Give children tools to self-soothe and manage big emotions

Empower K-5 children and caregivers to co-regulate with Roots Up: a digital library of 5-minute, research-backed videos.
 
Home2024-05-20T10:09:28-04:00

All children need healthy strategies to calm their bodies and minds.

And children who are especially susceptible to stressors in their environment — including children who have experienced trauma, or have any kind of neurodivergence — need tools that work for them, so they can cope when those strong feelings come up.

Caregivers — like teachers, social workers, and program facilitators — are in a unique position to help the children they care for learn how to self-regulate and re-center.

But with so much to carry, and so much to do every single day, caregivers need more easy-to-use, zero-prep tools to help them do it.

That’s why we created Roots Up: a self-regulation tool built on trauma-informed practices and designed to accommodate neurodiverse needs.

It’s a library filled with research-backed, 5-minute videos proven to help all children soothe their nervous systems, calm their bodies and minds, and build compassion for themselves and others.

When we started using Julie’s videos, there was a noticeable change in the climate at our school. Kids seemed to be calmer, they seemed to be nicer to each other, and the teachers did notice that the kids were in a better place to learn. Each of the teachers, at least once a day, was putting on one of her videos to help the kids practice how to relax your body, get focused, get in a more positive frame of mind, and let some of your fears go. After we started using her videos, along with some other initiatives, our climate surveys were much more positive — kids were saying that they enjoyed school, they felt they were respected there. They felt like they had people that understood them there.”

Chris Salamone, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & District Student Support Team Leader

If you think self-soothing videos might be a good fit for your school or youth organization, let’s connect.

Get in touch with Julie, Roots Up Founder, to learn how you and your team can provide more self-regulation strategies to the children and caregivers you serve.

Our stress-relief videos are loved by children and caregivers* alike at over 25 organizations, including schools, youth nonprofits, and hospitals.

*The caregivers who use Roots Up are mostly teachers, social workers, and program facilitators at schools and youth nonprofits.

But physical and occupational therapists, pediatric professionals, and parents have also used our videos in both homes and hospitals.

We believe that any person or organization that takes care of children can benefit from easy-to-use, trauma-informed emotional-regulation tools.

If you have any questions about whether or not Roots Up would be a good fit for the children you care for, please get in touch.

We built Roots Up on years of research, first-hand experience, and collaboration with experts — but children have been our most important contributors.

Listening to and learning from the children we serve is our greatest asset.

I’m definitely more relaxed which helps me be kinder… Peaceful thoughts, peaceful words… It helps me do that in real life.”

Taki

Sometimes I get really upset during the day and I use those flower breaths and they really help me calm down.”

Ryan

If something was going on at home and I was stressed out the videos helped me calm down and get ready for the day.”

Anna

One of the big topics that some students struggle with is recognizing how their body responds when feeling strong emotions. We work to teach them to recognize patterns in breathing, heart rate, brain chemistry, and other signs that our emotions might be getting out of control… The videos Julie provides combine breathing techniques, physical movement, and visual guided relaxation all with the goal of focusing students’ attention on their minds and bodies and calming down when feeling deregulated. They are easy to use and require zero teacher prep… We’ve seen these videos as beneficial to all students, and students themselves are also recognizing the positive impact the videos have had.”

Celeste Libby, Nicole Casasa-Blouin, and Heather Ouellet: 4th Grade Team, Riverton Elementary

Emotional-regulation strategies are only as effective as they are inclusive.

That’s why Roots Up was built on trauma-informed practices*, and designed to accommodate neurodiverse learners.

*When we talk about trauma-informed practices, we mean:

  • We created the library with explicit consideration for what happens in the brain and body after a child has experienced trauma. And we do everything we can to make the experience of watching our videos as safe and comfortable as possible.

  • Our videos are designed to minimize potential triggers. Every video has the same instructor (Julie) and follows the same basic structure, so viewers always know who and what to expect. We speak with inviting language that emphasizes choice, and only use calm, soothing, natural visuals and sounds.

  • We are constantly learning about how to craft and teach trauma-informed practices. That’s why we upload new videos regularly based on the latest research.

Because there is no one “right way” to manage emotions, all videos include:

  • A repertoire of self-soothing strategies: Distinct practices including deep breathing, mindfulness, yoga postures, and guided imagery are all incorporated into every single video, because no one strategy is going to be right for every child or every situation they face.

  • Research-backed techniques: All of the techniques we use are proven ways to quiet the amygdala — the fight/flight center of the brain — and increase positive emotions.

  • Choice: There’s always an option to engage in seated or movement practice. And, the language Julie uses is always inviting and never prescriptive.

I’ve been having a hard time in school and I’ve been getting frustrated in classes… The videos helped me calm down.”

Jordan

Sometimes when I get REALLY REALLY mad… I just like to do the breathing, the exercises… and it really calms me down.”

Samantha

All the videos were carefully designed to help viewers feel as safe, calm, and comfortable as possible.

  • Calm: No bright colors, loud noises, or potentially stressful stimuli. All videos were recorded in nature.

  • Consistency: Julie is always the instructor, and all videos follow the same structure and use similar language. This helps to minimize anxiety and potential triggers, because children always know who and what to expect.

  • Simple, repeatable language: Julie talks through concepts in familiar terms that kids understand, so they can later reuse those words to explain where their emotions are coming from, and refer back to self-soothing strategies.

Caregivers don’t need to be familiar with yoga, mindfulness, deep breathing, or guided imagery to use our videos successfully.

