Mindfulness is a big word for young kids to understand. Put simply, mindfulness is awareness. It is noticing our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and anything that is around us and happening right now.
Our Early Childhood Teachers attended a “Mindfulness for Children” training this month. The purpose of teaching mindfulness to our children is to give them skills to develop their awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts as “just thoughts,” to understand how emotions manifest in their bodies, to recognize when their attention has wandered, and to provide tools for impulse control.
One of the activities our teachers learned from the class was: Practice with a breathing buddy. For young children, an instruction to simply “pay attention to the breath” can be hard to follow. In this picture, students in a PreK classroom do a “breathing buddy” exercise: Each student grabs a stuffed animal, and then lies down on their back with their buddy on their belly. They focus their attention on the rise and fall of the stuffed animal as they breathe in and out.
Lizette Fiumara, Early Childhood Team Leader and Carrie Roszell, Preschool Teacher