Mindfulness in the Classroom: Halloween Edition
Stress is an ever growing problem in our world today... you might even consider it to be an epidemic! Mindfulness exercises are a great way to help combat that! Bring mindfulness into the classroom this Halloween!
We love Halloween! Even the thought of it brings smiles to our faces! We love the costumes, the candy, the sense of giving, and the joy that it brings to so many! Halloween is a remarkable holiday in which so many strangers give selflessly to others and ask nothing in return!
This year, celebrate Halloween in your classroom in a mindful way! Here are a few spooktacular ways to bring mindfulness into the classroom!
For this activity, you will need a mini pumpkin for each student. Have the students lay down on their backs and place the pumpkin on their stomachs. Have the students watch the pumpkin rise and fall with each breath they take. Ask the students to continue watching the pumpkin as they slowly inhale and exhale three to five times. This practice is great for helping students slow down their breaths and exercise mindful breathing. The mini pumpkin helps the students to really see the movement of their bellies with each inhale and exhale. [source]
Halloween Meditation Jars
Have your students create their own Halloween themed meditation jars! Meditation jars are very similar to snow globes. They help kids slow down their thoughts by focusing on the movement of the objects inside the jars as they settle. These jars can be fancy or recycled water bottles - they just need to be clear. Have the students place some Halloween items that can float inside the jar along with some orange, purple, or black glitter and fill 3/4ths of the way with water. Add some glycerin, if you'd like, to help the items fall more slowly. Make sure the lid is closed tightly! Then have the students shake their meditation jars and watch the items swirl and settle. Have your students practice sitting quietly and clearing their minds, focusing solely on the items inside their meditation jars. [source]
You've probably read before how much we love Cosmic Kids Yoga. It is fantastic! We love their themed yoga episodes designed for kids! Check out their Halloween Special: Ruby Broom! It is the perfect 18-minute yoga practice for kids for Halloween.
The Monsters' Monster
Written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, The Monsters' Monster is an adorably funny book about three little monsters who thought of themselves as the biggest and baddest monsters around! To show just how bad they were they decided to build an even bigger and "badder" monster! To the surprise of the three little monsters, this new bigger monster is so grateful to be alive that he only wants to show his gratitude! It is a terrific book for starting a conversation about being grateful! It's also the perfect book to be followed up by writing in our Mindful Thoughts Journal! Each day students are asked to write about something or someone they are grateful for.
According to Moments a Day, "mindful colouring asks us to focus on how we choose and apply colour in a design to bring our awareness to the present moment. This process is similar to meditation, we let go of any thoughts about tomorrow or yesterday, or what we are going to do when we finish. 'In this current moment, I am colouring in.'" Mindful coloring is another terrific way to practice slowing down our thoughts and focusing on just one thing, coloring. Have your students practice clearing their minds and thinking only about their coloring. For example, they may think to themselves "I am picking up a blue crayon and I will use it to color in the water in this picture." Check out these Halloween Doodle Coloring Sheets.Or this freebie!
Our Mindful Thoughts Journals are filled with daily mindfulness activities for students to help them develop a growth mindset. Each monthly journal focuses on a different character education concept and reflection to build social emotional-learning skills. For example, October focuses on the concept of uniqueness. Students will think about how everyone is unique and also similar. We created these journals to help students become more mindful of their thoughts and actions and how they can impact others. We hope that this journal will help your students as much as it has helped ours!
We hope you and your students enjoy these mindfulness activities to celebrate Halloween this year! Have a spooktacular Halloween!