Kilo is the Native Hawaiian art of observation. Through Kilo, we become part of our environment by watching, observing, examining and even forecasting. Children learn best through play. During the developmental stage of a preschool keiki (child), it is important that a child has opportunities to interact with his/her environment. This is when a keiki is beginning the process of scaffolding information to make sense of the world and learn new things. Kilo can be natural for a keiki at this developmental stage and it should be something caregivers practice as well. This is also one of the most opportune times to introduce mindfulness. By introducing mindfulness to your preschool-aged keiki, you will also be restoring calm within your body, mind and spirit.
ACTIVITY: “Grow Like a Tree”
If you have access to a forest, garden, outdoor area (this could actually be even done in an apartment), share with your keiki that, “We are going to be like a tree today!” This is also a time to build vocabulary, so verbalize each instruction, expanding with child friendly definitions, and if possible pair with open-ended questions. Have your keiki stand across of you (so they can see and mimic your actions) and do the following:
- Begin with real simple breathing techniques, “in and out.”
- Stand with your feet shoulder length apart and share that our feet will be the “roots” of the tree.
- Press your palms together over year heart (you may ask your keiki to locate where their heart is).
- Share that it is now time for the branches to start to grow and shoot upwards towards the sky (slowly lift your hands towards your head and slowly begin to open your arms)
- As your hands reach towards the sky, emphasize that the roots should be pushing down to help the branches go as high as they can go. Remind your keiki to continue breathing.
- Celebrating with clapping and laughing!