Mindfulness is something I work on every single day. Being present doesn't come naturally for me. My mind is constantly on ten things at once and usually not the thing I'm currently doing. This post includes mindfulness exercises for kids that I first experienced during my Montessori training at MEIPN. My instructor used this exercise as an example in brain development and the idea of using real concrete objects in early learning environments. The exercise made quite an impact.
I have written a lot about teaching mindfulness to kids. Montessori's peace curriculum brings this idea into the classroom – the idea of inner stillness. The Silence Work is a perfect example of one way Dr. Montessori encouraged this learning with children.
She presented us with real oranges and asked us to describe these oranges. What words would you use? Juicy, smooth, cool, bumpy, stringy, sour, sweet, orange, etc. We came up with a long list of adjectives.Then she took the REAL orange away. She replaced it with a picture of a real orange. She then walked up to the white board and questioned our descriptors. Can we say this picture of an orange is “bumpy”? Every adjective that could not be used to describe the orange was erased from the board. As she continued replacing the item in our hands from picture, to fake play kitchen orange to cartoon/clip art picture of an orange, and so on, we discovered few descriptors remained in describing our initial beautiful orange.
“No problem was ever created in the same consciousness
that was used to create it.” ~ Albert Einstein
Mindfulness Exercises for Kids
- Invite the child to the table, maybe at snack or meal time.
- Hand an orange to the child
- Ask the child to examine a food (we used an apple recently) using his eyes, ears, hands, nose, and mouth.
- Invite the child to close his eyes as he examines the food.
- Together come up with a list of adjectives describing the food.
I encourage you to try this exercise, too. I often find myself racing through meals, and, well, life. Taking time to slow down goes a long way with happiness and clarity.
Interested in Learning More about Intentional & Positive Parenting? Check out Amanda Morgan's Parenting Course.
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