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.
Before the player put down a bingo chip on the appropriate breath clue, we practiced the breath together as a group. In order to “win,” you had to fill out the outer ring of the bingo game with chips, which essentially resulted in everyone doing almost every breath on the card. At the end of our game, we passed out “Random Acts of Kindness.” We said everyone is a winner in our game and asked each kid to perform their random act of kindness that day or that week. They could then pass that act forward to another friend and family member. We later learned that some kids passed along their notes to parents when they got home.
The results of our “Breathe through Bingo” were amazing and the game was a hit. Before the kids arrived at the Mindful Littles station they were at karate, and came to our station with high energy. After playing a few rounds of our “Breathe through Bingo” game, the energy changed significantly and the kiddos seemed relaxed. One of the parents facilitating the Wellness Fair even commented how the kids leaving the mindfulness station walked calm and collected to the next station. We also shared with the kids that these 16 breaths could be new ways for them to calm down if they felt upset. One little girl, who fully embraced each breath we led, told me on her way out of our station…”I think my mom will really like if I did these breaths when I’m upset instead of breaking her vase.” We are so glad that this little girl may have found another outlet to release her frustrations and can’t wait to do this game again at future Mindful Littles programs.