In this world of constant motion, over scheduling, homework, organized activities and media overload, it is hard to stop your mind from racing. “Monkey mind” is a term we use for thoughts rushing in and out, keeping us either in the past or the future. With so many distractions, it is very hard to stay present and appreciate the moment. We need to bring back into focus what young children do naturally, being aware of the moment by calming the mind and connecting with our five senses, inner thoughts and feelings. By teaching your children these skills, they will have a heightened awareness to their surroundings. Everything is fresh as a young child experiencing a new sensation for the first time. Here are some books that will help your child bring mindfulness into their life.
Meditation Is an Open Sky: Mindfulness for Kids by Whitney Stewart, illustrated by Sally Rippin
Meditation is an Open Sky defines a bad day as “wobbly” and offers creative, sweetly illustrated meditations to assist children in quieting their mind and redirecting the wobbly day they are having into a thoughtful joyous day. Protection Circle for Security is one meditation that this book offers to your scared or anxious child a meditation for building a protective circle of colored light around their bodies using their imagination.
A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh
This book takes a different approach to teaching children the art of being mindful. By using four pebbles to hold in your hand, each representing an element in nature, the child has a concrete tool as a focal point for bringing the mind and body into the moment. Using something like a pebble, bell or any small object can aid your child in bringing the wondering mind back to the moment.
Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver, illustrated by Christiane Komer
A boy becomes angry with his grandfather, and that anger reaches deep into his belly, eventually appearing to him as a bright and beautifully illustrated creature. Anh sits with Anger and begins to breath deeply. Eventually, Anger dissipates and it and the boy exchane smiles. Anh is now able to use kind words to express his feelings of frustration to his grandfather.
Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel
This in-depth look introduces children to bringing the mind and body into the moment. With a companion CD, this is a “must have” tool in the teaching of mindfulness. Activities like Laughing is the Best Medicine, Accepting the Weather and a How Do I Feel Thermometer will set your child on a pat to mindfulness creatively.
Take the Time Mindfulness for Kids by Maud Roegiers
This lovely tale can help children move away from feeling “Topsy Turvy” by using their senses to experience the present world immediately around them. Though written for the young child, this book offers an universal message of being in the moment for children of all ages. “Take the time to listen to silence.” How beautiful!
Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean
This charming tail of a very naughty cow is called Moody because of his disruptive behavior. His grandfather takes a fist full of glitter and adds it to water creating a mind jar. Spinning around he names the sparkles his anger thoughts. As Moody Cow sits and begins to meditate, the spinning sparkles begin to settle as well. What a lovely analogy of changing your thoughts. In the back of this book are directions for making your own Mind Jar.