New London County 4-H recently completed a 3-week mini-session of the “Mindful Me” curriculum at the MWR Subbase library in Groton, CT. Utilizing children’s picture books, like “No Ordinary Apple” and “Have You Filled A Bucket Today?”, the kids were able to think about the concept of mindfulness from different angles and learn how to practice it in their daily lives.
Mindful eating, emotion naming and identification through the fun use of props were just a few of the activities the children took part in during the program. By practicing positive affirmations within ourselves and outwardly towards others, through person to person interaction in the session as well as making cards to give out to others outside the class, kindness was emphasized and how being kind makes us feel better ourselves was demonstrated.
For the last session, mindful movement and meditation helped to give the kids another method of practicing mindfulness silently within themselves, even in the “loudest” of settings. At the beginning of each class, we were able to reflect and discuss how we remembered and applied the last week’s lesson, and tie it all back into what we would be learning that day to build upon or already mastered skills. Each child was able to make and take a meditation glitter jar to continue honing those learned abilities at home with a visual aid.
Mindful Me was a hit!
Article by Pamela Gray, University of Connecticut 4-H Military Liaison