Daily Bulletin

Health

  • Written by Simone O'Brien


Children in the 21st century have an awful lot to contend with. Exactly the same as adults, they’re bombarded with information from all angles. Computers, phones, TV, not to mention us as parents trying to create order from a 24/7 lifestyle - it all adds up to multiple stimuli that cause us to rush through life, often missing out on the simple joys of just ‘being’.

The art of mindfulness allows us to slow down, to take our time, to focus and relax. And it’s as important for our kids as it is for adults. Incorporating the art of mindfulness at a young age has many benefits. These include:

  • Improving mental health and wellbeing

  • Helping with cognitive focus

  • Enhancing focus and attention span

  • Improving social skills

  • Regulating emotions.

Spending time teaching your children simple mindful practice is massively beneficial for their development. Not to mention having a positive effect on you as well, and being enormous fun for all involved.

The key to teaching children mindfulness is to use short, enjoyable methods that come across as games – indeed, they are games, albeit ones that have a hugely positive effect. The key to success is to keep it short, simple, and to experiment with what works. And, of course, to enjoy the process along the way.

The following are some exercises specifically designed to gently encourage young children to practice the art of mindfulness through fun and games.

5 ways to teach children mindfulness

1. Belly buddies

Choose some music and get the child to lie or sit comfortably. Have them put their hands on their belly and concentrate on how it rises and falls as they breath. They can also place a favoured stuffed toy on their tummy, and watch as it goes up and down. Do this for around five cycles (inhale and exhale), and then ask what thoughts or feelings they had during the exercise.

2. Take a mindful safari

Turn your walks into an adventure, and go on a nature spotting ‘safari’. This can be done wherever you live, be it city or country. The aim is to spot anything that flies, crawls, swims or walks – and it’s necessary to listen as well as look to see even the slightest of movements. Designate a minute or two in complete silence in order to focus all their senses to spot and hear animals, birds, insects, bugs and all manner of creepy crawlies.

3. Sensory play

This takes full advantage of the sense of touch, so needs a game where kids can get their hands dirty. A sand pit, finger paints, a paddling pool – you can be as imaginative as you like. The key here is to get the child to notice the feeling of whatever substance they are playing with. See how the sand shifts and pours through their fingers, look at the drops of water running down their arms, see how the paints swirl together and change colour as they mix.

4. Mindful eating

Turn meal time into a true mindful experience by taking the time to really notice what’s being eaten. Ask your child to think about what their food looks like, its smell, and the feel of it. If they’re using a spoon, then what does that feel like in their hand? Next take a bite and really spend time chewing. Ask them to concentrate on the taste and texture in their mouth. If possible, have them chew for 20-30 seconds before telling you what they’ve discovered.

5. The posing game

Simple body poses are a great exercise for young children, and a really good entry point for beginning the mindfulness journey. Poses such as ‘Superman’ or ‘Wonder Woman’ will appeal as they discover their own take on some of their favourite characters.

  • For Superman, have the child stand with their feet slightly wider than their hips, reaching and stretching their arms and body, and clenching their fists.

  • The Wonder Woman pose is to stand really tall, with a wide stance and hands on their hips.

Encourage them to hold the pose for a few seconds, or as long as they remain focused. It’s fun to get the child to discover their own super hero or character poses – the more diverse, the better.

The idea of all the above exercises is to encourage slowing down for a few moments, and to appreciate the here and now. Making this happen by way of play introduces powerful habits that instil a sense of awareness in themselves and the world around them. It’s about stopping, focusing, and relaxing. Getting into the habit of practicing mindfulness from a young age – even without being aware of it – will increase the likelihood of it coming naturally in everyday life.

At Treasured Tots we’re passionate that regular mindful play is included for the children in our care. To this end we run the Treasured Tots Wellness Program that promotes mindfulness, holistic wellness and balance – a massively advantageous mindset to begin to instil at this tender age.

The Wellness Program focuses on three key pillars. These are:

  • Resilience – Concentrating on the fact that children are so adaptable and genuinely bounce forward to greet stress factors and challenges

  • Wellbeing – Youngsters who have physical and emotional strength and health are far more likely to feel like they belong, and this further builds their ability to feel happy and have increased confidence

  • Awareness – Because getting in synch with your emotions, thoughts and actions at an early stage leads to skills in empathy, the ability to understand others and the beginnings of discovering how to interpret and accept yourself.

