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Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  487 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children is the fruit of decades of development and innovation in the Plum Village community's collective practice with children. Based on Thich Nhat Hanh's thirty years of teaching mindfulness and compassion to parents, teachers, and children, the book and enclosed CD covers a wide range of contemplative and fun activities paren ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Parallax Press
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Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(5) Practical applications aside, this is an easy read and even easier to incorporate into daily life. Highly recommend for anyone who is struggling to gain an understanding of mindfulness and anyone who works with children and teens. I will definitely buy a copy for my personal collection!
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of good mindfulness exercises to do with wiggly kids; visualizations; explanations were helpful for talking with kids too
I'm not a Buddhist, but I do find meditation and mindfulness practices really helpful, and I particularly got a lot out of Thich Nhat Hanh's book The Blooming of a Lotus waaaay back when I was an undergrad. I remember the simplicity of the practices, and the way they helped me ground myself during some angsty periods of my life. So when I saw Planting Seeds, I hoped it would help me figure out ways to start passing these tools along to my two young children.

There's a lot to like here, and a lot
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a great book written like a lesson plan for a group of kids (little ones to teenage). I plan on starting one where we coul get together once a week and go through the book. It deserves 5+ stars! I checked this out from the library, but I am planning on buying my own copy. There is an option to get this for a kindle, but then you don't get the CD, which not only is great with the book but could be used as a background music for a kids yoga class. This book is wonderful and I hope man ...more
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found the exercises to be really great. I saved them to use with my girls. This has more information for classrooms than individual families, and more for little kids than bigger ones. It also has more of a Buddhist focus than I use with mindfulness, but it's thoughtful and helpful. ...more
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love all things Thich Nhat Hanh. That being said, this is a lovely tool for raising mindful, present children. I enjoyed reading through this slowly, taking time to absorb the material. It's a book I wouldn't mind having on my shelf as a reference. ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great guide with lots of practical activities. A real pleasure to read.
Jim Thompson
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
My rating here might be a little skewed, because though this was good, it was not what I expected it to be. Not quite fair to rate something based on my own misconceptions of what I was about to read, so maybe bump this up to a 3 1/2 or a 4.

What I was looking for was a book to help me introduce my kids to meditation. Or rather, to help them go more deeply into meditation practice, help them make it a more regular thing. My 13 year old has a bit of experience, my 6 year old some marginal experie
Emily Anderson
So helpful, sometimes reading how to teach something can help you learn even more. I started reading this wanting to bring some mindfulness practices into my relationship with my son and to prepare to teach him as he grows. There are so many practical activities which hardly require any materials. I love the CD that comes along with the book, I play it whenever my son and I are in the car it helps me stay centered while I'm driving and it helps keep him calm too. Based on what I've learned I'm w ...more
Cyndie Courtney
Full of calming and useful group and individual exercises for helping kids build focus, understanding, compassion, and equanimity. While it can be used for parents and in a more secular context - is most applicable for teachers and caregivers within a group setting and has strong Buddhist specific references.
A guide to meditation and mindfulness for parents (and those who interact with children daily). It includes information on different practices/exercises/activities as well as the steps to incorporate it into daily life.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Some great exercises for working with children.
I love how this book is like a little lesson plan for mindfulness. It shows us how we can instill mindful thoughts and self reflection into children.
Amy Makortoff
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love this book.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Handy book for practices involving children and staying present --
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sophie
Really beautiful book, full of great ideas and super inspiring stories and advice to practice mindfulness whatever your age :). The CD is super too including very good singing!
Bllu Catalano
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children by Thich Nhat Hanh is essential reading for those who work with children or who wish to help their own children learn meditative practices.

This is for all spiritual backgrounds and traditions. Don’t get hung up on this being Buddhist. These practices are not specific to any religion. They are a system. Every human, however young, has the power to develop their spiritual self, the teachings say. Some commune with god or God, some with nature.
I will edit this review when I have finished the book.

But, I absolutely relate to the idea of firstly taking care of myself, then my children/family and then my community.

This book answers my need on how to model mindfulness to my children, while learning the tools of taking care of myself.Ad nourishing and sustaining my relationships.

I enjoy the CD. The music is very calming for me, and the guided meditation is helpful.

