Much like the sound of waves, the feeling of wind on a hot day, or the smell of freshly blooming flowers, rocks can be an excellent reason to slow down and practise being mindfully present.
In our home we have been practising a pebble meditation with Zinnia since she was 18 months old. We each select a rock, hold it in our hands, talk about all of its characteristics and then imagine it to be something else that was representative of our lives. I would say something like "my rock reminds me of a rainbow, and all the different colours I play in this life i.e. mother, daughter, supporter, teacher and friend" and Shane would say that his rock reminded him of "a ripple of water and the ebb and flow of life". While my rock tended to change it's magical characteristics, Shane's remained a ripple of water. Zinnia at first didn't say much about what her rock represented, but by our third or forth time doing the activity she followed in her fathers footsteps, and her rock also represented a ripple of water. When asked what that meant to her she aptly said "change". After our discussions we hold our magical rocks on our tummies and take 4 long and deep buddha breaths, feeling the rock rise and fall with our inhalations and exhalations. We thank each other for sharing space, and then we go about our day.
*It is important to note that we never tell Zinnia to participate, sit still or do the meditations. The first few times she went off and did her own thing half way through and Shane and I finished on our own. The last thing we want to do is make meditation a chore for her. We chose to model it anyways, and very quickly Zinnia made her own choice to participate with us, sitting still and engaging in the practise.
Rocks are a really great tool for toddlers and pre-schoolers for a few reasons. Not only are there plenty of crafts, games and activities you can do with rocks, but they also make for a great hobby and collectable too.
Since March, Zinnia has collected rocks on all our walks. She gifts them to friends and family who visit us and enjoys playing with them at home often. I have even caught her putting the rock on her baby's belly so that she too could try taking a deep breath.
Some fun ideas with Rocks:
- Painting rocks
- Decorating rocks
- Painting with rocks as your tool
- Making patterns (big/small, rough/smooth/colours)
- Pet Rock (you need to take care of, have fun with and love)
- Frog Jump the rocks (throw them in front of you at random lengths and jump your way over each one)
- Making mandala's (a quiet focused meditative activity)
- Telling the story of your rock and it's meaning
- Having a collection you tend to, invest in and play with
- Building shapes or towers with rocks
Show love, grow love
Happy Living Parents!
*For more meditative ideas check out my article Meditation in the Early Years here.