The Christmas and New Year whirlwind is always a crazy one with a house of little people in tow and doesn’t leave any of us much time to stop, think and reflect. We’re constantly onto the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.
We’re not big on New Year’s resolutions here but one thing we will be trying to do is to put just a few minutes aside once a day for some mindfulness. Practising mindfulness can help children to enhance their focus and improve their attention span as well as help to develop their decision-making abilities.
This doesn’t mean we’ll be roping our kids into silent meditation for half an hour. Rather just taking the time to really focus on an activity in hand, noticing thoughts, feelings and sensations that are happening around us right now. Whether that is paying attention to the noises, smells and colours on the walk to school or taking a moment to watch our bellies move as we breath.
Sitting down for a cup of tea with your crew is a great place to start. In fact tea mindfulness or meditation is a well-established ritual and a brilliant way of taking 5 minutes in your day to put aside everything else that is going on. It’s beneficial for kids and adults too. This activity works especially well if everyone has their own cup and sits down together - kids will find it easier to engage in mindful activities if you join in with the journey too.
Small & Wild tea is a brilliant accompaniment for a mindful moment with each blend being specially crafted for children’s tastebuds, boxes featuring hand-drawn illustrations to capture children’s imaginations and lovely large pyramid bags that really show off all the beautiful ingredients.
· Talk to your little people about the process of making the tea. Choose a tea blend together and take time to look first at the box and then at the ingredients in the tea bag – can you spot the different fruits, herbs, flowers and spices?
· Listen to the sound of the kettle boiling, watch the steam together – is it making interesting patterns?
· Watch the colour of the tea develop and change, get them to swirl the tea bag and watch what happens.
· Put your hands around the cup and feel the warmth.
· Smell the tea… talk about what you can smell. Do the aromas stop at the tip of your nose or go all the way to the back?
· Taste the tea. Is it earthy, fruity, sweet, heavy, light? How would they explain it?
· Feel the liquid in your mouth, going down your throat and into your stomach.
· Does the warmth of the cup change as you drink the tea?
My eldest also got the great ABC Yoga for kids book this Christmas and running through each of the poses, focusing on listening to 5 smooth breaths in each pose and seeing how they make us feel, has been a lovely relaxing (and fun!) activity.
Happy tea drinking & Namaste x