The kindergarten and first-grade classes had a very special opportunity to practice mindfulness with Annie Ranger, the author of Mindful Owl Adventures. Ms. Ranger explained that “mindfulness is the act of being fully present in each moment with kindness and without judgment.” She began the lesson by having the students practice breathing.

Ms. Ranger then shared her book.

She ended the lesson by sharing another mindfulness tool….glitter jars.


The purpose of these jars is to take calming breaths while the glitter moves from the top of the jar to the bottom. The students could not get enough of these fun jars and begged me to put the recipe on the blog. Here is how you make them:

Find a small water bottle or jar (These were Voss water bottles.) Fill the bottle with 80% water and 20% clear dish soap or clear glue. Add glitter or small acrylic beads, buttons, or scatter like the hearts above. Shake and enjoy the peacefulness the jars create.



During Swooper Citizens this week we introduced the concept of peacefulness or feeling calm and at ease. We talked about how we feel and how our bodies respond when we are peacefulf. I showed this great video clip:

I asked students to identify a place where they go to be peaceful. The lesson then shifted to the practice of mindfulness, as I read aloud the book I Am Peace by Susan Verde.

“When the world feels chaotic, find peace within through an accessible mindfulness practice from the bestselling picture-book dream team that brought us I Am Yoga. Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth. Wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Breathe, taste, smell, touch, and be present.

Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan Verde’s gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds’s expressive watercolor illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a kid-friendly level. Featuring an author’s note about the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I Am Peace will help readers of all ages feel grounded and restored.” (Amazon)


At the end of the book is a guided mindfulness activity that the students enjoyed.

We ended the session with a pebble meditation activity based on the book A Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh.

I had each of the students choose a pebble to hold in their hand.


I modified the practice to include just one pebble. Students were encouraged to rub the pebble as I read a few of the short meditation cards. Practicing pebble meditation can help relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude, and can help children deal with difficult emotions.


Next week, Annie Ranger, author of Mindful Owl Adventures, will visit our class during Swooper Citizens to continue our practice of mindfulness. We are excited to welcome her!

Mindfulness Update

We continued practicing Mindfulness this week. Students listened to the book When Sophie Gets Really, Really Angry, by Molly Bang. In this book, Sophie gets very angry. She yells, and she feels like a volcano ready to explode. She runs until she can’t run anymore. She cries. Then she sits on a rock and listens to the sounds of nature. She feels the breeze, and “The world comforts her.” Students recognized right away that Sophie was practicing mindfulness.

Next, we showed students this video:

We loved the idea of the glitter jar, and we decided to have each student make one.

Add glitter, water, a bit of glycerin, and watch the glitter gently float to the bottom of the jar.

Now that’s relaxing!


Over the next several weeks, we will be learning about mindfulness in Swooper Citizens. Being mindful means calming your body and your brain, and focusing on the moment. During this very busy time of year, mindfulness is the perfect thing to practice!

Our lesson began with students identifying what happens to their bodies when they are feeling excited, nervous, mad, sad, or happy. We asked students to discuss what happens to their bodies when they are feeling calm. What happens to your mind when you are calm?

To further introduce the concept of mindfulness to the students, we showed them this short video clip:

“The owl stopped. She noticed her stomach didn’t hurt anymore. She was calm, and her heart felt open.”

One could hear a pin drop during this video. The students’ bodies were calm. They were practicing mindfulness, and they did not even know it yet!

I then mentioned that in order to be mindful, one needs to be able to pause or take a break. I read aloud a book called A World of Pausabilities, by Frank J. Sileo

We also talked about when we might use mindfulness in our every day lives.  Students suggested it might be helpful in situations where they feel nervous, angry, frustrated, or sad — or when they’re trying to fall asleep at night!

Then it was time to practice. Using GoNoodle.com, students participated in a wonderful exercise called “From Mindless to Mindful.” We enjoyed it so much, that we completed three other mindful activities.

Here are some short videos of the students participating in mindfulness activities:

We will continue our study of mindfulness in the weeks to come. In the meantime, if you would like to practice mindfulness, head over to youtube or GoNoodle! and search mindfulness activities for kids. Have fun!