Take the Time: Mindfulness for Kids Book Review

Mindful Media: Book Reviews, DVDs, and CDs

We read a lot of books about living mindfully in my family and I love hearing from others when they come across a book that they or their kids liked. We also use other media like movies, music, and spoken word to talk about and practice mindfulness. In this continuing series, I’ll be writing posts about the mindful media that my kids and I recommend. Feel free to share any you’ve come across in the comments and if it looks like it might be a nice complement to the one I’m reviewing, I’ll be happy to review it or add a link to it in my post.

Take the Time: Mindfulness for Kids

by Maud Roegiers

It surprised me, but it took me awhile to like this book. The first few times through it, I was underwhelmed by the minimal text and washed out illustrations. It wasn’t a book the kids pulled out to read either. So it just sat on the shelf for awhile.

But, I wanted to give it another shot. I really liked what the inside flap had to say,

“Take the time encourages children and parents to find space in their lives to slow down and become deliberate with their day-to-day actions and thoughts. Both parent and child can learn to “experience the experience” rather than rushing from one thing to another. This pensive and peaceful little book touches the meaning of mindfulness: to savor life through full awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings by taking the time to do so.”

I changed the way I approached this book. Instead of reading it with my kids, I treated each double page as a place to pause and experience. We were all familiar enough with this book that we didn’t need to follow the narrative. Rather, we discussed what was happening in the illustrations and talked about times we had the same experience.

The simple feeling of the book gave us the space to create together. We talked about grievances and worries. We talked about how we handled them or didn’t. And most of all, we talked about mindfulness. The book was a stepping stone for my kids to ask about practices and for me to respond indirectly.  Too often my direct experience with mindfulness can influence my kids’ explorations with it. So, being able to talk about what was happening in the book was a more comfortable way for my children to listen.

This book has become one of a small group of books in our house-a group that does what special books do, bring families together into the present.

As an aside, although this is technically a children’s book, every word in it is the same as what you will find in any “grown up” book on mindfulness. It might make a great gift for someone in your life who seems to have a mindfulness library. It’s simple eloquence is a reminder to keep close to the beginner’s mind.

Activities to create with this book:

  • Choose a page from this book that covers a current situation in your family that is challenging and write the sentence in the middle of a large sheet of paper. Read the sentence aloud then ask everyone to sit around the paper and draw picture related to the sentence. At the end, connect them together with a line. Discussion is optional.
  • Inspired by a page in the book about fixing little mistakes: Draw a heart on a large piece of card stock and cut it into pieces that you can put together. Ask everyone to pick some pieces and use water colors or crayons to decorate the pieces individually. Then put back together and see what your heart looks like.
  • Get a bell or use an alarm on your phone (like this one) and ask everyone to sit comfortably with eyes closed. Let them know that you are going to ring a bell, that they should listen for it, and raise their hand once they can no longer hear the bell. After everyone has raised a hand, ask everyone to open their eyes. Talk about how long they thought the bell lasted. See if anyone was surprised by the length of time before they could no longer hear the bell.
Related Posts You May Like:

Have you read any good books lately? I’d love to hear from you.

Post for NaBloPoMo
(Since I’m writing most of these late at night, in bed, while tandem nursing twins, I’m choosing to concentrate on writing rather than proof-reading or editing. Please forgive the extra typos and non-nonsensical grammar. Thank you.)

NaBloPoMo November 2013

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I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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