You’ve probably heard that meditation offers many health benefits from improved concentration and reduced stress. It’s one reason I made trying meditation my challenge for January. The practice has also shown benefits for children too. As I’ve discovered, focus can be the hardest part of meditation so having something to focus on can help kids from becoming distracted.
Using a wooden bead kit the kids are able to create their own diy meditation chain. Most meditation chains have over one hundred beads on them but we kept ours at fifty. You can make the length any amount you desire. The purpose of the beads is to keep track of how far you are in your meditation but also to take a moment and focus on a thought, a positive affirmation.
When we created our memory keepers the kids took time to remember a positive moment each day and saved them to review at the end of the month. Anyone who has experienced a positive thought or memory knows the impact it can have on your mood and outlook. In meditation some people recite a mantra to help their mind enter a deeper meditative state. Repeating the mantra, either silently or out loud helps you to discount from distracting thoughts.
Instead of using a mantra I had the kids recite a positive affirmation, like “I have lots of friends who love me” or “I am a kind person”. Our thoughts can influence who we are and believe we are so these repetitive affirmations reinforcing positive beliefs. Isn’t that something we want all our children to feel?
Holding the meditation chain, the kids recite their positive affirmation with their fingers on the first bead. When done they slide their fingers to the next bead and repeat the phrase, moving from bead to bead until they come to the end of the chain. Imagine the impact on a child’s self esteem when they remind themselves fifty times that they are full of love, kind, and wonderful?
Unlike a traditional beading project this diy meditation chain is designed to help kids focus so we used beads that are all roughly the same size, making it easy for fingers to move smoothly from one bead to the next. You can add slightly different beads at fixed intervals, such as a larger bead or a textured bead at every fifth or tenth bead as a marker to where you are in the chain. We added one of the larger beads at the beginning of our chain to indicate the start and end of the meditation.
The meditation process is something the whole family can do together (even us parents can use a little positive self esteem reminder now and again) but once the kids are familiar with the process of using the chain they can use it on their own. The meditation chain is a great way to wind down before bed, cope with stress about a test or just to feel better on a bad day.
Have you tried a form of meditation or relaxation with the kids before?