Today is the International Day of Peace, which was first established by the United Nations in 1981 to promote peace across all countries. There are celebrations worldwide to commemorate this day with festivals, activities and even a #PeaceDayChallenge. In honor of this important day, our entire family spent a bit of energy talking about peace.
I first asked my 6-year old what the word “peace” meant. After getting a shoulder shrug and a casual “I don’t know,” I realized that perhaps talking about the meaning of peace would be a good starting point. I knew if I just pulled out the dictionary definition that it likely wouldn’t sync in, so we did a couple of simple activities to focus on the meaning.
- Read a book & watched a video on peace: As a start, we spent some time reading the Todd Parr children’s book, “The Peace Book,” which explains that peace lives in everyday activities we do. What I love about the book is that the message of peace is about our daily actions of compassion. It’s not about sitting still or being quiet, but instead about infusing peace into everything we do. If you don’t want to get the book, you can also view a book reading on YouTube here. We also watched the YouTube video “What is Peace?” which had a similar message. At the end of this video, there was a question, “What does Peace mean to you?” which led to our next activity.
- Created and Shared our Very Own Peace Books: Inspired by Parr’s book and the question “What does peace mean to you?,” we decided to come up with our very own peace books to answer the question. For my younger daughter, we just asked her to draw whatever she loves. We played some relaxing music and then began writing and drawing. After spending some quiet energy on our book writing, we then went around the table and shared our stories of what peace meant to each of us. We realized that peace is how we respond and act toward all living beings including ourselves. It’s living calmly in our hearts, even when the world around us may not be calm. Its living with compassion for ourselves and others. Here’s a few excerpts from my 6-year old’s book:
- Ended with a Peace breath: After we shared our stories, we ended the activity with a YogaKids Peace Breath. The idea is to breathe in feelings of peace of love, and say the word “Peace” as you breathe out. It’s a super simple breath but a heartfelt way to end our peaceful activity.
Happy International Peace Day to Littles and Bigs everywhere!! #PeaceDayChallenge
Resource: YouTube Video: What is Peace?