Mindfulness for kids is a trendy topic these days but oh so important. The idea that adults can nurture a life skill – like teaching mindfulness – to help kids relax their bodies, to be conscious of their relationship to the world, to breath through painful emotions, to be present, to be emotionally intelligent, in other words, to be mindful, is incredibly powerful.
Think about it.
Teaching a child to breathe through anxiety, frustration, anger, and many other emotions will help him be a better communicator and in the end a happier person. And how lucky are we? We have ample resources and research supporting the fundamental fact that meditation is good for our bodies. I've listed several resources at the bottom of this post for you to explore.
The research is in: mediation helps with focus, communication, social skills, conflict resolution, and mental health. There is nothing to lose with finding ways to bring meditation and mindfulness into your daily life.
This post covers loads of mindfulness for kids' ideas and resources included guided meditations for kids, mindfulness youtube videos, mind games for kids, how to teach mindfulness in the classroom, and mindfulness activities for kids. I am so excited! So, let's dive in!
What is mindfulness?
In my experience, mindfulness is being aware of your body within the environment. If you want a more concrete definition, the Oxford Dictionary includes this definition:
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So to put in everyday terms, mindfulness is bringing attention to the present moment. How does your body feel? What is around you and how is it impacting your body? What does a deep breath do for your mental state?
How to Begin?
Honestly, at the essence, mindfulness must apply to each person as he or she feels. There is no “universal” definition of the concept. With that said, making sure kids understand what mindfulness is to them individually is key to the process. You want kids to naturally begin to practice without forcing them. One powerful way to get buy-in is to explain the concept to them.
Oh, and one more thing, practice mediation yourself. Be a model for the kids in your life!
How can you make meditation fun for kids?
We don't have to be Zen Buddhists to bring this “education of the heart” into our homes and classrooms. AND we can make it fun in tons of ways. Below are activities to get you started.
Guided Meditations for Kids
I am excited to share with you loads of guided meditations for kids. Most of you have heard of Headspace for Kids, which is a phenomenal resource that I highly recommend. However, there are other incredible tools out there to help kids with guided meditations.
Here are a few additional resources for you:
- Hot Air Balloon Ride: A Guided Meditation for Kids
- Guided Meditation for Children | Your Magical Island
- Sleep Meditation for Children
Below you will find many mindfulness videos on Youtube to help you get started on doing meditation with kids.
Mindfulness & Meditation Videos on YouTube
Just Breathe – Super Powerful
Beautiful. I often put it on in the background to help my boys transition throughout the day.
I love it when my kids will sit and listen to this meditation. It is a good one!
If a child is by nature anxious or is having a difficult day, this music will calm him.
Any time of the day relaxing music for kids.
Ideas to Teach Kids about Meditation & Mindfulness
Mindfulness Activities for Kids
Here are a few ways of teaching mindfulness to kids can be part of your everyday life with children at home and in the classroom:
The perfect way to introduce these concepts to a child. Begin and end each day together by reading one of these books.
Create stillness in your environment by creating a peace corner. This area can be a place where your child retreats when he is feeling stressed or upset and can be a place where conflict resolution takes place. Create it near natural light, add a plant, and possibly a peace rose.
#3 – Practice Yoga Together
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids Learning Cards are an excellent home and classroom tool.
#4 – Read A Pebble for Your Pocket
Go on a “mission” to find that pebble or stone for your child to carry with him.
#5 – Practice Mindful Eating
Before eating a snack, let's say an apple, pause together with your child and say out loud: “This is an apple. It grew from a seed into a tree. This apple was picked from a tree. The color is red. It is sweet and delicious,” or something like those words. Cut the apple open: “These are the seeds.” The point is to be more present with your eating, to appreciate food in all its goodness and the fact that, like us, it is nothing short of a miracle.
#6 – Plant a Garden or Grow a Plant from a Seed
Touch the earth by planting a garden with your children, simply go on a walk and get your hands dirty or feel the grass. The book Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children is a nice metaphor and accompaniment to this exercise.
#7 – Practice deep breathing exercises
It is important to practice daily and deep breathing exercises are a somewhat easy way to achieve this goal. A few great resources for you include My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing, Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing, and Breathing Exercises for Kids [FREE].
#8 – Integrate Guided Meditations into Your Day
Check out Sitting Like a Frog from Shambhala Publications. This book engages kids and they find it relatable. The website for the book is also a fabulous resource. According to its website Sitting Like a Frog includes “simple mindfulness practices to help your child (ages 5-12) deal with anxiety, improve concentration, and handle difficult emotions.”
#9 – Bring Mindfulness into the Classroom
I included loads for ideas for teachers in this post but you can certainly bring these activities into your home as well. This resource for bringing mindfulness into the classroom will help you. Ideas include making glitter jars, Montessori's silence activity, and yoga sessions.
#10 – Mindfulness Activities for Your Family
Learn the mindfulness techniques I put in my back pocket after attending a Mindful Family Retreat
#11 – Explore Headspace for Kids
You don't have to stop with the guided meditations I included in this post. Some of my favorites are on Headspace and there are many free guided meditations available online.
Resources to Help Teach Mindfulness to Kids
Mindful Monkey Magazine is such a cool resource for families.
A must-have for any classroom peace corner or home stillness area!
THE mindful resources for kids. They offer journals, printables, ebooks, and so on.
Growing Up Mindful by Chris Willard
- Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity
- Interview with Susan Kaiser Greenland about Teaching Mindfulness to Kids
- Positive Psychology
- Anxiety in Kids – What Parents Need to Know & How to Help