At Wee Seeds we are passionate about the breath because it is the perfect place to start to plant the seeds of mindfulness, meditation and movement in our children.
We’re already doing it day in and day out, so it’s an easy place to begin without them even noticing!
But why are we so passionate?
Deep belly breathing sends signals to the nervous system to relax which is good for mini-minds, as well as grown-ups.
Breathing is central to all aspects of meditation training, so it’s the best place to start.
Teaching slower breathing can set our little ones up for a life of less stress and anxiety and better wellbeing, giving them tools today they can use in later life.
Learning to slow down and that it’s OK to take a break is a valuable tool for little ones to learn. It’s never too early to learn the true meaning of self-care.
It’s something we carry around with us all the time – so it’s an easy tool for your parenting toolbox!
So here’s our top five tips on helping the smallest ones in our families learn the power of their breath.
Make it a game. There’s nothing like making something into a game for a little one. Don’t want them to put their socks on? Turn it into a racing game between you and them, and lo and behold their socks are on in a jiffy. Teaching wellbeing is no different. So don’t labour it and tell them they’re learning a new skill, turn it into a game. What’s their favourite thing? Cars? Pretend their breath is them letting the fumes in and out the exhaust. Who’s their favourite character? Elsa? Practice letting their breath come and then Let It Go, like the song says. Whatever floats their boat, go with that for starters.
Do it with them. Who likes having fun alone? We don’t and neither do they. So, do it with them. Practice together. (Plus you never know you might feel some benefit too. We know Wee Seeds parents often report feeling better themselves once they’ve practiced the exercises in our toolbox!)
Tell them it’s their Super Power. Who doesn’t want a Super Power?!
Try our Pause Button. It’s designed for young children to start to follow their breath. In this guided breathing and mindfulness exercise, we encourage children to try to expand your tummies all the way out and enjoy the feeling of the breath as it comes in and out. Then for fun try to decide where their own Pause Button could be? On their nose, tummy, forehead. Now you’ve got a parenting hack to use in the supermarket, or elsewhere when you need a moment of calm find your Pause Button.
Practice on the mirror. If your wee one is finding it difficult, let them ‘see’ their breath as it steams up the mirror.
Let us know how it goes. Perhaps with the return to school and teaching again, it's the perfect time to start!
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