I recently attended a series of mindfulness classes and at one of those classes I was introduced to this amazing little children’s book:
Last year’s class was very high energy so we’d been doing some breathing exercises off and on throughout the year. I never called it meditation, but it was pretty funny to see some of the kids sitting cross-legged with their hands in a traditional yoga pose (thumb and pointer finger touching)!
While at first they thought the breathing was a bit funny, they quickly started enjoying it and I’d routinely have kids asking me if we could do our breathing together.
So when I found this book I knew I HAD to read it to my class.
Title: Peaceful Piggy Meditation
Author/Illustrator: Kerry Lee MacLean
Publishing: 2004, Albert Whitman & Company
Suitable for Ages: 4 to 9
Theme: Fiction, Mindfulness, Peace, Meditation
Sometimes the world can be such a busy, noisy place. Sometimes it feels like you always have to hurry, hurry, hurry …
Peaceful Piggy Meditation is a charming and straight forward book filled with bright colourful illustrations. The piggies are learning to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life through a simple meditation practice. Although there’s one page that mentions “a crystal for clear thinking and a stone for stillness” (this might bother some people?) the emphasis is on learning to be quiet and focusing on breath.
Why I LOVE and Recommend This Book:
It’s sweet. It’s charming. It’s to the point. It’s the perfect book to introduce or reinforce a mindful breathing practice. My class loved the book!
Classroom / Home Extensions:
- After reading the book we took time to do a 3 minute mindful breathing exercise.
- Then we did some simple yoga poses (forward bend, warrior, downward dog, etc.). Kids Yoga Stories has an illustrated list of 58 poses.
- Freedom Genesis also has LOTS of great yoga poses. Be sure to check out Mountain Pose. This would be a good one to scatter throughout your day, especially when your students need a little break, or during transitions.
- Debrief: After the yoga, we all sat in a circle and I pulled out one of my puppets. We passed the puppet around and each child was given the opportunity to share either something that made them happy or something that made them angry. No one commented on what their friends said, it was just a way to help them self-reflect.
- Deep Breathing: We did a few deep breaths and then went out for a run.
I have to say, our afternoon was VERY peaceful!
I hope you enjoy this book as much as we did:)