Friday, July 17, 2015

Yoga for 2

Bringing Yoga to Preschool Story Time!

Two words: mindful parenting

Mindful parenting is the driving force for bringing yoga to story time. 

The world around us is big and fast and full. Levels of anxiety and stress have skyrocketed. In order to work successfully with an ever-changing group of patrons, libraries provide training for their staff.  Thankfully the entire country is becoming more educated in the field of mental health. In children's services we continue to be concerned about screen time and all things that children are sensing in their environment.  

How can I help?  Mindful parenting.  How can I do that?  Mindfulness in movement, bring the calm, thoughtful, grateful, peaceful way.  Yoga for 2.  (preschool child with an adult)

I found an on-line program to become certified to present preschool yoga.  This was outstanding for me.  I needed to learn a child's approach to yoga poses and then add my flannel stories to create something unique. I did a tremendous amount of reading on the subject of yoga for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary level children.  I am all about child development - it's my world

Many children do not recognize when their bodies or minds are stressed.  Learning to provide opportunities to draw your child's awareness away from the overwhelming chaotic world is a valuable skill.  Hopefully something we are all developing with deep breathing, mindful movement, nature and a calm space in the library on Thursday mornings.  

Truth be told I was extremely nervous when the program began this week.  Thank heavens for a gracious group of children and adults. I brought in a little bit of nature from my garden. (my garden always calms me)

The bell chimes for Mountain Pose and the "Magic Mist" is for everyone's feet.  Yes!  We have mindful feet...I love it

The program began with a few familiar songs and props because I needed a quick assessment on just what words and motions the children knew.   We did a flannel story about Turtles awakening before the sun comes up...and they slowly stretch and walk one way and then the other until the sun rises and they stand to greet her.  Good morning sun!  This is our very modified sun salutation - we all welcomed the sun!

We practiced our yoga poses becoming quiet mountains, barking dogs, neighing horses, mooing cows, meowing cats and roaring lions!

We used our scarves for breathing exercises and later collected pom poms with our toes.  We had wonderfully calming music for child's pose and happy baby!

I shared a detailed, very mindful, flannel story of going for a nature walk on a beautiful day with the warm sun on my arms and feeling the breeze on my face.  I felt happy.  I discovered three little caterpillars that day with little tiny legs and they wiggled when they walked!  And of course we went into butterfly pose for the end of the story.  

I had a wonderful time in this program. It was a full house - yoga mat to yoga mat across the room! We asked families to bring their own mat or a towel.  FYI: I purchased 6 mats just in case and they were all used.  Mindful planning!

The meaning of mindfulness for my program is this: the ability to attend to the present moment with curiosity and no judgement.  I clearly see this as a skill, a life skill, that promotes well being, concentration, resilience, empathy and self-regulation.

Flannel Friday is a creative, supportive place to explore and try new ideas in children's services.  For information please visit the official blog

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library   ~ Namaste ~

Friday, July 10, 2015

Super Hero on Friday

Storytime is Miss Christy's Super Power!

Piper and I are visiting grandchildren in North Carolina and today is library day. YAY!  We attended story time at the North Regional Library in Raleigh.  And by "we" I mean my daughter, my two grandchildren and me.  Piper stayed home with Maggie the dog.  This was a very good plan because this sort of orange so not her thing.

Miss Christy, standing tall in her Superhero shirt, welcomed a full house to preschool story time.  The fact that almost every preschooler had a toddler sibling did not slow her down in the least.  She was completely prepared and ready for her families.

Opening story time with the familiar ABC echo song made all those preschoolers comfortable and I loved the idea of adding the visual ABC.  Reinforcement, yes! (Thinking Piper and I may just have to bring that idea to our big screen in Connecticut. Yep!)  With the building blocks of Every Child Ready to Read, Miss Christy rocked 100 % participation.  Books, singing, dancing, rhymes, counting, laughing, jumping and flannels!  S as the letter of the day blasted off into space.  The flannel?  Rocket ships, just like the one on Storytime Katie's blog  This one would be perfect as well: Zoom Zoom Zoom to the Moon   And the snazzy planet here with the template  will get you flannelizing!

Following a fantastic story time we discovered many new books to borrow. One grandchild so willing to help with checking-out and the other so happy to be a cling-on leg hugger! 

Behold!  Our treasure.  

When we arrived home Cole and I each selected a book to read together before nap time.  My choice: The Line Up Book because Marisabina Russo's Sam is just like my little guy!  I've loved this book forever and was pleased to find a shiny new copy.  Bravo North Regional!  We read it again at bedtime.

And Cole's choice: A Violin for Elva.  Probably because of music man!

The North Regional Library in Raleigh is bright, welcoming, friendly and Miss Christy shares her super power with joy!  Go visit.  I may have to return tomorrow with Piper - sneak her in past that Super Crab!

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library. Ms Kelly at the Library is today's host for Flannel Friday.  Check out her blog!  For more info check out Flannel Friday's Official Blog.