Breathe In

Children's Songs for
Mindfulness & Awareness

Lianne Bassin

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Interactive Booklet for Parents and Educators!


Lianne’s CD is accompanied with a booklet that contains learning objectives and mindful moments, activities, or questions for each song. (DOWNLOAD IT HERE).


Read or download the lyrics sheet HERE.


1. Bye, Bye Thoughts

Introduces children to the meditation technique of noticing their thoughts and letting them go.


Create a Mindful Activity: Have your children draw a few empty clouds on a piece of paper. The clouds can be in whatever shapes they want. Have them draw themselves looking up at the clouds. Ask, “What thoughts are floating through your mind right now? Can you illustrate some of your thoughts in the clouds and watch them pass on by?”


2. Together We’re Beautiful

Empowers children to embrace their uniqueness as well as the differences they find in others.


Create a Mindful Moment: Remind your children that their internal dialogue has a lot to do with how they feel. You can say something like, “Isn’t it interesting that when we say nice things to ourselves, we feel good?” or “Isn’t it interesting that when we say mean things to ourselves, we feel bad?” Have your children think of some affirmations that they can say to themselves starting with, “I am.” To make these affirmations come alive visually, they can illustrate their “I am” phrases. You can write down their words and turn these illustrations into a book that your children can read to you.


3. I Am

Helps children see that they are connected to the larger world. Furthermore, if they treat nature with respect and thoughtfulness, the world will be a better place to live in.


Create a Mindful Activity: Have your children lie down on a big piece of paper. Trace the outline of their body with a marker. Ask them, “What do you enjoy in nature? Animals? Plants? Beaches? Rainbows? Can you draw some of these things inside of your body?” This will help create a visual understanding of their connectedness to their surroundings.


4. Trees

Encourages children to develop a relationship with nature and cultivate a curiosity about their surroundings.


Create a Mindful Activity: Help your children to connect with nature by having them take care of a plant. Talk to them about what a plant needs, and have them make a plan about its care. Buy a seed or a tiny plant and have your children observe how this plant grows. Connect this growth to their growth by asking them, “What do you need in order to grow?” and “Wow! Your plant is growing so tall, just like you!” Children can also have a “Plant Journal” and illustrate their plant every week. They may have fun looking at the transformations in their drawings over time.


5. Mr. Bear and Birdie

Helps to instill compassion for those who are not as fortunate. If we have more than we need, it is important to share what we have with those who do not have enough.


Ask Mindful Questions: “What happened to Birdie’s home?”(It was destroyed in a storm.) “Do you think it was hard for Birdie to ask for food from Mr. Bear?" "Why?" (Mr. Bear is big and scary; he does not look anything like Birdie. Mr. Bear and Birdie are not friends at all.) “How did Mr. Bear help Birdie?” (Mr. Bear gave Birdie food.) “How did Birdie help Mr. Bear?” (Birdie taught Mr. Bear how to share. Birdie helped Mr. Bear learn compassion and helped him see that sometimes it is nice to share with someone who needs help, even if that person is not your friend and does not look the same as you do.) For younger children, it may be fun to play this song and have them take turns being both Mr. Bear and Birdie.


6. Monkey Brain

Encourages children to focus on what they are doing in the present moment. This is the most basic of mindfulness concepts.


Create a Mindful Moment: Do you or your children ever feel like you have monkey brain (many thoughts running through your mind at the same time)? Next time you are engaging in an activity with your children, encourage them to focus on being present in the moment. For example, you can encourage them to mindfully eat by having a ‘mindful minute’ each time you eat a meal together. Say, “Slow down your chewing. During this minute, there is no talking. Place all of your attention on how the food feels in your mouth, and what chewing sounds like.” Afterward, you can ask questions like, “What do you notice about your food when you eat mindfully? Is it any different than how you normally eat?” “Did you notice more about the flavor of your food? Was it Sweet? Bitter? Salty? Sour?” “How did it sound? Was it crunchy?” “How did it feel? Soft? Smooth? Rough?” “How would you describe your food to someone else?”


7. Wishing Tree

Introduces children to the idea of sending good wishes to themselves and to others. This is the idea behind the practice of loving-kindness meditation.


Ask Mindful Questions: Ask your children, “If you had a wishing tree, what would it look like?” Have your children illustrate their version of a ‘wishing tree.’ Ask them, "What would you wish for yourself if you were sitting in or under your wishing tree?" "What would you wish for others if you were sitting in or under your wishing tree?" This activity can be turned into a class or family book.


