Elemental Kids: Bucket List

 Hey friends, Laura here! I hope everyone is beginning to embrace a Mind Full of Love this summer!  Now, that we have a knowledge on mindfulness I thought we could discuss and create a special activity to help your families continue this path.  So, let us maintain a feeling of true connection with our families through creativity.

We're going to create a KID BUCKET LIST!!!

And you know what's great about this?? Mom, you get to take a load off! Parents spend so much time trying to entertain kiddos - you're expected to have all the answers and fun ideas., but sometimes you just dont have the energy or time. Thats where the bucket list comes in! So let's jump in! 

kid bucket list

Materials needed:

When creating an art activity children, love to have options.  Giving them a variety of materials will allow their imaginations to expand.

  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Watercolor Paint( Art trick-a cup of water and paper towels, giant paper or old sheet to cover the table to help with an easy clean-up)
  • Colored Pencils
  • Tape (Art Trick- tape your child’s paper to the table, so it doesn’t slide)
  • Space with a table to complete activity(Art Trick-  take the activity outside is another way to have an easy clean-up)

Side note- I understand it is difficult to allow your child to use “messy” materials to create a project, but your child will learn and grow their creativity skills and fine motor skills from exploring different writing and art material, so finding a designated area for this expansion is helpful!

How can we incorporate mindfulness when completeling this project?  

While your child is coloring or painting, continue to explore the tips given before, like, the five senses especially if your family decides to complete the activity outside.  What are you feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing, and tasting should not be included in this activity :) See if your family can discover this idea on their own, haha.

 

Bucket list prompts/ideas/suggestions:

 

Cooking with Kids
  • Before beginning this activity, discuss “What is a Bucket List.”  Remember to use language you know your child will understand and follow.  For example: You can break down the two words. What is a bucket? What is a list?  Why do we create lists? Then begin to bring it all together.
  • Continue using words your child can relate with, but introducing new words (only a few at a time depending on the age of the child) will help build their vocabulary.  
  • A bucket list is an account of your favorite activities you want to do or maybe you haven’t ever done and have always wanted to, a list of places you would like to go, a list of people you would like to see.  Think who, what, where.
  • Share ideas and locations, like cooking a specific treat, having breakfast together, capturing lightening bugs or visiting a local shop or attraction. 
  • Who would you like to go see (a family member,  a friend, a show with your favorite singer or TV show) Where are your favorite places to go or would like to go( http://www.mcwane.org/learn/kids-family/, https://www.birminghamzoo.com/education/kids-families/, http://birminghamparent.com/directory/article/birmingham-parents-2018-summer-camp-directory/ ), What are your favorite activities (swimming, riding your bike, going to your favorite ice cream or candy store, playing board games, going to your favorite playground in town)

Ideas to help you carry out the list & stay accountable:

After completing your bucket lists keep them in a place to “show them off” and where everyone will be sure to see it. I know when I need to stay accountable I make sure I can see the task or idea for a daily reminder.  My mind is a camera and it takes a picture of the idea or task I need to remember. Children love to see their work showing off and they will point it out and help to remind you(this happens in my classroom daily;I have thought about creating a classroom job for reminder helper :)

After you have completed the project, sit down as a family, take out your calendar, and schedule in one day a week or one every other week ( depending on your schedule) from your lists to do.  To help with mindful behavior you can create a sticker chart or good deed jar for your family to practice mindfulness and accountability. If they showed you mindfulness or accountability they receive a sticker or pom pom to put in the jar.  When they fill up the sticker chart or jar they get to pick one activity from their bucket list.

FYI:  These activities can meet any age. For a teenager they make think some of it is silly.  Just change it around some to challenge them. They could draw their own bucket and create their own list, you could do a money jar for each time they showed mindfulness or accountability, and when they reach a certain amount then they can use that money for one  of their items on their list. For a child who might struggle with writing then they could draw what they want on their list, or take a highlighter and have them trace the letters.

You can create your own or download this template to get started!

Leave us a comment below and let us know how this works in your family or send some pictures below of your families Bucket lists  :)

Yoga is for All Love is for All or  From my heart to yours,

Laura

 

White Bean Summer Salad

 White Bean Summer Salad

White Bean Summer Salad

Before you run to the store to snag your last minute Independence Day foods, scan this recipe!

I promise it won't disappoint and will add some delish veggies to your regular holiday BBQ! Your fam will thank you - or maybe they won't, but at least you'll feel nourished :) 

This summer salad is nutrient rich and with foods like cucumber in abundance, it's naturally cooling and hydrating to the body - crucial this time of year!

PRE- S: if you want to know more about "this time of year" be sure to download my latest FREE Elemental Guide!

 

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At the last Elemental Living Community Retreat, we gathered around a table to prepare and share this meal. Even the skeptics were pleased with the burst of flavor and how it satiated our starving bellies!

What's even better?

NO COOKING!

Nope - just about 10-15 minutes to slice, dice & rice. 

 

WHITE BEAN SUMMER SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large can white beans, drained & rinsed
    • (Cannelloni, Great White, Northern or even Butter Beans!)
  • 3-4 small cucumbers, diced 
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced 
  • 1-2 broccoli florets, riced
  • 1 big handful fresh basil, finely chopped 
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut anyway!
  • 1/2 purple onion, diced
  • Pine Nuts (or any other "topper" you desire)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare veggies as indicated above.
  2. Drizzle EVOO + Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar(1-2TBL of each) over the bowl of veggies, mix well then let marinate for 15+ minutes.
  3. Add the white beans, mix well & chill (you & the meal!).

TO SERVE
Top with pine nuts + Vegan Arugula Pesto when serving. 
Note: you can absolutely add quinoa for a heartier salad or top with tuna, avocado or whatever your heart desires - get creative & tell me about it!

VEGAN ARUGULA PESTO

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup soaked walnuts
  • 1/4 cups pine nuts
  • 4-5 gloves garlic
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced 
  • EVOO

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add ingredients to a food processor & blend on low.

  2. Add water as needed. You want the pesto to be in between a salad dressing & a thick sauce texture.

     

Elemental Kids: mindful summer for the fam

Hey friends, Laura here! I'm so excited to share with you this summer! I thought we could kick things off with a chat about what mindfulness actually is and how you can incorporate this concept into your family and summer activities.  I mean, who doesn't want to feel true connection with your kids and enjoy a summer full of fun & soul.  

As a parent, you know that summer can be exhausting and move by too quickly. Instead of thinking about this in terms of DOING MORE, let's look at mindfulness through the lens of being purposeful. So, what exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness, in my mind and heart, is taking in every moment and feeling without judgement.

Mindfulness looks like being here now when talking to one another, staying present during the simple tasks like washing the dishes, driving or eating food. It's about noticing the little signals and feelings of your body and mind throughout the day.  It allows us to have Mind Full of Love.

Kids are actually pretty great at being in the moment, but learning how to articulate their feelings and discovering coping mechanisms takes time. As parents, guardians, and teachers we can guide our children to practice being mindful of those emotions and how to balance and cope with them. When you open discussion with your kid(s) try to use vocabulary that allows your child to connect with you on their level, not yours! Don't open a conversation with a specific goal or agenda, simply follow their lead.

A great starting point is talking about feelings and emotions. 

  • "What is sad, happy, shy, frustrated, or mad?" 
  • "What does it feel like when you have each emotion?"
  • "How does your body respond to these feelings?" (heart racing, red face, tummy tension)

It's important to let your children know that their emotions are valid and acceptable.  Remind them that feelings will constantly change moment to moment, but identifying each feeling is helpful. During a family discussion time, try sharing an example of a moment you felt sad or mad.  Express how you were able to cope with that challenging moment in your life, through breath, seeking support or journaling. In my years working with children, I have noticed they love having something to relate to and someone to relate with; so don't be afraid to be vulnerable with them!

Mindfulness in Action: 

To practice mindfulness as a family, take one of your simple daily tasks and discover the present moment: feel the body here & now, notice your breath, listen to the sounds around you, recognize the feeling in your feet, hands, and entire body.  Throughout the exercise remember to breathe in a Mind Full of Love. Try to complete the exercise once a day together or separately for a week then at dinner each night discuss your experiences.

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The book, Unstoppable Me, by Wayne W. Dyer is a great map piece to explore mindfulness and feelings! The 10 important lessons in this book include the value of taking risks, dealing with stress and anxiety, and learning to enjoy each moment. Each point includes an example showing how a child might apply the concept in his or her everyday life. There are questions at the end of the book to help spark discussion and to further reinforce the author’s message.

Leave us a comment below & let us know how this works in your fam!

 

NEW Elemental Kids Series!

Hey y'all - HAPPY SUMMER! Well, summer isn't official until June 21 (my bday!), but for those of you with kiddos summer break is in full effect! 

Over the past 5 years, I've had the chance to work with some great kids from teen yoga classes, kids nutrition workshops, & even some young adult coaching clients! Mindfulness, yoga & nutrition with the 18 & under crowd is SUPER important to me, but definitely not my area of expertise. That's why I've invited Laura DeCastra to join us for the summer to share her passion and knowledge.

Laura

Laura completed my beginners yoga series at Villager Yoga 4+ years ago and has been a friend & student ever since. We share a love for yoga, puppies & simplicity. She's a natural born teacher with over 10 years experience working with children from daycare, nanny positions, private tutoring and her current role building the 3K program at Saint Rose Academy. 

I was THRILLED when Laura told me she enrolled in the 2018 Sacred Glow Yoga Teacher Training program and hoped to specialize in youth oriented yoga & mindfulness projects. As we got to chatting about her dreams, we came up with THIS! The Elemental Kids Series. Laura is going share regular posts covering all things related to Mindfulness with Kids - yoga postures, summer activities, tips for family discussions & how these topics aid in stress reduction & development.

So, let's meet Laura! 

Emilie: How did you get into yoga?
Laura: My sister, Charlotte! About five years ago, Charlotte had completed her YTT program and started teaching a class at Avondale Brewery. We're super close, so I went to support her & ended up falling in love with the practice. Soon after, I enrolled in your beginners series & have been hooked since!

E: Why is yoga & mindfulness with kids a priority for you?
L: Because it has transformed my life and makes me wonder why didn't I have this as a child.  Through reading articles, research, and implementing breathing exercises I immediately knew this was going to be a new passion in my life to help children.  One of my first passions is teaching children to love learningNow, it's important to teach kids how to cope with the stress of daily life, how to love the world around them, and how to love themselves. 

E: Can you share a "fun fact" with us?
L:
Hahaha - YES! My family owns a concession company that makes/sells cotton candy, candied & caramel apples, funnel cakes, pretzels & hawaiian ice. Back in the day we even made taffy! We worked  at birthday parties, football games (YES, even at Bryant-Denny!), and county fairs. I started working alongside my family around the age of 9.

My dad also rented out moonwalks (not the dance move!), so I grew up with bouncy houses in my back yard - I attribute my love for kids & playful heart to such a unique childhood.

E: What is your favorite yoga pose?  
L:  
HALF MOON! 

E: If you were a food, what would you be?
L:  
A Pineapple :) I love the color yellow & the smell reminds me of the beach!

E: Any last thoughts to share? 
L:  Yoga is for all and love is for all. :)