Day 29- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

Hands-on and creative mindful activities that involve both tangible objects and nature allows for a playful and fun activity that encourages mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh developed this specific meditation, Pebble Meditation,  for children that engages the mind, develops gratitude, relieves stress, increases concentration and helps children deal with emotions.

How to do a Pebble Meditation:

  1. Have your child collect four pebbles, rocks or shells before the meditation. (This could be part of a Mindful Walk.) Ensure that have something to store their pebbles in so that the meditation can be redone as often as desired.
  2. They are to sit up straight and relax; placing the four pebbles in front of them.
  3. The child picks up the first pebble and says, “Breathing in, I see myself as a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh. Flower, fresh “(3 breaths). The words “flower, fresh” are repeated quietly for three in and out breaths. Repeat with the three other pebbles.
  4. Breathing in I see myself as a mountain, breathing out, I feel solid.”Mountain, solid. (3 breaths)
  5. Breathing in I see myself as still, clear water, breathing out, I reflect things as they really are.” Clear water, reflecting. (3 breaths)
  6. Breathing in I see myself as space, breathing out, I feel free.” Space, free. (3 breaths)

Top Tips:

  • You can start and end the meditation with the ringing of a bell or chime.
  • As your child learns the meditation, they can lead the others in the meditation.

Further resources to go with the Pebble Meditation can be found here:

  • After they become confident in this meditation, encourage your child to come up with their own meditation for the four pebbles, ie loving kindness, gratitude, friends, etc.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 28- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

The feel of sand beneath your feet, the sound of waves crashing on the beach, the smell of sea water in the air and the sight of the sun rising and setting in the blue sky. What more could you want from a place to relax and recharge?

In research published by Health & Place , subjects living along the coastal regions reported better health and well-being.

Richard Shuster, PsyD, clinical psychologist says, “The color blue has been found by an overwhelming amount of people to be associated with feelings of calm and peace. Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.”

He goes on to say that the rhythmic sound of the crashing waves kind of de-stimulates our brains. The noises combined with the visuals, activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is, as Shuster says in his podcast on The Daily Helping , “responsible for slowing us down and allowing us to relax and feel more engaged.”

In addition, the simple act of touching the sand makes you feel happy and relaxed. “The physical sensation of putting your feet in warm sand causes people to relax,” says Shuster.

This is great if you live by the sea and if you have time to get to the seaside. But, most of us, at this moment in time, do not have that capability and may not have that capability for some time.

So, how can we use mindfulness to virtually get us to the seaside?

Visual Meditations: play videos of beaches and waves crashing on the shore.


Focus children on the rhythm of the waves, the sound of the sea and the sky around it. Reminding them to take long Mindful breaths and allowing all worries to drift along like a cloud.

For a few moments, instruct them to close their eyes and imagine they are on that beach, with their toes in the sand and a warm breeze on their face.

Here are some ocean Meditations that would be good for children and adults:
Morning Meditation Ocean Sunrise – https://youtu.be/UpXMeZuWWR0
Misty Beach Ocean Waves – https://youtu.be/E7qRkUYu580
Nice Ocean Waves – https://youtu.be/V-_O7nl0Ii0
One Moment Ocean Meditation – https://youtu.be/RlOZ02HgAnE
Meditation on the Beach – https://youtu.be/jJkEiw6Gh0U

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 26- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

When thinking of mindfulness, lots of people think immediately to meditations. As you know now, there are lots of strategies besides meditations that supports mindfulness development. Today, we dip our toe into meditations… Loving Kindness Meditations to be exact.

Guided meditations focuses the mind on one aspect. For Loving Kindness meditations, it focuses our minds of being kind to ourselves and to others. It really is about spreading kindness.

Here are a few that you may find useful for your class and yourself:

Loving Kindness Meditation for primary children: https://youtu.be/YRwQrzogy-g

Loving Kindness Meditation for primary children : https://youtu.be/-9_ZHnltMe0

Loving Kindness Meditation for upper primary children and teenagers: https://youtu.be/sz7cpV7ERsM

Loving Kindness Meditation for adults/ teenagers: https://youtu.be/MKtXw-tivZg

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 25- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

Today, is a simple mindfulness strategy that helps with mindful focus; The Hand Exercise. Items you need are simple. You just need your hands.

⁃ First, have children find a comfortable sitting or lying down position.

⁃ Get them to take a few deep mindful breaths to help them relax.

⁃ Then, have them hold their hands tightly for about 10 seconds, squeezing tightly and release them slowly.

⁃ Now, get your child to focus on how their hands feel; staying focused for as long as you can or until the feeling goes away.

