Monthly Mindful Moment: Body Scan

Happy April! This month’s mindful moment is no April Fool’s joke – taking the time to intentionally scan each part of your body and notice how it feels can help us tune in to our feelings and emotions in a powerful way. And to make it more fun for kids to remember, we like to pretend that we’re using a flashlight while slooooowly and quietly singing “head, shoulders, knees and toes.” You can throw in other parts of the body, too, as you sing and shine, until you’ve gone from head to toe and back again. After you’re done, give your child a few extra quiet moments to notice how their body is feeling, and then talk about it together.

If you both like doing the Body Scan, try following along with our friend JusTme as he leads kids in a Body Scan a bit differently. You can check him out in this awesome video.  However you do your body scan, we hope that this practice helps you and your child feel more in tune with what your bodies are saying this month. Happy shining!

-Jillian & the Peace of Mind Team

Neuroscience and Mindfulness in Early Childhood

What can 4 and 5 year olds learn about neuroscience and their brains? As it turns out, plenty! This week we finished up our Peace of Mind Pre-K and K unit on the brain, and it never fails to amaze me how much these little brains are soaking up. When we first started out five weeks ago, the words “hippocampus” and “amygdala” were so foreign and strange on their tongues (pickle-campus and hippo-camper were two of my favorite bungles) and truthfully, felt strange to me as an educator to be teaching, too.

“Maybe this is too much for them,” I thought. “Maybe I need to slow it down a little more, or come up with cutesy phrases like “wise owl” instead of “Pre-frontal cortex.” But by the second class, I was impressed that several kids were already using their hippocampi to recall all these terms and facts after just one lesson! By the third and fourth weeks, more kids joined in with recalling the three parts of the brain we had been learning and what each part does. As the material became less novel and more familiar, our enjoyment of the content increased too.

At Peace of Mind,  we believe that this knowledge helps children better understand their emotions, behaviors, and reactions, which leads to increased self-control and self-management. Continue reading