A Mindfulness Exercise for Your Toddler


Breathe, In, Breathe, Out.

My 3 year old is like my personal mindfulness teacher.  He often draws me back into the present with whatever he's doing.  These days I do my best to stay in the moment and enjoy him as he is right now.  He is constantly growing and changing, and as busy as I am, I know right now is the one moment that matters.  As we go about our day, he is, quite literally drawing me back into the present moment over and over.

A couple months before my son's third birthday, we were sitting on the couch.  I had learned recently how useful it can be for children to use a simple fingertip meditation to self-regulate and come back to the present moment. 

And so I taught my son this fingertip meditation:

Using your thumb, tap each of your four fingers starting with the index, middle, ring and lastly pinky.  With each of the four taps of the finger, associate the following words in this order: "Breathe, In, Breathe, Out."  For older children, you can even show them to link the finger movements with their breath.  "Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale."  This meditation is fantastic because it can be done absolutely anywhere and for as long as you'd like.

I wasn't sure it would stick.  But a month or so later, my husband awoke to my son doing the meditation in bed beside him.  Such a mindful and precious moment! 

Try this meditation at home with your little one.  They can carry it with them through their days wherever they are (and it works quite well for adults too). 

For the love of our families,