You might start by saying: “This week we’re going to focus on developing mindfulness. Does anyone know what mindfulness is?” [For school-aged kids, it is likely they’ve already been exposed to the concept of mindfulness because a lot of schools teach mindfulness as part of their social-emotional learning curriculum.]
- Taking a moment to be still and quiet and noticing what is happening right now.
- Taking notice of how your body feels and what you see, smell and taste.
- Taking time to feel emotions in your body, perhaps through a tightness somewhere, or a good sensation.
- Noticing what your mind is doing.
By practicing mindfulness and quieting our minds, we are better able to notice God’s love for us in this world.
Optional “object” lesson – if you like you can also put together this glitter jar to help kids understand what you mean by quieting your mind. https://www.mindful.org/how-to-create-a-glitter-jar-for-kids/
Locate a nice spot (outside if possible) where you can spread out a blanket and take a seat with your child/children. It doesn’t really matter where you go, but someplace calm and quiet can make the mindfulness exercise easier for kids.
Sit down together and speak quietly. Explain that you’re going to sit quietly and calmly for a few minutes.
Ask them to remind you what the five senses are (for smaller kids, you might need to tell them!). Tell them that today you’re going to sit quietly and notice at least one thing with all of our senses. To practice, you can start with hearing. Ask everyone to sit silently and listen. Give them a minute or two to sit quietly and listen, then ask: “What do you hear?” Birds? Water? Wind?
Now run through the other four senses. For older kids, you can ask them to sit for about 5 minutes and notice what they sense on their own. For younger kids, you may need to take them through the senses one-by-one, giving them a bit of time to focus on that sense.
Ask kids to share what they sensed while they were sitting quietly. Did they notice something they haven’t noticed before?
Remind kids that God’s love for us is everywhere – all day, every day. Sometimes, if we just quiet our minds, we can notice it. Sitting quietly and using our senses can be a great way to spend time with God.