There is a special kind of magic that is accessible to us all. It isn’t found in wands, spells or flying broomsticks. It’s a magic that is embedded deep within us. This magic is mindfulness, a simple practice with profound implications, particularly for children.
The American Psychological Association defines mindfulness as "a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment." It's about being present in the moment, acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. This practice is associated with enormous benefits, especially when it comes to nurturing and empowering young minds.
There's a growing body of evidence suggesting that teaching mindfulness to children can improve cognitive abilities and social-emotional skills, decrease stress and anxiety, and increase attention and focus. One such study at Stanford Medicine showed that children who practice just a little mindfulness sleep better and longer and according to an article in The Guardian it can increase a child's attention span and, as a result, improve memory.
Between science-backed studies and research, the benefits of even just a little mindfulness practice is undeniable, so let's delve a little deeper into what that looks like:
Meditation can take on different forms, but at its core, it aims to quiet the mind and achieve mental clarity and emotional stability. This practice can help children improve their attention, manage stress, calm themselves, and learn to be patient.Research from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has shown that teaching mindfulness in schools can improve students' self-control, attentiveness, respect for other classmates, and empathy, leading to an environment that is more conducive to learning.
Yoga, often used in conjunction with meditation, combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation. For children, it helps enhance their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, it boosts their self-esteem and concentration, reduces stress, and allows them to feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group, according to the Harvard Medical School.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), commonly known as "tapping," is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s been found to improve children’s anxiety, depression, and phobias, among other issues. Kids learn how to manage their emotions and to understand that it’s okay to express their feelings.
Breathing exercises are a fundamental part of mindfulness practice. They allow children to focus on their breath, aiding in calming the mind, reducing stress and anxiety, improving concentration, and promoting a sense of self-awareness.
Visualisation exercises help children stimulate their imagination, boost their creativity, and improve their mood. They also teach kids the power of their minds and how they can shape their realities.
While these practices are undeniably beneficial, it can be a challenge to motivate children to engage in them. Thankfully, there are fun and creative ways to introduce these practices to children, making mindfulness a playful and imaginative experience.
The Enchanted Explorers program has adopted this creative approach. It uses children's love for fairies to introduce them to the world of mindfulness, nature and focus their energies on acts of kindness.
Through activities, like rainbow meditation, planet adventure yoga, fairy EFT tapping, and simple breathing exercises, children are introduced to mindfulness practices in an environment they can relate to and enjoy. Engaging their imaginations through animations, colors, they are guided through the exercises by the Fairy Queen, making mindfulness not just a beneficial activity, but a fun adventure!
Enchanted Explorers not only provides children with the tools to practice mindfulness, it also fosters an environment that inspires self-love, kindness, and empowerment. These are equally vital elements in nurturing and empowering young minds.
The magic of mindfulness is transformative, and with the right approach, it can be a captivating journey for children.
To learn more about the Enchanted Explorers program, and how it can help introduce the magic of mindfulness to your child in a fun and engaging way click here.