Stand Tall Together

A video about using movement to build a sense of steadiness.

Try this pose whenever children are anxious or worried or just need some grounding!

Before viewing the video together, explain that you’re going to meet a friend of Big Bird’s named Sevian, who’s visiting Sesame Street. Sevian has been having a hard time because he’s been thinking about a bad thing that happened in his neighborhood, but he’s learned something that will help. Tell children that they’re going to learn to deal with big feelings, too, and invite them to stand up and follow along.

Watch the video and move along with Big Bird and Sevian.

  • Remind children that wobbling and even falling is part of growing and that even trees shake in the breeze. Our bodies are always moving a little bit. You can point out that adults wobble, too. We are still quieting our minds down even if we’re moving!
  • Encourage them to stand tall and keep growing! Experiment with how far up your leg you can place the sole of your foot, or how it feels to close your eyes or sway your arms overhead.

After viewing the video, try these ideas:

  • Talk about roots: the parts of trees and plants that grow down into the ground and keep them standing strong in the soil. People are a little like trees, with invisible roots that help us feel like we really belong in our neighborhoods and communities.
  • As you practice the pose together, you might say a little more: “Here I am, in the right place, planted in the ground, roots growing down, body growing strong, feeling calmer.”
  • Invite others around you to join you in your “together forest,” or ask children to imagine others they would like to join them in their forest. Remind them that when people stand tall together, they can become even stronger and that can help them stand even taller.
  • Print and post this instruction sheet.
  • Keep in mind, of course, that some children need to move around in order to focus—use your judgement in inviting children to do this activity!

You can even do this pose sitting down—just keep your feet flat on the ground.