The start of a new school year can bring about a mix of emotions, from the excitement of new beginnings to the nerves of unfamiliar settings, whether it's stepping into daycare for the first time or a new elementary school classroom. As your child faces these transitions, consider these following mindful games inspired by some of our favorite children’s books and mindfulness experts.
🌱💖 Seeds of Love, to help your little ones build confidence by setting intentions for the school year ahead.
Drawing inspiration from the cherished children's book "The Carrot Seed," written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Crockett Johnson, we explore the tale of a determined young boy planting a carrot seed despite skepticism. The boy's nurturing efforts yield a thriving carrot. Encourage your child's reflection on the upcoming school year by posing a thought-provoking question: "When the boy sows a seed from a packet of carrot seeds, what should he expect to grow?"
Could a tomato sprout? How about a watermelon? Or corn and sunflowers?” Clearly, planting carrot seeds yields carrots alone. Similar principles apply to our actions. Just as sowing seeds of love, confidence, patience, and kindness cultivates these qualities, planting doubt or negativity yields their counterparts. End the game by asking your child “What seeds do you want to plant for the new school year?”
🍕🧠Don’t think of Pizza! for kiddos who might tend to keep everything inside
This game is inspired by Mingyur Rinpoche! Find a cozy space, close your eyes, and dedicate 15 seconds to anything except pizza thoughts. Ready to give it a go? JUST DON’T THINK OF PIZZA!
Open your eyes when you're ready.
How did it play out? If, like most of us, you pondered about pizza, here's why: thoughts tend to amplify, persisting the harder we attempt to suppress them. This mirrors how emotions, like those associated with the first month of school, can intensify when we try to avoid them. Discuss with your child how not to stifle feelings, but rather, to embrace their emergence, even if they resemble pizza thoughts.
🧸🐻 Same bear but different, great for helping seed those new friendships
This game is inspired by Susan Kaizer Greenland, the wonderful child psychologist. In this video she takes us through the story of two boys—one introverted and the other extroverted. Together we notice the many ways that they are the same and different. We talk about ways that our friends and family members are the same and different. We wrap up by noticing that even though people might be different than us in some ways, it doesn't take long to find the things we have in common too.