Posts tagged: Attention

Passover Explorations

Looking through photos, I found several of my family celebrating Passover with friends who are Jewish. They would…

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Kids, Ramadan & Food Insecurity

As the war between Israel and Palestine continues, many Palestinian parents struggle to feed their families. Violence…

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Creating Resource-Rich Spiritual Environments

A child’s environment has a huge effect on their lives and, consequently, on their spirituality. The things and…

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Spiritual Care with Seriously Ill Children

When a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, everyone around them was shocked and dismayed. We wondered how…

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Help Kids Be Relational Thermostats

“He made me feel bad!” wailed my son after telling me how a friend chose a different playmate at recess. “He…

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More Gratitude, Please

My mother firmly believed that children should write thank you notes for any gifts we received. If we didn’t get them…

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Valentine Spirituality

Every year, my kids’ school does a Valentine fundraiser. Parents and grandparents can purchase pink and red…

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The Science of Gratitude

“Tank you” said my daughter’s two year old friend as I passed out cookies to everyone in our neighborhood…

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Guided Meditation: Food Insecurity

“Mom, I’m hungry, and there’s nothing to eat!” my 10 year old wailed while staring into a well-stocked…

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Dreaming with Wonka

When my eldest was two, she asked if there would be “little meats” for Christmas. I was puzzled and tried…

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Practicing Thanks-Giving

“Let’s go around the room and say something we’re thankful for,” says the teacher. “I’m thankful for apple…

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Kindness Trees

“No, no, no!” said the preschool teacher as she rushed over to a child threatening to hit a playmate. “It’s not…

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Encouraging Creative Thinking

While hanging out with a babysitter one evening, my children decided to create their own tabletop game. They drew a…

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Movement Meditation: Awareness

Being aware of one’s surroundings can be an important safety practice. We teach children to pay attention when…

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Exploring Every Little Kindness with Kids

Sometimes a story doesn’t need words to be powerful. That’s the case with Marta Bartolj’s Every Little Kindness,…

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Connecting with Nature through My Friend Earth

Learning about the seasons of the year is a common focus in many preschool and elementary programs.  My Friend Earth,…

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Language that Builds Community

“This is a story for Amelia,“ announced the adult leading storytime. “It’s a story for Marcus, and a story for…

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Recording Lessons

When the pandemic shut down in-person gatherings, many of us pivoted to online programs. Some loved working with…

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Shifting Bad Habits to Good Practices

When I was a child, I bit my nails. It was a reflexive action whenever I felt stressed or anxious. I don’t really…

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Promoting Children’s Voices through ‘Grand Conversations’

One of my pet peeves with curricula for children’s programs is how teacher-directed most of the activities are. The…

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Using Books as Spiritual Mirrors & Windows

As a preschooler, my daughter loved Don and Audrey Wood’s The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big…

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Guided Meditation on Friendship

For children, Valentine’s Day is more about friendship than romance. They’re generally eager to exchange valentine…

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Helping Children Appreciate Diversity

Cleaning out my daughter’s closet, I found a shadow box she constructed in 1st grade. She and a friend set out to…

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Exploring People Are Wild with Children

“Do they bite?” asked Marcus* when we spotted a family of mule deer during a camping trip. Our group was excited…

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Using Room Decorations to Support Spiritual Learning

The walls of my son’s pre-K classroom were covered with posters and children’s artwork. It was like walking into a…

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Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt

I love holiday lights! Strings of colored bulbs wrapped around trees, icicle lights hanging from rooftops and fences, a…

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Developing Patience

“How many more days, mom? How many more?” Every December, my kids would be hyper-charged with excitement for the…

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Why Kids Need Silence

As a parent, I used to be suspicious of silence. If I wasn’t hearing sounds from the next room, I would wonder what…

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Exploring Just Help! with Kids

How can children learn to build a better world? According to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the answer is in…

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Children, Community Science & Climate Change

Earlier this month, the Pacific Ocean made news because it is shrinking faster than scientists expected. One reason…

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Exercising Attention

It’s the usual afterschool chaos in my house. Classic rock plays loudly and all three kids are gyrating in an…

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Being Antiracist with Kids

As a white researcher and teacher, I know I am susceptible to implicit bias. Even though I am committed to antiracism,…

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Exploring Lightyear with Children

As long time fans of Toy Story, my children were excited to learn Buzz’s backstory. They watched as Buzz and Alesha…

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Modeling Gratitude

“Thank you.” Two simple words we teach children when they’re small and hope they will use often. Giving thanks…

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Daily Intentions

Setting small spiritual goals each day is one way that children can take responsibility for their own moral and ethical…

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Setting Spiritual Goals

A few years ago, I taught a child who struggled with managing his emotions in group settings. He was unhappy about his…

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Using Story Circles to Build Empathy

Sorting through a box of old school papers, I found a story one of my children wrote in 2nd grade. Her teacher had…

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Creating a Mindfulness Space

Mindfulness practices help children to become more self-aware. When they spend time being present with themselves, they…

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Empathy Maps

Getting to know the children with whom we work is essential. We learn their names and perhaps ask about their favorite…

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Explaining Gun Violence

Mass shootings have become commonplace in the U.S. No matter how a parent feels about gun control, the thought of…

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Focused Attention

Mindfulness is all the rage these days, and rightly so. When children take a few moments to focus their attention, they…

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