Create a Mindful Math Activity: To get your children to grasp the concept of ‘adding one more,’ have children listen to the song and hold up one finger. They can pretend each finger is a bird. As one bird joins, have them add another finger. For visual learners, several children can illustrate this song and write the corresponding addition equations. You can also choose to act out this song, starting with one child and having a friend join them each time a bird is added.


8. Hugging Words

Helps children be more aware of the language they use toward others. Words can affect our feelings – positively or negatively.


Create a Mindful Activity: Make a ‘hugging words’ book with your children. Open the discussion by asking, “Can you think of hugging words that you can use with your friends and family?” And, “How can you use hugging words to respond to someone who is annoying or frustrating you?" Encourage children to talk about ways of responding using both hugging words and non-hugging words. Children can choose to make illustrations of the words they chose.


9. Love Inside My Heart

Teaches children to think about the love within them and to express their love to themselves, others, and their environment


Ask Mindful Questions: Help your children cultivate love for themselves by asking specific questions. Start out with, "What do you like about yourself?" "What kinds of things do you do that make you feel good about yourself?" And, "What are some ways that you act and feel that are special?"


10. Be Still

Shows children that keeping our bodies still will help us still our minds.


Create a Mindful Moment: Try sitting still with your children for a specific amount of time, even if it is just for 30 seconds. Suggest they close their eyes or focus on a point in front of them. When finished, ask, “When you sit still and are silent, what do you hear?” “How does your body feel?” “How does your mind feel?” “Was that easy, or was that hard?” The goal is for the children to simply notice these things, not to judge if they did a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ job.


11. Chirp Chirp

Encourages children to be sensitive to the sounds in the environment around them.


Create a Mindful Moment: Take your children somewhere that they will be able to concentrate on sounds. Have them close their eyes, turn their voice off, and listen to the sounds around, above, and below them. This activity can be done anywhere - in the city, on a bus, or even in your own home.


12. All Our Voices

Encourages children to strengthen their teamwork and collaboration skills within their community.


Ask Mindful Questions: Ask a question that will inspire your children to collaborate. For example, you can introduce the idea of a ‘peaceful place’ in your classroom or home. Ask, “What things would we need in order to make the peaceful place somewhere you would want to go?” Have your children work together to collect or create these items. When they have finished, ask, “What if you had done this activity all by yourself? Do you think it would have been different than doing it with others?"


13. What Do I Feel?

Reminds children to be conscious of how they feel during individual moments throughout the day.


Create a Mindful Activity: Create a feelings book with your children. Have them pick a few emotions to act out and take pictures of their actions. Under each picture, write something like, “When I feel (insert emotion), I want to ________.” Or, “I feel (insert emotion) when _________.” You can do this activity as a family or as a class and have different pictures of people expressing the same emotion.


14. Two of Us (feat. Glen Widjeskog)

Teaches children about the importance of supporting others and working together as a team.


Ask a Mindful Question: “When is it better to have two people instead of just one?”


15. Check In

Teaches children that taking time to notice their thoughts and feelings (‘checking in’) from time to time throughout the day can help them have more self-control.


Create a Mindful Moment: Remind your children to ‘check in’ during certain moments throughout the day. Ask them questions like, “What are you thinking about right now? How are you feeling? Where do you feel your breath in your body? What do your body and mind tell you that you need right now?” Ideally, children will internalize prompts to ‘check in’ and will begin to ask themselves questions like, “Am I paying attention to what I am doing right now?” “Am I listening to my own thoughts?” “Am I feeling my own body?” “Am I meeting my own needs?”


16. 10 White Doves

Encourages children to spread their love by doing kind things for other people. Ask Mindful Questions: Ask your child, “If you were a dove, how would you spread your love?” Then ask, “How would you feel when (insert kind action)?” “How would the person/plant/animal feel when receiving your kind action?”


Create a Mindful Math Activity: To get your children to grasp the concept of ‘take away one,’ have children listen to the song and hold up ten fingers. They can pretend that each finger is a dove. When one dove flies away, have them take away one finger. For visual learners, you can have several children illustrate this song and write the corresponding subtraction equations. It may also be fun to act out this song, having ten different children ‘fly away’ and ‘spread their love.’ They can act out what the doves do in the song, or think of another way to spread their love.


17. Peaceful Place

Helps children create an internal or external place to go when they need to calm themselves. In their peaceful place, children should feel free to take all the time they need in order to fully relax.


Create a Mindful Moment: Ask your children to describe their peaceful place. How does it make them feel when they are imagining they are there or are actually there? Each child can illustrate their peaceful place after listening to the song. If you would like to implement a peaceful place in your own home or at school, have your children pick a quiet spot and surround it with items that make them feel calm or happy. Perhaps include a favorite book, some quiet music, or markers and paper to write or draw. Encourage your children to go to their peaceful place when they feel like they need to calm their bodies or minds. You can model this by having your own peaceful place as well.


