I know that meditation for toddlers can be tricky in that they have such a small attention span. I was meditating (always a good start) and got this idea for a toddlers meditation (though it could be adapted for older or children with special needs).
The ‘Boo’ and “Shhhh” Meditation Game
It’s always a good idea for children of this age to think of it as a game – it makes it sound more fun and they will be more willing to take part. As they grow older you can show them how to have some more reverance for mindfulness and meditation.
Have your child (children if teaching a class) sit in front of you (seated on chair with feet on floor or on floor cross legged).
Hold a piece of paper (or material) in front of your face with only your eyes over the top looking at them.
Hide behind the paper then peek above it and say “boo”. (They will start to giggle I’m sure). Repeat this but then start to peek to the side of the paper and say “boo” and then under the paper and say “boo” and so on. You’ll find they might giggle or say “boo” back. What we are doing here is holding their attention – eg helping them to focus and concentrate.
Place the paper down and use your hands (palms facing you) in front of your face so they can’t see you – repeat the above (step 1).
Now ask them to hold their hands in front of them and to copy you – peeking from behind their hands and saying “boo” with you. Remember to smile and enjoy this – it’s nice to let the inner child out once in a while!
Once you’ve repeated this a few times ask them to choose whether they will peek above, below or to the side and say “boo” – you copy them if you wish or go in your own direction.
Ask them to hold their hands so that the palms are facing (in Namaste position _/\_ ) at their chest (thumbs touching their chest – it connects them to their heart centre chakra). This time they are going to say “shhhhhhh”. They do this at normal level and then they get louder and louder and louder! Then you ask them to become quieter, quieter and quieter until they can hardly make a sound. Go louder again then quieter. This works the throat chakra and shows them how to control sound. Once you have done this several times ask them (after a quietest ‘shhhhh’) to say nothing and just sit listening to the silence (for a few seconds). Now ask them to make the sound and listen to it as they make it – louder then softer. Again silence at the end. As they make the sound ask them to make the sound louder then softer but feel it this time in their body.
You can do the same as above but choose the sound “ahhhh” or “mmmmm” or ask them (or one of the children to choose a sound and everyone copies). As we balance the throat chakra, we also balance the sacral chakra which has a strong connection to the throat.
(Ps – please let me know how your children respond by posting here, emailing me or posting on our Facebook campaign page – thank you).
NB – I talk more about the chakras and their influence on children in my book Calm Kids – available via this website.