Often used as a therapeutic technique, mindfulness is a state of being fully aware of the moment and conscious of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Practicing mindfulness, both as children and adults, can help calm the mind and body, increasing the ability to self-regulate and understand feelings and emotions.
Taking time for mindfulness is taking time to intentionally think about what is happening, both around us and within, what we are doing, and how we are feeling. By feeling and accepting the experiences, we can understand the present without getting overwhelmed.
4-C offers a variety of correspondence courses for child care providers and early childhood professionals, including classes on mindfulness and wellness in the workplace. Explore the continuing education courses offered.
Yoga is a popular mindfulness practice among adults, but children can also benefit from this exercise, as it combines breathing techniques and basic principles of meditation. When a child is having an overwhelming moment of emotions, a calming yoga pose can help reduce their stress and bring them back to the present. There are many childrens’ books to teach simple mindfulness practices, from meditation to breathing exercises. The 4-C Resource Room also has books and yoga DVDs available for checkout.
Not every child will take to yoga or meditation right away. Teaching children mindfulness can start off small, with something as simple and calming as a homemade glitter jar. Blowing bubbles, playing with balloons, and a game of I Spy are also easy ways to slip mindfulness into your day. For a larger group of children, there are group games focused on mindfulness available.
In addition to teaching children mindfulness, there are benefits for the adults in their lives to practice mindfulness as well. Parents and early childhood professionals who practice mindfulness have the tools to better manage their own stress and create a supportive learning environment, as well as be responsive to children. Discover tips to improving your emotional well-being as a child care provider on our blog.