As summer winds down, many families are taking one last opportunity to rest and restore themselves before the fall rush. If you need a reason to encourage your kid to take it easy, August 15 marks National Relaxation Day. According to the website, “National Relaxation Day advocates chilling out and promotes stress relief through meditation and other relaxation techniques. Managing stress requires relaxation, which leads to a clearer and calmer mind.” Relaxation means different things to different people. Magination Press has books that explore different approaches to relaxation including yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. Bee Still: An Invitation to Meditation by Frank J. Sileo, PhD Bentley is a lovable, calm honeybee. When the queen tells the bees to get busy, it sends them scrambling into a tizzy. But not Bentley. He chooses to be patient and wait. He decides to look for a place to meditate. Bee Still is a child-friendly introduction to meditation. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more ideas for introducing meditation into your child's life “Through this engaging introduction to the benefits of practicing meditation, children and adults will learn how to focus emotions and relieve stress and anxiety…" —Foreword Reviews Relaxations: Big Tools for Little Warriors by Mamen Duch This book uses gentle affirmations to improve and enhance confidence, self-esteem, concentration, and creativity. “So many kids are dealing with stress in many ways and it manifests itself in ways you may not expect. This book explores some of the basic concepts of relaxation and how you and your kids can find more ways to relax…. The visualization and breathing exercises were great and really allowed you to find an inner-calm within yourself. This is a great book that I highly recommend!” —Dad of Divas A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo, PhD Told in rhyming verse and beautifully illustrated, A World of Pausabilities is an inviting introduction to mindfulness. Following a neighborhood on a summer day, readers will learn how to apply mindfulness to simple, everyday moments, and how days are filled with endless possibilities to take a pause. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers that further discusses mindfulness and ways to introduce pauses into your child's life. King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City by Susan D. Sweet, PhD, and Brenda S. Miles, PhD Marvin isn't like other gorillas. He doesn't stomp his feet and he never ever pounds his chest with a thump thump roar. Marvin is mindful. He's focused. He's calm…and he's about to teach his grandpa to be a king of calm, too! Includes a Reader's Note loaded with information about living mindfully and ways to become more calm, focused, and tuned in to the Great Big World around you. “King Calm is a wonderful gateway for teaching mindfulness to children. The narrative manages to give explicit instructions on being mindful without being pedantic or dull.” —Seattle Book Review Fantastic You by Danielle Dufayet There's one special person that kids get to spendRead More
Celebrate International Yoga Day with Bentley Bee. He'll be practicing all his favorite poses from Bee Calm: The Buzz on Yoga by Frank J. Sileo, PhD. And International Yoga Day is just the start. Bee Calm and other Magination Press books about calming strategies and meditation can help your child have a soothing summer. Bee Calm: The Buzz On Yoga by Frank J. Sileo, PhD Bentley Bee sees his friends doing some funny positions in the garden. It's yoga! His friends teach him how to do several of the poses in this kid-friendly introduction to yoga. “This sweet book introduces yoga to children in a loving and engaging way. With friendly characters, beautiful illustrations, and a gentle rhyming cadence, it’s a joy to read, easy to practice to, and quickly becoming a favorite with our 2- and 6-year-old daughters.” —Jennifer Cohen Harper, Founder of Little Flower Yoga, Author, and Mother Check out Bentley Bee’s other books, Bee Still: An Invitation To Meditation, and Bee Heartful: Spread Loving-Kindness. Mindful Bea And The Worry Tree by Gail Silver Bea is anxiously waiting for her friends to show up for her birthday party. When the worries start to grow around her like tree branches, she uses breathing exercises and visualization techniques to calm herself down. “Children who struggle with anxiety will be able to relate to Bea and find some of the strategies helpful. It can help a child realize they are not alone and that others have the same worrying thoughts.” —Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center Relaxations: Big Tools For Little Warriors by Mamen Duch This book uses gentle affirmations to improve and enhance confidence, self-esteem, concentration, and creativity. Breathe by Inês Castel-Branco Breathe is a conversation between a boy and his mother at bedtime. But this conversation can happen at any time, in any place. This introduction to mindfulness presents a collection of illustrated exercises to help little ones become aware of their breath and their body. “With practice, the child discovers how these tools can rob fear and sadness of their power to keep us awake at night. This book speaks to children with the confidence that they can understand how and why attention to our breath is so powerful.” —Mindful A World Of Pausabilities: An Exercise In Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo, PhD Following a neighborhood on a summer day, readers will learn how to apply mindfulness to simple, everyday moments, and how days are filled with endless possibilities to take a pause. “Sileo invites readers to explore the potential in "pausabilities"…he offers a wealth of ideas for how children and families can stay engaged in the present.” —Publishers Weekly Check out even more books for kids about mindfulness.Read More
Breathing as a Means to Mindfulness
One way to practice being mindful is to focus on breathing, and understand the role it plays in helping us feel calm, relaxed, and focused. In the Magination Press Family bookstore, you’ll find an assortment of kid-friendly, APA-approved books that explore breathing exercises you can try with your child, such as Breathe by Inês Castel-Branco, which uses illustrated exercises to help children become aware of their breath and their bodies.
Waiting is hard. Especially when it’s something you want. Dr. Walter Mischel conducted the famous Marshmallow Test in the 1960s to understand how children develop the ability to delay gratification. The test shed light on strategies that kids can learn to use to help them delay gratification. How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate? by Dan Graham, PhD explores the challenge of waiting for something you want through the experience of twins, Dell and Pete. Here’s an excerpt from the Note to Parents and Caregivers that provides some strategies to help kids build their self-control. Strategies to Help Increase Self-control Turn your face Temptations can become less powerful if we stop looking at the thing we want. Take some space Putting some distance between ourselves and the tempting object can make self-control easier. Distancing ourselves from current emotions can also boost self-control. We can do this by vividly imagining our future emotions. If we concentrate on how a long-term reward will feel later, it can become emotionally powerful enough to help motivate waiting. Children, and adults, are much more successful in delaying gratification when we can distance ourselves from the emotion of the current situation and get closer to our positive future emotions. Imagine We can use imagination to change the way we feel about something tempting. To delay gratification in the story, Pete could have imagined the marshmallow was something else, like a white mouse or a distant cloud. He could have made the marshmallow less appealing if he imagined that bugs had crawled on it. Or he could imagine he was someone else, like a superhero, who was very good at waiting. Do something fun Distracting ourselves by doing something we enjoy can help shift our focus from the thing we desire to the fun we are having. Additional Strategies for Parents and Caregivers Model self-control Children often adopt the behaviors that they see caregivers use. You can be a self-control role model by demonstrating not only the strategies described in this book, but also a growth-focused approach to learning such skills. When demonstrating successful self-control, you can mention that you learned these self-control skills and that you are still working to improve them and to learn others. Promote autonomy Supporting children’s choices and their ability to act independently helps them understand that they have control over delaying gratification. You can do this by leading children part of the way to a solution, but leaving enough for them to do on their own to earn a feeling of accomplishment. For example, when working a puzzle with your child, you could rotate the piece to be properly oriented, but allow the child to put it in place. Children’s autonomy is also enhanced when they can dictate the pace at which an activity, like playing a game or going for a walk, takes place, and when they can actively take part in accomplishing a task. Encouraging your child to dress themselves, although it mayRead More