Updated: Jul 18, 2020
I was recently asked by a teacher if I sold mindful baskets and I had to say no BUT I then wanted to look at what I would put in one.
I had to think about what mindfulness meant to me first. To me mindfulness is ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and observe what is going on around us in that moment. I often experience this in moments of wonder in nature, with music or art. Th more I am curious and notice the pauses the more I am aware and the more I experience them.
I struggle to slow down at times and it is in these times that I turn to mindfulness. I find calling it mindfulness tricky as in many ways when you are in this state or moment you are in fact not using your mind and you are instead in your body. You are being.
This often happens when I am making something or taking photos. I am in the zone and my surroundings can become a background and insignificant or in the foreground and keep me focused and loose time. In explaining it, it seems like what I have said is contrary and illusive.
OK, so I had an idea of mindfulness
I then asked in the group Exploring why I teache.ec what they would include and teachers said:
“Sensory things such as things to watch (oil & water mixtures), things to feel (squeezy toys and soft things) and things to listen to..” and another said “Items with calming smells, peaceful music, photos of calm picture, silky materials etc.” Helen.
For others a book would be their starting point. And items “that were restful, calming and reflective.” Paula.
What books would be the staring point?
I personally love the book in my heart and here it is with crocheted hearts, I have also use felt ones in the past. Each heart represents an emotion or feeling and the act of holding it in one's hands is mindful.
And many mention sensory bottles or a glitter jar (and yes glitter in not best practice but as the teacher said there is nothing else she has found that has the same movement and mesmeriszing factor.
Nature can be a fabulous route to mindfulness and many teachers mentioned the inclusion of natural materials.
Mindfulness can also branch into kindness 'Atawhai' ( Kindness and care) and I want to look into this a bit more.
I did some research and found that there are ‘clam down’ baskets which appeared to have similar items and be used specifically for supporting BIG Emotions. Whilst I liked them and this idea I did not feel it captured the ‘mindfulness’ that one may want without BIG emotions.
I may just be that a child wants or needs time to pause.
I have made cultural baskets and curiosity baskets before. What is interesting about the curiosity baskets is that many of the items or use of senses suggested but teachers were included in them but rather than clam or pause they created opportunities to fire up the mid and ask questions.
I find being more mindful slow me down and makes me ‘see, feel, hear and sometimes touch’ my practice and the intentions behind some of my actions. This creates opportunities to grow and learn about myself and others. For children it may allow the same.
So what did I put in my mindful basket!
I started with texture and see through material rather than a cloth. I added a sensory board I made with reversible sequin material and a second hand bag find with different textured material with natural items in it.
I added a wooden maze for the fingers and this was hard to find and a little costly from Chip of nature. But you have to agree it is beautiful., I may add gems to put in the groove. You could use a Kmart $5.50 one instead. I found a $2 kaleidoscope that i fondly remember from my childhood.
Finally, I added a simple wooden box and put a large gem in it.
I think I have included all the elements I reflected on and that teachers shared. Would you add anything else?
I may need a book!
Until next time.
P.S. there are affliate links included in this post.