If you’d like to know more about the Treasured Tots Wellness Program and see our skilled and experienced team of child educators in action, we’d love to show you around our centres. Call and book a tour of our established childcare centres in Fremantle, Bibra Lake or Mandurah or get in touch via our website, https://www.treasuredtots.com.au/



Children in the 21st century have an awful lot to contend with. Exactly the same as adults, they’re bombarded with information from all angles. Computers, phones, TV, not to mention us as parents trying to create order from a 24/7 lifestyle - it all adds up to multiple stimuli that cause us to rush through life, often missing out on the simple joys of just ‘being’.

The art of mindfulness allows us to slow down, to take our time, to focus and relax. And it’s as important for our kids as it is for adults. Incorporating the art of mindfulness at a young age has many benefits. These include:

  • Improving mental health and wellbeing

  • Helping with cognitive focus

  • Enhancing focus and attention span

  • Improving social skills

  • Regulating emotions.

Spending time teaching your children simple mindful practice is massively beneficial for their development. Not to mention having a positive effect on you as well, and being enormous fun for all involved.

The key to teaching children mindfulness is to use short, enjoyable methods that come across as games – indeed, they are games, albeit ones that have a hugely positive effect. The key to success is to keep it short, simple, and to experiment with what works. And, of course, to enjoy the process along the way.

The following are some exercises specifically designed to gently encourage young children to practice the art of mindfulness through fun and games.

5 ways to teach children mindfulness

1. Belly buddies

Choose some music and get the child to lie or sit comfortably. Have them put their hands on their belly and concentrate on how it rises and falls as they breath. They can also place a favoured stuffed toy on their tummy, and watch as it goes up and down. Do this for around five cycles (inhale and exhale), and then ask what thoughts or feelings they had during the exercise.

2. Take a mindful safari

Turn your walks into an adventure, and go on a nature spotting ‘safari’. This can be done wherever you live, be it city or country. The aim is to spot anything that flies, crawls, swims or walks – and it’s necessary to listen as well as look to see even the slightest of movements. Designate a minute or two in complete silence in order to focus all their senses to spot and hear animals, birds, insects, bugs and all manner of creepy crawlies.

3. Sensory play

This takes full advantage of the sense of touch, so needs a game where kids can get their hands dirty. A sand pit, finger paints, a paddling pool – you can be as imaginative as you like. The key here is to get the child to notice the feeling of whatever substance they are playing with. See how the sand shifts and pours through their fingers, look at the drops of water running down their arms, see how the paints swirl together and change colour as they mix.

4. Mindful eating

Turn meal time into a true mindful experience by taking the time to really notice what’s being eaten. Ask your child to think about what their food looks like, its smell, and the feel of it. If they’re using a spoon, then what does that feel like in their hand? Next take a bite and really spend time chewing. Ask them to concentrate on the taste and texture in their mouth. If possible, have them chew for 20-30 seconds before telling you what they’ve discovered.

5. The posing game

Simple body poses are a great exercise for young children, and a really good entry point for beginning the mindfulness journey. Poses such as ‘Superman’ or ‘Wonder Woman’ will appeal as they discover their own take on some of their favourite characters.

  • For Superman, have the child stand with their feet slightly wider than their hips, reaching and stretching their arms and body, and clenching their fists.

  • The Wonder Woman pose is to stand really tall, with a wide stance and hands on their hips.

Encourage them to hold the pose for a few seconds, or as long as they remain focused. It’s fun to get the child to discover their own super hero or character poses – the more diverse, the better.

The idea of all the above exercises is to encourage slowing down for a few moments, and to appreciate the here and now. Making this happen by way of play introduces powerful habits that instil a sense of awareness in themselves and the world around them. It’s about stopping, focusing, and relaxing. Getting into the habit of practicing mindfulness from a young age – even without being aware of it – will increase the likelihood of it coming naturally in everyday life.

At Treasured Tots we’re passionate that regular mindful play is included for the children in our care. To this end we run the Treasured Tots Wellness Program that promotes mindfulness, holistic wellness and balance – a massively advantageous mindset to begin to instil at this tender age.

The Wellness Program focuses on three key pillars. These are:

  • Resilience – Concentrating on the fact that children are so adaptable and genuinely bounce forward to greet stress factors and challenges

  • Wellbeing – Youngsters who have physical and emotional strength and health are far more likely to feel like they belong, and this further builds their ability to feel happy and have increased confidence

  • Awareness – Because getting in synch with your emotions, thoughts and actions at an early stage leads to skills in empathy, the ability to understand others and the beginnings of discovering how to interpret and accept yourself.

If you’d like to know more about the Treasured Tots Wellness Program and see our skilled and experienced team of child educators in action, we’d love to show you around our centres. Call and book a tour of our established childcare centres in Fremantle, Bibra Lake or Mandurah or get in touch via our website, https://www.treasuredtots.com.au/

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