Teaching a child how to be aware of their emotions and regulate them can be a challenging task, but it is an incredibly important and useful skill to develop. Mariam Gates’ new picture book Meditate with Me does a terrific job giving concrete directions that are simple enough for children as young as preschool age to follow, presented with sweetly beautiful illustrations by Margarita Surnaite.
Designed for children to follow along as the text is being read aloud, this book gives child-friendly instructions for imaginative visualizations and fun actions to bring awareness to one’s breathing and body position.
Following in this manner, children are guided through breathing exercises that help them notice where the air goes when they take and release a full breath. They also explore how the different basic emotions of happy, sad, mad, and excited feel in their bodies, as in making a face that expresses each emotion as well as “showing” the emotion with their whole body. Children are also encouraged to take some quiet moments to truly focus on the sounds around them as they breathe in and out, bringing calm and relaxation to their bodies and awareness of their surroundings.
As with Gates’ previous picture books Good Morning Yoga and Good Night Yoga (linked to my review), I find this new book to be a delightful resource for parents and teachers who wish to help their children and students develop healthy emotional and physical skills that are useful in both home and classroom settings.