Practicing Mindfulness encourages children to be more present, not worry or be anxious about the future or past. It helps the child to regulate their emotions, build resilience, create empathy, be more connected with themselves and others. Mindfulness practiced on a regular basis can help increase attention span and awareness and bring calm to children of all ages.
Bella the Butterfly is a 6 weeks Programme which takes place in the classroom and outside (weather permitting) and is designed to engage children in a process of discovery, creativity and positivity. This programme is suitable for pre-school children and primary school children, age 3-12. The programme is adjusted depending on the age of the child to incorporate appropriate support materials and tools as required. Support exercises and materials include painting, drawing, sand play, water play, bubbles, puppets, dress-up role play, balloons and many more.
This programme covers topics which illustrate in an action based manner and very much play oriented the attributes of living more mindfully and making mindfulness relevant and applicable to the everyday life of the child. Once again, the detail with which we dive into in each topic and the exercises used to demonstrate each topic depends on the age/ class of the child. Check Buff.game.
We examine a range of emotions and get the child to name the emotions and make them real. We state from the outset that all emotions are very real and relevant but they do pass. The child brings an awareness to each emotion by describing them and what they mean to the child and then learns that emotions can be managed and balanced over time with tools.
By bringing a sense of gratitude to everyday living the child experiences life at a deeper level with more of a sense of appreciation for what they have in their lives rather than focusing on what they don’t have especially materialistically. This topic is very positively focused with an expansion to the wider community depending once again on the age of the child.
Having empathy for others and other peoples’ emotions creates a sensitivity and understanding in the child that other people matter and others’ reactions, while different to theirs, are equally valid. This encourages the child to embrace relationships with others who may appear different on the outside. The concept of sameness and uniqueness is dealt with here.
Bringing confidence to a child takes may stages and one is through self- awareness. Being aware of our own feelings and thoughts helps us understand better how we interact with the world and interact with others. Self-love is crucial to self-awareness and embracing the positive aspects of our own personality and others.
· Mindful listening, breathing and playing
When children slow down to examine and really feel the present moment, a calm descends. Helping the child to listen, breath and play mindfully helps create life skills in all interactions. Guiding a child to live in the present moment is explored through different exercises as various levels of awareness are present in each child.
· Relaxation and Calm
Bella the Butterfly has created a children’s mediation available on iTunes and this meditation helps the child to rest into a state of calm through imagery. Allowing the child to explore their other senses in a relaxed state can create many innovative conversations and art work. Assisting a child to access their subconscious to enable their artistic juices flow.
This programme is run, created and designed by Belinda Murphy. Belinda is a mom to three children; boys age 11, 10 and girl age 2. She is a Reiki Master Teacher and uses energy methodologies to assist mindfulness in the classroom. She also has qualifications in Anatomy, Physiology, Life Coaching & Mentoring, Holistic Massage, Masters in Business Studies.
If you are a teacher/ principal interested to bring this programme to your classroom or a parent who would like more information, or buy Bella the Butterfly here.