Can C.H.A.R.M.S. work for a 2 year old?

Recently in the Facebook Community, I was asked ”I would like to start doing the miracle morning with my daughter instead of trying to work around her. She is 2. Any tips for a little one so young?” This is not the first time I’ve gotten this question and I suspect I will get it again, so I decided to make my advice to her a blog post :)

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Our daughter, Ember, was 2 when we started practicing Miracle Morning with her, so I know from experience it can indeed be done- you just have to be a little more flexible. My first piece of advice is to make it exciting for them. We allowed her to decorate a box that is her special Miracle Morning box that she only uses for this purpose. We took her to the store and let her pick out a special notebook, a coloring book and coloring supplies to keep in her box. We also created an art station in the corner of our kitchen. This way she is able to access paper, crayons, paints, stickers, play dough, glue, and other coloring books all by herself. This allows her to have autonomy in to get started on her Miracle Morning without any help from us.

My second piece of advice is to start slow and easy and then add on. With our kids, the first thing we did for Miracle Morning was to create a homemade ABC affirmation book for each of them. It’s really easy (even if you’re not a DIYer). Simply get 14 sheets of legal-sized paper, fold them in half and staple to bind. If you’re worried the staples may harm your little one, get a piece of Duct tape and cover them up. If you want to get fancy, use one piece of legal-sized card stock for the cover. If you want to get even fancier, you can type out the words I AM _____________ twice across the top. Set your printer to landscape, double-sided, 13 copies and print it out before you fold them and staple. If you want to keep it simple, just write it yourself on the top of each page.

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Now that you have your book made, add it to their Miracle Morning box and each day have your child a pick of a few words that correspond to the letter of the alphabet for that day. For example, on day 1, choose a few positive words that describe your child that all begin with the letter A (awesome, amazing, able, adaptable) and let them pick which one resonates with them. Next, have them draw a picture to go with that word. At 2, they will probably just scribble and may not even know what some of the words mean, but don’t worry, they will grow into the words and it can be a great way for them to learn new vocabulary. This was all we did for the first month or so. Creativity was a new drawing, Affirmations was choosing a new word, Reading was repeating the affirmations they already had created. We talked to the kids about the others- Health, Mediation, and Service, but didn’t start focusing on them until they had finished creating their affirmation books.

My last piece of advice for those starting or with little ones is to keep it short! For little ones especially, they don’t have a long attention span, so you have to keep it short. For a 2 year old I’d suggest 5 minutes or less for Creativity, 5 minutes or less for Health, less than a minute for Affirmations, 10 minutes or less for Reading, 2 minutes or less for Meditation and 2 minutes or less for Service. So in total, it should only take about 25 minutes or less for a beginner or a 2-year-old. Some kids will get lost in Creativity and want to do it for longer, which is fine, but don’t expect your 2-year-old to sit still for an hour (especially without making a huge mess).

Tips, Tricks, and Hacks- Here are some things I have learned over the years that may be helpful.

1.     Do most of your Miracle Morning still in bed- I start my day with a meditation still in bed. I also have my journal, vision board and reading next to my bed. When I've finished my meditation, I start reading then move on to journaling, visualization, and affirmations. Often I get through all of this before my daughter comes in, but if not, she joins me in my bed to snuggle during meditation. Most mornings, by the time I get out of bed all I have left to do is exercise. With my practice mostly done, I can focus on helping the kids do their C.H.A.R.M.S.  

2.     Exercise together- For little ones, you can push them in a jogging stroller to get your workout in. You can also join a mommy and me yoga class that incorporates your little ones into the poses or try the Cosmic Kids Yoga Series on YouTube with your preschooler. We bought a mini-trampoline that our kids love to use for their exercise portion. Another great resource is the 7 Minute Workout App. This one is designed just for kids. It has the same workout as the adult version (all bodyweight exercises), but the avatar is a kid.

3.     Combine C.H.A.R.M.S. or S.A.V.E.R.S.- We like to combine exercise and affirmations. Brotha James has some awesome affirmation songs that you can play while you sing and dance along or you can say some affirmations while doing jumping jacks. You can also combine Service and Creativity by making someone a card to brighten their day. You can combine Reading and Meditation by reading a guided meditation from a book like Nursery Rhyme Meditations. Reading and Health can be combined by reading a book like Good Morning, Yoga or MOVE.

4.    Audiobooks- We love audiobooks! They make getting your “reading” in so much more convenient. We almost always have an audiobook playing in the car. I have one I listen to with the kids and another just for me when I’m in the car alone. Our kids also each have an Echo Dot in their rooms to listen to an audiobook at bedtime. This way they don't need a device with a screen in their room to still get the enjoyment of an audiobook. They can get expensive, but many libraries have ways to check them out for free. OverDrive and Hoopla are two popular options or check with your local library to see what they use.

