Master Mindful Moments with These Creative Tips

April 16th, 2013
Mindfulness is a hot topic these days. It seems like there’s so much literature popping up on the benefits of focusing on the present moment, right here and right now. Reported benefits include awareness of your body, focus and attention, emotion regulation, and increased sense of self (Perspectives on Psychological Science). Kids are naturally mindful, and left to their own desires they could easily lose hours in mindful play and curious explorations. We can tap into this natural creative state to help children who become easily dysreguated learn how to be in the present moment, all without a yoga mat or “Om”. Master Mindful Moments with These Creative Tips: Be aware of the sensations your body is experiencing by speeding up and slowing your engine down. Help your child to become aware of their breath and them encourage them to slow it down. Blow bubbles and see who can make the biggest bubble with slow breath. See who can make the most bubbles with fast breath. Slow down and make bubbles with your hands. Play red light/ green light and teach kids to be aware of their bodies, inside and out when they move and stop. Mimic a fast animal, like a rabbit, then slow down like a turtle. Show off your dance moves: play music that gets your engine revved, and then play music that slows your engine down. Decorate your instruments. Create rattles and drums out of household object, paper plates, or various containers; decorate with ribbons, feathers, markers or glitter. Color together with crayons quickly and make a scribble drawing, then slow down and make slow looping swirls. Color a page with chalk pastels quickly, then slow down and smear the pastels into he paper with your fingers. Slowly mix paint colors and see what you create. Paint your hands and make handprints. Smell scented markers. Close your eyes and play guess the scents with different smells. Open a new container of Play-doh. Smell and squish it. Draw a picture with your non-dominant hand. Paint or draw to classical music, speed up or slow down, depending upon the song. Make a self-portrait looking at yourself in the mirror. Paint with right hand, then switch to your left hand, and alternate hands while painting. Create a squiggle and then ask your child to make a drawing from the lines you drew. Make a sensory quilt art. Use furry fabrics, feathers, rough textures such as sand paper and adhere to contact paper (or use glue) to create squares of mixed textiles. Make moon sand: 6 cups of play sand, 3 cups of cornstarch, 1 1/2 cups of cold water. Mix the water and cornstarch together and gradually mix in the sand, one cup at a time. Store in airtight container. (use 2-3 tablespoons of water to revive it). Eat juice flavored ice cubes. Snack on a hot ball candy or jolly rancher. Try to make bubbles with hubba bubba bubble gum. These powerful sensory activities that will help your child be in the here and now. Think of ways you can help your child connect with these senses (touch, smell, taste, sound,  and sight). Use these activities to help your child create a toolkit of mindful activities to help them self-soothe and regulate when they need to calm their systems down. Need some more tools and strategies to help your child or the children and families you work with? We've got lots of practical and invaluable information for you to access 24/7. Click here to learn more

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