At a Glance
Five Steps to Start with Mindfulness
1. Commit to Five Minutes of Mindfulness
- Download the free mindfulness app ‘I AM PRESENT’ to guide your five-minute practice with your kids.
- If you aren’t able to download the app, then use a timer and start with two minutes and work your way up to five.
- Start with breathing and invite your kids to notice each in and out breath (five full breaths is a minute).
- Each day you can invite them to notice something different, maybe the movement of their belly as they breathe, or sounds they may hear, or how other senses are engaged as they breathe.
- Teacher/parent participation is key to success for children
- Kids will recognize the importance when adults model the behavior.
2. Sit up Straight
- Adjust your posture so your back is straight and tall.
- Keep your feet on the floor and your hands on your lap or at your sides.
- Sitting up straight provides a clear pathway for oxygen to flow easily throughout the body.
3. Eyes Closed
- Look down or gently close your eyes.
- Closing your eyes reduces distractions and is a strategy for looking inward.
4. Strive for Five
- Practice five days a week.
- Morning practice will anchor the day.
- Practicing after lunch will restore focus.
- Silence is new and may initially feel uncomfortable.
- Benefits are realized even if your child is fidgety. Patience is key.
- Like all skills, practice will improve you and your child’s ability to focus attention when you practice mindfulness.
Four Activities to Experience Mindfulness
Here are four activities you can use to continue to practice mindfulness throughout your day, when you’ve already completed your daily mindfulness practice.
1. Belly Breathing
2. Shark Fin
3. Make a Glitter Jar
- Jar (can be plastic water bottle with label removed)
- Glitter glue
- Fine glitter
- Fill jar almost to the top with water.
- Add one tablespoon of glitter glue.
- Add two tablespoons of fine glitter.
- Screw the lid on tight and shake!
Glitter jars are a great way to demonstrate how mindfulness helps settle thoughts. Shake the bottle and have the kids watch the glitter churn. Explain that when things go wrong, everything seems to go crazy and our thoughts swirl around like the glitter. Ask the kids to take a few deep breaths as the glitter settles. When we stop and breathe, things settle down and we can see and think more clearly. Just as the glitter in the jar settles, so does our mind. With clarity we can make wise choices.
4. Download Inner Explorer’s Free “I AM PRESENT” app for families and begin with Day One
Mental Health/Well Being
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