5.     Free Play is Creativity- If your kids are being resistant, give them a box of toys and let them play on their own so you can get your practice in. Free play is becoming a lost art in our world of technology. The more simple the toy, the longer a child will play with it. Instead of a box of toys, just try giving them the box itself and see where their imagination will take them ;)

My Favorite C.H.A.R.M.S. Resources for Preschoolers- There are so many great resources out there to help you with the C.H.A.R.M.S. for your little ones. These are my favorite for the preschool set.

Creativity

Homemade Playdough: Playdough is great and it’s much cheaper if you make it yourself! This recipe requires no cooking (other than boiling water). To make it more natural you can use natural dyes like beet juice and you can even add spices or essential oils to give it different scents :) It's a sensory experience they will want to have again and again. 

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Foam Stickers: I love these for little ones (as long as they are able to pull the backing off by themselves). It may take some practice, but once they get it down, they will spend quite a bit of time peeling them off to create their masterpiece. They also help with those fine motor skills- win-win!

Miracle Morning Coloring book: Did you know there is a Miracle Morning coloring book? If your little one likes to color than this book is a must! For a free sample go to CLICK HERE.

Health

7-Min Workout for Kids: As mentioned above, this is a bodyweight workout designed just for kids. There are 12 different exercises they do for 30 seconds each with a short rest in between each exercise. You can do it with them or they can just follow the avatar on the screen.

Yoga Pretzel Cards for Kids: We love these cards. The kids love to make a game of it taking turns pulling different cards. They are a great way to start kids off with a yoga practice. 

MOVE: Made by two local kids musicians, Lolly & Yoyo, I love that this book gets kids moving while interacting with a book. It’s a fun way to get kids to love books!

 

Affirmations

Brotha James: He is an energetic musician that sings about the power our words have. Our kids love his songs and I feel good about them being stuck in their heads all day. These songs combine the power of music with the power of affirmations- a wonderful combination. Check out his new album Abracadabra :)

Kids Affirmations Cards: These are beautifully designed cards and I love the language they use for children. They explain children’s traits as their "powers" and put affirmations it in terms even little kids can understand. They are also the same material as a board book, so really hold up for the younger set. If you’re looking for a little simpler, less expensive option, I love these DIY printable affirmation cards for kids

I Think, I Am: This is a wonderful introduction to help kids understand what affirmations are and how to use them in a practical sense. It’s certainly a great one to add to your home library.

Reading

 The Intentional Book Club: This website is put together by my friend and author of The Intentional Bookshelf, Sam Munoz. I love her approach to parenting and teaching your family’s values through the books you read with your kids. She put together this amazing resource for parents to help them curate their own intentional bookshelf and you can get LIFETIME access for the only $47! Note: This is an affiliate link. That means if you join this amazing club using this link, I will get a small kickback :) I do not affiliate with many companies, but this one I truly believe is awesome and want to help support Sam. 

Rolling Prairie Readers-Parent Resource Room- This is a Facebook Group run by another online friend, Melissa Droegemueller. She is a fellow homeschool mom and really loves making learning fun for kiddos. She shares so many awesome ideas of how to encourage our kids to read (and learn) through play and exploration. She is a great resource.

How to Read a Story: This is a really cute how-to book for kids. It teaches them how to read a story step-by-step. Step 1: find a story all the way to Step 10: When the book is over say, "The End." And then... if it was a really good story... go right back to the beginning and start all over again. I love the message that books should be enjoyed over and over. 

Meditation

Insight Timer App: This app is a daily staple in our home. I personally love Jason McGrice's Morning Ritual Meditation and the kids like Andrew Johnson- especially his Smiling Relaxation and Eye Relaxation. There truly is something for everyone on this app and the best part is it's free!

Mini Sphere: These little spheres are great to help teach little ones about breath work. They can follow the sphere expand and contract with their in and out breaths.

Nursery Rhyme Meditations: We love this book! It's like Mother Goose meets Gandhi. "Nursery Rhyme Meditations is a guide toward that still and quiet place where you remember, amidst the craziness of your family’s lives, how fortunate you are to be surrounded by people you love."

Service

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Chore Chart with Pictures: I’m a big believer in charts to help build habits. This one has pictures so little kids can still “read” it. Laminate it and then it can be used daily to help kids build healthy habits that serve you in the long run by giving you time back in the morning and evening.

Volunteer Opportunities: This blog lists some websites that can help match you and your family to volunteer options available in your area. We have done service projects with our kids and it’s a great way to teach them about serving the larger community.

How Full is Your Bucket for Kids: I love the message of this book- when we help others (fill their bucket) we help ourselves (fill our own bucket). This is the exact message I want to teach my kids with the service element of CHARMS. They are a valuable part of the community and their help matters.

I'm grateful to be able to share my experience and resources that have worked for our family. I'd love to hear if there are other resources that have worked for your family. Join us in our Facebook Community and join the conversation. 

*note that the pictures in the middle of the post are affiliate links. If you use those links I will get a small kickback at no additional cost to you :) I'm grateful for your support.

Lindsay