Qigong is an exercise in breathing and movement to help people relax and improve health. Many consider it a form of alternative medicine, some a spiritual practice, and others simply a form of mindfulness and relaxation.
Lisa Spillane's book "Six Healing Sounds" was written to bring Qigong to children as a tool to help them manage their own often volatile emotions.
As a mother, I am a big believer in teaching children "do" at least as much as "don't" and this was one new way to do it. Breathing deeply, and imagining bad feelings going away were both things that I naturally do with my children, and this gave some structure to those ideas.
Reading the actual text of the book though was a challenge with my younger ones. My 4-year-old was able to sit and really listen to the story, but my 2 and 3 year old just needed to hear me talk about the pictures. It also provides an opportunity to talk about anatomy as your kids will probably not have a reference point yet for things like lungs, liver, and kidneys.
A hard cover book with colorful illustrations this is definitely a different concept in a children's book. If you as a parent already do yoga, martial arts, or meditation on a regular basis you will probably enjoy this book as a way to introduce these concepts to your kids.
Book for Children Ages: 4 years old and older
Family Reading Time: Practicing Qigong is something you can certainly do as a family. See if your older children have any interest, and perhaps get them some more advanced books on the subject if they do.
- Don't be afraid to stand up and read this one so that your children can freely move and breathe while you are reading.
- Some of the concepts in the book may need to be explained.
Related Discussion Questions:
- Have you ever felt sad/angry/worried, etc.? How did that feel? Could you feel it in your body?
- What are some ways that you use to help those bad feelings?
- How can you control your actions to make good choices even when you feel bad?
Activities for Kids:
- Try out the breathing in the book. You don't have to be serious about it, and if everyone just ends up blowing and laughing and playing, consider it a success.
- Get a large piece of paper or cardboard and trace your child's body on it. Then help identify where different parts of their body are. You can stick with the traditional hands, feet, etc. for younger children, or start learning about muscles and internal organs with older children. Draw a picture or label each part.
- We can help others have good feeling by the way we treat them. Think with your child about something you can do for someone else to help them feel happy (such as sending a card, calling a far away friend or relative, making a special dessert as a surprise for the other parent when they get home from work, etc.)
Cultural Diversity: Lisa and Ted are brother and sister in this book, and it does not show any interaction with others.
Children's Book Review Rating: 4 Stars - Beneficial Book