Eleven year old Willow Bailey had the idea to use movie characters to draw more kids into meditation, which has resulted in the release of a guided meditation session on the Smiling Mind app featuring a character from the hit animated film, Trolls.
The mindful maiden told her mother of her idea, and together they approached the not-for-profit organization, Smiling Mind. When the idea reached the Smiling Mind CEO, clinical psychologist Dr Addie Wootten, she loved it.
“Children love movies and story-telling and we know the enormous benefits children experience from doing even a short five-minute meditation,” she said in an interview with 9Honey.
“Mindfulness and meditation has [such] a huge evidence base now, that this practice can aid children in a range of ways including: enhancing well-being, improving sleep quality, improving concentration in class, and enhancing awareness and management of their emotions. Given these benefits, Smiling Mind is always looking for innovative ways to deliver meditations that are accessible and engaging to a wide audience.”
The first expression of Bailey’s idea is a meditation session guided by Cloud Guy from Trolls. The high-five-happy character will bring an element of humor into the session, thereby helping to hold the attention of a child onto the meditation.
The new session launched on March 15, in conjunction with the release of the Trolls movie on Blu-ray™, DVD, and Digital.
Smiling Mind already offers educational meditation programs for children from age ranges between seven and 18 years old. It is being used in 18,000 classrooms in Australia and other countries, thus bringing the benefits of meditation to more than one million students.
Meditation has reached childhood audiences previously in such animated series as Avatar the Last Airbender, when the eponymous hero learned how to cleanse his chakras, and Steven Universe, when the titular hero and his partner learned how to deal with negative thoughts and feelings.
Meditation for children programs have also been begun in schools all over the world. In the US, the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore Maryland also uses meditation in their classrooms, in place of detention. In Canada, the University of Ottawa has made meditation mandatory for students of their medical school. In the UK, Brighton College has also issued teachers emergency meditation kits.