The children arrived very excited for day 2 of the Mindful Minis Holiday Workshop since the theme was Moonbeams and Marshmallows. I kept on getting asked whether they were going to get to eat REAL marshmallows!
We started off by revising what mindfulness is all about. We did some stretches and noticed how that made our bodies feel. We noticed where there were areas of tightness and we took deep breaths to release the tense areas. We then did some dancing and singing to get rid of all the sillies and wiggles.
Then one of the Mindful Minis was brave enough to read a poem out loud to all of us. The poem was about roasting marshmallows around a campfire. We didn’t get to roast marshmallows in the lesson today, but we did get to taste them. REAL ones!! I did a mindfulness sensory exercise with the children where I gave them each a marshmallow and asked them to look at it, touch it, smell it and lick it. They did really well in paying attention and noticing different aspects of the marshmallows. Soft. Squishy. Pink. Circle. Sugary. Squashy. Yummy. Finally, I let them eat the marshmallows but asked them to pay attention to what was going on in their mouths. Where did they notice the strongest taste in their mouths? What did the marshmallow feel like when they chewed it? Did it taste like they expected it to? Eating mindfully is a healthy practice for our children as well as ourselves.
After the children enjoyed their marshmallows, we did a yoga adventure that took us in a space rocket into outer space. It was great encouraging the children to try different poses while holding their attention with the fun outer space and moon theme. There was much laughter as the space rocket had a bit of a wobbly ride while breaking through the earth’s atmosphere. This meant our legs did lots of shaking and wobbling! Things were much calmer and more peaceful once we reached zero gravity. Lying on our backs, we let our legs float around in the air above us.
We also did a mindful auditory exercise where I played some forest night sounds for the children. There were some beautiful owl noises if one listened carefully. I asked the children to pay close attention to the sounds to see what they could hear. Afterwards, in our discussion, one little boy commented that he even heard a lion roaring in the background! Perhaps that was the lawnmower outside
The children had a lot of fun making a galaxy using black playdough, marbles, glitter, split pins and other bits and bobs. The handmade playdough had a lovely, stretchy texture to it. The children loved simply squishing it between their fingers and noticing how smooth and silky it felt.
We listened to a special guided visualisation about making our bodies feel as soft as marshmallows as we journeyed to the moon. We enjoyed the peace and quiet of outer space and it helped us to relax even further. After the meditation, the children painted a picture of the moon they saw in the visualisation and used corks to make craters. The children enjoyed noticing how the corks stuck to the paper and created a bit of a vacuum with the paint.
It was another successful morning with the children learning more ways in which to use all their senses to pay attention to the world around them.