“…and rife is good.”

Earlier this week my girls and I played a short game called “life is good” that I discovered in Susan Kaiser Greenland’s book,  Mindful Games.   The game is played by sitting in a circle with a ball.  Each person names one thing that is bothering them then adds “…and life is good” before rolling the ball to another person in the circle.   As we played the game, we highlighted small things that bothered us during the day.  I mentioned things like  “a messy house” or “feeling cranky because I was tired.”  My older daughter’s list included the fact that “she doesn’t love the bees in the backyard.”  My 2-year old also chimed in with:

“I ruv my friends, but sometimes I don’t ruv my friends, but I ruv my friends…and rife is good.”  Read more

“May you be happy. May you be strong. May you be peaceful. May you be loved.”  

My daughter’s amazing kindergarten teacher seamlessly integrated mindfulness into their everyday curriculum, and had a wonderful ritual to start each day.  Every morning the class would sit together and first take an anchor breath together and then several “in-out” breaths.  Once the class centered a bit, she would ask each student to pair up with another child, and facing each other, they would take turns sending kind thoughts to one another and then to themselves:  May you be happy. May you be strong. May you be peaceful. May you be loved.”    Read more

Breathe through Bingo

A few weeks ago Mindful Littles had a wonderful opportunity to host a mindfulness station at a local elementary school’s Wellness Fair.  There were 4 other stations including yoga, karate and two different sports.  During the fair every child in the school, about 400+ children in total, rotated through each station in 15-minute increments over the span of several hours.  For our Mindful Littles station, we created a game called “Breathe through Bingo.”  As I’ve noted in past posts, there’s lots of different and creative ways for kids to learn how to relax and breathe.   Our bingo game included 16 different ways to breathe.  We randomized these breaths on bingo cards using an online bingo card generator. A few examples included snake breath, ocean breath and belly breath.   I even made up a few breaths including “Birthday Cake,” where you inhale the smell of a yummy cake and blow out the birthday candle.

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Everyone is Special in Their Own Way

This week’s kindness project was inspired by my daughter’s softball coach.  At the end of the season, during their pizza party, her coach gave each softball player a certificate for hard work and sportsmanship.  She called each girl up to present the certificate and as she did, she commented on the special attributes that player brought to the team. Whether they were the “life of the party” or “worked hard,” each player was celebrated for their unique contributions to the team.  After being honored, each girl sat back down with a big smile on their face.  What I really loved about this celebration was that it was less about the team’s achievement and all about how special and valuable each child was to the team. Read more

Part Science, Part Mindfulness

The idea for this fun game came from another Mindful Schools educator.  She tried this game in her classroom and it was a hit, so I thought we should try it at home. Luckily I also had an opportunity to facilitate it in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom as well. Her kindergarten teacher is a fellow Mindful Schools alum and also agreed that this project looked pretty neat. Read more

Starting the Diversity Dialogue with our Littles

At this past weekend’s Mindful Littles diversity event, we gathered as  a community of families to talk about diversity and celebrate what makes each of our families special.   By amazing coincidence, our event happened to fall on World’s Cultural Diversity Day.  This day was started after the September 11th attacks, and the United Nations designated May 21st as Diversity Day in order to advocate for more dialogue on the topic of cultural diversity. Read more