Founded by Susan Kaiser Greenland and Seth Greenland in 2001, InnerKids teaches students simple self-directed games and activities that are designed to develop attention, balance, and clarity — the new ABCs — at a time when our children are that much more challenged by a multi-tasked and multi-media world.
Mindful Awareness is aimed at increasing one's ability to feel present, focused, and calm. A higher quality of attention occurs when we can notice and identify mind and body states in the present moment, without labeling them as good or bad.
The InnerKids organization uses the awareness of breathing (just as it is in the present moment) to help kids develop their attention skills. Activities and games take into account developmental and age differences.
Young children, for example, may play a game where a little stuffed animal is placed on their bellies to observe their breathing patterns, while older children may be asked to focus on "soft belly breathing" while sustaining attention for half a breath.
The fundamental rules are to keep it simple, keep it fun, and keep your sense of humor. Some exercises ask kids to sit in a circle and pass each other a cup filled to the top with water, or hold a piece of ice in their hand and experience the sensation it creates and their reaction to it.
These exercises are meant to be fun while helping kids focus their attention directly on the moment, developing an awareness through sensory experience like touch, sound, taste, smell, sight, and intuition.
Music, art, and movement exercises are also introduced to help kids direct their attention while moving. Often kids move a lot because it's difficult to tolerate keeping still.