mindfulness, in its simplest definition, is the ability to be aware of the present moment. oftentimes mindfulness is framed in a way where silence, peace, and gentleness are large components of the practice, so it may feel impossible to incorporate this into a classroom full of rambunctious preschoolers. there are ways to include it into our learning environments so it helps set a strong foundation of mental health for the children in our care. by the time they reach the kindergarten and school-aged levels, children have already developed their own coping strategies, which can either be favorable or detrimental to their well-being. the conventional image of mindfulness practice is that we must be sitting down cross-legged in a serene environment that’s well lit and smells faintly of lavender. the fast-paced energy that children have means that sometimes, mindfulness has to be practiced in the heat of the moment. there is a practice called walking meditation that invites its practitioners to have an awareness of every step they take, as well as a recognition of what’s happening in the environment.
through a preschool lens, this can be simplified and easily incorporated as the children play. asking them to count their steps as they walk around the playground, or asking them to count the rungs as they climb a ladder is a way to exhibit mindfulness in motion. their paintbrush? this allows the children to be present as they play and gives them an opportunity to re-engage with their actions. there’s a high probability that mindfulness is already happening within our programs; we simply have to identify, highlight, and extend the children’s mindful experiences as they play. a practical benefit of incorporating mindfulness into an early years program is that it doesn’t require too many additions to your daily curriculum and instead, can be a simple enhancement to your current work. this is why mindfulness practice as early as the preschool years is proving to be more vital as part of our children’s development! tj is a registered early childhood educator with 5 years of experience, aspiring children’s book author, and apple cider vinegar connoisseur.
as the parent of a preschooler, and a researcher aiming to identify effective strategies to support the emotional well-being of early childhood professionals, i feel sadness, grief and confusion during this pandemic. i felt sad for my daughter, who will not get to graduate from preschool with her friends, and for early childhood providers, educators and other staff who continue to provide care to essential workers, such as medical professionals and first responders, without adequate support or clear directions during a time of great uncertainty.
the approach kristi, mary and other early childhood programs are usingâand what has helped kristi and mary face this pandemic with grace and optimismâis the practice of mindfulness and compassion to support the mental health of early childhood professionals and young childrenâs social-emotional well-being. one of the staff who participated in chime recently reflected on her experience amid the current coronavirus pandemic, and noted that mindfulness and compassion âmakes for a better environment anywhere you are.â early childhood professionals currently participating in the chime program also perceive benefits to their well-being by learning strategies to support acceptance and coping. some may want to participate in a virtual mindfulness group, which can address the stressors caused by practicing physical distancing and foster a sense of belonging to a community and acceptance about the current situation.
mindfulness is growing in popularity just about everywhere. parenting and early childhood settings are no exception. there is good reason for this during the first year of life, the most effective way to share mindfulness with a child is to embody it. children are hungry for our attention and affection, 16 mindfulness activities for preschoolers 1.noisy running 2. eagle flying 3. animal dancing 4. worry monsters 5. worry dolls 6. worry meditation 7., yoga and mindfulness in early years, mindfulness for preschoolers pdf, mindfulness for preschoolers pdf, teaching mindfulness in the classroom, benefits of mindfulness in early childhood.
one way that early childhood settings are creating opportunities for providers to strengthen emotional regulation and reflective practice is through reflective supervision. mindfulness in reflective supervision expands self-awareness and strengthens providers’ emotional regulation. integrating mindfulness into our interactions with children can increase our emotional awareness and self-regulation. this in turn helps us accept children’s needs and feelings without judgment, which supports their healthy social and emotional development. this resource highlights the benefits of mindfulness, both for your own wellbeing as an early childhood educator and for the children you care for and educate. mindfulness gives us the ability to face and overcome adversities. in the early years, these adversities can look like infants crying to get taking time to practice mindfulness with children and family. find moments to come together, slow down and be present. mindfulness can be, mindfulness activities for kids, mindfulness for children, mindfulness for teens, zero to three mindfulness for parents, mindfulness activities for infants and toddlers, early years meditation, mindfulness for toddlers, mindfulness for middle school, zero to three mindfulness toolkit, mindfulness meditation.
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