Mindfulness means paying full attention to something. It means slowing down to really notice what you're doing. When children are stressed, they ruminate about past problems and worry about future what-ifs. These negative thought patterns rob their ability to focus on the present, which can be related to less emotional resilience, strained relationships and more reactive anger. How can design cultivate empathy? While our brains are constantly developing throughout our lives, connections in the prefrontal circuits are created at their fastest rate during childhood. Research shows that children trained in mindfulness have more regulated emotional responses, and integrating this practice with the learning curriculum would allow them to build increased empathy and compassion at a young age.
Mindful Minds aims to increase empathy and compassion in the early years of childhood through play-based learning exercises of mindfulness. It is a toolkit providing kids with information, activities and a self reflective journal to increase awareness and acceptance. This can help children focus on their own circumstances and attitudes rather than external forces and influences. By keeping them engaged in the learning journey through dynamic activity formats, they are able to retain more information and build behavioural patterns that will enrich their lives.