Today we held the 4th and final lesson of the Mindful Micro Minis Workshop. We recapped a few of the exercises we had done in the past 3 weeks but also experimented with some new ideas.
The class started with our wonderful breathing exercise of smelling the flower (breathing in through the nose) and blowing out the candle (breathing out through the mouth). As in previous weeks, each child had a turn to blow out a real, lit candle which was very exciting for them.
We also passed around the Hoberman Sphere and Breathing Glitter Wand to practise breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Both these exercises also have the added benefit of helping children to practise focusing. They do it with such ease while fully absorbed by the activity.
The next exercise we did was also around focus and awareness. I presented a tray of milk to the children and added in two different colours of food colouring. Each child had a chance to dip an earbud in some washing up liquid and then dip it into the milk mixture that had the colours in it. Abracadabra! The colours magically moved and swirled around in the milk mixture. Fascinating to watch for child and adult alike. I added in some breathing awareness by asking the children to take a deep breath in before they dipped their earbuds into the milk and then to take a long, slow breath out while watching the beautiful patterns and shapes of the colours swirling around in the milk.
It was then time to move outside for some mindful, sensory artwork. I had a variety of herbs and spices available for the children to stick on paper to create a visual and olfactory picture. It was great fun! I think the moms possibly even had more fun than the kids. It was lovely to open each bottle of spice or herbs and enjoy the rich and familiar smells. Our sense of smell has a powerful way to trigger memories. The combination of herbs and spices did exactly that.
After the artwork, we moved back inside for some mindful movement. I took the children on a yoga picnic. We packed butter and salt sandwiches (chosen by one of the micros), apples, strawberries and watermelon. We then headed off on a journey to find some animals. At this point I brought out my special animal masks and everyone (moms included!) had fun walking around as dogs, cats, monkeys, zebra and giraffe with their masks on. We then stopped on our journey to eat the picnic we had packed.
Finally, it was time for a nap. We moved into savasana and listened to the lovely track “Zigmund Zig”, a story about a fallen star, from Relax Kids (Meditations for Shining Stars) as well as the beautiful rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star from the same cd.
Then it was time for a story. We read the beautiful book of mindfulness poetry called “Breathe and Be: a book of mindfulness poems” by Kate Coombs. It was slightly advanced for the 2 – 3 year old age group so I then moved onto “The Color Monster” by Anna Llenas which they loved! A book that is a work of art.
And that was the final lesson for Mindful Minis for 2017. It has been a blessed year. I wish to thank all the little Mindful Minis that have joined me on the journey this year, inspired me and opened my eyes to more. I also wish to thank the Mindful Minis parents for allowing their children to embark on this lifelong journey of presence and awareness with compassion for self and others.
Happy Holidays to everyone!