Discover how to make your own Mini Zen Garden. This is a perfect mindful activity for children and adults!
A Zen Garden is a simple item to make with kids and it is absolutely loved by all ages. It is also an easy strategy to help kids relax and calm down after a busy day or stressful time. I also love how it can be used indoors at any time and doesn’t take up much space!
When I think on all the times I’ve done art activities with children, it is truly a time that has allowed for creativity, self-expression and connecting. Our hands were busy, and the creative juices were flowing.
The creativity and self-expression that shines when a child is involved in crafting and creating is important in childhood development.
Merging yoga with craft time will only expand the benefits children receive as they move their bodies and allow imaginations to flow.
Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Games & Activities for Children
How to make your own Mini Zen Garden is included in our new bestselling book, Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Games & Activities includes over 150 activities to keep kids engaged, thinking creatively, and practicing self-expression.
How to Make a Mini Zen Garden:
Baby plates or a container that won’t break easily
rocks, crystals, melted crayon (for jewels!) or any other small item
wooden or plastic fork
Add sand to your container. Include rocks, or crystals. Use your rake (fork) to draw designs in the sand.
See More Yoga Crafts and Activities Below:
When you become inspired through your creating your energy is lifted. Just like yoga, there are a number of benefits that come along with crafting, which is known to help kids develop fine motor skills, teaches children to follow instruction while also allowing them to express themselves, and creates bonds, whether that’s with a parent, teacher, or peer.
Exploring art with children is the perfect way to connect. This is true for all ages!
This week The Kids Yoga Podcast is joined by Sara Weis, Founder of Go Go Yoga for Kids. They discuss how a running injury led Sara to yoga and how she became inspired to teach kids yoga and start her own company.
Our world is changing, and our kids face different challenges and commitments then they have in the past. There are many demands on kids’ time and pressure to do well at what they are involved in. This includes school, family, friends, sports, quickly changing technology, and other interests. That leaves us with kids who have a lot going on as they try to figure out a way to balance it all.
Not only that, but we know that our world has changed with the pandemic. It is important to continue to help continue to connect with one another (online or in person) as well as teaching them the yoga and mindfulness tools that can carry them into adulthood.
Kids need to learn how to responsibly handle the world we live in. Yoga and mindfulness are skill that can benefit all kids no matter what activities they are involved in or what their interests and abilities are. Yoga meets everyone at any stage and provides incredible extrinsic and intrinsic benefits. Discover the Super 7 Benefits of Yoga for Children here.
Kids that practice yoga are getting stronger mentally and physically. They are healthy, strong, and more confident. Not only this, but it can help them in school, in their extracurricular activities and absolutely in their day to day lives.
#2 It is Easier to Teach Yoga to Children Now More Than Ever
I used my background in Early Childhood and my Master’s Degree in Education as I reviewed and researched child development and the best ways that children learn. I had to figure it out and spent hours and hours researching, writing kids yoga lesson plans, trying them out with kids, and modifying to know exactly what works for teaching yoga to children.
I wanted these kids yoga lesson plans and classes to be engaging, beneficial, and memorable for kids.
Go Go Yoga for Kids prides itself on making yoga for children doable and FUN for the kids AND you to teach. I want you to succeed in teaching yoga to children.
I am excited to share 20+ years of teaching kids compiled for you into our popular online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training. I spent years figuring out what works and what doesn’t work for teaching kids yoga. I researched, tried, and tested during hundreds of kids yoga classes until I figured out what really worked! Stop wasting your time trying to piece random things into something that works.
I want to make this easy for you. I want you to be able to completely go into any kids environment (studios, camps, clubs, classes, at home) and confidently introduce children to yoga. I know you can give those children quality and inspiring classes. It is so exciting and truly makes such a positive difference.
#3 It is About Making a Difference
There is nothing like seeing the kids faces full of contentment at the end of Savasana (Discover how to easily get children into Savasana here). It is also about watching the kids master a pose after working on it for weeks. It is about seeing a child take a few deep breaths before starting a test or before a soccer game. These kids are in tune with what their bodies need and that is so important. It is all about giving children the tools that they will have for life.
Every Fall, there is a rite of passage for kids aged preschool through college which involves preparing to go back to school. Usually, this means gathering school supplies, going school clothes shopping, registering for sports and activities, as well as Meet the Teacher Night or visiting the school before the start date which are usually part of back to school help.
This year with Covid-19, it is all different. We are all feeling a different amount of stress and so many new decisions to make. Do you have the choice of hybrid, in-person classes or online? Or was the decision made for you? The start of this school year feels very different.
The worries and fear of the unknown are real. Parents and children may feel nervous about contracting Covid-19 at school. They worry about social distancing and mask mandates. The information from the schools and state is continuously shifting and changing information as well as the reopening process and protocols. This definitely leads to more feelings of worry and uncertainty.
While levels of anxiety and stress may be high, parents play an influential role in helping children cope, encouraging a positive back-to-school transition and helping to reduce children’s anxiety and worries. These mini yoga brain breaks can help.
Enjoy the Following Back to School Help and Tips
Have Honest Discussions
It is important to sit down and really talk to your child. It doesn’t matter their age. Spend some time talking about how things may be different. As them if there are are specific things they are worried or concerned about, and talk these through with them.
Talk to them about what they can do to stay safe such as hand washing, using hand-santizer, keeping their distance from others avoid touching their face.
Get a Routine in Place
This is very important for children! Kids thrive on routines in place because they know what to expect and they feel like they have control.
Even if school is online; continue to have your children wake up at the same time and follow a morning routine such as eating breakfast, brushing teeth and getting dressed for the day.
If your children are headed to school in person. Plan on certain places to keep masks easily accessible such as on hooks by the door. Have children help prepare the night before with homework completed and packed into a backpack, lunch prepared and in the fridge, and school clothes laid out. These simple steps will save so much time in the morning and really help with building a routine.
Children ages 3 and older are also old enough to have chores and to contribute positively to the family. Chores such as putting away dishes from the dishwasher, watering plants, walking the dog, taking garbage out, all help build responsibility and community within a family.
It’s important to acknowledge children’s worries, but parents also need to encourage their children to focus on the things that are positive and they are forward to.
Before school starts, you can ask, “What are you looking forward to about school school?” or “What have you missed about school?” Once school starts, you can ask, “What was something great that happened today?”
At dinner, we like to take turns sharing something positive about our day. With so much negativity going on, it is important to truly be intentional about looking for the positive.
Be a Role Model
Children are watching and looking to us. They are noticing how we are responding to the changes and new challenges. Children even pick up on the nonverbal with our facial expressions.
It’s OK for us to feel uncertain and worried. However, as much as possible, try to model calm and confident attitudes about returning to school for your child and use cheerful, positive messages.
Please take the time to care for your own well-being and mental health. Be kind to yourself and one another. Seek out help if you needed. You are not alone. Make time for what makes you happy.
While this year’s back to school is different, we can help children feel optimistic by listening to their worries, helping them feel confident by establishing routines and coping strategies. Our kids need us to lead the way for a successful back-to-school transition and to develop the lifelong skills they will need in the future.