While November is all about giving thanks, ANY time of year is the right time to practice gratitude. Here are 15 gratitude activities you and your family can do together to start developing an attitude of gratitude!
Sarah is a 1st grade teacher who completed the Peace Play Children's Yoga Teacher Training in March of 2016. Check out her video below about what she has been up to since completing the training and the awesome ways she is helping to bring more peace to the world by incorporating daily yoga into her classroom.
There are so many simple, every day things we can do to teach children compassion, to show that we are all connected and to demonstrate how we can take care of each other. Children learn from example, so for the month of February I challenge you to model compassion and kindness as often as possible. Invite your children to participate, too! Below is a kindness calendar that you and your family can do together. One random act of kindness for each day. Have fun and spread the kindness!
Hear what some of the Peace Play graduates are doing with their certifications and learn more about how this training can benefit you, whether you are looking to start a career working with children or want to incorporate yoga into the work you are already doing. Below is a video from Peace Play graduate Alyssa Cariani on how becoming a Certified Children's Yoga Teacher has helped in her work as a Licensed Drug & Alcohol Counselor.
Alyssa Cariani is a licensed professional counselor, a licensed clinical drug & alcohol counselor and a mental health and addictions advocate. You can learn more about Alyssa at her Psychology Today page, get in touch with her via email or follow her on Instagram @alyssacarianitherapy.
By: Teresa Robinson, R-CYT & Peace Play Graduate
Vision boarding is a fun and creative way to teach children goal planning. A vision board is a collage of cutout pictures, words, and phrases that affirm or correlate to your goals, or anything you want to accomplish or acquire. Vision boards put the Law of Attraction in motion, which, simply put, is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we focus on. By creating a vision board, children create a daily visual reference to remind them of their goals and what they are working to achieve.
Though people of all ages benefit from having a vision board, this activity is especially beneficial to children because it teaches them how to look forward to what they want to accomplish, and provides a plan for them to succeed. Vision board parties provide a delightful atmosphere of bonding, self-reflection, and intention-setting. Having children create a vision board is a fun and creative way to get them thinking about and planning their future!
What you will need:
· poster board
· blank paper
· glue sticks
· markers or colored pencils
· other available arts & crafts supplies (stickers, glitter, etc).
To get started:
1. Have children sit quietly for a few moments to center.
2. Offer a brief introduction or explanation of the purpose of the vision board they will
3. Provide a sheet of paper for notes on what they want to accomplish this year.
4. Search through magazines; cut out pictures, words, phrases, images, etc.
5. Glue the cutouts to the board in any way desired. Be creative! This will be a daily
reminder of what you are working towards, so make it appealing to the eye!
6. Next, it’s time to state those intentions out loud, for the Universe to hear! Offer the
option to present their boards to the group.
7. Place vision board somewhere in the home where it will be seen every day (e.g.
hang/mount on bedroom wall, like a poster).
Vision boards are living documents and can be revisited/updated at any time, as needed/desired.
Teresa Robinson is a Peace Play Certified Children's Yoga Teacher, a Certified Yoga Teacher for adults and certified Reiki healer. She became a teacher in 2016, after the practice helped her overcome a long bout of depression and anxiety. A former athlete and lover of all things health and wellness, Teresa enjoys helping others find the balance between physical fitness and mindful living that works best for them. When she isn’t teaching yoga or helping others find their “zen,” Teresa enjoys spending time with her husband and their four children. Connect with Teresa on Facebook or her website.
Any time of the year is the right time to add healthy habits to your families routines. And since it is the season for making resolutions, how about resolving to do yoga (or more yoga!) with your kids? Here are some quick and easy ways you can incorporate yoga into your every day lives.
Whether you are a certified children's yoga teacher or have children of your own to play with, these yoga games are sure to get children of all ages in the holiday spirit! The following games focus on a winter theme instead of any specific holiday, making them perfect for all families and classes, regardless of what holidays you choose to celebrate.
This fun and festive game is set to holiday tunes!
What you need:
Upbeat holiday music
Space for dancing
How to play:
Have the kids spread out around the room so there is plenty of space for everyone. Explain the rules of the game before you begin: when you press play and the tunes are flowing, the kids are free to do their reindeer dancing around the room. (Be sure to tell them where the boundaries are so they don't wander off someplace they shouldn't be!) Let them use their imagination to dance however they think a reindeer would. When you press pause and the music stops the kids freeze in a reindeer yoga pose: sleeping reindeer (child's pose), flying reindeer (warrior III), reindeer tree (tree pose)! Get silly with it! You can pick the pose in advance and announce at the start of each round, or let them make up their own poses as they go.
The Giving Game
This arts & crafts game is a fun way to introduce children to each other, make new friends and discover the importance of giving rather than receiving.
What you need:
Child friendly scissors
Markers or crayons
Any other arts & crafts supplies you may have
How to play:
Write the names of each child in your class on a piece of paper and place the names in a bag. Go around the room and let everyone pick a name from the bag without telling who they have. They then get to create a holiday gift for their new friend out of the arts & crafts supplies you provide. If you are doing this at home with your children you can make a family game out of it, involving parents, grandparents, cousins, etc. Put on some holiday music in the background and allow them as much time as you can to use their imaginations and create whatever they like! Let the kids know when they only have a few minutes left so they can finish up. Once time is up, let the kids find their friends and give their holiday gifts. While they are receiving something as well as giving, the focus is on creating something for someone else, not waiting to see what they will get in return.
Trip to a Winter Wonderland
What you need:
How to play:
Set up the kids yoga mats in a circle so everyone can face each other. Announce that today they are taking a trip to a winter wonderland and there is only one way to get there - sledding! Have everyone put on their imaginary snow gear, have a seat in the middle of their sled (their yoga mat) and hold the top of the mat in their hands so they can steer. Up and over the snowy hills you go, stopping along the way to see all the winter animals and do yoga poses that match: penguins, snow owls, maybe even a reindeer! You can roll in the snow and make some snow angels and even have the kids make up their own snowflake pose. Remind them that no two snowflakes are alike, and to look around at all of the unique snowflakes in the room. Once you return it's time for imaginary hot chocolate and a nice nap (savasana) by the fire!
With Thanksgiving just a few days away and Christmas and Hanukkah right around the corner, now is the perfect time to teach children what it means to be grateful. There are countless ways to approach the topic of gratitude with children, from simple discussions to games and activities. One of my favorite ways is with an art project called Blessings in a Bag. Here's how to do this fun project at home with your kids or in your next children's yoga class.
1) Give each child a brown paper lunch bag to decorate and some small pieces of construction paper called "blessing cards".
2) Have the children write down something or someone they are thankful to have in their lives on one side of a blessing card, and drew a picture of that blessing on the other side. They can fill out as many blessing cards as they wish.
3) The cards are then put inside the blessing bag. Let the children find a special place to display their bag and pick special times to remove the blessing cards so they can literally count their blessings and remember all that they have to be thankful for. You can have them add more blessing cards daily, or whenever the mood strikes!
It is never too early to start teaching gratitude. If you are doing this with smaller children who are too young to write you can ask them to tell you about the things that are special to them and you write on the cards for them, or have them draw pictures.
Here are some great gratitude books to read with your little ones:
Remember that ANY time of the year is a perfect time for gratitude.