Roots Up facilitators just press play. And they often participate alongside the children they serve, so they can take 5 minutes to self-soothe, too.

Learn more about our approach »

You made me feel super comfortable and I learned so much in a short time.”

Teacher, after a professional development workshop at Falmouth Elementary School

If you think videos like these might be a good fit for the children and caregivers you serve, let’s connect.

Get in touch with Julie, Roots Up Founder, to learn more.

We believe that tools for emotional-regulation are an essential part of equity work.

A group of children might be sitting in the same space — but that doesn’t mean all of them are emotionally ready to engage with the information and the people around them.

If a child is triggered or unable to self-regulate for any reason, they can’t focus on learning, growing, and relationship-building.

This is true for all kids — but it’s especially true for children who are more sensitive to stressors in their environment, whether because of trauma or neurodivergence.

By providing inclusive tools to help all children self-regulate, we believe that administrators build more equitable, accessible classrooms and programs.

Julie, Roots Up Founder

For the past 20 years, Julie has dedicated her life to equipping youth with healthy coping skills through Radiant Beginnings and Roots Up. Her mission to provide all children with tools to self-soothe is deeply personal. As a child, she struggled with anxiety, and as she was later in life diagnosed with ADHD and Autism, she now realizes that her anxiety stemmed from her brain being wired differently. Julie is a mom to a neurodivergent child and is passionate about creating equitable environments where everyone feels free to be their authentic selves. From her professional and personal experiences, Julie understands first-hand how important it is for children with big emotions to have inclusive self-regulation tools. With this as her driving force, she continues to create content that is evidence-based and rooted in empowering all children with tools to navigate life’s inevitable twists and turns.

Learn more about what drives us »

Subsequent to a mindfulness activity, it’s pretty easy to get kids engaged in the learning activity… because they’re in an emotional state that makes them ready to access their learning. And Julie’s videos and her skills and strategies accomplish that… When you’re in the classroom, engaged in mindfulness activities with your whole class, you’re included. It’s safe. There’s no stigma attached to that. And I think for some children, especially those that have challenges in their lives, that’s incredibly appealing, and makes it feel very inclusive.”

Peter McCormack, K-2 Education Technician, Former Assistant Principal at Portland Public Schools

What’s included in an organizational subscription?

  • 1 professional development workshop: Julie explains the science behind the videos, and gives facilitators a chance to experience the results in their own bodies and minds.

  • Over 50 evidence-based videos: Each video builds upon the last, and teaches a different self-soothing strategy or skill.

  • Regular video uploads: We never stop learning, and always stay up to date with current research and practices, so we upload new videos regularly.

  • Direct support from Julie, Roots Up Founder: Julie is always accessible via email and happy to answer any questions you may have. She also reaches out regularly to check in and make sure you feel confident about how your team is using the video library.

  • Optional in-person classes (for an additional cost): If you’d like additional PD workshops for caregivers or in-person classes for children, we’ll work closely with you to make a plan that supports the people in your organization.

Looking for the research behind the tool? We’ve got you covered.

FAQ

If you have a question that’s not listed here, please feel free to reach out to Julie.

How much does an organizational subscription cost?2023-01-12T14:56:54-05:00

The average cost is $150-350 per subscriber*, per year, but it depends entirely on the size of your organization and the number of facilitators using the tool.

*A subscriber is a person with an account who can log in and put on the videos (like a teacher or program facilitator). The more subscribers you have, the lower your cost per subscriber will be.

If you think the tool might be a good fit for your organization, reach out to get a price tailored to your team’s needs.

Can individuals subscribe, too?2023-01-12T15:00:28-05:00

Absolutely. Caregivers can get an individual subscription for $30 a month, or for one annual payment of $370 (this option is best for parents and guardians who want to use the videos at home).

Are the videos trauma-informed?2023-02-15T17:26:48-05:00

Yes. Julie, Roots Up Founder, has 15 years of experience bringing trauma-informed self-regulation strategies to children who need them. We created the library with explicit consideration for what happens in the brain and body after a child has experienced trauma, and we do everything we can to minimize potential triggers.

Every video is led by Julie and follows the same basic structure, so viewers always know who and what to expect. We speak with inviting language that emphasizes choice, and only use calm, soothing, natural visuals and sounds.

We are constantly learning about how to craft and teach accessible, equitable, trauma-informed practices, so we upload new videos quarterly based on the latest research.

Do the videos actually translate to changes in a classroom setting?2023-02-15T13:51:53-05:00

Yes, our research shows that when practiced regularly, Roots Up videos improve participant behavior, focus, attitude, and reduce their feelings of stress. Read our case studies to learn more.

Teachers and caregivers already have so much on their plates — will they have time for this? And, will it fit into their existing routines and programs?2023-02-15T13:52:02-05:00

Absolutely. Over time, caregivers see results by playing just one 5-minute video a day. And because the videos are so short, they’re often used as a transition between activities, or as a compliment to other social-emotional learning programs and platforms.

What ages is the curriculum designed for?2023-02-15T13:52:09-05:00

The curriculum is designed for ages 4-12, but people ages 3-85 have used and loved the videos. Feel free to watch a sample video to experience it for yourself.

If caregivers aren’t familiar with mindfulness and yoga practices, will they be comfortable implementing the videos?2023-02-15T17:26:12-05:00

Absolutely. All they have to do is press play, and Julie takes care of the rest. Roots Up facilitators usually participate alongside the children they serve, so they can take 5 minutes to self-soothe, too.

If you think self-soothing videos might be a good fit for the children and caregivers you serve, let’s connect.

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