Summer break presents a wonderful opportunity to teach your children, and even yourself, some new mindful practices! Research shows that practicing mindfulness helps people of all ages better cope with the stress of everyday life.
This is a very simple mindfulness activity you can do with your child or entire group of children. We often use this activity during our Peacebuilders Summer Camp program to help children discover how to find a peaceful place within themselves when dealing with conflicts.
Mind bottles are also very simple and fun to make!
How to make a Mind Bottle:
- Find a clear plastic bottle with a lid/bottle cap to use. You can even put to good use an old container that has been washed and had its label removed.
- Select about a tablespoon of glitter and place it inside the bottle (using a funnel if the opening is small).
- Fill the bottle with water, leaving about a half inch of space at the top so that the water can swish when shaken.
- Replace lid/bottle cap.
How to use a Mind Bottle:
- Shake up your bottle
- What emotion does it remind you of when all of the contents of the bottle are flying around and spinning?
- When we feel stress, anger, and frustration, our brains are not able to think clearly. We often are not able to make good, healthy choices when our brains are clouded by stress.
- Shake it up again and try to look through it. It is hard to have clear thinking when our brain is full of chaos.
- Now take a deep breath and watch the glitter settle to the bottom of the bottle. Notice that there are 2 kinds of glitter. When we are stressed, it is hard to tell the big (important) stuff from the little (unimportant) stuff!
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lay down. Concentrate on nothing but the glitter falling peacefully. When your bottle is totally clear, imagine what that feels like in your brain.
- Last, think of what you can do when your mind feels stressed. Talk about what helps you feel calm and find someone who will promise to help remind you to do those things next time you are frustrated. Some simple ways to calm down are: deep breaths, exercise, walking, listening to music, laughing, and making an effort to stop thinking about the problem and coming back to it when you feel calm.
Learn more about Peace Learning Center programs by visiting our website at peacelearningcenter.org/what-we-do/