Mindfulness…Stick Pictures

on June 4, 2013

Part of mindfulness is being in the moment. See what is happening around you right now and not worrying what will happen next. Most of the time I find that kids are in the moment. They get engulfed in what ever they are doing and loose track of time. But sometimes, even kids start to worry about what is going to happen next. My oldest son, Killian, gets this way sometimes, he becomes focused on the future the same way he gets focused on a task he enjoys. When Killian begins to think about what are we doing next, and next after that, and next after that, it does become a problem. He not only stops enjoying himself and misses what is going on, but his questions about what will happen stops me from enjoying the moment as well.

I have started doing an exercise with the kids about being in the moment, it is called stick pictures.

First you find a flat spot to make a picture. Today we were indoors because of the rain but a smooth spot on the lawn, on a trail or on the beach work as well. Delaney sorted the sticks into three piles, 15 sticks per person.


Now give each child a pile of sticks, let them examine each stick, look, touch, smell. Once they have had a chance to examine their sticks explain that they will be making a picture together using the sticks. The challenge is to make a picture without talking or gesturing to each other.

The point of the exercise is to put a stick down in the moment. You cannot think ahead because you cannot know what the other person will do, you have no time to plan. One person puts down a stick, then the next, in order around the circle until their sticks are all gone.

Before we start we take our three breathes and say

I am breathing in

I am breathing out

I am happy

Oh so happy


When everyone was calm I told them to start. I had to remind Liam when his turn was but they stayed quiet and put down all of the sticks.


When they were done we examined the picture. Today they decided that it was a campfire. I took a picture and then we collected the sticks and put them back in the woods. Not only did they make the picture in the moment, the picture itself only lasted a moment. I guess that is also a lesson in impermanence.


The kids also like doing this one their own, so after their group picture they get to make one on their own. Here is Delaney’s happy fish.


Here is another way to do this exercise with Bendaroos. They allow for more shapes which is also fun.



One response to “Mindfulness…Stick Pictures

  1. Wow, this a really cool way to work with kids. To help them become centered in the moment and be together in that peaceful energy.
    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

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