Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, but creating a mindful “chill-ax” space at home may increase the benefits.
Even though mindfulness is easily practiced anywhere and at anytime, the benefits may be enhanced by designating a place where your child can “chill-ax” or take a brain break. The space doesn’t need to be large – just offer enough room for your child to be able to sit or lie down.
Here are few helpful tips when setting up your child’s chill-ax space:
Lighting. Light is important to learning and behavior. It helps regulate mood and affects cognitive performance. Indirect sunlight is best for learning and relaxing; open the blinds and let the light shine in. But not too much, dimly lit areas are best for chill-axing. If you don’t have a room with natural light, try using a fiber optic lamp. At Mindful Child, we love our LIFX smart bulbs in our overhead lights. We can easily dim them or change colors creating a relaxing vibe.
Essential Oils. Unpleasant odors make it difficult to relax. Essential oils can boost your child’s mood and create a relaxing spa-like atmosphere. An easy way to use oils in is by using an essential oil diffuser which will disperse oils throughout the room. You can also buy inhaler sticks and place them on a shelf with your child’s favorite calming scents. At Mindful Child, we only use therapeutic grade Young Living essential oils. Our favorites are Peace and Calming, Stress Away, and Lavender.
Cleanliness. Reduce clutter and keep the space organized. Too many choices tends to overwhelm and distract children. Having a limited choice of organized mindfulness tools will promote relaxation.
Comfort. Being comfortable is an important component of relaxation. Bean bags such as Targets sensory friendly Cocoon Seat are perfect for breathing and practicing mindfulness.
Small Space. Children enjoy small enclosed spaces. It helps them feel safe and reduces visual stimulation. A Teepee or space created with the Nugget (original play couch) is perfect for mellowing out and finding inner peace, tranquility and calm.
Your child can learn lots of evidence-based ways to practice mindfulness by joining us for an aerial yoga camp or class. We infuse every activity with movement, breath and mindfulness.
Happy stamp is a simple visual scanning game. Google emojis on your computer. Lots of images will come up. Pick an image with multiple emojis and print it. Emoji stickers are also available on Amazon. Put the stickers on a blank piece of paper or card stock and make copies of it. Then give your child a bingo stamper and ask them to find happy emojis.
What are the Benefits?
Happy stamp improves visual discrimination. Children must be mindful or they may stamp the wrong emotion. It also improves fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
What to Say
We are going to find all the happy emojis on this page. When you see a happy emoji we are going to stamp it. Remember we are only stamping the happy ones!
A variation of this game for older children is to color all the O’s on a newspaper page or poke holes with a toothpick through the O’s.
Windmills strengthen and tone the entire body, making them a popular warm- up exercise in physical education, yoga, and martial arts. Windmills are also good for improving brain power. Moving opposite limbs across the body engages the brain and integrates brain hemispheres.
What are the Benefits?
Windmills stretch your arms, shoulders, core and lower back. Windmills are also a core exercise as you use your core muscles to twist and return to an upright position.
Cognitively, windmills strengthen the brain. Windmills require your child to cross midline, which refers to being able to reach across the body with arms or legs. Midline is an imaginary line down the center of your body. Being able to cross midline is an important developmental skill that is linked to reading and writing.
What to Say.
Stand up tall in Mountain Pose with your feet apart.
Take a deep breath in. Stand up taller.
As you breathe out, bend over and touch your right foot with the left hand.
Breathe in as you stand up.
Time to switch sides. Keep going!
Windmills are a fun and easy brain break. They can be done almost anywhere and best of all they are building brain power! Want more easy ways to build your child’s brain? Join us for an aerial yoga class or read Mindfulness for Children.
Teaching fun, therapeutic, aerial yoga and mindfulness to children