Category Archives: Visualization

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

“Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems”

Teaching children at a young age how to be present and how to self-calm can become a beneficial skill that can help them later in life when faced with stress. In Breathe and Be, mindfulness poems set the stage for children to calm, relax, and be. These poems use nature analogies that children can easily relate to.

By the end of the book, a sense of calm and serenity prevails. Readers connect mindfulness with the beauty of nature. On the book’s back cover, this poem portrays rushing thoughts and centeredness.

Gorgeous illustrations create a soothing peacefulness while illustrating how readers’ awareness of their thoughts can promote mindfulness.

This book promotes visualization, flexible thinking, and nature.

TITLE: Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

AUTHOR: Kate Coombs

ILLUSTRATOR: Anna Emilia Laitinen

PUBLISHER: Sounds True, 2017


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: visualization, flexible thinking, nature


1) Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is quoted: “Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” As an act of mindfulness, sit quietly in nature. Pick a small square of dirt to observe. For five to ten minutes focus only on that patch of earth, watching nature happen.

2) Try your hand at writing a tanka poem. A tanka poem has five lines. The first and third lines have five syllables. The second, fourth and fifth lines have seven syllables. Here is an example that I wrote.

Up Above

by Ann Kelley

dollops of whipped cream

drift across speckled blue sky

like scoops of ice cream

piling higher and higher

until melting raindrops pour


To learn more about author Kate Coombs, visit:

To learn about illustrator Anna Emilia Laitinen, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Shoe That’s Perfect For You


Creative Thinking Prompt: Design A Shoe That’s Perfect For You

What story will your shoes tell about you? As you design your shoes to be as unique as you are, here are some things to think about.

What’s the purpose of your shoe?

What material to use for the sole?- wood, plastic, rubber, cotton

Will your shoes be flat, have a small heel, have a large heel?

Will you engrave a design like your name on the bottom of your shoe? Will you hide a secret superpower on the bottom of your shoes? A secret compartment?

Laces? No laces? Colored laces? White laces? Tied? Untied?

The shoe tongue – color? shape? no tongue?

Will your shoe be open-toed, open-heel, cut-out shapes on the sides, and/or cover your entire foot?

How high will the back of your shoe go? Ankle? Knee? Mid-calf?

Will there be a logo on the back of the shoe?

What designs will you put on the left side of the right shoe and the right side of the left shoe? How will these designs reflect a part of you?

Sketch your shoe design. Give your shoes a name.

Think Deeper:  What if you turned a pair of shoes into a food item? Creative shoe designers at ShoeBakery have done just that.  Here are a few tempting, but unedible shoes.




Visit to see more inventive designs.

Now you:  Design a pair of shoes that look like your favorite food item or a mode of transportation.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Nature Inspired Designs

Creative Thinking Prompt: Nature Inspired Designs


Curiosity seeker Leonardo da Vinci observed nature fanatically, taking notes and drawing sketches in his notebooks. Da Vinci’s nature observations lead him to design inventions that were ahead of his time. His observations of  birds and their wing structures inspired Da Vinci to design a plane and a parachute.




Many of Da Vinci’sdesigns weren’t able to come to fruition because the materials needed to make his inventions weren’t available during his lifetime.

Your challenge is to observe nature – the plants, trees, water sources, and wildlife. Make a list of attributes for each item you observe. From your list, combine two attributes to inspire an invention design of your own.

Think Deeper:


To learn more about Leonardo da Vinci, check out this book:

To read about other animal inspired inventions, visit: