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Fun Ways To Teach Mindfulness To Your Children
Mindfulness can be a helpful and sanity-saving practice for parents. Helping us to be more ‘in the moment’ when parenting and to consider our responses and reactions when we feel angry, frustrated or overwhelmed by our little people. But did you know that mindfulness can also be great for our children, encouraging them to pay attention to their surroundings, stay calm and actually enjoy quiet time? And although it may not be a miracle solution to temper tantrums, mindfulness can certainly help children to be more aware of and understand their emotions. Of course you have to be a bit clever about it... expecting your child to sit down and meditate for ten minutes a day just isn’t going to happen, but with a little creative thought and planning you can make mindfulness fun for the whole family! Here’s how.
  1. Listen Up Little One
Next time you take a walk with your child, take a minute to be totally still and quiet. Encourage your child to listen to the sounds around them and think about what they can hear: is it birdsong, people talking, waves crashing, other children playing or even distant traffic? Once you start to walk again, encourage your child to describe what they heard.children-839789_1280 
  1. Thanks At Dinner Time
Before or after you’ve eaten, play this little gratitude game with your kids. Taking turns, each person at the table (including moms and dads) describes something that happened that day that made them feel happy or thankful. There are no right or wrong answers, it could be as simple as the sun shining during your lunch hour (parents) to lucking out with an extra big piece of dessert pie at the school cafeteria!  
  1. The Superhero Sensation Challenge!
For little boys and girls into all things superhero, this is a great game to play and really encourages kids to focus on their surroundings. Superheroes like Spiderman or Daredevil can tune into the world around them, hearing tiny noises and feeling the smallest sensations. Ask your children to sit down with their eyes closed and then hand them a mystery object. The challenge is to silently explore the object with their hands, lips, nose – but not their eyes! Can they guess what it is?girl-1417553_1280 
  1. Two Tasty Treats
Eating mindfully is a great exercise for children, helping them to appreciate the taste of food and even – dramatic pause – eat a little slower! To play you’ll need two very different treats, like:
  • A mini-wheat and slice of banana
  • A slice of apple and a cube of chocolate
  • A cube of cheese and a slice of pepperoni
  Ask your child to sit with their eyes closed and hand them the first treat, ask them to eat it slowly, thinking about the taste (sweet or sour), texture (smooth or rough) and flavor (strong, tangy, sharp). After they’ve finished, give them the second treat and ask them to do the same. Afterwards encourage them to describe each treat and the differences between them. This simple game is great to play with a group of children as they can discuss and compare their thoughts and feelings about the two mini treats.   With all of these games, the key is to think of mindfulness for children as an exploratory adventure rather than control and calm. Keep it short, simple and above all, fun! 
November 04, 2017 by Jamie Kristen

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