As just about any parent knows, getting a young child to sit still is not an easy task — let alone teaching them to practice meditation and mindfulness.
But one Redondo Beach mom might have just found a way to do both.
Blake Beers, a mother of two, recently designed a set of 40 activity cards called Little Renegades that offers everyday exercises to help kids find stillness and confidence.
Each card is illustrated with a picture of an animal or an object, and has a prompt for the child to breathe in-and-out and recite a mantra — such as, “I am brave.”
One card, for example, has a picture of a fox, and instructs its viewer to pretend to have fox ears and think about what the ears hear.
After about six months of using the cards with her 3-year-old son, Henry, Beers has already witnessed a noticeable effect, the mother said.
“The coolest thing I’ve noticed was recently he was getting super revved up about something and he goes, ‘Mommy, I just took a deep breath,’” Beers said during a recent interview. “If this whole project was only for that moment, it was worth it.”
Beers now sells the cards on the internet for $15.99. So far, she said, sales have come from all over the world, including Singapore and Australia. But, she added, making money on the project was not the sole purpose. Beers already has a full time job in technology.
“I’ve been really focused on the intention,” Beers said. “The intention is to do some good for some kids.”
Children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the activity cards.
The 34-year-old Beers said she has struggled with anxiety most of her life. She spent the past six years in therapy learning mindfulness techniques and ways to find inner peace, she said.
“Sometimes I think the parents are getting more out of it than the kids,” she said. “Parents often don’t take care of themselves. This can be a fun way to teach their kids about breathing and also learn something for themselves.”
After working 15 years in an accelerated advertising career, Beer said, the need to find mindfulness and inner peace in her own life felt urgent. Once she became a mother, she said, she wanted to find a way to introduce these topics to children earlier in their lives.
“How can we teach kids to be OK in their own skin and have the tools to help them navigate and live a more peaceful life?” she said. “The pressure seems more intense with social pressure and bullying. To me, it’s more urgent than ever.”
Sarah Parsa Nguyen, a friend of Beers’ who lives on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, said she has been using the Little Renegade cards with her two sons, who are 5 and 6 years old.
“What I love about the cards is that it’s a meaningful and playful way for me to connect with my boys,” Parsa Nguyen said.
“They are so active and they always want to go outside and play. But there is a limited number of things you can do inside to slow them down and be mindful. These cards have been a great tool.”