We have a random little 6-7 minute block of time between the end of math and the beginning of lunch. Each day I found my kids coming back from math (we switch) and not using that time to the fullest. It's barely enough time to get into a read-aloud, and not enough time to do a full morning meeting or anything, so I decided to designate it as a time for mindfulness. The kids come in, we sit in a circle on the carpet (I join them on the floor), I ask them to get into their mindful bodies...find their "sitting bones" and then I invite them to close their eyes and listen to me guide them through the activity of the day.
I have used this
|Dr. Peter rings the tibetan singing bowl for the kids to|
practice their mindfulness listening.
Dr. Peter Montminy will be visiting four lucky classrooms for 15 minutes, twice a week, for the next several months to guide our students even further in becoming more mindful! I think I've been doing a good job of introducing mindfulness and centering activities to my kids, but there's nothing like a guest speaker to get kids engaged! And having a real life expert come in and tell your kiddos the very things you've been saying never hurts either! Now they know there's some credibility to what we've been doing beyond just what they've felt about it.
And that's the most important part. When we hosted a parent night recently to inform parents about what we're doing with mindfulness, meditation, and centering I couldn't help but overhear a dad whisper to his wife, "This is bull&%!$." He wasn't sold on it, clearly. And even I have to admit that I sometimes wonder if it looks silly to have a 6'1", 230 pound man sitting on the floor in a circle of kids talking about mindful breathing, yoga poses, our anchor points, etc.
But these activities have helped my kids! They can sit and center themselves now whenever they need to. They do it at home. They do it at lunch and recess. They do it before we have our read-aloud. They can do it anytime they feel stressed or need to feel grounded. And with our big state tests on the horizon, I have a feeling they'll be putting some of these skills to use soon!
If you haven't tried centering activities with your kids before, give it a shot! You never know! Like I shared about before, GoNoodle has some cool mindfulness stuff and is a great way to get started with that!