Enjoy this relaxing guided audio meditation for children exploring the beauty of autumn. Use this meditation before bedtime for a peaceful night's sleep or anytime to help your child feel more calm, peaceful, and relaxed. Narration by Andrea Creel, Shining Kids Yoga http://www.shiningkidsyoga.com Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) "River Flute" Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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Today's guest blogger is children's yoga teacher and professional artist, Meg Schaap! Meg teaches the after-school yoga classes at Travilah Elementary, Beverly Farms Elementary, Primary Montessori Day School, and Dufief Elementary.
Magical Meditation Stones
Meditation stones are a creative and fun way to help children learn how to meditate. Kids love making their own magical meditation stones, or you can make one as a special gift for your child. Check out the step-by-step instructions below!
What you need:
- A clean rock (you can find one in nature, or purchase from Michael's or another craft store)
- Acrylic paint in your favorite colors (Craft smart acrylic paint, Michaels)
- small paintbrush
- cup of water and paper towel
- Permanent sealer (Krylon satin finish)
Once you have all of the materials, take a few minutes to get quiet, close your eyes, and think about what you are going to paint on it. It can be anything; some suggestions are: a flower, heart, flying bird, a tree, a butterfly, or anything you like.
Next, find an even spot on the rock, where it is easy to paint on. Get the paint, put all the colors you need on a plate and dip your paintbrush in the cup of water and then dry it a little on the paper towel. Decide which color you want to start with. I find it easy to outline whatever you want to paint and then you use other colors to color it in. Every time you use another color you clean your brush and dry it on the paper towel if you want bright colors. Make sure your paintbrush is not too wet or too dry when you paint. Also you can let the paint dry in between so the colors are not bleeding through each other.
If you make a mistake, you can easily wipe the paint off and start over again. Once you like what you painted, you let it dry for an hour and then get the spray sealer, and just spray one or two times and let this dry again.
There you are….. you have your own magical meditation stone!
The stone can be used as a focal point during meditation or relaxation - for example, your child can place the stone in front of them to look at the image, or lie down, close their eyes and place the stone on their belly as they relax. I tell the children in class that the stone is magic; when you focus on the stone, all the magic goes inside of you!
- Meg Schaap
A few weeks ago, one of my private clients was stacking her yoga blocks during our session and mentioned that it felt like she was playing Jenga. I'm always thinking about new activities to do in my classes with children, and her comment got me thinking...what if I created a Jenga game that included names of yoga poses, so every time someone pulls out a piece, we do the pose?
So, I bought a new Jenga game, wrote down a bunch of pose names and some special breathing practices on each of the pieces, and voila - Yoga Jenga was born!
This is a great way of spending time together playing games as a family, and practicing yoga together, too!
I can't wait to play this game with all of my yoga students in class this fall!
Want to make your own game? Here are some pose and breathing ideas to get you started! Feel free to add in your favorites, too!
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Andrea is the founder of Shining Kids Yoga, which began as an after-school program at her son's elementary school in 2014. She has been teaching yoga to all ages since 2005. Andrea completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training & prenatal yoga training at Tranquil Space Yoga in Washington, D.C. In addition, she received specialized training in children’s yoga from the Radiant Child Yoga program, training in postnatal yoga from Baby OM, and training in therapeutic yoga from The Samarya Center.
Andrea is also a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) through the State of Maryland, having received her MSW degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore.
She has taught yoga for children at yoga studios throughout the DC area, including Tranquil Space, Budding Yogis, Rock Creek Yoga and Warrior One Yoga. She also teaches classes for adults at Yoga Bliss Studios and Extend Yoga, where she is on the yoga teacher training faculty.
When not teaching or practicing yoga, Andrea enjoys playing board games with her son, Quinn, singing karaoke, and trying out new vegetarian recipes!
As a yoga teacher, I get pretty happy when I get to do yoga with my son, Quinn. We laugh, fall down, and help each other stretch and open our bodies. It's a chance for us to connect and be present and let go of the busyness that can often envelope our day-to-day lives. I know the days when he will want to do yoga with me (or do anything with me) are limited, and so I savor each double down dog and lizard on a rock pose we do together.
I love being able to bring yoga to other families, too. To show them new ways to connect with each other through poses, games, and relaxation.
This summer, I'll be offering 3 Family Yoga Workshops for children ages 5-11 and their parents. If you'd like to join me, you can sign up your family for one, two, or three classes (discounts available when you sign up for multiple classes!). I look forward to seeing you and your family on the mat.