Monday, June 23, 2014

Mindful Fun in the Summertime!

I've been reading a lot about mindfulness lately ... being in the moment isn't always the easy way to do things, but the benefits are amazing!

Whatever generation you are raising your children in, there have always been distractions from being able to live in the moment and teaching your children with simple things, daily things, that are organic and part of your day. Whether it is housework, laundry, careers, parents, health concerns ... all of these take our attention and use up part of our brain ... and now, it's also screen time. I'm guilty! I probably don't go an hour without looking at either my phone or my iPad.

If you fit this profile, try this ...

As you go through the day, check out what is happening right in front of you. When you're making toast, watch as the butter melts on the bread - have your child notice the heat and what happens. Have your child set the table, counting out forks and spoons as they go. Practice pouring with your little ones and see how quantities fit into different sized and shaped containers. Be mindful of the lessons your child is exposed to through these everyday activities. Build vocabulary by talking and questioning through these "lessons."

Apply the same mindfulness to your summer fun time! Toes in the water - notice how it makes your skin change, how the water droplets can make a rainbow, what the bubbles in the sand are from... Pre-swimming lessons - breathe deeply, see how the air puffs out your body, feel how the air pushes out, float on the surface ... Garden play - watch a bug work, see the buds appear, spread the dirt out and examine the crystal and shiny rock pieces... slow down and smell the roses :)

Look for opportunities as you go through each day to bring focus to the activities at hand. Each simple activity gives your child the opportunity to develop language skills, social skills, and motor skills. It helps them connect experiences and knowledge. Practicing mindfulness in your own life shows your child, through modeling, how to do this themselves. And, it's good for you!

Have fun!

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