Be open-minded about mindfulness

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally. Try this mindfulness practice!

Read More

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally. It develops our self-awareness, emotion regulation skills and feelings of empathy and compassion. Mindfulness is simple to learn! Try this body scan in either the classroom or the staffroom. Start with some tummy breathing, and once everyone is comfortable, have one person read the script in a calm, slow voice. It should take five minutes.

Sparklers Body Scan

Today we are going to try a mindfulness activity by noticing the sensations in your body while you’re relaxing. Sit comfortably, rest your arms in your lap and place your feet flat on the floor. When you’re ready close your eyes.

Notice how your feet feel on the floor. Can you feel the weight of your feet? Then focus on your toes and move your attention from toe to toe.

Bring your attention to the tops of your feet and toward your ankles. If you are wearing socks, can you feel them on your ankles?

Move towards your knees and focus on what your lower leg feels on the way. Do your feel your clothing, or are your legs bare? Move to your thighs. Can you feel them on the chair? What’s this sensation like?

Let’s move to where your back is touching the chair. Move up your back to your shoulders and notice if they are tight or relaxed. Take some deep breaths. Whatever you feel, just notice it and remain still.

Move your attention to your arms, feeling your elbows, your forearms. Let your attention rest for a moment on your hands. Do they feel light or heavy? Warm or cold? Can you feel each finger?

Now go toward your tummy and notice how it feels to breathe in and out. Notice the feeling of air as it passes through your nostrils. Is it warm or cool? Is your jaw clenched or loose? Just notice what you are feeling and continue to breathe through these sensations.

Slowly notice your whole body, scanning from top to toe. As you go through your day, see if you can notice some of these sensations in your body.

When you feel ready, open your eyes and notice what is around you.

This body scan is from Sparklers – an Aotearoa New Zealand-designed, free online toolkit of wellbeing activities for tamariki Years 1 to 8. It’s used by more than 8,000 teachers across the country to support tamariki to learn about their wellbeing, manage emotions and be good friends. Check out the over 70 activities at

Illustrations: Anieszka Banks.

Related Posts

Mānawatia a Matariki

As the Matariki and Puanga stars rise again in our winter skies, Ako asked members what Matariki means to them, how they celebrate it and how it supports their wairuatanga. Here’s what they told us.

Read More

Hands weaving a korowai made of black and red feathers.
Whiria te tāngata

Staff and students at two Te Tai Tokerau kura have been learning the challenging skill of tāniko and other weaving techniques. Ako finds out how this akoranga is supporting hauora and weaving the school community together.

Read More

Te Whare Tapa Whā ­– the four sides of wellbeing

Education professionals will know the popular hauora model Te Whare Tapa Whā, but what does it mean in practice? Ako finds out.

Read More

Let tamariki get stuck in

One of the most powerful forces in tamariki wellbeing is their own voice. Read about how these schools let tamariki lead the way.

Read More