The art of mindfulness is to notice, so the benefits of Mindful Munch is to notice what we are putting into our bodies.
Our rainbow fruit salad for morning tea was the perfect learning opportunity to encourage slow, mindful eating habits.
To focus and learn different things about food. How it smells, how it feels and the sensation while chewing.
Each child was given a selection of fruits and were encouraged to do the following things:
- Take 3 mindful breaths before they started;
- Look at the fruit;
- Smell the fruit,
- Pick up a piece and give it a gentle squeeze;
- Slowly take a bite;
- Chew it slowly; and
- Then swallow.
The children were guided to select a second piece of fruit and repeat the process, this enabled them to pull on their knowledge to describe the differences.
Directing the children prior to tasting the pieces of fruit, gave the experience a focused outcome.
Each child had been given the tools to successfully recognise and identify the differences.
The importance of Focus.
Teaching the art of intention, is a life skill.
The power of concentration is taught through mindful focused experiences which trains your brain to fix your attention on one single thought or activity.
Awareness is key! Each time you notice your mind wandering off from the activity at hand; you stop and intentionally bring yourself back to the present moment by taking a mindful breath. This will enable you to return your focus back to the matter/object of your attention.
Gearing up for formal schooling, pre-prep children are encouraged to focus on experiences for longer periods of time. Experiences and projects are carried over a period of days or weeks so the children pick up where they left off previously.
Being able to focus is a skill and something that needs to be taught through intentional guided experiences.
By taking advantage of everyday events and occurrences in the classroom the intentionally guided focus experience are fun and engaging.
Did you hear me! Are you listening to me!
Did you know that hearing something is different to listening to something?
Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. Hearing simply happens.
Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that you brain processes meaning from words and sentences.
One Focused experience from our classroom is the game “Open Ears”.
The children sit on the mat in a comfortable position and we play a variety of different sound effects.
The children are encouraged to tap into their hearing senses by closing their eyes and listening.
When they are able to identify the sound, they place their hands on their heads.
The arrangement of sounds are completely random and a mixture of easy and difficult.
When a sound is difficult the children are encouraged to ‘reset” their focus by taking 3 mindful breaths and tuning into the sound.
One of the main differences between the early years program and the kindergarten program is the requirement of focused learning experiences.
This is one of the major transitions that occur in pre-prep, and it is one that will greatly assist children in later schooling.
That’s all from Miss Patti and the Sea Turtles (Pingins)