I think it’s fair to say that this pandemic has asked us to get creative with our family routines as we adjust to spending more time together and making positive mental health decisions. One practice that we love at Little Yogis involves incorporating mindfulness into our daily routines. Kids are naturally very mindful, which is a really beautiful thing. And these exercises are a great way to draw on their natural skills while reminding us parents how to become and remain more aware.
Two games that we play in our Little Yogis classes and that you are welcome to try at home are what we like to call, Mindfulness in Daily Activities and One Minute Mindfulness Games. Both games add intention to our everyday tasks while amplifying the importance of embracing the moment.
One of Minute Mindfulness can be accompanied by a favourite stuffy or even by using a body part such as our knee. So, go ahead and ask your Little Yogis to grab their favourite toy and find a quiet space where you can practice together. You and your Little Yogis can play One Minute of Mindfulness by each placing your pointer finger on an object (insert stuffed animal or the corner of your knee.) You can then set a timer for one minute, close your eyes together and count how many times you both remember to guide your mind back your finger touching your knee or toy. You can each keep track of how many times you count your mind coming back to your object and share your number at the end of the minute. What matters in this exercise is not the number itself but simply that you are practicing.
“Mindfulness in Daily Activities” is a game that can be incorporated into simple tasks such as: bath time, snack time or tidying up. This game involves taking what you’ve just learned in your One Minute of Mindfulness exercise and applying this to everyday tasks at home. In this case, you will replace you object (i.e. your Little Yogi’s toy, your knee, etc.) with the household task of tidying up, snack time, bath time or any other task and count how many times you and your little ones are guiding your mind back to your task. A simple activity like bath time is a great place to start with this. An important thing to remember with our mindfulness games is that they are meant to be fun! Our minds will wander off and that’s perfectly natural. Only now, we’re noticing when that happens and what better way to become more mindful then by embracing the moment with the ones we love?
Feel free to give this a try and let us know your thoughts. We’d love to hear what worked and what other tips are working for you and your family while we all do our best to stay safe.
Written by Dena Jackson, Little Yogis Teacher