Dash into Happy
Dash into Happy is an innovative course for youngsters K-5 and their families which teaches the skills and insights to high EQ (Emotional Quotient) through engaging stories, activities, and discussion.
In Dash into Happy, we build on the gentle and endearing traits that your children already find in our books and allow children to connect with the emotions in the stories in safe, accessible ways. How do we do this? We have placed Fan and Sam, Tash and Ash, and all the others into familiar fairy tales and fables. Fan and Sam encounter emotions and dilemmas in the Three Bears. Tim and Tam are Hansel and Gretel as they help each other escape the gingerbread house and show compassion about each other and their father. Mitt and Meg shepherd the Three Billy Goats Gruff past the hungry troll and role model how to deal with a bully. And the list goes on.
With Dash into Happy we use the timeless vehicle of the folktale to carry the concepts to the child. We retell classic fairytales while developing early EQ skills such as:
- Connecting with their own emotions and naming them
- Talking out their emotions instead of acting them out with misbehavior
- Having insight and compassion on self and others
- Learning to empathize with others instead of rejecting or demeaning others
- Learning to both give and receive emotional support
- Learning to cope with stress in healthy ways
- Learning to talk so others will listen without getting defensive
- Learning to listen so others will be deeply understood
- Learning to accept feelings and learn to mitigate negative emotions
- Learning to replace negative thinking with healthy cognitions
- Learning to take action rather than to be a passive victim
- Learning collaborative problem solving
- Learning to cope with more serious issues such as divorce, friendship, death, boundaries, etc.
- Learning how trauma can impact self and others and having compassion about the effects
About Dash into Happy Books
Each story is structured in a 3-phase format:
- A pre-story lesson plan includes goals, vocabulary, and thought questions.
- The story itself brings up feelings, questions, and introspection for the child. Additionally, the text in each story is color-coded to the stated goals, which makes simple the answering of the discussion questions.
- The post-lesson discussion format helps children apply the concepts to themselves with the guidance of the parent or teacher.
Why use fairytales?
- We wanted a familiar story to carry the concepts to be taught. Children already have a positive relationship with classic tales so that good feeling can carry over to the new ideas.
- If the story is familiar, the child can focus on the new ideas we have added to the story: emotional learning.
- Fairytales have many family structures that create diversity for the readers.
- Fairytales make the issues feel safer to discuss because they are “just a story.” Classic stories allow the child to feel the emotions of the characters. This is one reason that Disney uses so many fairy tales in their storytelling. Our books don’t just talk about feelings, we invite the child to experience the emotions in a safe venue: a story.
- Fairytales and fables are a time-tested way to empower children against difficulties. These tales show both challenge and victory. Consequently, we don’t whitewash all conflict or distress from the stories. We allow the child to experience small doses, so they can become more competent to deal with stressors in real life.
Additionally, each retold tale is accompanied by an optional activity pack. The activity packs are creative, attractive, and coordinate with the characters of the story. The activities create experiential, interactive learning appropriate for classroom or home use in small groups. Boys and girls love to play with the activities and enjoy a deeper understanding of the concepts taught in the books.
Created by Amelia Murdock (creator of Dash into Learning, mother two 4) and Joan Landes--a homeschool mother of 7 and a clinical mental health counselor who has used these concepts in her private practice with much success for years-- to create this exceptionally beautiful, engaging, practical and important curriculum for classrooms and families.
Joan Landes is a homeschool mother of 7 and a clinical mental health counselor who has used these concepts in her private practice with much success for years. Knowing how critical these concepts are, she was thrilled to team up with Dash into Learning to create this exceptionally beautiful, engaging, practical and important curriculum for classrooms and families.
Creator of Dash into Learning and mother to four daughters. As a professional artist and a homeschool mom, she was looking for beautiful and effective ways to teach her children. She decided to create my own reading program which has blown up in popularity. She saw the huge need for emotional resilience education, so she was super excited to team up with Joan Landes to create the adorable, practical, and deeply important program -- Dash into Happy.