Fun 'Mindfulness' Experiment for Kids
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
by Ainee Cha
A mother’s job can sometimes be daunting. As a mother, we try to do the right thing even if we are not sure what is the right thing. I believe there is no perfect way to be a good mother or father, each child is different in their own way, every circumstance is unique, every parent has their own challenges as we all have different skills and abilities.
As parents we always want the best for our children. But what is the best? There are so many programs out there which are good for their development but how do we know what to choose or which is the best.
I believe we have heard much about mindfulness and its benefits. Scientific research shows positive effects on mental health; it enhances a child's focus, improve their overall well-beings and social skills. They have better control of their emotions as it nourishes their thinking and they are more balance.
Mindfulness is one way to teach our young children how to deal with strong emotions. It’s my joy to share with you this awesome recipe with a mindful thought to ease or take away some of your challenging situations when our kids are faced with strong emotions.
“The Mindful Jar”
Concept: - Mindfulness, Concentration, Calming, and Self-Compassion
The “Mindful Jar” or mind-in-a-jar is a popular tool for teaching mindfulness to children and adults alike. This activity can teach children to find peace when strong emotions come up. In this mindfulness activity, children will create a sealed jar of liquid and glitters to represent the passing states of the mind. When shaken, the glitter fills the jar and represents our busy thoughts and feelings. As we allow the jar, and our mind, to settle we can watch as the glitter fall to the bottom and the water clears.
Mindfulness can be taught in many ways, this activity provides a thought-based and visual concept as children get a chance to get hands-on and craft their own mindfulness tool. This will provide them with a fun, concrete experience that they can reconnect with when strong emotions arises. It provides a tangible coping strategy that children can take home, use at their desks, or keep in the cool-down area to help them calm and focus during stressful moments.
This exercise not only helps children learn about how their emotions can cloud their thoughts, it also facilitates the practice of mindfulness while focusing on the swirling glitter in the jar. The experience of watching the glitter slowly fall as we bring awareness to our breath, calming our mind is remarkably effective and simple.
- A mason jar or a glass jar and glitter glue or glitters of any kind and colours.
- Fill the jar with water and add a spoonful of glitters. Close the lid and shake it to make the glitters swirl, set it down, breathe deeply, and watch the glitter fall.
Tell your children:
- “Imagine that the glitter is like your thoughts when you’re stressed, angry or upset. See how they whirl around and make it really hard to see clearly. That’s why it’s so easy to make silly decisions when you’re upset – because you’re not thinking clearly. But, don’t worry this is normal and it happens in all of us (yep, grown ups too).
Then put the jar down in front of them and tell them:
- “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”.
Sending my love to you…
“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” Dalai Lama
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