Little children face a range of big emotions every day. Too often, they have a hard time labeling that feeling, which can lead to confusion during the best of times. Add the stress of a pandemic, and many families were facing a daily minefield of behavioral battles.
It was in the midst of this struggle that The Emotion Motion podcast was born. Created by Move This World’s founder Sara LaHayne, the podcast launched in September 2020 in the hopes of reaching families isolated at home, giving them the tools they needed through an approach called S.E.L., or Social Emotional Learning.
“Move This World created The Emotion Motion Podcast as a response to the real pressures parents and children faced during the early stages of the pandemic,” said Kathy Krupa, the company’s chief growth officer. “Learning from home meant screen time was at an all-time high and socialization was at an all-time low. Working parents were suddenly faced with adjusting to their new realities while also managing the social, emotional, and educational impact of remote learning on children.”
Children who were missing school, friends, and family were also lacking the social structure typical of their normal daily interactions. The podcast developed a new way for kids to learn and grow through the trials using storytelling, play, connection and expression that would help spark family conversations.
“The Emotion Motion Podcast was a fun way for us to engage children in educational content focused on social and emotional development without the use of screens. It was originally meant to be another arrow in parents’ quiver of ways to help their children develop these important skills during a really challenging time in their lives.”
New season, new podcasts
Primarily geared to children ages 3 to 8, the engaging podcasts feature Megan the Mermaid and her underwater life with family and friends.
“The overwhelmingly positive feedback from listeners has inspired us to continue with the podcast for the following two years,” Krupa said. “Through storytelling, The Emotion Motion Podcast uses relatable moments from our real world and allows listeners to experience them from a different perspective. Megan the Mermaid and her underwater friends navigate underwater life, whether that be making new friends, experiencing loss, or just going to the dentist for the first time.”
Move This World has created three seasons of podcasts since its inception, with themes such as “Sand Dollars and Sense,” “Play Date Problem Solvers,” “A Wave of Sadness,” and more.
“Each episode is designed as an opportunity for children to practice crucial skills in their emotional development, such as empathy, self-awareness, and mindfulness,” Krupa said. “It is also an invitation for both children and their families to get up, move, play, sing, and interact with stories that help children develop their emotional vocabulary, recognize their feelings, and learn emotional management strategies to support their well-being.”
The S.E.L. approach
Krupa explained the concept of Social-Emotional Learning and its impact on children.
“Mental, social, and emotional growth are natural parts of child development. Social-emotional skills are developed when children are playing on the playground, taking turns, waiting in the lunch line, participating in team sports, or working with their peers on a project. These skills are developed naturally and inherently in childhood, but in order to have maximum impact, research shows that we need sequenced, active, focused, explicit instruction in skills like self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.”
Through storytelling, The Emotion Motion Podcasts help parents and children sail through a sea of thoughts and feelings.
“Storytelling is a powerful mode of learning,” Krupa said. “We use fantastical storytelling to captivate our audience and make it relatable by weaving in real-life scenarios. The characters in our stories are faced with the same challenges that our listeners navigate every single day. By incorporating the emotional management tools that Move This World has created and by making the podcast participatory, we have created a fun, engaging podcast that allows children to be both entertained and to develop their emotional toolkit at the same time.”
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