Yoga With Aunty Mo: A Book Review With 10 Mindfulness Activities

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Crafts for Teaching Mindfulness

Most kids are not equipped to sit for long periods of time and concentrate. That is why I am an advocate of short lessons. However, some kids really have trouble with focusing and concentrating. Taking time to be quiet and gear their minds and bodies toward learning can be useful. I thought Monetta's Book was so cute and colorful, a great way to introduce kids to yoga and using these "poses" to stretch and calm them. Then when she shared her craft ideas and how it helps children focus she put it over the top! We are all about crafts here! My kids enjoy many of these ideas and I do think keeping the hands busy in quiet work is industrious and beneficial.

So here is Monetta and her 10 Craft Ideas designed to increase mindfulness!

Craft ideas for teaching mindfulness

We have a guest post by Monetta Wilson. Monetta is a yoga alliance registered experienced yoga teacher (E-RYT 200) and continuing education provider (YACEP).  She owns and operates Sayana Yoga in St Lucia. She recently released her first children’s book: Yoga with Aunty Mo. You can find her blog at yogawithmo.com/blog.

 

 

Why Mindfulness Activities?

For most adults, the final resting pose is the best part of yoga. Some children have trouble staying still and can struggle with lying down for a prolonged period of time.  This is why I finish my classes with quiet time instead of final resting pose. Children have the option to lay down for a while or quietly engage in a mindfulness activity.  Most times I have the entire class do a mindfulness activity as a transition to final resting pose to help the children tap into their calm and find their stillness. These crafts help children explore their creativity and burn away nervous energy by using their hands. They are a great way to introduce children to mindfulness and give them quiet time.  Here are 10 of my favorite craft ideas for mindfulness.

Top 10 Craft Ideas for Mindfulness

  1. Drawing. Have you noticed children drawing? They can get totally lost in it. Drawing is a great way for children to quietly express their creativity. You may simply give the child some paper and drawing material or you may give them a prompt to draw something specific. Remind them that they should be very quiet and focus on what they are drawing. Then let them enjoy the benefits of mindful drawing.
  2. Coloring. Coloring is a great way to let children quietly build motor skills and express their creativity. I like to eat the children you color yoga poses or nature scenes to help them focus on something positive. There are many coloring pages available to download on the internet and in local stores. It's nice to have a variety of coloring pages available so children can choose their own and color at their own pace.
  3. Threading beads. Threading beads is an all-time for children. This is an activity that develops motor skills and helps children focus. You can make this even more exciting by turning it into a craft. You can use pipe cleaner and beads to create a snake. You can use empty toilet paper rolls and yarn to create a necklace. Whichever method you choose it's sure to be a hit with your little ones.
  4. Crystal gardens. Children love playing with shiny things and crystals are shiny things. Crystals can be calming and soothing especially when manipulated or held in your hands. You can provide children with a variety of crystals and allow them to place it in various patterns creating a crystal garden. You may first need to demonstrate how this is done then allow the children to use their creativity and arrange their crystal garden as they wish.
  5. Blowing bubbles. Blowing bubbles is a great way to teach breathing and the power of breath. It helps children to visualize their breath by seeing the breath create bubbles. While this activity may not be inherently calming it teaches the child to observe and be aware of the breath which is very important to mindfulness.
  6. Creative writing. All the older children love creative writing. You may give them a prompt such as write about a yoga pose or write a poem about your happy place. Allow them to quietly express their creativity through writing. Some children may also decorate their writing by drawing colorful shapes or nature scenes around their writing.
  7. Journaling. Some children enjoy writing about their day in a journal. Self-observation and reflection important parts of mindfulness. Teaching children to write in a journal encourages them to practice self-observation and reflection from a very early age.
  8. Weaving. Weaving requires dexterity and focus. There are many crafts that incorporate reading suitable for all ages. Some of these might require a little bit of prep by the adults but the rewards will be great. Children will develop important skills while having fun.
  9. Ribbon Wands. Ribbon wands are fun for all ages. All you need is an appropriate wand and some ribbons. This simple craft idea is easy to make and can lead to hours of fun. You might have to assist younger kids with gluing the ribbons in place. You can use the wands to teach children about breathing and breath or you can use it to promote activity by encouraging them to run around and move the wands through the air.
  10. Butterfly gardens. You can make a butterfly garden by making butterflies and flowers using coffee filters and pipe cleaner. You can either dye coffee filters or allow the children to decorate it themselves. You can give each child a jar or cup to place their flowers and stick the butterflies on the flowers. This simple craft develops motor skills and helps children develop creativity. You may then use these crafts to teach about cycles of nature or environmental preservation.

 

A Book for Introducing Yoga

There are many other crafts that can be used to teach children mindfulness as part of developing a healthy well-rounded child. You may use these crafts on their own or as part of a yoga program. My book yoga with Aunty Mo teaches children yoga in a simple story that is easy to follow. You can read the book to younger children and help them follow along to the actions. Older children will be able to read the book and create their own yoga program. The colorful little book features children from my community practicing yoga and enjoying nature. I hope it inspires your little ones to practice as well.

 

Virtual Book Tour with a Giveaway!

This post is part of my virtual book tour to promote Yoga with Aunty Mo to as many people as possible. Until December 22nd blogs and social media accounts around the internet will be featuring this book.  Every day you will have a chance to enter the giveaway and win one of several prizes.

  • You get 5 entries if you leave a comment on a virtual book tour the blog post on my website.
  • You get 5 entries if you leave a review on Amazon.
  • You get 5 entries if you tweet a message.
  • You get 5 entries if follow me on Twitter.
  • You get 1 entry if you visit Yoga with Mo on Facebook.

Prizes include:

1 pair of leggings from Arthletic Wear
1 Yoga with Mo Shirt
1 Skype yoga session with me

 

On December 22nd we will head over to my Facebook page for a Facebook live party where I will announce the winners of the giveaway.

Go to http://www.yogawithmo.com/vbt for a complete list of locations for the book tour.  You can buy the book on Amazon here and enter the giveaway below or go to http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/23ef771b2/

 

GetMonetta's Book here:

 

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10 activities that help to calm and focus children works great with the book Yoga With Auntie Mo, a fun, upbeat, colorful book of children having a great time doing Yoga with "Auntie Mo"

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