Posted on March 23 2017
Now that spring is in the air and the days are beginning to feel a bit warmer, introduce your child (or class) to a mindful activity I call, Cloud Watch.
This can be done inside or outside. I like to introduce it first inside, as a way for children to recognize thoughts that pass in and out of their minds while practicing quite sitting. This is a guided meditation since you will be talking your child through this activity.
To practice Cloud Watch inside:
Have them find a comfortable seated position in a chair or on the floor. They can rest their hands on their laps or knees as they gently close their eyes. Ask them to start by bringing their focus to their breath, concentrating on inhaling and exhaling through their nose. Give them a moment here to settle and connect with their breath. Then, ask to shift their focus to their thoughts. Have them imagine their mind is the sky and the passing thoughts are clouds. As each thought enters, let it drift slowly away as the thoughts shift and change shape as they disappear. If thoughts start to come less frequently, have them bring their focus back to their breath until the next thought floats through.
To practice Cloud Watch outside:
I use this as a mindful sight activity. Take a stroll outside on a day when there are fluffy clouds. Sit or lie in the grass and watch the clouds shift and change. Talk about what they see. What are the colors? Are the colors all blue and white, or perhaps many shades in between? How are the clouds shifting? Very slowly or rather quickly? Are they able to use their imagination and see shapes and other objects come and go? Perhaps they can see an animal, a face or a tree.
Spend a few moments here just observing and relishing in the beauty of the spring day. What a great way to teach impermanence to children. Nothing ever stays the same, and that is why life is so interesting.
Helping the community and families connect through interactive and engaging mindfulness activities.