January 2016 - momgineer

Simple Mindfulness Practice in the Classroom and Beyond

Implement Mindfulness Practice with Your Kids and Yourself

Hello new friends and old! If you are ready to renew your mindfulness practice, or dive right in for the first time, I am so glad you found this post. One way to nurture positivity at home or in the classroom is through mindfulness practice.

What is mindfulness?

If you aren't familiar with mindfulness, it is basically just being aware. It doesn't sound like much, but our brains and bodies tend to get easily distracted by all of the sensory input we experience on a day to day basis. 

How to Get Started with Mindfulness Practice

The most basic way to practice mindfulness is with breathing. For children, this might be too difficult for them, so you can try practicing while you walk around the perimeter of your classroom or at recess. Try to focus on only your breath as you breath in and out, and to feel all of the sensations of your body. Notice your thoughts and try to clear them and come back to just breathing. Notice your body. Are you tense? Try to release any tense muscles and just breathe.

Why should I practice mindfulness in the classroom?

In addition to many possible health benefits, you will train yourself to live in the moment. The past cannot be changed, and the future is not yet written. By living and being present in the here and now, you will be much more likely to notice simple pleasures and simply enjoy being alive. If you can notice negative feelings before they get too strong, it is easier to release them.

Mindfulness can also help us laugh at ourselves and the world - not in a negative way, but just in an awareness way. Being able to laugh and shrug off minor nuisances can make life so much more enjoyable. I'm not saying you should shrug off the big stuff, but that little stuff? It's really not worth it. You are worth more than that.

A Natural Path to Kindness 

When you are more aware of yourself, you will start to notice when tension is forming. By releasing that tension, you will find it easier to practice kindness. That might help you experience less frustration. How many times do you experience road rage or frustration with your kids for not being ready to leave on time or clean up their toys? There is always a nice way to approach a situation, and when you can find that way in the moment, what a lovely victory that is! I'm not saying this will happen all the time, but it can really change the way a day unfolds.

Mindfulness Practice Tools

I have created a set of guided mindfulness cards to get you started! These are designed to be done either at a desk or standing. You don't need a lot of space for these. I created them with classroom children in mind, so the poses and instructions are very basic, but these also work well if you homeschool or are just looking for something to at home with your children to help keep them centered. These are lifelong tools!

You can download a free sample of four guided mindfulness cards here:

Three Simple Mindful Mantras to Get Started

If you need a few mantras to repeat while you start on your mindfulness practice, these are ones that even kids will understand.

1. I am grateful. Think about all of the things you are grateful for. Food, shelter, a sunny day, a smile from a friend, health, etc. Whatever you do have, you can focus on being appreciative of it instead of worrying about what you don't have.

2. I accept. Accept your limitations and your strengths. Accept that today is a new day and tomorrow will be as well. Accept the situation for what it is. Whatever your feelings are, accept them, too. Then you can move on to the next mantra!

3. I release. Once you have acknowledged your feelings, let them go! If you have tightness in your face, notice it and then release it. If you have been feeling unhappy about a relationship, note it but then let those negative feelings drift away.

Here are three more great ones specifically for kids that you'll want to check out from Left Brain Buddha. There are wonderful activities that go with them, too:
Mindful Mantras for Kids

Not just for the kids! Take care of yourself with mindfulness.

Though these cards have cute images and animals on them, this practice is not just for them. Do you spend a lot of time working on your laptop, hunched over helping your students, or texting with friends?

All of that takes a toll on you. Your neck and back will thank you if you practice these exercises several times a day! Take care of you. Love yourself first and then you can send out your love to others much more easily.

Go Deeper with Mindfulness 

If you are looking for even more mindfulness resources, head on over to Mindfulness Matters and More, which also includes nonviolent communication tips, bucket filling activities, and more!

Mindfulness Resource for the Classroom

What can I expect with mindfulness practice?

Mindfulness practice is just like any other practice. The more you do it, the better you will become at it. It might seem silly or odd at first, or you might not feel like it does anything for you at first. In time, you will feel renewed and look forward to practicing mindfulness.

Namaste, friends! Pin this post for later:

Try mindfulness practice with your kids in the classroom or at home! Mantras and exercises are included to get you started. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

100th day of school STEM and a FREEBIE!

Are you getting excited about the 100th day of school? This is a fun milestone to celebrate to see how far you've come. Whether you are in the classroom or homeschool, why not take the time to reflect on your year so far and where it is going. I invite you to take a moment to think of all of the challenges you have faced and how you have handled them, and know that you have the strength to face them head on moving forward.

100th Day of School? Heck Yessss!

Here is a fun way to celebrate, that even your young students can enjoy. Build a 100 block tower. You may want to have them explore first, to see how they can come up with a stable base, and how to best make it as tall as they can. If the tower keeps crashing, remind them of a time when they struggled but were able to keep at it and succeed. Maybe their tower needs to be a little shorter to be stable and strong, and that's okay!

For your older kids, this is a fun arts and craft activity that can be modified from a typical paper link chain. Why not try a 100 link web? Working together, your students can create a web, and then all hold a piece of it out. What happens when everyone supports the web? It is strong and has a defined shaped. What if you let go? It might not look like much of anything. Working together helps us reach our goals!
If you have 5th graders, I invite you to download this 100th day of school FREE resource! The 100th day in 5th grade is also the 1000th day of school. How amazing is that? What an amazing feat!
If you are looking for even more 100th day celebration ideas, I would love for you to visit 100 Days of School STEM Challenges! Included are a variety of STEM challenges such as the two listed above, as well as many others to help you celebrate this fun day in style! Instructions, photos, and recording pages are included, as well as a "100 Days of Learning" banner:
1ooth day of school

Celebrate yourself! You are rocking it. You have made it 100 days and are over the hump. Warmly,

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!