Learn how TG's is cultivating Little Heroes with Mindfulness, Empathy, and Gratitude (MEG)
Mindfulness, empathy and gratitude (affectionately known as MEG at TG's) are essential life skills to help TG's children tap into their inner Zen. There are lots of fun and fascinating ways to cultivate mindfulness, empathy and gratitude into a child’s daily routine.
When children practise MEG regularly, they become more considerate and kinder. TG's helps children gain the tools to understand and process their own emotions, regulate their stress levels, and can identify when others are going through these emotions. Children learn to respect people and cultures, and appreciate the gifts their environment shares with them.
1. Mindfulness: The Superpower Within
Can you imagine a child sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, taking deep breaths? No, it's not a dream; it's mindfulness in action! TG's children are familiar with this and they go home and share this with their families too! Mindfulness helps children develop awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and surroundings, promoting focus and emotional well-being. But how do TG's children actually learn this superpower?
a) Practising Presence: TG's Educators encourage children to engage in activities that require focused attention, like painting or carefully transplanting seedlings in the garden. TG's children savour the present moment, free from distractions. And they're having FUN!
b) Mindful Breathing: TG's children learn to take slow, deep breaths when they have big feelings. It's a simple yet powerful tool that helps them find calm amidst chaos. There are all sorts of creative breathing exercises children can identify with and learn to use easily e.g. blowing bubbles, tracing 5 fingers, bunny breaths and dragon fire breath. We can empower children with these simple tools they can use when they feel upset.
2. Empathy: The Heartfelt Connection
Empathy is like a magic pill that helps children understand, share, and connect with others' feelings. It develops kindness, compassion, and builds strong relationships. At TG's, it is clear that love, care and respect flow through all of TG's playspaces. Everyone learns and models behaviour that is nurturing, kind and loving. Educators practise this among the team, and TG's children who experience it at TG's return to their families and communities and continue to naturally share this with others.
a) Storytelling: TG's children love stories, and Educators are always on hand to share books that celebrate diversity, compassion, and empathy. As TG's children immerse themselves in these tales and adventures, they learn to step into others' shoes and embrace their unique experiences.
b) Role-Playing: Educators also encourage children to engage in role-playing scenarios where they can pretend to be someone else. TG's playspaces provide tons of opportunities to do this. You can be a vet one day looking after all the sick animals in the room, and be a treasure hunter the next in the garden and have exciting adventures! This playful activity helps TG's children develop a deeper understanding of others' perspectives and feelings.
3. Gratitude: An Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude is like sunshine for the soul, warming hearts and fostering positivity. Teaching children gratitude not only brings joy and happiness but also instils a sense of appreciation for the little things in life. So, how does TG's sow the seeds of gratitude in children?
a) Gratitude Journal: This does not have to be something written. Very small children can easily draw the things they are grateful for, and they can also share them verbally. Try this yourself, your family, friends and with your children too! Ask them to think of three things they are grateful for. By focusing on the positives, they'll develop an attitude of gratitude. TG's Educators know the power of active listening, and are always open to having conversations with children about what makes them happy and feel good.
b) Thank You Notes: At TG's the children know what an Appreciation Tree is. It's where they leave notes about what they appreciate about the Educators! These are highly appreciated, and Educators always find it touching to receive and read these notes. You can do this at home any time too. Encourage your child to draw pictures and help them to write thank-you notes, or pick a flower for someone to express their appreciation to family, friends, teachers or even someone in the community whose service they appreciate e.g. the local grocer, fireman, nurse etc. This simple act of gratitude teaches them the importance of acknowledging kindness.
While TG´s children carry with them these Little MEG tools with them anywhere they go, there is another Meg in TG´s playspaces that is modelling Mindfulness, Empathy and Gratitude. Meg Barnden-Hyde, NSW State Manager of TG´s Child Care is known as the Mother Hen and she is spreading her safe, warm, loving wings over the children, the families and her team of Educators that she is guiding across all six of TG´s campuses!
"At an early age, I knew that I would be working within the early childhood environment. Early Childhood is the starting blocks for children’s education and if children have passionate, supportive and loving educators to teach them the foundations, then they will be set up to succeed within their personal life." - Meg Barnden-Hyde, NSW State Manager, TG's Child Care
"Everyone is always welcomed as soon as they enter through the door. By providing an environment where people feel welcomed, supported, trusted and respected, we then provide the right environment to nurture, guide and support others to reach their fullest potential." Whether it's for children or Educators, everyone appreciates the mindful attention given to each other, the empathy we have for what we are all experiencing, and expressing the simple gratitude that can be said in two simple words, "Thank YOU!"
As educators, parents and caregivers, it is our privilege and responsibility to equip our children with the essential life skills they need to navigate the world with grace and resilience.
By introducing mindfulness, empathy, and gratitude into their lives, not only do we nurture their emotional well-being, but we also set them on a path towards becoming compassionate and grateful individuals and empathic future leaders of the world.
The next time you go on a walk in nature, why not practise a little MEG? TG's Urangan have fortnightly beach and bush kindys which the children (and Educators!) really look forward to.
These regular beach and bush kindys provide lots of opportunities to help children experience Mindfulness smelling the freshness of the grass or noticing how water lapping on the feet feels ticklish, feel Empathy for a sick turtle they meet on the beach, and Gratitude for the beauty of nature and the company of their friends and Educators.
TG's is embarking on a beautiful journey with families in helping little heroes towards a life filled with mindfulness, empathy, and gratitude. It’s all about the joy of learning along the way! Let's empower our little heroes to shine bright and make a difference in this world!
TG's Child Care locations and contact details:
+61 (07) 4184 2282 | firstname.lastname@example.org
61 Miller St, Urangan, QLD 4655
+61 (02) 6772 7810 | email@example.com
11 Samuelson Crescent, Armidale NSW 2350
+61 (02) 6778 3369 | firstname.lastname@example.org
23B John St, Uralla NSW 2358
Wauchope - Hastings St NSW
+61 (02) 6585 1033 | HastingsStreet@tgschildcare.com.au
33B Hastings St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - High St NSW
+61 (02) 6585 3331 | HighStreet@tgschildcare.com.au
223A High St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - Riverbreeze NSW
+61 (02) 6585 2981 | email@example.com
3 Riverbreeze Drive, Wauchope NSW 2446
About TG's Child Care
As one of Australia's leading early learning Preschool and Long Day Care providers, TG's Child Care is dedicated to its philosophy of “Quality Lifelong Learning, where Playing is Learning for Life.” Children attending TG's Child Care are encouraged to experience a love and joy of learning throughout their time there and are equipped with skills and tools to continue their personal growth long after they’ve left.
At TG's, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay my/our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.