With it being the last lesson of the term this week, I prepared something special for the children. Games and Treats = Mindfulness? Well, yes, in this week’s lessons it did 😊
The theme for the week was Connect. Thich Nhat Hanh explains this in such a wonderful, child-friendly way in his beautiful book, “Planting Seeds”. I used his exercise of seeing the clouds in the peanut butter balls to start the classes this week and it worked wonderfully. I presented each child with a peanut butter ball (made with a wonderful variety of healthy goodies) and asked them to look for the clouds in the peanut butter balls. As you can imagine, initially, much confusion!
But…. being able to see the clouds, which bless us with rain, which is needed alongside soil, air and sunlight for the growth of the peanut plants, which give us the peanuts, which are in the peanut butter used to make the balls – being able to see all this in a peanut butter ball is a gift. It helps us to be more conscious of the relationships between all things leaving us feeling more thankful, thoughtful and aware.
I asked the children why they thought it was important that we are aware of how all things are connected. Beautiful answers – I don’t feel so lonely, it helps me to remember to take care of things, I feel more grateful.
We then moved onto a game of “Why Connect?” by Chalk and Chuckles. I love the Chalk and Chuckles products and have a number of their games. Two intelligent and creative sisters, Pallavi and Prachi, started the company 4 years ago. They firmly believe that children learn through play and this philosophy runs through all their products. The game, “Why Connect?”, builds upon a child’s ability to reason as they are asked to identify the relationships between things. But more importantly, it introduces the concept of how all things are connected.
We then moved into a time of relaxation and listened to the guided visualisation “Beautiful Breathing” from my CD “Mindful Moments for Minis”. This visualisation helps a child to connect with their breath. It is a soft and gentle track but holds great value in its ability to help a child connect with the deep calm within.
Some of the children requested mindfulness colouring-in pictures to do over the holidays so I have handed them out. Why not take a few mindful moments during the holidays to sit and colour-in with your child? They will love it!
Oh yes, and in the older classes, some of the children shared some words and poems they had written about what mindfulness means to them. Special stuff! Personal so I won’t share them here but I would like to leave you with the short poem that I wrote to share with the kids about what mindfulness means to me:
Finding the space to breathe and be.
Just my breath and me.
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday. Classes will resume again on Wed 18th April and run until 20th June.