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What Does Peace Feel Like? ~ September Book of the Month

3.10.16
Our September book of the month was What Does Peace Look Like? (V. Radunsky).
Radunsky's vibrant book combines visuals, and encourages (young) children to use their 5 senses to discuss the topic of peace. Using quotes from children in an International school in Rome, this book takes a serious matter, and gets right down to the child's level.
Working with younger children, I think the word peace can be so abstract. I think this is true for many people. We use our senses in every day life, and I think this is why it sticks with the younger reader.  Going even further, the books illustrates how we all see, hear, feel, taste and smell things differently - something that we take for granted. For example, many of the children's answers are practical, and the pictures helped to draw the children into the text. I thought that was awesome!
Check out the last page, where you can find the word for peace in nearly 200 languages. I don't think we got through all of them.
I encourage you to read this book, or create your own activity exploring ways to talk about peace at home with your child (no matter the age).

BOM Activity ~ Storytelling & Meditation
Peace starts within. Even young children can practice meditation. For this exercise I didn't capture any photos (perhaps if Iman was here I would), but I needed to be as engaged as the children, so we left the camera aside.

On a cool autumn morning, the children and I practiced a simple breathing technique, which I think is perfect for anyone-any age, and be used anywhere and everywhere. The children and I spoke about the importance of letting our brains help us sometimes when we feel tired or just moody.

I asked the little ones to sit down in a circle (as we do for circle time). I then asked them to close their eyes (no peeking or giggles). First we did some mimicking- to make sure that everyone was present. 
We played Salma Says. I asked them to "cough" "wiggle their tongues" and "pretend to sniff the air" - all with their eyes closed..
We then moved on to the exercise. I asked the children to breathe in slowly and breathe out X 3 (of course I did this with them).

 I then began my storytelling for the day, about 3 little kids, 2 girls and a boy (MB, ZA, & JM). In the story, I took them to familiar sights - like the backyard in our garden, then to the green space that we visit weekly. They walked over the bridge to a magical place where there was an ice cream shop. I asked them to think about their favourite ice cream flavour.
I told them that they could put ANYTHING at all on their ice cream. (I gave them hint), like peanut butter, strawberries, sprinkles, even macaroni and cheese). Giggles were heard. 

Then I finished the story by asking the children to come back home for lunch, and I counted down from 5, and told them to open their eyes.

We've done another storytelling & meditation activity since that day. I had the children lying down, which is think is better. We will see...
   


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“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
~ Forest Witcraft

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