Inclusive Mindfulness For Kids (Part 2)
Last month, we asked the question “Will mindfulness really work for my kids?” For this month, we’re sharing practical tips & tricks for educators looking to bring trauma-informed care to their classrooms. These evidence-based interventions are approachable enough for all students (and even all teachers!).
Incorporate A Multimodal Approach
When you hear mindfulness, you may think of a cross-legged yogi sitting on a mountain top, eyes closed, pointer finger touching thumbs, resting their hands on their knees. This structured meditation may be a great practice for some, but not for restless kids under 12! Using multi-modal learning, we can teach awareness through music, movement, dance, art, and games. In fact, just like academics, students learn new emotional skills best when they use all five senses.
Teacher and Student Ownership
Most kids go through their days listening to grown-ups tell them what to do, where to go, and how to act. What if the students in your classroom got to chose their own mindfulness adventure? Our K-8 curriculum provides scripted stress-reduction activities, led by children and adults. We also offer audio recordings of “mindful moments” read by an actual student, so that kids can model after other kids. Research shows that students learn best by doing, not by just listening.
Dr. Darlene Sampson, a pioneer in equity & inclusion in education, introduced our team to student-led Social Emotional Learning (SEL). This culturally responsive pedagogy gives kids the choice to name, design, and plan their own SEL. For example, some students changed “mindfulness” to “calming time” or “let’s chill.” When children feel empowered as co-creators, awareness practices are more likely to last outside of the classroom. Let your class make it their own and be there to support the process, not lead it.