“I’m feeling flappy,” my five-year-old says, looking up at me. Flappy is our word for feeling restless, or out of sorts, or just not quite right. Whenever that happens, we start by talking about why, but what works better, every time, is hugging him hard, or, failing that, dance parties.
When we notice our breath, we can begin to slow our heart rate and anchor ourselves in the present moment. Using a Rainbow Breathing Wand is a wonderfully visual way to help us notice and regulate our breathing. Here are instructions for making your own Rainbow Breathing Wand plus a guided practice with Mindful Littles Founder Tanuka Gordon.
Using a lightly weighted eye pillow is a wonderful way to release anxiety by stimulating the vagus nerve and slowing the heart rate. Here’s how to make your own eye pillow, either for yourself or as part of a Peace Kit for someone else, plus a simple sleep meditation to help you relax and rest.
While free play outdoors is always a good option for kids, making outdoor time mindful offers additional benefits, like easing anxiety and boosting feelings of calm. This simple Clothing Cut Out project is an engaging activity to do with kids that combines art and the outdoors while helping them tap into mindfulness through their sense of sight.
With a quarantine in progress across many parts of the world, now is a perfect opportunity to encourage kids to be of service at home (they might disagree, but stay with me here).
One of our favorite outdoor activities is a going on a heart-filled nature treasure hunt. The idea is simple: go outside, search for as many naturally occurring heart-shapes as you can, snap a photo and that’s it.
In this season of excitement, busyness, parties, shopping, and stress, it is easy to get lost in the holiday chaos. If you, like I, are in need of some inspiration for slowing down and reconnecting with yourself, look no further than to nine-year-old Sara Asker.
In the hours after the devastating Camp Fire began in November 2018, smoke laced the skies several hundred miles away. The deadliest wildfire in California’s history kept us inside and our kids out of school while we waited out the poor air conditions. In a few days, our lives returned to normal. For the people of Paradise, however, there was no normal to return to.
For the entire month of December, I feel my anxiety steadily increasing. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure my kids feel genuine gratitude for all of the things they have (a house, a bed, food and water, clothes) and don’t spend all their time thinking about what gifts they should get. I don’t expect my young children to think beyond themselves without a little help so this year we made kits for the homeless and created keepsake boxes for their babysitters. Continue reading “Mindful Parenting Round-Up: Finding Calm in the Holiday Chaos”