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Behind the Scenes – Care Bubbles


What’s the children’s equivalent to social distancing? Gabriel Vieira, one of our community’s early childhood educators, has devised an answer: care bubbles!

Here’s what Gabriel had to say about his “care bubble” lesson: “Social distancing is grown-up speak, technical, dry, even a bit ominous. Care bubbles, on the other hand, are personal, even comforting and fun.”

Gabriel prompted a dozen of our community’s seven to twelve-year-olds to imagine all the care and love you have for the people around you: your friends, your parents, other grownups in the village, the elders…. Feel that care inside your heart, feel it expand and grow out from your heart, until it makes a big bubble that goes all the way out – twice the length of your outstretched arms. That’s your care bubble.

The kids got on board quickly. Wouldn’t you?

They practiced using their care bubbles, keeping their bubbles clear, gently reminding one another when the novel behavior slipped their awareness.

Naturally, questions and curiosities emerge. One child asks, “What are care bubbles made of?” Another responds, “Definitely something durable, so you can bounce off of trees and stuff without getting hurt.” A third child responds logically with, “What keeps you from banging against the inside wall of the care bubble?”

Then the banter really gets going….Maybe it’s filled with water. Or air. It could be fuzzy. Or soft, like jello. And on, until each child has thought-engineered their dream care bubble. And that wasn’t even the best part.

After lunch, on a wildflower walk, the children employ their care bubbles to bounce off one another, trees, rocks, and stream banks, all the while engaging something far more contagious than the coronavirus — their laughter.

May the care and creativity of a beloved teacher and the lighthearted response of our children be reminders of what can be leveraged and engaged during this unprecedented time.

care bubbles, Gabriel Viera, social distancing

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