This C.H.A.R.M.S. session features the book "Spoon" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Scott Magoon. I love this story about an ordinary spoon who is feeling jealous of his friends Fork, Knife, and Chopsticks. Little does Spoon know his friends have the same feelings about him! After he talks with his mom, he realizes just how special he is- just the way he is. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others in this day and age, and I love that this book helps kids focus on what is already great about themselves. We will start today by Reading the book, or you can listen along with this video.
After reading the book, have your kids get into a comfortable seat and hand each of them a silverware spoon. This mindfulness exercise will serve as their Meditation. Instruct them to look at themselves using the spoon as a mirror. What do they notice? When they look into the concave side of the spoon, they will be upside down, but if they flip the spoon to the other side, they will see themselves more clearly. Now, have them close their eyes and read this guided meditation: Take a deep breath in and let it go. Have you ever felt like you were going through life upside down? Have you ever had a day when everything just wasn't going your way? Think about how that made you feel. Probably not very good. You probably felt blue like Spoon did in the story. Now imagine a bright light starting in your heart space. Feel it growing inside of you. The light is getting bigger and bigger until it's all around you. You are radiant! You have the power inside of you to flip your spoon and help others flip theirs too. When you see someone feeling blue, you can help them see all the great things you see in them, just like Spoon's mom did for him. Imagine the last time you were really happy. What were you doing? Think of the last time you were really proud of yourself. Maybe you tried something new. Maybe you stuck with something that was really hard. Never forget that you are unique and perfect just the way you are! Take one more deep breath in and when you are ready you can open your eyes to a beautiful new day.
This exercise can create a wonderful conversation about our perception of ourselves and how we can help "flip the spoon" for others. This is a great time to have your kids create some Affirmations to say to themselves in the spoon. Some examples from the book are:
- I am unique.
- I am perfect just the way I am.
- I am a good friend.
- I have many strengths.
- I am lucky.
- I feel so alive.
For Creativity, print out the image below and have your kids fill each spoon with something great about themselves. These could be things they are proud they are learning, skills they have, positive character traits or affirmations. You may need to help your child as Spoon's mother did in the story. If they can't come up with strengths they see in themselves, I'm sure you know many. If they are too young to write independently, you can write it for them and have them decorate the spoons any way they would like. This activity was adapted from a post on the Coffee Cups and Crayons Blog. If you'd like some other creative ideas of how to reuse plastic spoons, check out this Delicate Construction Blog Post. I especially like the spoon prints and the candle holder.
Now it's time for Health! There are so many healthy snacks that can be enjoyed or made with a spoon, but today let's have a little fun and actually create a spoon from the lid of either applesauce or yogurt! Most single-serve applesauce or yogurts come with a removable aluminum foil lid that can be folded into a spoon. Check out this YouTube video for a quick tutorial or just give your kids the idea and see if they can come up with their own design. For the exercise portion of health, let's play the card game "spoons," but with a twist! Instead of having the spoons in the center of the playing area, place them some distance away so there will be a mad rush to get them when someone gets the four of a kind. We put the spoons on another floor of the house, so we got some cardio from running up the stairs ;) A word of caution: this game can quickly get out of hand, so make sure you have a quick talk about safety. Also make sure you take your socks off, especially if you have hardwood floors. All you need to play the game is a deck of cards, 3-13 people and 2-12 spoons (one less than the number of players). For full playing instructions, click here. If you'd like to make the game of spoons more educational, check out this mathematical twist on the game.
An easy Service for this story is to have your kids help load or unload the dishwasher, wash the dishes or set the table for breakfast. If you have some actual silver spoons you could also break out the polish and let the kids make them shine ;) Another thing they could do for service is to help "flip the spoon" for someone during their day. I love this article from Hands-Free Mama talking about how important it is to include others. Having recently relocated, this article really resonated with me.
I'm grateful for this story and the lesson it holds about not comparing ourselves to others and being confident in our skin. I'm grateful for the fun I had compiling these ideas and doing them with my kids. I'm grateful for Brianna and Matt and their help running a live C.H.A.R.M.S. session at our FamBundance retreat last week. I love to hear from you! Please join the conversation over in our Facebook Community.