll out content each month, which will empower you to teach your children about “me” (identity & belonging, feelings, and similarities & differences), then about “others” (friendship, empathy, and problem solving), and about “us” (helping, standing up, and citizenship). Here’s what to expect:
Identity & Belonging
Our identity makes us who we are. This includes our skills, passions, preferences, physical traits, culture, and language.
Identifying emotions and managing them helps us build relationships and overcome challenges.
Similarities & Differences
Recognizing similarities and differences helps us appreciate that we have a lot in common and that everyone is unique.
Interacting with others and treating them with kindness helps us form strong relationships.
Walking in others’ shoes helps us understand others and form stronger relationships with them.
Sharing, listening to others, solving problems together, and taking turns helps us collaborate with others.
Being kind, fair, and helping others helps us become great friends, neighbors, and community members.
When we see something wrong, we can learn to stand up for what’s right. Learning to stand up will help children grow up to be change-makers.
Each of us is part of a BIG world: together, we can make the world a better, kinder place.