Creativity and Innovation

Over the moon – Mindfulness and movement to calm the boy
Ms Edna Reinhardt
Abstract

Both physical activity and mindfulness have long been positively associated with mental wellbeing, however, and in general, boys’ physical activity is more often limited to sports. Mindfulness and creative movement are also challenging and stimulating physical activities. Highly engaging for boys, these specific activities are positively associated with improved focus and stress-reduction. While ‘creative movement’ may conjure images of airy-fairy arm waving, it is in fact considered and structured, focused around giving children specific props or ideas that become catalyst for creative physical expression. By engaging them in challenging and exciting exercises that allow them to physically extend themselves in a focused and creative manner, boys gain the ability to concentrate their strength and energy and develop coordination, balance and impulse control.

This Lightning Session provides simple activities for teachers working with boys, giving an introduction to engaging boys in creative movement and mindfulness, modelling possibilities in a variety of scenarios including working with different age groups, using small or limited spaces and making the most of short periods of time. Practical examples, materials and exercises will be provided.

Biography

Edna Reinhardt is the founder and principal of Over the Moon Yoga and Dance Studio, in Castlemaine, Victoria. At a time when resilience in young people is essential, Edna is passionate about promoting the benefits of mindfulness to children. Edna also works to give school teachers, psychologists and other professionals working with children the skills to engage children in mindfulness and has been, since 1990, a workshop leader for the Victorian Education Department in-service training for principals and teachers. She has also taught early childhood music and movement classes at Bendigo Regional Institute of Technology (TAFE) and introduced the concept of using mindfulness in early childhood education to this state-wide training course. Edna was a workshop leader at the Early Childhood Council Conferences in NZ from 2009-2010 and led workshops at the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) conferences in 2010 and 2011.