⁃ Repeat 5 times

⁃ End with a few deep mindful breaths and proceed with your day.

If they find themselves becoming anxious during the day, have them have a mindful break and repeat this strategy to help them find peace in your day.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 24- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

Mindful focus is a way of allowing your mind to be in the present and allows children to capitalise on their own innate sense of awe and wonder.

While in your garden or out on your daily walk, have each of your children (and you) collect a leaf. It can be a leaf that has fallen from a tree/plant or one still on a tree/plant.

Once home, have each child find a space where they can have five uninterrupted minutes with their leaf.

Leaf Meditation

Direct them to do the following:

– Pick up the leaf and lay it in your hands.

– Notice the colours, the different in shades of colours and fading of one colour to another colour.

– Notice the veins in the leaf, the main stem, the edges of the leaf.

– Feel the leaf. Run your fingers over the top and bottom; along the edges. Notice the differences. Rub it against your face or over the top of your hand. Use nerve endings that normally are not used to feel objects. Notice the difference.

– Smell the leaf. Note the scent. Inhale deeply and notice the memories it may bring up.

Close your eyes and take a minute to breathe deeply and allow yourself to be in awe and wonder of the moment you have had with the leaf.

Proceed with a new found calmness and appreciation.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 22- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

As I am writing this blog I can hear the tv in the background and character 1 is telling character 2 that the key to stress management is to completely immerse oneself into an activity that engages the mind on something different that the stress that one is having. This reminded me of one of my favourite mindfulness strategies, Mindful Doodling.

The goal of Mindful Doodling is to fully engage with your doodles in a meditative way. It requires slowing down, focusing on the paper and pen and doodling repeatively with full intent. Thus, you become present in the moment.

Thus, mindful doodling:

focuses the mind
calms the body and mind
relieves stress
encourages relaxation
increases your sense of wellbeing
replaces negative or bored habits
allows you to be present and aware

Materials:

– markers, pens, pencil colours or crayons

– plain paper

How to do Mindful Doodling?

You don’t need to have any drawing skills for this to work. (This is a good point as I DO NOT have good drawing skills!) There really isn’t any right or wrong way to mindfully doodle. It is not about the end result but about the process that is being taken.

1- Draw, by freehand, a border around the outer edge.
2- In this step you can do one of three things:
Draw a string inside your border. ( A string is a simple curved line/squiggle that        will lend structure to your design as your pattern will emerge accordingly from the contours of the string. The string divides the border into sections.)
Draw straight or angled lines free hand within the border dividing the area into smaller sections.
Choose a corner of the border and begin step 3.
3- Start creating your doodle with patterns drawn with a pen or marker along the contours of the string, lines or border. Allow the pattern to reveal itself naturally.

There is no right or wrong. You can use very simple shapes, lines, dots, squiggles and more. Shade as you desire and be mindful of and deliberate with each stroke.
Keep going until you are finished. You will know when this is.

Enjoy your creation!

Remember: There are NO mistakes. So, no erasing is allowed. Embrace the mark you have made and use it to continue your meditative journey of mindfully doodling.

Top Tips:

– You can use any size paper you desire. It can be as small as a post it note or as large as a poster. It is up to you. However, I suggest that in the beginning you start on a smaller sheet as you get the hang of this mindfulness activity.
-The finer the points of the pens/markers, the finer the detail will be in the doodles.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).

Day 20- #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge

Developing mindfulness has a lot to do with shifting of perspectives. We have some deeply laid neuropathways that allow us to fall into a habit of reactions. We don’t even realise we are reacting; we just do it. Those automatic responses more deeply ingrain responses; many which are negative or destructive to our own health and well-being.

In times of high stress, such as what is happening around the world right now, a vicious cycle can put you on edge and creates reactions devoid of all mindfulness.

You need to focus on changing that perspective and challenging your response

So, if the day is starting to get on top of you and the children, try this quick and easy strategy.

10 Second Mindfulness- STOP

This is a simple but effective strategy to refocus our attention.

S– Stop what you are doing.


T– Take a deep breathe. Breathe in for a count of 5, hold for a count of one and exhale for a count of 8.


O– Observe what is happening around you at this moment.


P– Proceed with what you were doing.

Do this as often as you need during the day. Those few mindful moments can change your reaction to what is happening around you and your children leading to a better positive response that changes the course of events.

You may want to make a few copies of STOP signs and put it in key places as a gentle reminder for giving yourself and your children a mindful moment.

Don’t forget to share your child’s mindfulmoment and successes by using the hashtag #MindfulnessForChildrenChallenge in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).