Planning MMM Sessions for Children
I’ve been teaching Movement, Meditation and Mindfulness to children of all ages and abilities for over ten years. During this time, I’ve learned to make it look easy but there is so much more involved than meets the eye; so for this week's post thought I would share a few tips on planning effective, engaging and beneficial MMM sessions for kiddos.
And if you’re looking for something to do with your kids this week, scroll down to the very bottom for links to MMM videos designed with a summer beach theme, appropriate for mixed ages. As always, there is a chair accessible and mat friendly video for you and your kids to enjoy.
Happy moving, breathing, stretching, playing.
Lisa Roberts xoxo
Planning MMM Sessions for Children
Is there a set of magic ingredients to inspire children to get on the mat, explore their bodies and move, breathe and play mindfully? Hold that thought, inspiring children to practice and stay engaged in your sessions is definitely a huge element of planning and I’ll definitely cover that in this post. But, more importantly to truly benefit kids through regular MMM practices you must consider a child’s developmental and personal needs and goals.
Here’s a brief checklist:
Developmentally Appropriate: What is the developmental age of your child? Make sure what you are offering is suitable this stage. This will absolutely help you to maintain engagement and interest as well as offering something within their developmental capacity. If it’s too easy or boring, your child won’t want to participate. If it’s too challenging, too long, and just not fun, a child may lose interest and give up pretty easily.
Developmental Supportive: Plan sessions to include appropriate activities for your child’s developmental stage, such as things you know she will be able to do quite easily and add in a few challenges to support growth and development. There are MMMM activities to support cognitive, emotional, physical, sensory and social development.
Important note: If your child is developmentally delayed or advanced, you must consider this when planning! For example, a sixteen-year-old who is developmentally would respond to a session that is appropriate for a five year (think language, theme, length of practice and activities) BUT you must also consider including movement that is physically supportive to a developing 16-year-old body (growth spurts, hormonal changes etc.).
Balanced and Beneficial: Well-planned classes include a little bit of everything. Expose your kids to a balance of mindful breathing, mindful movement, and meditation and relaxation skills. Work with your child to find what works best for their personality and learning style.
Flow and Engagement: Brush up on planning and class management skills. A great session flows well and this helps to maintain engagement. Learn about pacing, transitions and how to redirect attention and energy, mindfully, of course!
Then to top it off, make it fun and engaging for kids by incorporating creative themes, playful games, and activities such as arts and crafts.
I’ve had far too many beautiful experiences during my journey as a pediatric yoga specialist to pick just one highlight or benefit. However, I can attest that as much work is it, the reward is most definitely worth the effort. If you need more support please check out my MMM training webinars, designed for parents, educators and pediatric professionals.
Ready to learn more? Check out the following webinars:
FREE Videos: Mixed Age MMM for Kids