Introducing Meditation to the Classroom
Introduce the concept of meditation and mindfulness to Preschool and Pre-K students. The benefits gained from learning concepts of mindfulness at a young age can open the door to understanding strong emotions later on. The goal is a sense of mindfulness and self-awareness to the classroom through exercises like controlled breathing and practicing thankfulness.
Meditation in Curriculum
The tools that Preschoolers and Pre-K children gain from learning meditation will assist them in learning to calm and relax their bodies inside and outside. As a teacher, you will be teaching children skills to control themselves when they feel strong emotions such as hurt, sadness, frustration, anger, or out of control.
Meditation strengthens the areas of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, and self-awareness. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can also improve cognition and calm down the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is what triggers the “fight or flight” reactions in our bodies.
The younger children learn to meditate, the easier it will be for meditation to become part of their routine and follow them through their life’s journey.
Hands-on curriculum to introduce and teach meditation in the classroom
- In a preschool classroom, it would be appropriate to meditate daily, or at least 1-3 times a week, for about 3- 5 minutes a day.
- Let them get into their comfortable position. They may choose to lay down in their space, sit up, kneel, cross-legged, lay on their side, sit backward, etc.
- Introduce a yoga position at this time but do not make it mandatory during meditation. Exercises like practiced breathing bring oxygen to the brain.
Come Meditate with Me in Action
Read the book Come Meditate with Me written by Dr. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith will teach children how to meditate and feel thankful! The download is free and available in English and Spanish.
Come Meditate with Me teaches children breathing techniques as well as the concept of being thankful. This story is centered around the days of the week. Come Meditate with Me introduces basic math skills by counting each day. This book teaches children how to be calm and focused. Come Meditate with Me teaches children to appreciate and love themselves. It also introduces the concept of self-care and being in the moment. Come Meditate with Me teaches children how to connect with their bodies by focusing on parts of the body like the lungs, belly, and heart.
This book can be read as a full story or be separated into sections for a teaching experience.
Ask a preschooler what their favorite day of the week is. If they say “Thursday,” go to Thursday’s page in Come Meditate with Me.
Further examples of lessons that can be taught on Thursday’s page are:
- Thursday is the fifth day of the week
- How to inhale and exhale
- The concept of thankfulness
- How children can love and appreciate themselves
- How to meditate
If you have any questions or would like to share a preschool classroom meditation lesson with me, please feel free to contact me at your convenience:
Enjoy teaching children to meditate,
Dr. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith