Incorporating Mindfulness into your classroom or home can help your little ones grow up to be calm and focused adults. In addition to being fun, these techniques are beneficial to a child’s overall well-being!
Bring both hands to your belly. As you breathe in, feel your belly rise and as you breathe out, feel your belly contract. Belly breathing is great for helping you calm down when you are feeling upset.
Take 3 quick sniffs through the nose and one long breath out. Imagine you smell all the wonderful smells around you. You can smell nature and yummy carrots to eat! Bunny breathing is great for helping kids focus and for calming down.
Bring your hands to your heart. Take a big breath in and reach your arms up and out as you breathe out. As you breathe out, make a “paaaah” sound. Try to make your inhales and exhales as slow and long as you can. This is a great breathing technique to stay focused and alert before a big test, writing practice, or reading.
Layers of Sound
Breathe in slowly and out slowly. Open your ears really big and notice the sounds far away. Listen to the sounds outside your school or home in the distance. Notice the sounds and try not to identify them. Now listen to the sounds closer to you inside your classroom or home. Listen and notice the sounds without identifying or worrying about them. Now notice the sounds inside your body. Maybe you can hear your breathing or your heartbeat. Slowly open your eyes and note how to it feels to really notice all the sounds around you and inside your own body.
Ask the children to slowly and silently walk around the room. Put on a nature song with various distinct nature sounds. Notice the steps you take and the sounds around you. Listen carefully for sounds of birds, ocean waves, rain, wind, and more! Notice how the sounds make you feel. After listening to the song, ask the children what sounds they heard. Ask them what it feels like to really notice what is around them and how they can try this in daily life!
Loving Kindness Meditation
Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly. Send love and kindness to yourself by saying in your mind: “May I be happy. May I be free from anger. May I be healthy.” Now, imagine someone you really love. It can be a good friend, family member, or someone else you love. Send love and kindness to the person you love by saying in your mind: “May you be happy. May you be free from anger. May you be healthy”. The most difficult meditation is sending love and kindness to someone you don’t like. Imagine someone who is not your friend and say in your mind: “May you be happy. May you be free from anger. May you be healthy”. Practicing loving kindness meditation helps you feel happy and good for sending love to others and yourself. This is a great method to use when dealing with conflict. Read more about the Loving Kindness meditation here.