I have been looking at how to combine Buddhism with family life. I am a pare
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. I think all parents and educators should read it. If not to follow it's lessons precisely, at least to get a feel for the idea of increasing mindfulness in our children and our teaching. Do not let the idea that it is based in Buddhism fool you into thinking that any other religious person could not benefit from it. I have found that most Buddhist teachings I have read firmly believe that no one should convert to Buddhism, but they feel that some of their practices cou ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think it speaks to the state of my mindfulness practice that I skimmed the rest of this book before returning it to the library. I don't think that skimming a mindfulness book is really what it's all about, but it was a good read. I incorporate a lot of mindfulness into my therapy practice with anxious, depressed, and inattentive kids. I'm also doing it myself and am really appreciating any attempts that I make in that direction. It's the gift that immediately gives and keeps on giving. I'm al ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 200s
Most of the practices and ideas in here were familiar to me from Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices, but they are all tailored for adults who want to bring mindfulness practice into children's lives. Some of it feels like dopey New Age blather, e.g. most of the songs on the included CD. But the practices are real, and the questions and answers with Buddhist teachers are illuminating. I bet a child raised with lots of mindfulness practice would have a wonderful, unshakeable source of stre ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality, 2016
First sentence: Mindfulness helps us recognize what is going on in the present moment.

Favorite quote: You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The seed is already there. A good teacher touches the seed, allowing it to wake up, to sprout, and to grow.

I did not read every word, or every page of this book. I certainly would have when I was a young parent. There is a calmness that came over me while reading this book and I learned a great deal about practicing mindfulness. I will no
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a unique and wonderful book that anyone involved with children--whether as parents or teachers--should read. It's both practical and imaginative. There are wonderful activities that range from artistic to thoughtful to meditative. The activities centering around food are quite terrific in the way they help to inculcate an awareness about food, health, and agriculture. There are great ideas for helping teach kids to concentrate, to be considerate, all sorts of important lessons that they ...more
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked the tools shared in this book for helping children visualize mindfulness. All the tips I've tried have been successful - my children (ages 2 and 4) seemed to get a kick out of mindfulness activities, and my 4 year old has definitely caught on to the idea of mindfulness thanks to this book. That said, I think I'd recommend this more as a reference to have on hand when wanting mindfulness activities for kids vs as a good read. Other than the children's mindfulness activities, I thou ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book should be in every teacher and school administrators bookcase. There are so many pressures on teachers due to testing requirements that the psychological health of our children is often disregarded. The thing we are forgetting is that psychological well being is directly linked to performance and you cannot have one without the other. This book offers really simple solutions for incorporating both into our children's lives. ...more
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was really excited to find this book, but was disappointed. I heartily agree that children are capable of practicing mindfulness and the benefits to such a practice are huge. I gave this book a low rating because it is poorly organized. It lacked a much needed "how to use this book" chapter, as well as an explanation of to use the CD that was included. ...more
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an awesome collection of anecdotes, ideas, meditations, and activities to introduce children to the practice of mindfulness!!! We have integrated the food contemplations to our dinners every night, made a mindfulness corner for the girls, among other things. It really helped Buddhism become a family practice. Loved it. Will come back to it again and again.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a really great book about helping children live mindfully. I have already started implementing some of the ideas with my kids, such as breathing when they hear the bell, and while a few of the activities were a tad hokey for me, I think this is a great resource for helping parents raise thoughtful, compassionate kids.
Alison Steiner
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd have loved to see the content organised in a more logical, user-friendly way. Bits of it tended to be 'waffley' and repetitive. Some good, simple activities however I would have preferred for this book to have been co-written with a classroom educator as not all of the concepts, as presented here, translate well into a contempory, secular classroom. ...more
Miriam Grinshtein Eber
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The methods are simple and easily accessible. I really like the attached cd so many wonderful songs that work well to communicate mindfulness both to children and adults in a fun and light way. My favorite song from the collection is on this plate are many hands. For those that are instrumentalists the book includes chords for all the songs too.
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Thích Nhất Hạnh was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lived in southwest France where he was in exile for many years. Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Thích Nhất Hạnh joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích is an honorary ...more

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