18. Thank You

Reminds children to be thankful for what they have, and to express gratitude whenever they can.


Create a Mindful Activity: Make or buy a gratitude journal with your children. You may title it “Gratitude Journal,” or “The Things I am Thankful For.” Brainstorm a list together and ask them why they are thankful for those specific things. Children can draw or write one thing in their journals every day. Remind them that it is always nice to express their gratitude directly to another person. Expressing gratitude not only makes the other person feel good, it makes you feel good too!


19. Listening Within

Helps children realize that thoughts and feelings change over time. Being aware of this can help them cope with their thoughts and feelings throughout the day.


Create a Mindful Moment: Have your children act out different emotions and take pictures of their faces or whole body. You may choose to take a picture of a child when they are feeling sad, happy, angry, and calm (other emotions can be included too). Put these pictures next to each other and hang them somewhere accessible. Throughout the day, ask your child to point to how they are feeling at the moment.


20. One Step at a Time

Encourages children to develop a mindful walking practice, noticing each step and feeling each part of their foot as it lowers to the ground.


Create a Mindful Moment: Mindful walking can focus a children’s attention on this everyday task. Carve out some time with your children to mindfully walk together; ideally, it should be a place with few distractions. Encourage children to slow down their walking. Prompt them to notice that this allows them to be more aware of the sensations in their feet. Start by asking children to place their attention on how their feet feel as they walk. What sensations do they feel? How does the rest of their body feel? How does their mind feel? If their mind is wandering, can they bring it back to the feeling in their feet?


21. Breathe In, Breathe Out

Introduces children to the idea that they can use their breath to help settle their bodies and minds, and to help control their emotions. In doing so, they can more fully appreciate and experience everything surrounding them.


Create a Mindful Moment: When exploring breathing, children will begin to have more control in changing their breath. When children can change their breath, they will be able to use their breath to control their feelings. Instead of just telling your children to ‘breathe in and breathe out’, have them think of two words that they would like to focus on. These may be words that the children like. For example, on the inhale they could breathe in ‘rainbow’, and on the exhale the could breathe out ‘ocean.’ They could also inhale something they want for themselves like ‘love’, and exhale something they wish to get rid of inside of themselves like ‘worry.’ When breathing, suggest that children place one hand on their belly and one hand on their heart so they can feel the breath moving in their bodies.

BIO

ALBUM

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“Lianne's beautiful music and lyrics introduce young children to various aspects of mindfulness in an engaging manner that will help them develop greater awareness of themselves and the world around them.”

- Lisa Brown, Psy.D., Elementary School Psychologist

“Lianne Bassin is not only an exceptional songwriter and musician, she is an expert teacher of young children. Listening to her music is an enjoyable way to foster your children’s development.”

- Allyson Hentel-Koplin, Ph.D., Mother and Child Psychologist

“Breathe In ought to be in every classroom. Playful, fun, and thoughtful, Lianne's engaging collection of songs offer children simple ways to practice mindfulness and respect for self and others.”

- Victoria Gordon, Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor

“Fun, clear, and sweet. The social/emotional emphasis is aligned with the needs of the special needs K-5 population as well as general education students. Lianne’s songs have impacted me as much as 'Free to Be You and Me' did some 40 years ago.”

-Marci Pepper, Special Educator, Visual and Performing Arts Teacher

"Breathe In invites both children and adults to step out of their own heads and appreciate all the awesome and beautiful gifts that surround them in the real-world everyday!"

- Sam Schectman, Assistant Film Director

"What a wonderful way to introduce our kids to the very mindset that is our best chance for collectively embracing this previous gift of life we have been given (not to mention the exquisite quality of the music). "

- Betty Chen, Mother

"I really appreciated the musicality of the production and the original way Lianne has of encouraging children to raise their consciousness several levels regarding the human experience."

- James Asmussen, Bass Trombone

“I use Lianne's CD almost every day in my classes. We can really focus and imagine what it means to be another being. We listen to 'What Do I Feel' and 'Mr. Bear and Birdie' to demonstrate range of emotion. I cannot wait for the next album!!!”

- Barbara Siegal, Teacher

“Lianne Bassin is a lovely young woman with a big heart -- and she has created songs with beautiful, caring messages. In the challenging and scary world that we all live in, Lianne's CD will help children and those who love them spread goodness and positive energy.”

- Faye Menken Schneier, Writer


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