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Mindfulness activities for children
There are many activities to engage our children in mindfulness, but here are a few suggestions:
May 26, 2020
Coined by former Mindful Schools co-founder Laurie Gossman and Mr Musumeci’s Grade 5 class of the book “Master of Mindfulness: How to Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress” fame, the Shark Fin is a fantastic tool that you can use during any quick moment in your day. It will help to calm your class, or individual students, when their minds and bodies may be fighting against them.
Place the side of your hand on your forehead, with your palm facing out to the side.
Close your eyes.
Slide your hand down your face, in front of your nose.
Say “shhh” as you slide your hand down your face
If you are sitting down, you do the 5 S’s while you move your hand: Sit up straight, sit still, sit silently, soft breathing, shut eyes.
If you are standing do the same but you are standing straight, still, silently, using soft breathing and shut eyes while you move your hand down your face.
“Master of Mindfulness” (Grossman & Alvarez, 2016)
May 27, 2020
This is a great activity to bring attention to how mindlessly we sometimes eat! Whether sitting in front of the tv, chatting to friends at lunch, or scrolling through something on the internet or social media, we often “switch off” when eating because it is such a familiar action.
Mindful eating can combat over-eating, it helps bring our attention to the flavors and tastes of different foods and helps us to realize what effects different foods have on how our bodies feel.
Students need something small to eat for this activity. Often a square of chocolate is a fun “challenge”, although you could provide a piece of fruit or any food item that you feel will work with your class. Be sure to take any allergies into consideration!
Begin this practice with three deep breaths.
Direct students to take small nibbles or bites of the food.
Bring awareness to the sensations of eating.
– What is the taste like? Is it sweet or savory?
– What does the food feel like on your tongue?
– Do you need to crunch it between your teeth, or can you slowly dissolve it in your mouth?
– Try taking a slightly smaller or slightly larger bite.
– How does this change the way eating this food feels?
– Notice which muscles in your mouth, neck and body move as you swallow the food.
– Pause between each bite and notice any changing sensations in your mouth or body.
May 28, 2020
This activity is best completed outdoors and if suitable, students may like to walk barefoot.
Give students a clear boundary for where they can walk during this activity.
Each student selects a small area where they can walk in a line for about 5 or 6 steps and back then back to where they started without getting into another person’s way.
Begin this practice with three deep breaths, or the Shark Fin activity (#4 above).
Take 5 or 6 steps in one direction, turn slowly and then take 5 or 6 steps back to where you started.
While walking, students bring their awareness to their breath and their body.
What does the ground feel like under your feet?
Which part of your foot touches the ground first when you take a step?
Does your body feel heavy or light today?
Are you slouching when you walk?
Or, is your back up quite straight?
Try not to change the way you walk, but instead just notice how your body naturally moves.