Mindfulness for Kids: Moshi Breathing
In January, you met Moshi educator Raphaele Lancelot, who had introduced Moshi Breathing to her class of first and second graders. Since then, they have evolved their use of Moshi Breathing into a teaching and mindfulness learning opportunity for kids.
We’ve been using the Moshi Breathing feature in the Moshi web player for months now and it has mostly been a way to refocus after recess. The children know why we do it. They know it’s important to slow our heartbeat to transition from very active play to a more focused activity in class. They love the characters and love to hear their names. One Moshi Breathing exercise is usually enough time for the children to regroup for the rest of the day. Sometimes, though, we need to extend the activity with some quiet brain breaks.
Our next mindfulness goal was to make breathing a tool for all the kids when needed. To help with this process, I used the Breathing with Pipsi activity and conversation guide. First, we made a list of scenarios in which kids get anxious, scared, frustrated and even sad. We discussed the emotions that can overwhelm them and the reasons why they feel the way they feel.
Then we picked one scenario and played out the scene.
One child expressed their struggle and what they were feeling, and the other child brought a solution, guiding their partner into breathing slowly and focusing. It was very interesting to watch as they followed the structure we had set up: The guiding child began by saying “Do like me,” and then they both lifted their arms in unison as the slow breathing began. And after a little while, the guiding child asked, “Are you better now?” As a follow-up, we decided to write the scenarios and the kids drew a picture with their piece of writing.
These short Moshi Breathing tracks will not fix all the struggles of a child’s day at school but might be a first step to helping them find their own resources when they need them. Some kids know how to deal with their emotions by stepping away or going into time-out. Some others need a little extra help, like a cute little Moshi character on a screen or a friend who says “Do like me.”