THE latest teddy to hit toy shop shelves has more than play on its mind.
Mindful Moe – a plush, talking teddy in the form of a Pug dog – is designed to teach children the art of mindfulness.
Created by Julieanne Reel, founder of Mindful Kids Ireland, based in Silverbridge, Co. Down, the toy is designed to encourage the mental, emotional, social health and wellbeing of the young person playing with it.
Ms Reel has been working with children of all ages for 25 years and has been teaching mindfulness to children in primary schools, with groups and individually since 2014.
She now wants to see a Mindful Moe in the arms of every child in Ireland, the EU and Britain.
“I wanted to offer a way in to mindfulness that is fun, accessible and of genuine use in children’s daily lives and so I created Mindful Moe,” she explained.
“My goal with Mindful Moe is to help children realise how amazing they are and to enrich their lives with mindfulness.
“We want our children to learn coping skills, build resilience and compassion for themselves and others. Moe will help with this” she added.
As well as being a cuddly toy, Mindful Moe teaches the formal practise of mindfulness (meditation) at the touch of a little paw.
His voice guides the child using three different audio meditations: a calming meditation, a meditation to aid sleep, and a loving kindness meditation to “instil compassion for oneself and others”.
“Mindfulness simply means present moment awareness, without judgement,” Ms Reel explains.
“It is about noticing and accepting what is ‘here’ in each moment as it unfolds, instead of ruminating over past events or worrying about the future.”
She added: “Mindfulness has been recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence to improve the mental, emotional, social health and wellbeing of children, young people and adults.”
Regarding the benefits of mindfulness for children, Ms Reel said: “Growing up is not easy, and sometimes it's hard to cope with what life throws at you.
“Our children’s lives are busy. Their minds can become cluttered and access to too much information leads to over-thinking.
"Children worry and stress over lots of things. More and more children are presenting with challenging behaviour, symptoms of anxiety, low self-esteem and self-doubt.
“Mindful Moe will teach children mindfulness.
“This will give them the space to manage their emotions and the ability to self-regulate encouraging a content, peaceful and happy child.”
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