Whatever the weather is like outside, with young children we can also talk about the “weather” inside us as a kid-friendly way of helping teach self-awareness, which the World Health Organization defines as one of five core skills necessary for good mental health.
Like any skill, self-awareness needs to be taught, and then practiced—and it’s never too early to start. Simple mindfulness is an ideal way for young children to begin developing this essential skill. Try this easy exercise with your kids:
How’s the weather outside today?
Maybe it’s rainy, or maybe it’s sunny.
What’s the weather like inside you?
Take a long breath in, and let it all the way out.
Do you feel bright and sunny today?
Do you feel gray and cloudy?
Or do you feel like something else?
Maybe it feels like a thunderstorm inside you.
Or maybe it’s a clear day.
Think about what kind of weather it feels like inside your body.
Any kind of weather is ok.
Take another long breath in, and let it all the way out.
My Mindfulness Moments for Kids board book series is designed to gently introduce simple mindfulness concepts to the youngest of practictioners. The first two books—Listen Like and Elephant and Breathe Like a Bear—are out now!
(And if you’ve enjoyed either of these books with your littles, it would help me so much if you’d leave a review—thank you!)