By Sarah Wylde
It is good for both children and adults to understand what mindfulness is and how it benefits each of us. When you get to the core of it, mindfulness is being aware of the world around you and being present in the moment. When engaging in activities, you use your senses, energy and focus.
This practice can be empowering for kids and can help them in many aspects of their development. It can help with focus and concentration, understand their emotions, and improving their social skills. They absorb and understand more than we realize. By assisting them in understanding mindfulness, helping them talk, and understand how they feel, it can end the stigma surrounding mental health before it begins.
Here are some fun mindful craft ideas that you can do as a family with your children.
Sound Hunt Bingo:
Take a piece of paper and draw some boxes. In each box write a sound that you may hear when out for a walk. The boxes could include birds, dogs, traffic, water, wind, people talking, etc. Take the bingo sheet and a marker with you. While out for a family walk, every so often stop and listen to your surroundings. What do you hear? Take out your bingo sheet and cross off the ones you notice. This is a great way to get them to focus on their senses and awareness of their surroundings.
This is another way to make a family walk into an exciting activity and adventure. The goal on the trail is to notice the birds, bugs. It will make them walk slower and be in the moment instead of wanting to rush through.
Using a medium-sized bare box, let the kids decorate it to their style. At the end of every day, write down at least one thing you were grateful for and put it in the box. At the end of each week or month, read every note.
The Mindful Jar:
Using a clear jar like a Mason jar, fill it almost to the top with water. Next, add a good amount of the glitter glue and put the lid back on the jar. Shake the jar to make the glitter swirl around. This glitter jar can help show them how emotions can cloud thoughts.
For this craft, you will need a toilet or paper towel rolls, streamers or ribbons, and markers or paints. To make the wand, cut a strip off the top of the paper roll, stick it on the top of the paper roll so it looks like a magnifying glass and can look through the hole on top. Using the markers or paint, decorate your wand. On the top, tape the ribbons on, and you are done! When they breathe through it, have the kids focus on the moving ribbons of the wand. This mindful wand helps with breathing techniques and notice when their breathing changes in response to their body.
During a family walk, get the kids to find some nice sized rocks that would be easy to write on. When you get home from the walk, wash the stones to clean them and remove any dirt off and let them dry. When they are dry, let them pick out which one they would like to use first. Now, give the kids a choice to decorate them with a positive image or write a positive word on the rock. When all is said and done, these rocks can go in your garden.
We would love to see what you all create when you post them on social media feel free to tag us!