Highlights from a past class

INCREDIBLE YOU! – Take care of yourself

Guiding children in mindfulness

This week in Mindful Minis we continued with the wonderful book “INCREDIBLE ME!” by Dr Wayne Dyer. The theme for the week was “Take care of yourself”.

I read a passage from the book to the children:
“If something or someone make you feel bad,
Don’t let it ruin your day by making you sad.
Let go of the hurt and take care of you.
You can’t control what others say or do.”

We started off by discussing the ways in which we can take care of ourselves. A couple of the kids mentioned speaking kindly to others or playing nicely with others which was an interesting answer for me. I felt it showed deep insight because having good and healthy relationships with those around us is certainly a very important way to take care of ourselves. It leaves us feeling loved and safe which is very important for emotional and mental well-being.

We did discuss the more standard answers such as eating healthy foods and drinking lots of water which are both important for our bodies. As is getting enough sleep to allow our bodies to rest well. We also spoke about exercise and some of the children’s favourite ways to exercise such as running in the park, climbing on the jungle gym and jumping on the trampoline.

I introduced the concept of personal boundaries as another way to take care of ourselves. It is important for children to know they can invite someone into their personal space or choose to keep them out. It is their choice. And if they choose not to allow someone into their imaginary bubble, that’s okay. They can still have fun with that person and laugh with them. We thought up some gentle and non-aggressive ways to ask people who were too close to move back and give us some space.

We discussed how we can listen to our feelings and the difference between a YES and NO feeling. I suggested that a yes feeling may be light and uplifting. A no feeling can be heavy or uncomfortable. Each person will feel yes and no in their own way so it is important to take time to notice what a yes feels like for you and what a no feels like for you.

We then moved onto some yoga (mindful movement). I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the classes since I got to put into action some of my learnings from last week. We started off with some warm ups to get all the knots out of our bodies. I then handed around a rainbow bag that contained a variety of items relating to self-care. Each child had a turn to put their hand in the rainbow bag, find something and then mindfully describe it to us. They were given an opportunity to guess what it was and then could reveal it to us. A lovely tactile sensory exercise.

I had a related pose for each item in the bag so once the item was revealed we practised the related yoga pose. I used the following items:

  • Small banana: this represented healthy eating. We did the sandwich pose and layered our sandwiches with weird and wonderful condiments. One class ended up with a peanut butter, lettuce, tuna and cheese sandwich! I am glad we didn’t have to eat it for real ?
  • Pinecone: this represented spending time in nature. For this we did tree pose. The kids did really well considering it was a first time for some of them in doing this balancing yoga pose.
  • Sunglasses: this represented taking care of one’s eyes. For this we did some wonderful eye strengthening exercises that I was taught on my training last week.
  • Small soccer ball: this represented exercise. For this we did bicycle pose. We rode slowly up hills and then sped down the other side. The kids loved this one.
  • Facecloth: this represented personal hygiene. For this we did an adjusted boat pose. I referred to it as “bath pose” for the kids and we pretended to wash someone who was sitting on our laps in the bath.
  • Miniature tea cup: this represented taking time to relax and have a cup of tea. For this we did the teapot pose and sang the song “I’m a little tea cup”.
  • Toy cot: this represented getting enough sleep. For this we did savasana ?

After the yoga, when the kids were lying down in savasana, I moved straight into the guided visualisation. I told them a story about their magic bubble – how it moves everywhere with them and they can choose to invite people in or not.

We then did some artwork. I was hoping to do a splatter paint picture over some leaves, sticks, pine cones etc but for some reason we couldn’t get the paint to splatter with the toothbrushes! But all the kids were wonderfully creative and came up with their own ideas of how they wanted to represent what stood out for them in the class. So, a variety of creative artwork this week.

I had missed the kids a lot not having seen them last week so was lovely to be back in the Mindful Minis space again this week. And a great theme that we as parents sometimes need a reminder of – take care of yourself. xx