Mother and two kids practicing mindfulness on a couch

Creating a Peaceful Break for Your Whole Family

As I write this post, my husband is trying to keep my toddler entertained, I am worried that seeing my older parents adds to their risk of getting COVID-19, and I made the mistake of checking Twitter again. I imagine this sounds familiar to just about everyone right now. I want to be sure that, even on challenging days like these, my son’s day contains joy and calm. Before COVID-19, I was planning a mindful storytime for the library. Now, I am bringing elements of mindful storytime to my own home.

Over the last few years, mindful storytimes have become popular in libraries and schools. These storytimes usually include some kid-friendly meditation, a little yoga to get the wiggles out, and a few gentle, mindful picture books. 

If a little mindfulness feels like a good addition to your day, it’s pretty simple. Throw your yoga mats down on the living room floor or unroll a blanket in the backyard, pick out a few good e-books, and enjoy a peaceful break. 

Here are some resources to get you started: 

Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel is the best guide I’ve found for exploring mindfulness with kids. Snel never diminishes the feelings of children, is realistic about family life, and offers easy, fun exercises. You can read the whole book or use the book and her accompanying website to dive right in to some simple practices.

Here and Now by Julia Denos is a beautiful picture book that inspires children and adults with the power of the present moment.

In Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris, a group of animals discover the value each of them brings to the others as they flow along a river full of surprise and adventure.

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld introduces kids to the power of listening. After something sad happens to Taylor, only the rabbit knows how to help. The rabbit listens with full attention and empathy. This book is an excellent illustration of mindful communication for readers of any age.

The books below are from Tumblebooks, MCPL’s online collection of animated, talking picture books.

What Matters by Alison Hughes and Holly Hatam demonstrates the ripple effects of one small act of compassion.

Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings by Naseem Hrab is silly and funny while exploring the sadness of feeling left-out and distant from a friend. Ira discovers the power of a friendship strong enough to let her feel her full sadness. I particularly love that Ira locates her feelings in her body.

Sloth at the Zoom by Helaine Becker Sloth helps the fast moving animals of the Zoom discover the value of slowing down.

If you want to practice yoga with kids, there are many videos available. I like Yoga with Adrienne’s Yoga with Kids.

Regardless of the resource you choose, I hope it brings some fun and calm to your family’s day!