Here are seven practices that you can do with young children, to help bring mindfulness into your home.
- Just before leaving for school in the morning, stand together and take three mindful breaths.
- When your child comes home from school, give him or her a piece of fruit and ask them to pretend they are from another planet and have never seen this piece of fruit before. Ask them to describe their experience using all five senses. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Taste like? Does it make a sound when they bite it?
- Take three mindful breaths as a family before eating and try to begin the meal mindfully.
- Go for a walk with your child and pay attention to what you both notice around you, what you see, hear, smell and touch. Share some of the things that you’re noticing.
- Tell your child you are going to ring a bell or a singing bowl. Ask them to listen carefully to the sound of the bell and raise their hands when they can no longer hear it.
- Have your child lie down on a mat on the floor, or on their bed, and place their favorite stuffed animal on their belly. Have them rock the stuffed animal to sleep with the movement of their belly as they breathe in and out. This is how they can begin to pay attention to their breathing.
- Before bed, share something that you are grateful for that happened that day – something that enriched your life. Small things are best! Have your child do the same.
These suggestions are adapted from an article in Parents Canada.