Peacemaking and mindfulness are two major themes that run throughout our curriculum. A few projects we've done to help plant the seeds are:
- Glitter jars for focusing attention and calming down
- Mandalas and other art projects with simple colors and tools to stimulate attentive creativity
- Breathing wands for bringing attention to breathing
- Essential oil playdough for noticing textures and scents
Peace breaks: About ten seconds of breathing before we transition into a new activity. We turn off the lights, put our hands on our chests or tummies and hum after each deep breath. We usually do three or four breaths each peace break. The children seem to feel some benefit and often remind us to do them!
Nature observations: We love to play outside! And in the winter months we love to bring nature indoors as well. We take time to notice the textures, smells, and colors in natural materials. Making imprints in playdough with shells is a simple and fun way to explore this idea. The Saplings also like to notice, and repeat bird calls.
Listening games: Another chance to playfully integrate stillness and attention into the day.
Snack blessing: We sing the snack blessing before morning and afternoon snack. We intend the blessing as a moment to show gratitude for and attention to our meal.
Yoga invitations: We've posted pictures of a few yoga poses on one of our walls. The children like to practice the poses alone or with friends, and it gives them a safe and new way to use their bodies intentionally.
The teachers also work to notice the needs expressed by each child's body language. Sometimes internal peace can be found in a tight snuggle or directing restless feet to do a silly dance.