Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Fun Mindful Exercise for Kids

 This is an adaptation of the raisin exercise; experiencing a raisin with fresh eyes. This exercise was originally introduced to adults with chronic pain due to illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts. For more information please visit: http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/stress-reduction/mbsr-8-week/

Since children are curious by nature, I love to engage their gusto for the world around them by doing fun exercises that appeal to their inquisitive side. A wonderful activity I have done with my son now and then is an adaptation of the famous raisin exercise. This activity can be used for children of all ages, but it appeals most to children 2-7 years of age.
Why should I try this activity with my child?
  • It gives a child some control over their experience.
  • It allows you to engage in deep listening skills with your child.
  • It fine-tunes a child’s awareness. They may be more likely to observe a situation rather than just doing something or reacting to something without thinking much about it.
  • It nourishes their inborn curiosity.
  • Helps children practice self-control.
 Pick a food that your child likes and ask them the questions listed below:
This exercise is about your child’s experience. If your child wants you to join them during this activity all the better, but keep your opinions limited. It will be quite an experience for both you and your little one.

What color is this cucumber?
How does it feel in your hands? (Flat, smooth, round, wet, dry or bumpy)
What does it smell like?
Now put the cucumber to your lips, how does it feel?
Now take a bite, what does it sound like? (Crunchy or silent)
What does it taste like?

Do you feel more mindful now? Maybe, maybe not. This is a brief introduction to the benefits of mindfulness in daily life for both you and your child.

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