This week in mindfulness we continued learning about the bell, pausing to take breaths, and how our breath affects our bodies. I started mindfulness by bringing out three different sized bells. I rang each one, and we discussed how each bell sounded. Even though the bells had different tones we stopped, took a breath, and looked at the person who rang the bell. After ringing the bells and taking some breaths, I brought out a jar filled with water, sand, and pebbles. We all agreed that everything found in the jar could be found at the ocean. We talked about how our bodies and the ocean are a lot alike. Sometimes the ocean is peaceful, and calm. Other times if there is a strong wind or a storm, the ocean can be a little crazy or wild at times. Our bodies are the same. There are times when we feel calm, and other times when we are extremely excited or turbulent. Our breath is like the wind and can help us control our bodies. We laid down on our backs, on the floor, with our hands on our stomachs. I asked the kids to take slow, deep breaths and to notice what happened to their stomachs when they breathed in and out. Next, I gave them all an ocean treasure to place on their stomachs and we pretended to be like the ocean. We started off by breathing slowly, and worked up to breathing faster as the hurricane approached. As the storm passed we returned to taking slow, deep breaths with our ocean treasures. Everyone returned to circle and shared what they noticed about their bodies during the activity. We noticed that when we were breathing fast out stomachs moved up and down very quickly. One kid said that he felt like he was running! When we slowed our breathing down we felt calm, and noticed the “waves” on our stomach moved much more smoothly. We ended mindfulness with a quick visit from our friend Barry the breathing bug. Barry brought all three bells out, and the children were able to choose which bell they wanted to ring. We paused and took a breath after each child rang the bell, and then took one breath together with our eyes closed to end.
Mindfulness at home!
You can practice being an ocean at home with this fun animal boat activity! Find your favorite stuffed animals and place them on your stomachs while you are laying down on your backs. Notice as you breath in that your animal rises up, and as you breath out your animal lowers down. You can practice taking your own slow and fast breaths while your animal buddy rides the waves. Another fun activity is to make your own ocean in a jar. Add sand, sea weeds, or anything else that reminds you of the ocean to seal up in the jar. You can shake up the jar to get the storm rolling, and then slow the jar down while taking slow breaths as the ocean calms.