October 2020: Deep Listening

October 5th

Story of the Week: The Rabbit Listened By Cori Doerrfeld

Click here to watch the story: The Rabbit Listened

Family Mediation:

Introducing the Mindful Moments with Lea Listening

  • Remind the children about the importance of calming ourselves so we can better focus on each other and our time together.
  • Tell them that a special friend named Lea has written a song for us to learn and it is a song that teaches us about the importance of this month’s theme: Deep Listening.
  • If you are using the shorter, music-only video, be sure to watch the longer version for ideas about how to engage your children in a mindfulness discussion after the song.
  • If you are using the longer version video, tell the kids that we are going to sing along with Lea and her children and then listen to their conversation. Tell them that afterwards you will have your own conversation.
  • Center the children before playing the video.
  • After the video talk and listen with your child to discover all the things you heard together

Weekly Activity: The Telephone Game

  1. The telephone game can be played around the dinner table or anytime when at least 3 members of your family are present.
  2. Start with single words if your child is very young and slowly move up to phrases.
  3. Make up a word or sentence and whisper it into your child’s ear, who then whispers it to the next family member, who continues passing the message around the table. The last person to hear the message says it out loud.
  4. This usually ends in laughter as the phrases often change and the message is broken. In time, your child will be able to listen to detail better and convey accurate messages.
  5. Vary the sentences by using alliterations (e.g. my tiny teddy is talking) and rhyming sentences (e.g. do you have a blue shoe?). Also, change the order of who-whispers-to-who and allow your child to make up messages as well.

October 12th

Story of the Week: The Colors of Us By Karen Katz

Click here to watch the story: The Color of Us

Mindful Moments with Lea Song Listening

Family Mediation:

Shark Fin Calming

Centering: 

Begin with the Meditation Fingerplay to center the children. Invite the children to follow along:

“I wiggle my fingers, I wiggle my toes, I wiggle my shoulders, I wiggle my nose.

Now no more wiggles are left in me, so I’ll be as still as still can be.”

Now, with all the wiggles out of us, let’s get into our meditation positions.

Watch the video of the Hand/Finger Meditation with Jules here.

Practice the finger mediation with the whole family 3 times a day this week.

Remember you always have your hand to help you calm your breathing and your mind.

Weekly Activities: 

Book Discussion

  1. Lena has many different names to describe the tones of skin color she sees, such as cinnamon, chocolate, honey, coffee, toffee, and butterscotch. Ask: Can you tell me more about these different colors? What color is chocolate? What about honey?
  2. Lena says the different colors sound delicious. Which color name is your favorite?
  3. What were some of the names we came up with for skin colors that you liked best?
  4. If you walked around your neighborhood, like Lena in the book, what different skin tones do you think you’d notice?  

Coloring

  1. Look at the front page of The Color of Us with all the colors of hands. 
  2. Color the hands below with all the colors you see.
  3. How many beautiful colors of hands did you end up with?

October 19th

Story of the week: A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

Click here to watch the story: A Stone Sat Still

Mindful Moments with Lea Song Listening

Meditation: Be LIke Nature

When we go outside we can see and feel so many wonderful things. Things like trees, and the wind, and the clouds, and the sun. In many ways we are like these beautiful parts of nature, and for this exercise we’ll be like the tree and the wind and the sun.

Our body is like a tree. It grows and it is strong.

Our breath is like the wind. It flows in and out.

And the sun is like the part of us that is warm and kind.

So let’s lower or close our eyes and sit tall like a tree. We extend our hands way out and stretch our fingers, like branches and leaves. Let’s squeeze our fingers together and then let go and feel them wiggle, like they are blowing in the wind.

And now, with the wind blowing, let’s be like the wind and take two big, slow breaths. Breathing in . . . and breathing out, blowing out the wind. Breathing in . . .  and breathing out, blowing out the wind.

And now the sun comes out and warms the tree and the wind. As it shines on the tree, we feel our body. Can you feel fingers and feel your toes? What else can you feel—just by noticing?

And as the sun shines on the wind, we feel our body breathing. Can you feel your belly moving up and down? Can you feel the air flowing in and out of your beautiful body?

And with the sun up high in the sky, brightening and warming the whole world, you too can warm the world—with your kindness!

Think of someone who can use a little kindness—like your sister or brother, or a friend, or your teacher. And as you think of them, wish for them, “May you be happy,” imagining them smiling like the sun.

You deserve happiness too. So now wish for yourself, “May I be happy,” and smile like the sun. And as you smile like the sun, feel your body sitting tall like a tree and feel your breath blowing like the wind. And then gently open your eyes and look around. You are amazing!

Activity: 

Listening Nature Walk

  • Sit with your child to plan a nature walk. As them the things they would think they may see or hear. Paying special attention to listening.
  • Write or draw a picture of what they may see or hear on their walk on the diagram below or create your own diagram on a paper plate.
  • GO on a nature walk paying attention along the way for the items your child hopes to see or hear.  
  • When you do, tear and fold what you discover together.
  • When you get home talk about all the things you listened to together.

October 26th

Story of the Week: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

Watch the book on Youtube Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

Mindful Moments with Lea Song Listening

Family Mediation:

Lovingkindness Meditation

We can teach our children about lovingkindness by helping them send the four wishes to different people in their lives. Don’t be afraid to get creative and ask your children to come up with their own loving thoughts. 

  1. Start by directing the phrases to yourself.
  2. Next, direct the metta towards someone you feel thankful for or who has helped you.
  3. Next, direct the thoughts to someone who you are having a difficult time with.
  4. Finally, direct the metta towards everyone universally: May all beings everywhere be happy.

May I/you be safe.

May I/you be healthy and strong.

May I/you be happy.

May I/you be peaceful.

Weekly Activities: 

Book Discussion

Who do you know and love that is an elder or senior person in your life? It could be a grandfather or grandmother, a friend of the family or another relative. 

I wonder…

  • What do you love about them? Do you have a memory of spending time wzith them?
  • Did you ever learn anything from them?
  • Take a few deep breaths and listen to those memories- just like Ms. Nancy listened to her own memories with the help of her friend Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. 

Coloring

  • Encourage your child to draw the person they were thinking about or a special picture to give or send them. We all love to be remembered. You can draw one too!
  • Decorate a pumpkin or two below- maybe send one to Jules at church! ❤️