WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY CORNER
It seems everyone is asking us to take a break, relax, and “be in the moment.” As CAVA families, our days are unique and sometimes overwhelming. As we start the new year, our lives are so eventful, we rush from one thing to the next. Adding one more thing to the schedule may seem impossible. However, trying something new and putting into practice a daily mindfulness routine can benefit you and your students and make those overwhelming moments manageable.
Here are a few activities to begin a daily routine of mindfulness. Mindfulness works for all ages. Let’s give it a try!
1. TAKE A SAFARI WALK
The Safari walk is a fun way to help kids learn mindfulness. This activity turns an everyday walk outside into an exciting new adventure. Tell your student that you will be going on a safari walk. Their goal is to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals as they can. Anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies is of interest, and they’ll need to focus all their senses to find them.
A similar exercise for the Learning Coaches is the mindfulness walk. This exercise has the same response in children that the mindful walk brings out in adults: a state of awareness and grounding in the present.
By the way, it counts as a PE activity! Go ahead and add it to your PE log for the day. 😊
2. THE MINDFUL JAR
(This is one of my favorite activities for ALL Ages!)
This activity can teach children about how strong emotions can take hold and when these strong emotions come up.
It not only helps students learn about how their emotions can cloud their thoughts, but it also simplifies the practice of mindfulness while focusing on the swirling glitter in the jar.
First, get a clear jar, like a Mason jar, and fill it almost all the way with water.
Next, add a big spoonful of glitter glue or glue and dry glitter to the jar.
Put the lid back on the jar and shake it to make the glitter swirl. Put the jar in front of them and have them watch.
Finally, use the following script or take inspiration from it to form your mini-lesson:
“Imagine that the glitter is like your thoughts when you’re stressed, mad or upset. See how they whirl around and make it hard to see clearly? Don’t worry this is normal and it happens in all of us (yep, grown-ups too). Now watch what happens when you’re still for a couple of moments. Keep watching. See how the glitter starts to settle and the water clears? Your mind works the same way. When you’re calm for a little while, your thoughts start to settle, and you start to see things much clearer."
3. end the school day with a mindful moment
At the end of your school day, take 3-5 minutes to have kids close their eyes and focus on their breath. Have them think of what they have learned and what they accomplished. Give them quiet time to settle their nervous systems before they go on to the next task, and then end with a positive statement about how hard they’ve worked, how proud you are of them.
When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another and ourselves.
– Jack Kornfield