A component of friendship is giving hugs, and showing your love for a friend. So in music, we worked on hugging friends with gentle arms around their body. The Seals, Elephants, All-Stars, Monkeys, Giraffes, Bears, and Owls, worked on their hugging.
We listened to “Four Hugs A Day” by Charlotte Diamond. They hugged while Charlotte sang. When I called out “3-2-1, find a new friend,” they found a new friend to hug. After hugging several different classmates, we danced, walked, and held hands around the circle. When Charlotte started singing again, students found another friend to hug. Some kisses were also shared during our hugging experience, which was a product of students being close to each other and feeling the bond. The students were so sweet to each other and open to hugging all their classmates.
This is the week of Valentine’s Day, and students worked on sharing and showing their friendship through hugs, holding hands, and being in close proximity to each other. They listened to the music and enjoyed themselves in hugs and movement. Some friends were happy to initiate hugs with everyone while others were more of a receiver, waiting to be hugged. They took turns hugging friends and made sure no one was left out. By the end of the song, everyone had hugged everyone. They were comfortable holding each other and using both arms to gently hug. Hugging is good for the body to release hormones serotonin and dopamine (make you feel good and lift your mood), lowers stress levels, feel calmer and less anxious, and to feel closer to the people who make you feel good.
It was so sweet to see some students come alive with their hugs; they were so excited to hug and to be hugged. When they were all hugging during the music, it looked like a dance floor with students slow dancing. Their first school dance experience!