“Do you know the word ‘anchor’? Remember that your breath is like an anchor that keeps you in the moment,” I said this to the class as I pulled out the snowglobe with twirling snowflakes. “The snowflakes are what your minds look like when there’s lots going on in your head or when you’re angry,” I told, shaking the snowglobe. “When you focus on your breathing instead of reacting, you’ll see that the sparkles sink and the water becomes calmer and clear. This is what our minds look like when we concentrate on our breathing. When we’re calm it helps us make clear, wise decisions.”
My favorite mindfulness exercise which can be done at home with your kids or even with yourself is the snow globe or the glitter jar or the mind jar exercise.
A simple way of doing this exercise. Take a snow globe or add glitter of multiple colors to water.
Tell them to think about a time when they were really mad or upset. Kids are honest and it takes them barely 5 seconds come up with examples. Whenever I have done it, I have got multiple responses:
“I feel like I want to hit someone,” one girl said.
"I want to smash the glass to pieces," another girl said.
"I want to slap someone", my daughter said.
“I want to say ‘stupid stupid stupid’ to someone,” was a boy's response.
Once you get the response, let them shake the jars really fast. Kids love shaking the jars and watch the glitter or snow flake twirling around.
Tell them: that’s what your mind is like when you’re really mad and you get thoughts about being mean to others.
As they watch the twirling glitter or snowflakes settle down, ask them to breath. I often ask them to close their eyes and open them when they think the glitter has settled. Kids love this part and wait in anticipation.
Once they open their eyes, reinforce the message that its okay to let yourself swirl when you get angry but what is important is to choose how you "respond" to that swirling. Instead of getting mad or having mean thoughts, we can just breath and let the swirling settle.
Want to know how to make a Mind Jar. Read here: