6 Mindfulness Practices To Teach Your Minis

Teaching Mindfulness to your minis

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzzword, ‘mindfulness’ being thrown around lately and for good reason. A mindfulness practice has proven to increase mental health and cognitive function, increased emotional regulation and self-control, and a decrease of stress and psychological distress in adults.


What exactly does it mean to be mindful?

Mindfulness is the state of being fully awake to life and being aware and focused on the present rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future, which often is our brain’s default mode. It's the human ability to be fully present in the moment and to be aware of ourselves and the space we occupy without being overly reactive to thoughts, emotions, or other stimuli.

In children specifically, mindfulness has shown to mitigate the effects of bullying, enhance focus in children with ADHD, and improve mental health and social skills. Teaching children how to practice mindfulness will set your children up with a strong foundation for emotional mitigation, empathy, and focusing techniques they will need later in life.

Michelle Moloney Yoga

The best thing parents and nannies can do to help children establish a mindfulness practice is by committing to a practice yourself, and role modelling your behaviour. Headspace is our favourite guided meditation app for a hectic schedule. All you need is a comfortable space and 5-10 minutes for your meditation with this app. You can also find community events for meditation classes and workshops in your area.

Mindfulness Practices for you children

Try not to complicate mindfulness activities with your children. Establishing a mindfulness routine takes significant time and practice, and is especially beneficial to you and your minis if you practice together. You can use these exercises before doing homework, settling down for bedtime, or getting over a fear or uncomfortable moments.

Mindful Hearing

Annaka Harris is a children’s book author and a volunteer mindfulness teacher for the Inner Kids Organisation. She has a guided mindful hearing meditation activity on her website that encourages children to guess the sources of a wide range of sounds to improve concentration. With practice, children can implement mindful hearing in their daily lives to connect them to the present.

Mindfulness With Children

Mindful Play

This is an activity the whole family can partake in. Dedicate a block of time for mindful play with your children by tuning out all distractions and making it a tech-free zone. If you find your mind wandering, simply bring it back to the present sensations of being with your child.

Mindful Cooking

Cooking is a whole sensory experience and a great way to spend quality time together for some mindful play. You can help your mini notice colours, smells, textures, and sounds in the kitchen.

Mindfulness with your kids

Mindful Breathing

Deep and slow breathing stimulates the nerve that connects the brainstem to the heart, lungs, and organs in the abdomen, the vagus nerve (part of the parasympathetic nervous system). In addition to slowing the heart rate, the vagus nerve controls the release of various neurotransmitters.

Left Brain Buddha shares a video of her son teaching different styles of mindfulness breathing. It helps your children visualise their breath and gives them something to focus their attention on. This is a skill they can take anywhere to relax both the body and mind in times of stress, pain, or concentration.

Mindful Stroll

Take your mindfulness practice outdoors with and engage your “spidey-senses.” You can both point out observations you’ve never noticed before in the neighbourhood and then commit another portion of your walk to complete silence simply noticing the sights, sounds, and smells from your walk.

Mindfulness Journals

This is where you can let your child’s creativity run free with their mindfulness practice. You can both commit to a mindfulness journal where you write or draw the things you’ve noticed on your mindful stroll.

The journal can also be a gratitude space where you write or draw something you are grateful for that day. Practising gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. According to a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, people who practice gratitude journaling have better sleep.

Keep your family organised with our free family planner. 

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Catching up with Jeremy and Tim from City-Cave

Tim and Jeremy City Cave Blog

Michelle and I caught up with James Street business locals, Tim and Jeremy, owners of floatation therapy centre City-Cave. If you've already had the experience of visiting City-Cave for float therapy and yoga, you're in for a treat at their newest studio in the works in Rosalie. There will be room for more float rooms, a yoga area, cooking space, an outdoor lounge, and on-site health and wellness experts for your guidance opening later this month!

Tim and Jeremy City Cave

Big and exciting things are happening for City-Cave and Mini Nanny agency is excited to announce new collaborations between our two businesses is in the works. With their bigger studio space in Rosalie, Tim and Jeremy are hoping to get more involved in the community especially with the Rosalie local school just across the street. Introducing kids to holistic approaches to health and wellness is one of many new branches that City-Cave is eager to explore with their new location.


How did you two get into floatation therapy and where was your starting point for City-Cave? 

J- We started out in the business of retail. It was a very stressful, cut-throat industry. You don't make many friends in it. 

T- I could see myself at 50-years-old now being on death's door because of the stress we were dealing with in our lives from our last business. It was highly stressful and we weren't living. We were living to work, so we sold the business. Everything happens for a reason and we came to the decision to sell our company to take some time off, and really decide on what we want to do. 

J- I've dealt with anxiety my whole life and there was no healthy outlet for me leave it behind. We caught wind of float therapy through by brother. We first tried it in the centre of CBD. Everything is a business to us and it all started from there. 

City Cave Mural

What were your initial goals with opening up City-Cave on James Street? 

T- In the early stages, we spent a lot of our resources educating people. Few people have experienced floatation therapy, but almost everybody has heard about, or know of someone who has floated before. Research and development were huge for us. We did a lot of our research in the States. It always takes a bit of time for Australia to catch on to new trends from America, and we want to be right up there as innovators in Australia. 

J- Our initial goals, and even now expanding into Rosalie, has always been building a brand and culture around wellness. Health should be an ongoing practice, not something people only think of when they need to see a doctor. We're certainly not the first people to think like this, but we just want to be one of the first to implement this and create spaces where people want to be comfortable to hang out and feel and excited about their physical and mental well-being. 


What is the most challenging aspect of starting a company?

T- You have to have thick skin and the right mindset.  I rung my mum and told her what I was putting my capital into and she cried because she had no idea what float therapy was because it's so new. But over the last 6 months, I've been getting text messages from her like "ooh, I just saw something on TV. You might be on to something!" I think especially for something new like this, it's just educating people and eventually, it catches wind


What are some of the benefits of floatation therapy? 

T- There are so many. Magnesium intake is a huge benefit. Australia is known to be being really low in magnesium. Floating weekly,  I've found a change in my energy levels, my sleeping was 10x better, and if you're going to the gym a lot, you'll find overall improvement in joint and muscle pain. Magnesium is a natural muscle rexalin found in the Epsom salt. It's antibacterial, and great for your skin. That's all the physical stuff. The mental stuff is also another large element. 


J- It's a forced meditation. Steph Curry uses float therapy for his mental game. It helps you cope with external pressure, visualisation, and finding that flow state. For high-stress jobs, it helps you step away from stress and regathers thoughts, prioritise, stimulate creativity, and become more efficient. 

Float City Cave

T -  Floating makes me mentally bullet-proof. Brings inner peace. We're not hippies, this is just speaking as two regular guys.You have to learn how to do it, but there's no such thing as a bad float and it get's better the more you practice. It's hard because we juggle a lot of different personalities that walk through the door. It takes time, like anything. You need to learn and give it a change. 


Do you recommend kids to try floating and would you recommend it to someone with ADHD?

J- Absolutely. Floating is a great tool for managing your thoughts. I would love to get more kids and especially teens through those doors and open up a world of ways to approach health. It doesn't need to be a sterile doctor's room experience. 

T- Having a psych on board, nutritionists and other experts will really be an added benefit to anyone. Psychs are there help prepare the mind for your float and help you understand your thoughts. I think learning interpersonal skills, switching off, and understanding your thoughts are great tools for anyone especially if you learn them at a younger age. 


Do you have a recommended age for kids to float?

T- It's not so much about age, but more maturity. The teenage years are very important developmentally and something like this can really help them cope with gaining more responsibility and managing their emotions.


You mentioned wanting to get involved in the communities more especially with children's sports and health. What do you think that that looks like for you guys? 

J- There's so much potential to be had with this space (in Rosalie) and the school across the street. We just really want to get involved in the community at no cost to introduce kids to a holistic approach to health. We have a nutritionist who will be doing cooking demonstrations, kids' yoga, and we'd love to help out on their sports days!


What are some personal markers for success in your lives?

City cave yoga

J- A smile. When it comes to success, it's a personal thing--knowing what your success is, know what you want, and achieving it.

T- I don't want to come up to the end of my life and say "cool I have a house a car, and all this money but I spent all my life working in negativity." It's not a nice way to make money. If I can sit back and enjoy the process and enjoy the company of people who have found something valuable in what we do, then I'm happy. 

T - We had a lady come out of a session with tears rolling down her face. She was on chemo for months and was experiencing chronic pain. She was so relieved coming out of her float and thanked us. She said it was the most amazing rest she had experienced in quite some time and she was able to feel relief from her pain. She came back every week. I get fuzzy over it. 


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