With a mission of “building strong, peaceful, resilient hearts through the magic of being here,” it has been an honour partnering with Family Support, as we work to bring families together through mindfulness activities via our Om:Pop sessions, as well as to provide tools which enable children and parents to take a breath when needed.
“We first began working with Family Support last year when we brought our Om:Pop to Melcombe Primary School in Fulham,” said Dana Dyksterhuis, HERE Co-Founder. "It was such a lovely day with four nooks that included yoga and mindfulness, sensory, creativity and relax. We felt so inspired by the teachers and families who participated, that we knew we had to bring these sessions to as many families as possible moving forward. We are grateful to Family Support as they’ve been a fantastic partner on this journey with us and love their mission of helping families thrive.”
The recent September and October series with Family Support at Cathnor Park Children’s Centre and Melcombe Children’s Centre also included brain building activities with different themes every week:
- Brain Architecture
- Stress Response
- Serve and Return
- Executive Functioning (Air Traffic Control)
"Connecting children with their parents and carers has been such a wonderful experience, from seeing the babies become mesmerised from the singing bowl to seeing the joy on their faces when being propped up in the air in flying camel pose!” said Jen Armstrong, HERE Co-Founder. ”One parent who has returned each week said how her child is now saying the word ‘yoga’ and doing a downward facing dog!”
Each session is tailored to the theme, and includes yoga, meditation, creative brain-building activities and relaxation.
"It's such a special time during relaxation when a baby or toddler is watching their parent have a mini oil head massage, they look with such curiosity and love the smell of the oils when brought towards them!” said Jen.
“It is wonderful to see that the parents and caregivers at our OM:POP sessions have come to embrace that mindful practices, including meditation, can be enjoyed with the children playing and making noises in the same room,” said Karin Schrijvers of Bubble + Sprout and Om:Pop Team Member. “We have been trying out different focused attention practices each week as there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to mindfulness.”
As an example, Karin explained that for the executive functioning meditation she used a mantra (repeated phrase) and mudras (finger movements). “The kids were so intrigued by what the adults were saying and doing that they ended up repeating the sounds and moving their own little fingers along with us!”
“Each time the parents and caregivers sit down with their eyes closed for the meditation practice, it doesn't take long for a good few of the children to snuggle quietly into an adult's lap,” said Karin.
“Mums, dads, nannies, aunties, grandparents and friends all come along to the sessions to connect with their little ones,” said Aoife Baigent, Om:Pop Team Member. “Our workshops are welcome to all and we do so with open arms- just as we wish to teach the little ones."
HERE is working to bring more sessions to the Hammersmith and Fulham community and beyond, and also has plans for an app so we can bring our mindfulness work to families worldwide. We will provide more updates as they come and you can follow us on social media too!
The Om:Pop series with Family Support Hammersmith & Fulham is brought to you by HERE in partnership with Bubble + Sprout, where we bring bespoke mindfulness, yoga and brain building sessions to families. Family Support, backed by the H&F Council, has an incredible mission, which is to help families in Hammersmith & Fulham thrive. This includes their “Brain Builders” initiative with activities and resources to help build your baby’s brain!
The OM:POP team