Before we can teach mindfulness to our children, we first need to understand what mindfulness is and to practice it ourselves.
To put it succinctly, mindfulness is about living in the moment and awakening to experience. It is a state of active and open attention on the present, observing thoughts and feelings from a distance without judgement, neither positive or negative.
#1 - Listen To The Bell
Ring a bell. The kids listen closely to the vibrations the bell makes. They remain silent and raise their hand when they no longer hear the bell sound. They then remain silent for one more minute, paying attention to all other sounds they hear.
#2 – Smell And Tell
Pass around a fragrant item, such as a flower or piece of fruit. The children focus all of their attention on the scent. This can be great for relieving anxiety.
#3 – Breathing Buddies
Each child is given a stuffed animal. They then lay down on their back with their “buddy” on their belly, paying close attention to the rise and fall of the stuffed toy as they breathe in and out, and any other sensations they notice. Having a buddy helps the child to focus on their breathing.
#4 – Gratitude Practice
Have the children write out a list of all the things in their life that they are grateful for. They should add to the list every time they think of something new.
#5 – Feel The Heartbeat
Have the kids exercise vigorously for one minute, then have them sit back down and place a hand over their heart. They close their eyes and feel their heartbeats, their breathing and anything else they notice about their bodies.
#6 – The Art Of Touch
Give each child an object, such as a stone or a feather. Ask them to close their eyes and describe exactly what they feel in their hands, it’s texture, the weight, anything at all. This helps children to learn how to isolate their senses.
#7 – The Personal Weather Report
This exercise involves having each child describe how he/she feels at that moment in the form of a weather report. For example, emotionally they may be feeling dark and stormy, or sunny (for happy), or overcast, or rainy. It helps children relate better to their emotions.
#8 – Mindful Walking
Teach children that being mindful is not all about sitting still. They can be mindful while they walk, taking note of everything around them; the ground beneath their feet, the sounds they hear, the smells in the air, the sensation of the breeze on their skin. This is a great exercise for really teaching kids the art of mindfulness.
At The Kids In Motion we teach children the art of mindfulness, along with dance and performing art. If you are looking for vacation care, or before and after school care, get in touch with us today. Our services are eligible for the child care rebate.