Have a look at the benefits of a mindfulness practice for children researched by the Mindfulness In Schools Program:
As well as helping them to recognize worry, manage difficulties and cope with stress, developing a more mindful awareness also helps children and young people to appreciate what is going well and to flourish.
Concentration and Cognition:
Mindfulness trains us to understand and direct our attention with greater awareness and skill. This may improve the capacity of children to concentrate and be less distracted, as well as their working memory and ability to plan.
Social and Emotional Learning:
Mindfulness helps to develop a greater awareness of relationships and how to manage them, as well as offering a richer understanding of things like self-esteem and optimism.
Mindfulness helps young children to self-regulate more effectively, manage impulsivity and reduce conflict.
At Austin Children's Garden we weave in mindfulness practices into our daily curriculum. Here are some of our favorite mindfulness practices - we hope you are inspired to try some at home:
This Nature Meditation is from Mindful.org and the kids loved imagining themselves as the tree, wind, and sun. They especially loved being the sun and sending out love to their family.
In many ways we are like these beautiful parts of nature, and for this exercise we’ll be like the tree and the wind and the sun.
Our body is like a tree. It grows and it is strong.
Our breath is like the wind. It flows in and out.
And the sun is like the part of us that is warm and kind.
So let’s lower or close our eyes and sit tall like a tree. We extend our hands way out and stretch our fingers, like branches and leaves. Let’s squeeze our fingers together and then let go and feel them wiggle, like they are blowing in the wind.
And now, with the wind blowing, let’s be like the wind and take a two big, slow breaths. Breathing in . . . and breathing out, blowing out the wind. Breathing in . . . and breathing out, blowing out the wind.
And now the sun comes out and warms the tree and the wind. As it shines on the tree, we feel our body. Can you feel fingers and feel your toes? What else can you feel—just by noticing?
And as the sun shines on the wind, we feel our body breathing. Can you feel your belly moving up and down? Can you feel the air flowing in and out of your beautiful body?
And with the sun up high in the sky, brightening and warming the whole world, you too can warm the world—with your kindness!
Think of someone who can use a little kindness—like your sister or brother, or a friend, or your teacher. And as you think of them, wish for them, “May you be happy,” imagining them smiling like the sun.
You deserve happiness too. So now wish for yourself, “May I be happy,” and smile like the sun.
And as you smile like the sun, feel your body sitting tall like a tree and feel your breath blowing like the wind.
And then gently open your eyes and look around. You are amazing!"
Breathing in: I see myself as a flower
Breathing out: I am beautiful, just as I am
Breathing in: Still water
Breathing out: Reflecting
Breathing in: Mountain
Breathing out: Solid
Breathing in: I see myself as the big blue sky
Breathing out: I feel very free and at ease
Flower Still Life
Mindful Glitter Bottles
The New York Times
Circle Treasure Hunt
We found a snail on the lettuce leaves and noticed that the snail was a spiral which is a type of mandala! Then we found more spirals on the nature table.
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 TBS coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 TBS coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
- 1/4 cup chocolate chunks (freshly hammered!)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2/3 cup Cocoyo coconut yogurt
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
See you next time!