Jew­ish Mind­ful­ness for Kids

  • Review
By – October 23, 2023

With rates of anx­i­ety sky­rock­et­ing even among chil­dren, it’s nev­er too ear­ly to offer young­sters tools that will allow them to be present in the moment. In addi­tion to teach­ing var­i­ous forms of breath­work, rest, and visu­al­iza­tion, Jew­ish Mind­ful­ness for Kids con­nects the prac­tice of mind­ful­ness to Jew­ish tra­di­tions. For exam­ple, one exer­cise asks read­ers to imag­ine a chal­lah in one hand and a hot bowl of soup in the oth­er. Inhale the smell of the chal­lah, exhale to blow on the soup, and con­cen­trate on the sen­sa­tions. A vari­ety of oth­er thought-pro­vok­ing activ­i­ties are includ­ed to help chil­dren achieve mindfulness.

Images of hap­py chil­dren and chat­ter­ing mon­keys illus­trate the prac­tices. A bonus is the QR code at the end of the book, which con­nects read­ers to the author, a yoga instruc­tor, as she leads the exer­cis­es. Final­ly, an author’s note explains the impor­tance and ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness for children.

This book is a great resource for chil­dren, fam­i­lies, and teach­ers. The prac­tices it high­lights could eas­i­ly be woven into a Shab­bat cel­e­bra­tion or a reli­gious school class.

Paula Chaiken has worked in a vari­ety of capac­i­ties in the Jew­ish world — teach­ing in reli­gious school, curat­ing at the Sper­tus Muse­um and fundrais­ing for the Fed­er­a­tion — for more than twen­ty years. She also runs a bou­tique pub­lic rela­tions con­sult­ing firm and enjoys read­ing all sorts of books with her three sons.

Discussion Questions