Doing Good Together January 2013 Newsletter


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Doing Good Together Newsletter

 Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism...


January 2013

It can be easy to get caught up in the business of our everyday lives and forget to take time to be aware in the present. Being mindful helps us to think intentionally, find gratitude for what we have, and be more understanding toward others and ourselves. Research shows that mindfulness also reduces stress, improves memory, enhances empathy, and lessens anxiety and depression. What's more, your whole family can practice and benefit from mindfulness together.


Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Take Notice of the World
Why Being Mindful Matters

Take Notice of the World 

Make a Difference.....


Practice living in the moment - and teach your children to do the same -- with these fun, simple exercises:

  • Raisin experiment. Give each family member a raisin. As you eat, be aware of all your senses. First, talk about what the raisin looks like (wrinkly, dark purple). How does it feel? Touch it to your tongue. Hold it in your mouth. Take one small bite. Talk about what you taste and feel at each step. Afterward, ask your kids how it felt to use all their senses and put so much focus on one raisin. Did they enjoy eating more or less than usual?
  • Patience experiment. Ring a bell or turn a rain stick. Be still as you listen to the noise slowly dissipating. Have your children raise their hands when they hear the sound go completely silent.

Move with Me

  • Breathing experiment. The age-old practice of focusing on your breath can be a valuable response for when any challenging or emotional situation arises for your children - or you. It's a great way to get re-centered. Pick a time (such as before bed) and together focus for five breaths. As you breathe in and out you might say -"Breath in, breath out..." or choose a mantra to learn. For example "Breathing in, I bring joy and energy into my heart and my whole body! Breathing out, I share energy and joy from my heart and my whole body with the world!" ( from )
  •  Find more kid-friendly meditation practices here.

Being Mindful Matters 

Talk About It.....
  • How can we remember to enjoy what we are doing right now?
  • What are some others foods we can eat slowly and notice our senses?
  • What did it feel like to listen to your breathing?
  • Does taking a few breaths when you're angry make you feel better? Why do you think that is?
  • How can we be more loving and understanding to those who are different from us?
  • How can we remember to be thankful everyday? 

 Learn About It.....


Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda

Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda by Lauren Alderfer (Wisdom, 2011). In this simple story, children are introduced to the

concept of mindfulness as Happy Panda shows Monkey how he can find joy in everyday moments.


Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children by Thich Nhat Hanh (Parallax, 2011). A wealth of activities, conversations and research to teach and practice mindfulness, gratitude and stress release with children.


"Simple practices like conscious breathing and smiling are very important. They can change our civilization." 


Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step


News from DGT

If you live in the Twin Cities, join us for two events during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend:


Small Hands, Big Hearts: Sparking the Spirit of Giving at the Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul:


Saturday, January 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.  

Sunday, January 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.   
Monday, January 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


This annual event at the Minnesota Children's Museum is a special celebration devoted to everything good about giving back. Families can work together on several fun activities that will help our community:

  • Pint-size Philanthropy: Bring the pennies, nickels and dimes  you've saved and decide which of three causes you want to donate them to. Then, make your own Giving Box to take home and save up even more money
    to give away.
  • Caring Cards: Create cheerful cards for children who have serious illnesses.
  • Wrap up a Smile: Decorate a lunch bag to brighten up elders' Meals on Wheels.

For more family-friendly service projects ideas you can do at home or in the community, click here.


Kiddywampusthe awesome children's shop and art studio in St. Louis Park, 

is hosting a charity day for Doing Good Together on Saturday, January 19. 


Kiddywampus will be donating 20% of the day's retail sales to DGT! They are located at 4400 Excelsior Boulevard, St. Louis Pk. Store hours are 10-5.


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Doing Good Together | 5141 16th Avenue South | Minneapolis | MN | 55417