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CosmoKidz

Children’s social skills begin to develop the moment they are born and how well those skills have developed from kindergarten onwards has a significant impact on their relationships decades later. The sooner we start to teach young children about their role in the co-creation of relational and social worlds, the better.

The co-developers of CosmoKidz, Marit Eikaas Haavimb and Kim Pearce, knew how important it was for even very young children to have opportunities to talk together about their social worlds and to learn how to shape their environments and relationships with others in more mindful and compassionate ways. Yet, Marit and Kim also knew that these kinds of conversations are often in very short supply for young children: typically, not something attended to in any systematic way at school and not something that many parents seem to focus on at home.

Drawing on their understanding of CMM, Marit and Kim began a long-term reflexive, co-constructed process with young children to learn what was in their minds and hearts regarding their social worlds and how the CMM Institute might contribute to providing opportunities for them to learn the skills and abilities that would serve them and their relationships with others well.

In 2012, a number of discussion groups with 5 to 7 year-olds occurred in the United States and Norway in which young children told us what social issues were important to them. Of the 31social scenarios in our final set of CosmoKidz discussion topics, all but a very small handful came from the children in these early discussion groups. We beta-tested these conversational topics with children in a variety of contexts and geographical areas in multiple states and countries and found that these topics resonated with children regardless of where they lived.

Marit and Kim have continued the Cosmo line of activities with new and yearly CosmoKidz topics and two CosmoTweenz activities: Three Choices and Then What Happens and Environmental Awareness Conversations/Activities researched and developed by educator and environmentalist Erin Taylor. Consistent with their belief that activities for this age group need to begin with the voices of the children, every topic in the deck of 51 cards for Three Choices came from tweens ages 8-12 from around the world. A working group led by Marit and Kim are in the early stages of developing CosmoTeenz (ages 13-17) working with a diverse group of teens and the CMM Institute to develop the actual CosmoTeenz products and not just the topic areas.
Why are we spending our time and energy developing activities and conducting research to measure what differences these conversations and activities are making in the lives of children and the schools of which they are a part? One answer is that the CosmoKidz activities fit in with the new move in educational thinking: a shift from training students for cleverness, competition and success to helping them become fulfilled individuals, whatever their talents, and active, compassionate citizens.

We know from our decade long research and development program, that CosmoKidz helps to cultivate:

  • an appreciation of the importance of our interpersonal worlds and how we become who we are in relation with others
  • the development of compassionate persons, sensitive to what is made in communicating and respecting diversity in its fullest sense
  • the capacity to be curious, creative and self-reflexive
  • understanding our obligation to others and the broader environment in which we live
  • dialogic and deliberative skills as the means of making better social and civic worlds.

Want to learn more?

Latest news on CosmoKidz

Girl in party dress blowing soap bubbles

CosmoKidz stand in Louisianna

CosmoKidz stand in Louisianna

In April, Chipps Taylor and Nicole Wells, a 2nd grade teacher, spent the day at the Capital building in Louisiana to showcase CosmoKidz as part of the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund. The woman who made the last set of puppets also made the table cloth for us. Big smile!!!

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Cosmokidz in Romania—a new and exciting experience

Cosmokidz in Romania—a new and exciting experience

CosmoKidz was first introduced in Romania in 2016. Carmen Gabriela Greab and Iuliana Gabriela Georgescu describe this new and exciting experience for them. They have been so inspired by the effect of CosmoKidz, they are now exploring ways of expanding the program.

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CosmoKidz: Teaching Children Response-Abilities in Their Relationships

CosmoKidz: Teaching Children Response-Abilities in Their Relationships

The goals of CosmoKidz are to help children develop skills and abilities that help nurture cosmopolitan ways of being. We have recently concluded a three-year research project with all kindergarten through second-grade classes (ages 4-7) in Oracle, Arizona with results showing that if these skills and abilities are practiced consistently, they become part of a child’s repertoire for acting into his/her social worlds.

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Camp CosmoKidz: Bigger and better

Camp CosmoKidz: Bigger and better

Last year we were excited to tell you about our first ever CosmoKidz Camp. This year we have more good news to report. The Camp has continued and it has become bigger and better with the generous support of the Louisiana Governor’s Office.

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CosmoKidz in Louisiana: An inspiring first year

CosmoKidz in Louisiana: An inspiring first year

We have just completed our first year of the CosmoKIdz program in Louisiana and it was truly inspiring. Our research data clearly show that the program is instrumental in cultivating invaluable social skills.

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Beyond CosmoKidz: We need your help!

Beyond CosmoKidz: We need your help!
We created CosmoKidz to help young children develop relational awareness and related skills. We have more than four years’ worth of research to confirm it works. Now we want to go beyond CosmoKidz and we need your help. We invite all forms of collaboration in this new development.

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CosmoKidz goes to Louisianna

CosmoKidz goes to Louisianna, October 31, 2017
We have sports camps, art camps, scholastic camps, but have you ever heard of a camp that focuses on helping kids develop better communicating skills? Well, this year there was one. We held our first ever Camp CosmoKidz this summer in Louisiana. The camp and its aftermath is such an extraordinary example of how one small thing can be so positively welcomed and then blossom into more, that we wanted to tell you the story.

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