Happy Friday Friends!
The kids loved yoga so much that last week I decided to do another yoga story. Last week’s story was about eagle, and what he does throughout his busy day. I challenged the kids with a few more difficult yoga poses, but they all were up for the challenge, and just beamed as they were sideways and upside down interpreting the story with their bodies in their own way. Eagle taught us from the story to use our eyes and senses to notice what is going on around us. The story of eagle helped us segway our conversation into noticing what changes are happening outside right now during the Autumn season. After some great conversation we played a cooperative game where friends needed to use there eagle senses to pass a miniature pumpkin through their legs and over their head, backwards to their friends. As they became comfortable with the pumpkin we spiced things up a bit by adding a miniature gourd to the passing line.
This week’s mindfulness lesson was all about feelings, and how they are a big part of us. We checked in with everyone to see how we were all feeling today. Kids responded with many different answers. From happy to sad, excited to cranky. After everyone shared how they were feeling, we talked about how it was ok to feel every emotion that we have. We also talked about how all our emotions feel very different, but that there are no “bad” emotions. We read the book The Way I Feel by Janan Cain, and paused on every page to discuss the emotion displayed. We talked about what our bodies and faces do when we experience different emotions, and how we can tell how other people are feeling by their body language and facial expressions. We also brainstormed what things we can do when we feel very big, sometimes difficult emotions. The kids came up with many great ideas from taking turtle time when you are feeling mad, to finding your mom, dad, or teacher for comfort when feeling scared. Another child said that when she feels frustrated that she lays on the floor and takes big breaths. The children related to each other, and were very empathetic of each others scenarios. I had planned to play Feelings Charades with the kids, but they were so engaged with our emotions discussion that we ran out of time before being able to play. We also played a quick game with Barry the Breathing Bug where friends had to guess which bell I rang by listening to the tone.
Mindfulness at Home!
With fall all around us, going for a mindful fall walk is a fun and relaxing way to notice the changes that are happening. From the changing colors of leaves, the smells of the damp ground, the new chill in the air, or the sound of leaves crunching underfoot: there are endless things to look, listen, and even smell for on a beautiful fall walk.
Take the time to talk to your kids about big emotions. You can talk to your child about what you notice with their body or face when they are feeling different emotions. How do you display your emotions? Are they the same or different from how other people look or sound when they are experiencing an emotion. Talk about what you and your kid can do when feeling big emotions. A fun game to play is guess the emotion! (Feelings Charades) You could either use cards displaying emotions to act out, or just act out different feelings at random with your kid. Another fun activity to do is to use a mirror or camera to capture different emotional states, and then show your kid later what they look like when they were in that moment. All of these activities can help foster growth in recognizing and working through our powerful emotions, and cultivate a better understanding that are a big part us!