Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Great Activity To Teach Children Mindfulness Using Their Senses

This past Valentine's Day my sweet Husband gave our little girls each a gorgeous rose.

The girls LOVE them! They are always asking to see them and wanting to touch them. Any visitor we have over and the girls insisted that they come over and take a look at their beautiful flowers.

This got my brain turning, I could use their fascination with their Valentine's gift as a wonderful opportunity to teach some mindfulness practices without them even knowing!

Which let's be honest, is always the best way with kids, especially young ones!

Now for this activity you just need one item, we used our roses, but you could use a feather, a favourite stuffie, or even a favourite treat! Really anything that will engage your child will do just fine.

I had the girls sit down on the couch just because I knew that they would be comfortable there and that they would be willing to sit there for a little bit.

The first thing we did was focused on TOUCH

I had the girls put the flowers on their cheeks, and asked them how did it feel? Was it cool? Was it soft? I asked them about the steam, was it soft?

I asked them if the Rose felt heavy in their hands?

Then we focused on SIGHT

I asked them what colour was it? Did they see any shapes in it?

Then we focused on SMELL

Did it have a smell? Did it smell sweet? Did they like the way it felt?

Then the last few things few questions that I ask them was did they like there Rose? What did they like best about it? I asked them to remember how it felt when their Father gave them their flowers?

Doing this activity with the girls really did take that long, approximently 10 minutes give or take.

And the girls really enjoyed spending time playing with their flowers!

Now you may be thinking, "okay this sounds like a fun activity to teach kids about the 5 senses." (obviously, I did not go over all senses as I didn't want the girls to taste the rose. But if you were using a favourite treat or food, you could!)

But what does it have to do mindfulness!?!?!

Well, often we are going about our lives on autopilot. We rush around to point A to B so fast, our minds thinking about the 101 things on our to-do list. That we miss out on different moments of our life's. Sometimes they are simple things such as watching a bird tending to her young her nest, or maybe it is feeling the way the sun hits your face as you step out the door. Yes, they are simple moments and maybe seems unimportant but those lovely little moments add up, they help us see the beauty and richness of life.

Even more unfortunate when we are zooming around on autopilot we can miss cues from our friends and loved ones when they need us.

I feel ashamed to admit that sometimes that as I have been rushing around the house doing different chores or trying to finish a different crafting project. I fail to notice my girls or baby giving me cues that they are in need of some love and attention, till it is too late and I having a crying upset child on my hands.

Yes, I do have things I need and want to get done, but all I need to do is plan just a little bit better. The things that I need to focus on, have to wait till the children are sleeping so I can give whatever I'm working on my full attention, be present and mindful of that project or task.

 And when I do need to do a few things around the house while the childern are awake I need to be sure that they are projects I can stop and put down without any problems. So that I don't miss any of those cues.

So going back to our Roses! By doing that great activity with your children you are teaching them (and yourself) to get off autopilot! To enjoy life moment by moment, to see the joy in the simple things and moments of life. You are teaching them Mindfulness!

I would love to hear your tips and tricks to get off autopilot. Please let me know in the comments below!


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