Mindful Movements

  With the chilly weather rolling in, we have been incorporating more movement into our Fridays to help with the wiggles!

   Last week we tickled our sense of touch by playing Mystery box!  I put an assortment of items in the box (ginger, pinecone, tomatillos, and chestnuts), and the kids had to guess what was inside with only using their sense of touch.  We passed the box around, and described what we felt to our classmates.  Friends came up with a wonderful array of description words!  A few friends described the ginger as paw like, or that it felt like a hand.  Other adjectives included pokey, squishy, marshmallowy, rough, crinkly, hard, and so many more!  After everyone had a turn we opened the box to see what was inside!

   On to the movement!  Same lesson we did some mindful passing around the circle.  First with a cup of water.  The kids had to use very slow, controlled movements to pass the cup around without spilling any water.  Next we passed a pumpkin around the circle, but with our eyes closed!  While carefully passing I spoke to the children about trusting that the pumpkin would come your way in time, and about passing the pumpkin carefully so it reached their neighbor safely.

  One more challenge!  To end the class we lined up in two lines and passed the pumpkin to the neighbor behind us.  Here was the trick!  The kids had to alternate passing the pumpkin over their heads, and between their legs.  If the friend in front of them passed the pumpkin over, then they had to pass it under.  Once the pumpkin reached the end of the line, the person in the back brought it to the front to start over.  Along with being mindful with how we passed the pumpkin, the alternating of passing helps develop cognitive flexibility.  With two lines of passing the kids had to also focus on where the pumpkin was at in their line.

  Mindfulness at Home

 Mystery box is a fun and EASY game to play! Requirements: empty box with hand sized hole, items to put in the box.  It is fun to put both familiar and obscure items in the box to keep the kids on their toes.  The more variety the better!  Let them have a turn putting items inside the mystery box for you to guess also!

 Passing games require steady hand eye coordination, and patience to get an item safely from point A to B.  If you are brave you can use a fragile item (eggs, glass cups) to help reinforce the need for careful hands and focus.

 Creating games with rules that have changing variables is a great way to help kids develop their ability to quickly process incoming task cues.  This could look like having two sets of rules for a matching game (if there are an even number of items match by shape, odd number match by color).

  Today was a yoga day!  We did a combination of fast quick movement, followed by steady still movements.  To accompany our yoga today we used the book The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power.  To personalize the lesson I asked the kids what the first letter of the name was, and then we found the matching yoga pose in the book.  We ended yoga by hatching our own little eggs, and then resting them on our bellies to help them relax.  As we sat on our eggs quietly, and then moved into a laying down pose we took big cleansing breaths and thought about what our little egg may have hatched into.

   Mindfulness at Home

 The egg hatching activity mimics a sitting meditation, and then moves into a shortened version of Shavasana.  It can be a challenge to find the space and time to fit in still moments into our day.  Having a task that requires your kids to be motionless can help facilitate this.  Both of these positions are relaxing and helps promote calmness of the mind.

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