What you need: Container, water, glitter &/or glitter glue, food coloring (Optional: dish soap, glycerin) (And bring kids of all ages - this is a favorite for sure)!
Why to use: A fun way to help kids focus. Also a great way to teach children how important it is to notice how they are feelling. This is a great project to do with kids of all ages!
How to use: I like to have a brief discussion on feelings and emotions. I ask my kids if they can remember how they felt after a good night's rest or maybe after something has left them feeling very calm. Then I ask them if that peaceful feeling stays all day or if their mind may feel a little chaotic at times. We may get a little specific here (but we keep it brief) and we finish the discussion with the jar. When we look at the jar and it's not moving, focus on the fact that it is similar to their mind after a good night's rest. Then after a little time the mind may start to get a little whirly which is when we begin shaking the jar. After we get all of the glitter going I mention that the glitter in the jar is like all of the feelings and emotions that we have and that it would feel much nicer if we could allow those crazy glitter emotions begin to settle and become calm and peaceful. (depending on ages I challenge them to count their breath as they watch the glitter fall to the bottom).
1. Choose a jar like: Recycled bottles, Baby jars, Mason jars, Jelly jars, Etc. or - Recycled plastic containers like: Mayonnaise jars, Peanut Butter jars, Water bottle, Seltzer bottle
2. Fill with water
3. Sprinkle your glitter (if you use glitter glue you will need to shake it a lot in the beginning – and the smallest amount of dish soap will help reduce clumping)
4. Add food coloring of your choice (optional)
It’s that Easy!
Note: Depending on the type of glitter you use you may want to add the smallest amount of dish soap or glycerin. This will break down the glitter to reduce clumping.
Other options: Add a small object inside. They are more likely to really look inside and focus to find their special treat.
If you are looking for more amazing practices and exercies to use with your children you can find them in Jennifer Cohen Harper's book, Little Flower Yoga for Kids.
And please feel free to share your ideas, stories, questions or comments. We would love to hear from you!
This is a powerful form of meditation that can help kids learn to focus rather easily. There are various ways that you could fit this into a fun yoga class or add to a theme within a sequence of poses but I’d like to begin by making it as simple as possible.
For me, I find that the best atribute to this practice is that it's an easy way to help your child learn to regulate their own feelings and emotions. If they are having a bad day they can use this to turn it around. Or if they are feeling angry or too energetic or scared,,this is a powerful yet simple tool to use that can help.
Let’s begin by finding a comfortable seated position. If your child chooses to lay down or have a different position that is fine. (Ideally you’ll want to have a straight or tall spine).
With palms facing up or down you will begin by touching thumb and pointer finger, then thumb to middle finger, then thumb to ring finger and thumb to pinky finger.
Feel free to try this with your child a few times so they get the hang of it. (Allow the kids to know that it's okay if it's tricky at first or silly and feel free to play around but then do bring them back to the point of the practice).
Note: If you have a toddler or someone that is not able to touch the fingers you can try multiple things like: lightly tapping your hands to knees, or simply touching thumb to all fingers or thumb to one finger or making little fists. Improvise to see what works best for your exercise.
Eyes can be soft, fixed upon something in front of you or closed. Let your child explore what feels best.
As you are ready begin repeating, "I am so strong, I am so strong, etc. As you do this you will touch thumb to pointer while saying “I”, and continue on. So while touching thumb to middle finger you will say “am”, touch thumb to ring finger say “so” and thumb to pinky say “strong”.
Try this for however long it works for your child. The point is for them to become comfortable doing this and hopefully have some fun along the way. But the point is to find a bit of a rhythm or focus. (If they can do it for a minute or two that is great. If they can go longer, then even better).
Once you are done begin a discussion about the exercise. Ask questions. Inquire to see how they feel, if they liked it, etc. Give them a chance to truly reflect about their practice.
Note: Feel free to change the words of the meditation. For instance instead of repeating the, "I am so strong” maybe do something that may be more applicable at the time like, “I am so kind”. Or “I am so peaceful”. Choose a word that may help your child improve on his or her day or mood or help with a goal.