Monday, April 27, 2009

Meditation Monday- Kerry Lee Maclean

Here is a linky to an author and family meditation teacher with some interactive kids' meditation activities and other resources:

Family Meditation Website

Enjoy and have a great week!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jose Luis Orozco contest

Jose Luis Orozco is a musician and writer who has published books and cd's relating to traditional Latin songs and games. I have been using his CD De Colores and the accompanying picture book with illustrations by Elisa Kleven since 1996 when I taught pre-k and kinder in a bilingual preschool in Coral Gables, Florida. You can learn more about him here.

Tati at Wanna Jugar with Migo? had the opportunity to interview him recently and is now sponsoring a contest to win one of his CD's. Visit her blog for details!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meditation Monday: Creating a spot at home

So you've decided that incorporating a meditation practice in your family is a good idea but aren't sure what to do next?
Younger children will learn the most by watching what you model; don't worry about trying to get children younger than 6 or 7 to "sit" and meditate. Some may join in on their own, but all are absorbing some level of your activity. In his book, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Parenthood" Deepak Chopra suggests that after the age of 7 or 8 children are more ready to practice along with you.

A serene spot can be carved out in even the smallest of living spaces. First, sit down and consider what part of your home makes you feel the most calm, relaxed and clear. Is it inside or out? Away from phones and electronics? Now look at the list of elements below and pick a few that seem inspiring to you:

*add a plant
*create a small altar (This could be as simple as a windowsill or small box)
*Where will you sit? In a chair? on a cushion?

Since I switch between eyes open and eyes closed during my own practice, I prefer to sit on a throw pillow in front of a window or sliding glass door. Instant zen. Of course, practicing at home may be difficult with the din of daily life (and kids!) around, so perhaps walking to a nearby park or grove will provide the "innerspace" for a few minutes of quiet reflection. If leaving the house proves impossible, try to communicate the importance of this quiet time to the rest of the family. Start by hanging a small signal (such as a bright ribbon) near wear you sit to remind kids of what you are doing and keeping the time short (5 minutes to start) so they can adjust. You may even be surprised to see that they begin to sit near you and emulate your practice after a while. Meditation can seem daunting if you bite off big chunks- "How can I sit still for 20 minutes doing NOTHING when there is so much I need to do?" but if you start with five minutes on a throw pillow every time you think of it, the practice will grow on its own!

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Scavenger Hunt

Following a trail of clues to a Springy surprise is sure to delight kids of all ages!

Hide numbered clues around your house, setting your own boundaries for safety or convenience. For example, you can say "All the clues are inside." or "There are no clues beyond the garage door." Clues could be indoors and out, if the weather has turned nice.

For younger pre-readers, use picture clues showing where the next clue can be found.

For emergent readers, use a combination of writing and picture symbols or create a rebus puzzle to communicate the clue.

As children become more experienced readers, use written clues or riddles for them to find each successive clue.

The surprise at the end could be a spring picnic, a basket of flowers, or another fun activity to do together!

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