This is the time of year when it’s easy to lose track of time. You look at the calendar and it’s nearly Thanksgiving. Next thing you know, you’re nearing the end of the first week of December. Whether you light Chanukah candles, decorate a Christmas tree, or celebrate the winter season in a different manner, it’s a time for expectation and tradition. Why not start a new tradition this year? Why not create Mindfulness Markers with your kids.
A Mindfulness Marker is either a small book, small paper dreidels, small tree ornaments, placemats, or other objects that fit with your family’s holiday and recognition of that holiday. It’s a way of counting the days to your holiday by creating more, rather than by counting down. You can use a bowl or jar for the markers, or you can string them together and decorate a wall, or hang them on the tree, or place them by the menorah.
All you need is small pieces of white paper or sticky notes that are attached to one side of a cut-out shape. The shape can be whatever fits your holiday. If you don’t celebrate a winter holiday, the pages can form a book. So here’s how it works:
- Cut colored paper into shapes for your holiday. If you start with half- or quarter- sheets of paper, they should be a good size.
- Write the year in one corner of the shape. Also write your child’s name if you have more than one.
- Take pieces of paper, or sticky notes, and attach them to the side of the colored-paper shapes with the year and name.
- Center the paper on the shape. It needs to a size to hold one sentence. If you child needs lines to write, use lined paper.
- Put the shapes in a pile. Have your child pick one each evening at bedtime and write one sentence about the best part of the day.
- You can help with the writing or spell out the message for your child to copy, if your child wants this to be “just right.”
- The message should say: ‘Today was special because …”
- The idea is to find something about each day that makes that day different from the other days that week.
- When your child is done, put it in a jar, a bowl, on the tree, by the dreidel, on a thin ribbon …
- Each week, go over what your child has written. Talk about the week and what they noticed that made them smile.
You could make the shape of your child’s hand or feet. You could put glitter on the shapes after your child is done writing.
Whatever you decide –