Crafting Calm: Art and Activities for Mindful Kids

Beaming Bks. Nov. 2020. 80p. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781506465265.
Gr 3-7–These activities and exercises help kids handle life’s highs and lows. The text is divided into five sections: “Catch Your Calm,” “Examining Emotions,” “Being Here and Experiencing Now,” “Observing Thoughts,” and “Capturing Joy and Growing Gratitude.” Brief, meaningful chapter introductions explain mindfulness practices in concrete, accessible terms. The text describes the classic five senses grounding technique, gratitude leaf trees, mindful eating, breathing exercises, meditation, affirmations, and how to take a body scan. Crafts include glitter jars, “oobleck” tactile mixtures, paint blowing, a bread recipe, and sand art. The clear, simple directions feature items already found at home. Much of the content is aimed at middle grade readers, though many of the activities could be completed with a younger audience. The mindfulness tools within the text will be helpful to parents, educators, and school counselors. Cheerful, DIY-inspired illustrations rendered in bright pastels connect the book from start to finish.
VERDICT A solid addition to the growing offerings of much-need mindfulness activities for kids, especially as families look for more offline activities and ways to manage stress in the context of physical distancing and COVID-19.

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