• Mindful Mornings is a before-school program for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students at the Smith Early Learning Center.  Students enrolled in the program engage in mindfulness activities to prepare for a big day of learning ahead.  Activities include read-alouds, letter and sound work, and social-emotional learning about feelings, friendships, and managing emotions.

    According to the New York Times:

    Children are uniquely suited to benefit from mindfulness practice. Habits formed early in life will inform behaviors in adulthood, and with mindfulness, we have the opportunity to give our children the habit of being peaceful, kind and accepting. 

    “For children, mindfulness can offer relief from whatever difficulties they might be encountering in life,” said Annaka Harris, an author who teaches mindfulness to children. “It also gives them the beauty of being in the present moment.”

    Part of the reason why mindfulness is so effective for children can be explained by the way the brain develops. While our brains are constantly developing throughout our lives, connections in the prefrontal circuits are created at their fastest rate during childhood. Mindfulness, which promotes skills that are controlled in the prefrontal cortex, like focus and cognitive control, can therefore have a particular impact on the development of skills including self-regulation, judgment and patience during childhood.

    For the full article on the importance of mindfulness for young children as well as strategies to use at home, please click here.

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