Find Your Breath

Happy September friends!

It has been so great this last week seeing all your children bring their wonderful energy back into our school.  Community School just feels complete with them all here!

Your kiddos did a beautiful job with this week’s first mindfulness lesson of the year!  We started our mindfulness lesson by talking about our bell.  The kids helped remind me what to do when we hear the bell ring — we stop what we are doing, take a breath, and look at whoever rang the bell.  After some bell discussion, we met our friend Barry the Breathing Bug.  Barry can be a little shy at times, but everyone helped Barry feel comfortable by taking deep breaths and keeping our bodies calm.  We noticed that when Barry takes a deep breath his body stretches big, and when he breathes out his body curls in and gets smaller.  As we took breaths with Barry we noticed that our bodies did the same thing!  Barry brought out the breathing ball, and we all took turns expanding the ball while breathing in, and shrinking the ball while breathing out.  We talked about how our lungs in our body do the same thing.

After our serious discussion time, we lightened things up by playing a few games!  We started by playing hide and seek with the bell.  Friends were a bit skeptical over how the bell was going to play hide and seek.  Everybody hid their eyes while I hid in different parts of the room.  Once hidden, I rang the bell and your kids pointed in the direction that they heard the bell ring.  The kids’ ears were so keen that not only were they able to point to where I was hiding by just listening to the sound, but some of them even noticed that when I was hiding behind the cupboards it sounded like the bell was ringing from a few feet away from me!  It was a great opportunity to squeeze in a few words about the physics of sound, and how it bounces off of different surfaces.

Next we played some mindful freeze dance with the bell.  Your children moved and grooved there bodies in different ways throughout the classroom.  When the bell rang they froze and took a breath… even though the music was still playing!  It takes a lot of self control to go from dancing your heart out to being completely still, but all of your kids did a marvelous job!

We ended mindfulness by dancing back to circle and noticing how our bodies felt after so much movement.  Friends noticed that their hearts were beating faster, their bodies felt warmer, some said that it made them feel tired, and others noted that the movement had made them hungry!  We took a few more breaths with the breathing ball, and said goodbye to Barry until next time!

The games that we played today can be easily incorporated in your own home!  You could use your own bell, or instrument of choice to play hide and seek with.  You could even spice it up a little bit by giving your child the chance to hide and ring the bell while you look for them!  Freeze dance is always a much loved, classic game. It is a great rainy day activity that helps kids (and adults) get their heart beating, but also with learning how to turn the wiggles on and off at any given moment.

Thanks families for all the support, and for such a great first week back at school!  I’ll be looking forward to seeing all of your bright, shining faces next week!

 Warmest regards,

                        Ashlie

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