Alberta’s teachers help shape the future of the province by being the best of role models for their classrooms. They are an invaluable resource with an impact that can hardly be measured.
Teachers have a very important job, and a very hard one. Class sizes are large, resources are scarce, and expectations are high. Plus, they have to deal with dozens of different personalities multiplied by dozens more ideal ways of learning. Weighted products for the classroom are tools for teachers to help kids feel calm enough to concentrate.
What is Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation?
Calm and concentration go hand in hand. It’s impossible to fully focus without first cutting through the mind’s inner turmoil so that you can access the parts of you brain your need, when you need them.
Weighted products work by applying what is known as deep pressure touch stimulation. Also known as “touch therapy,” deep pressure touch stimulation relaxes the nervous system by applying even, firm pressure, similar to a hug or a gentle massage. The benefits of this kind of therapy have been known hundreds of years, but it was only relatively recently it was understood exactly why.
Deep pressure touch therapy causes the body to switch from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. Experts call this a move from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”. The parasympathetic nervous system causes the heart to slow down, muscles to relax, and circulation to improve. Bodies begin to produce the “happy” endorphins associated with exercise. At the same time comes the release of dopamine and serotonin, both of which assist with motivation, memory, impulse control, attention, behaviour, sleep, and digestion.
Weighted Products Made With Teachers in Mind
Alberta government regulations stipulate that kids in Grades 1 to 9 be in the classroom for 950 hours of instruction each year. Grades 10 to 12 are required to spend 1,000 hours at school annually. With the school year rounding out at 183 instructional days, that rounds out to from 5.2 to 5.5 hours a day heads down and learning. Minus gym and options, of course!
More than five hours a day of thinking hard is tough for anyone, and kids have their own worries, insecurities, family and friend problems, plus myriad other things to distract them from what they are supposed to be doing. Just like adults. And studies say that our attention spans are getting ever shorter. A digital lifestyle has impacted our ability to pay attention to anything for very long. Time.com cites a study from Microsoft saying that people lost their concentration after only eight seconds. This is a drop of four seconds from the year 2000, fifteen years before the most recent study was carried out.
Many teachers are creating complete sensory rooms for their students to have a safe space to collect themselves and move forward positively with the day. Hippo Hug weighted products for the classroom to help brings kids back to a place where they are ready to learn.
- Hippo Sit Weighted Lap Pads. We have already seen great success with the use of our Hippo Sit Weighted Lap Pads in the classroom. These are made smaller than our weighted blankets so that they are less obtrusive and are the perfect size to lie on laps underneath desks. Our Weighted Lap Pads are made with waterproof material that can be easily wiped down, and come with a removable cuddle cover for laundering
- Weighted Animals. Our Weighted Animals are perfect for cuddling when things get a little overwhelming. They are sturdy enough to be held firmly, and loveable enough to provide a reliable friend to hang on to when needed.
- Sensory Products. Our Sensory Products include Chewlery, Sequin Pillows, Sequin Bracelets, and our special Hippo Stress Toy. Sensory Products engage children both cognitively and physically by stimulating all five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.
Meditation in the classroom is becoming more and more common, too. Teachers are discovering the benefits of daily mindfulness, and are teaching their students how to centre themselves to become more aware of their thoughts and state of being. Our Hippo Chill Crash Mats are great for meditation – or just to fall into and allow to embrace your whole body. We make our Crash Mats with fabric remnants left over from our blankets, which allows us to keep them out of the landfill.
Weighted Product Testimonials