Mindful Walking & Mindful Rough Play

This week in Mindfulness we turned on our ears and practiced listening!  We read the story A Listening Walk, by Paul Showers, and then took a stroll around our neighborhood.  Being in the midst of the city we have a plethora of noises all around us!  The kids noticed the sound our shoes made on the sidewalk, and how it was different from the noise it made on the grass.  One friend told me that her shoes made a scuff scuff noise on the sidewalk and a shww shww noise in the grass.  We also listened to the variety of noises the vehicle made passing by, different sounds made by birds, lawnmowers, voices of people, and so much more.  When we made it back to our gathering spot by the tree we shared what we heard on our walk.  We ended the lesson with a big breath with the bell, and a challenge to teach someone else at home!

Mindfulness at Home
  Create moments during the day, whether it is on a walk, in the car, at home, in the park, or etc…, where you turn of your voice and take the time to listen to whats around you.  We are often bombarded by sounds around us so often that we tune them out to focus.  Turn that around and see how many different noises you hear that are happening at once.
  Last week in Mindfulness we read The Story of Ferdinand, by Munroe Leaf.  In the story Ferdinand is perfectly happy sitting under his favorite cork and smelling the flowers.  We pretended to be little Ferdinand’s by sitting under the tree in the front yard of our school and taking big breaths.  I invited friends to try and sit very still with eyes open or closed.  After our Ferdinand sitting meditation we jumped up for some movement!  We played a game that helps out with communication and impulse control when our heart rate and adrenaline is higher.  To start the game the kids all started running around and playing like the bulls.  If they checked in with their friends first they could even push their heads together and rough play a bit.  This is great practice for mindful rough play, and checking to see what feels good or what doesn’t when using your whole body to play with your friends.  When I rang the bell the kids had to find a partner and talk to each other to connect in some way.  Elbows to elbow, head to head, holding hands, whatever they could think of.  Then they traveled back to the tree where I handed them a fake flower scented differently.  The kids sat down to smell the flowers and share with their friends what they thought they smelled like.  When they were ready they went back to the field to do it again!
Mindfulness at Home
 
Mindful rough play –  Skin to skin contact and safe rough play is normal and healthy!  Before playing rough have conversation around what feels safe and what doesn’t feel safe.  Set down some guidelines that everyone agrees on before you begin.  When playing rough and adrenaline is pumping it can be easy to forget to communicate.  The more you practice the easier it gets!  If you can practice playing rough and then stopping suddenly when you hear a cue or say stop that also helps with impulse control.
Stop to smell the flowers – Like Ferdinand, find your favorite spot to take the time to sit.  It can be for as long or short as you’d like.  Try to notice your breath by inhaling and exhaling deeply.  If you or your child need help remembering to breathe deeply you can have an item with your favorite scent to smell.

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