Our theme for this term is “Growing Grateful Hearts”. Gratitude is a value that is difficult to teach children because it is more than just saying please and thank you. Authentic gratitude lives in the heart. It is an awareness – an awareness with appreciation – where each day is lived with feelings of genuine thankfulness. The “Growing Grateful Hearts” series is aimed at nurturing an authentic, grateful heart in a child.
In the first lesson this week, we focused on the incredible vessels that we live in – our bodies. I led the children in a beautiful body scan, inspired by one of my adult teacher trainees. The idea is to imagine the body slowly filling up with water from the toes to the top of the head. Awareness is brought to each part of the body along the way. Once the body is full of water, a suggestion is made that there are plugs in the soles of the feet. They are opened and all the water slowly starts to drain out. Along with the water, any anxiety or tension in the body also drains out and the body is able to relax completely. This was a great body scan to do for the first lesson of the term as it resonated well with new children as well as with the seasoned Mindful Minis.
It was then time for some #GratitudeRocks (excuse the pun!). Each child received a stone on which to write one part of their body that they are grateful for. Some lovely answers:
I am grateful for… my brain
I am grateful for… my heart
I am grateful for… my hair
I am grateful for… my eyes
I am grateful for… my calves
I am grateful for… my sense of smell
I am grateful for… my feelings
I would like to end off with a few lines from a poem by Nancy j. Carmody that I read to the children about what gratitude is. I think it sums up authentic gratitude perfectly!
I am thankful for…
The mess to clean after a party
…because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
The clothes that fit a little too snug
…because it means that I have enough to eat.
My shadow who watches me work
…because it means I am out in the sunshine.
The lady behind me in church who sings off key
…because it means that I can hear.
A lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing
…because it means I have a home.
My huge heating (electricity) bill
…because it means I am warm.
The piles of laundry and ironing
…because it means my loved ones are nearby.
Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
…because it means I have been productive
The alarm that goes off early in the morning hours
…because it means that I am alive.