This is a mindfulness activity that I have generally practiced with preteens.
Recently I decided to try it on my younger yogis in a mixed age class of 5-10 years. I was surprised to see how much they loved it and were sitting so quietly and patiently waiting for their turn.
The purpose of activity is too slow down mentally and physically bringing awareness to having a slower approach to life.
Materials required – a miniature turtle/metal/clay or ceramic – small pouch of bag to place it in.
How to facilitate it – Get everyone seated in a circle and explain that the focus of this circle time is to ‘slow down’. When we begin to slow things we begin to become more aware of the little things in life that we may have not noticed when we are rushing around and not paying attention.
Begin to pass the pouch with the turtle inside around the circle. Ask the students to remain silent for this part of the activity as each one holds the pouch. Give them a few moments to feel and guess what is inside the pouch but ask them not to share what they think it is until the whole group has had a go.
Now invite them to share what they thought it could be – then reveal the turtle and place it in the centre. This is the perfect time to talk about how we feel when we are rushing compared to when we take our time to do things slowly in a more calm and relaxed manner.
This type of reflection can be wonderful to invite into our lives at the end of a busy year when children in particular start to get tired.
After all, slow and steady wins the race!
Karen Wightman is the founder of Creative Yogis. She is an experienced, local and international children’s yoga instructor, yoga teacher trainer, and children’s art teacher.
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