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Mindfulness and Connection for You and your Child

Mindfulness and Connection for You and your Child

 We are all so busy these days that it is very difficult to find some time to look after ourselves and create moments of quality time, but let’s not forget that we can’t pour from an empty cup. Minding yourself is minding those around you. What is positive well-being? It is a quality that you have when you feel good with yourself and with your environment. We learn to express and control our own feelings and emotions as we grow older thanks to our every-day experiences, but we can only manage this if we start being aware of it as a child, and that’s when mindfulness comes into place. How can we help our children to do so? 

Connect with your child and anticipate new situations

If they are going back to school soon, or a doctor appointment, or a trip away, use role play and books to anticipate this experience so they can feel confident.

Role play: (back to school situation) Use small figures or their favourite toys to represent the classroom, the parents saying goodbye, themselves and their friends and teacher. Let them lead the activity and conversations and just narrate what you see. Suggest ideas or ask questions to help them understand what will happen. Let them know that they might be sitting at a different table with different friends, etc. and don’t forget to remind them o fall the fun things they will be doing. You can use this type of activity for any other life situations that are new or not easy to deal with (doctor appointments, new sibling, etc).

Safari Toobs

Draw a picture together for your child to bring to the teacher or friends so they have a good reason to walk into the classroom and stay focused on this  purpose.

Use books about school to start conversations and discover your child’s worries, thoughts and interests. Picture books are great so the child can lead the conversation. 

Finger Puppets and Books Sets

Provide free play situations and let them get bored

Free play, quiet play and movement are all necessary to express their own ideas and to get to know themselves and to feel good about their life. LET THEM GET BORED and just follow their lead.

Finding a few minutes to play outside, to walk, to move or to dance is a great way for your child to connect with themselves and to help them stay focused in the classroom or during quiet play. Movement is essential for positive development every single day. Games like an indoor obstacle course, basketball throwing a teddy into the laundry basket) or shaking a blanket up and down (one person holding each side) with a teddy on top are perfect if you can’t get outside that day.

EDX Hand or Foot Marks

Free play is the time where the child decides what he/she wants to do. Children can follow their interests and needs and do what makes them happy, express themselves and get creative only if they have the time and space provided. Being bored is the perfect excuse to get creative, think and find something to do. 

Outdoor and Movement Toys 

Establish a clear but flexible routine that works for all of you

Having a clear routine can help your child understand what to expect during the day and be more patient and understanding. Time is a very abstract concept and  children can get very overwhelmed and worried about not knowing when things will  end, when mammy will be back, when they are going to do something they really  want (or if they will at all), etc. Having a visual daily schedule works really well to help them understand the sequence of activities throughout the day and to be  prepared for the end of the current activity and the beginning of the next one. 

You can ask the child to take part in creating a routine so they have an input in it and they feel like they have a say and they’re part of the decisions made at home.

Download our Daily Visual Routine:

Daily Visual Routine

Use play as a way to communicate emotions

Use books and toys that connect emotions with experiences, colours, shapes and characters so children can use concrete items to describe their abstract feelings. We stock some amazing toys that help children understand and express emotions.

The Colour Monster

Figures that connect big feelings with colours, face expressions and body gesture. Kids can hold those emotions and play with them. Great to use along with the book.

The Colour Monster Figures

Mindful Maze

This is the perfect tool to help your child self-regulate and control their breathing. After some practice together you will see how your child is more familiar with his breathing and can use it even when the maze isn’t available.

Mindful Maze Garden Pack

Yellow Door Emotion Stones

The face expressions are engraved on the stone so the child can see them but also feel them through touch. They can be printed on playdough, or kids can copy them and try to guess the name of that emotion. If they feel very angry or sad for example they can hold the stone that relates to their  motion so they don’t have to use their words to communicate. 

Yellow Door Emotion Stones

Yellow Door Self-Regulation Stones

These self-regulation stones are an open-ended, flexible resource designed to help children express their emotions when they cannot find the words to do so. Choosing an image that represents their emotion will  enable them to explore how they are feeling, what triggered this feeling and how it can be managed constructively or celebrated.

Yellow Door Self-Regulation Stones

Big Feelings Pineapple

A fun resource for preschool children where they can build face expressions using the 26 different face features provided.

Big Feelings Pneapple

All About Me Neighbourhood Set

Children can reconstruct their own life with this set and use the different items to represent themselves, their family, friends and environment. They can use language to create scenes where they express how they feel, what they do, what they would like to do… We can learn so much from them listening to the stories they create.

All About Me Neighbourhood Set

Download our FREE mindfulness resources

5-4-3-2-1 Mindfulness Activity 5-4-3-2-1 Mindfulness Activty

Trace and Breathe Mindfulness ActivityTrace and Breathe Mndfulness Actvity

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