5 Mindful Activities for Kids
From playing outside with friends, studying in class, and charging around the living room in their pyjamas, a child’s day is usually filled to the brim from sunrise to sunset (and often later!).
But constantly being on the go can take its toll on your child, not to mention they’ll find it much harder to get to sleep at night – which can take its toll on you!
Sadly, mental health issues are on the rise in children, and parents are looking for new ways to teach their children to deal with their emotions in a healthy way. Introducing, mindfulness for kids!
Why is Mindfulness Good for Children?
Mindfulness exercises and activities can help children to recognise how they are feeling and handle their emotions.
While a regular mindfulness practice is unfortunately unlikely to eliminate all supermarket aisle toddler tantrums, it can go a long way towards helping children address how they’re feeling, and it also paves the way for emotional stability later in life.
Mindfulness can help to calm busy brains, allowing children respite from their constantly whirring minds. A number of studies have been done on the effects of mindfulness, with results showing that this wonderful practice can positively change the structure in the parts of the brain that develop cognitive function and emotional responses.
So, if mindfulness is so beneficial to children, why isn’t everyone doing it? Well, we’re firm believers that they should be! The trick with mindfulness for kids is to make it short, fun and engaging, so they don’t get bored before you’ve even started.
We’ve put together a list of our top 5 mindful activities for kids. These can be practiced at any time of day and make a wonderful rainy afternoon activity.
For older kids, mindfulness the night before exams can help relax them, while younger children will love a relaxing activity at the end of a busy day!
Here are our 5 favourite mindful activities for kids.
A texture walk is fun and engaging for kids of all ages, helping them hone in on their senses and connect to their physical bodies.
Being able to isolate your mind to just one sense can help immensely in stressful situations or times when your child feels overwhelmed.
This is also a valuable skill for later on in life, and it sets a great foundation for meditation.
A texture walk can be done anywhere, but we recommend setting it up outside to help your child connect with nature.
Have your child close their eyes and walk over different textures. Ask them what they notice about each surface; the grass may be wet, while the concrete is hard and cold.
To make it more fun for your child, set up a range of materials for them to explore with their feet.
This kind of sensory exploration is a great way to help your child disconnect from their minds and connect instead to something physical.
Another way to bring your child’s awareness to their senses is by setting up a taste test.
Ask your child to close their eyes and have them put a small amount of food selected by you into their mouth.
Ask them to describe the taste and texture of their food – the more detailed, the better!
This taste test can be practised using a range of foods, from yucky vegetables to delicious chocolate.
It can help your child learn to bring mindfulness to their everyday life and pave the way for a healthy relationship with food. Plus, it involves eating and who would say no to that!
The heartbeat exercise is fun, mindful, and it also teaches your child about the body and how it responds to exercise.
For one minute, have your child run on the spot, do star jumps, or another form of exercise like skipping.
After a minute, ask your child to place their hand on their chest for another minute and count / observe their heartbeats. Encourage them to talk about what they can feel.
The heartbeat exercise is another great introduction to meditation, teaching kids to focus on their breathing and become aware of their physical body.
A glitter or mindful jar is a lovely bonding exercise that can give your child peace when emotions start to overwhelm them.
It’s a great way to help with anger management and perfect for children that get frustrated easily.
Their jar can be stored in their bedroom, so they can look at it whenever they feel upset or anxious.
- To make a glitter jar, simply ¾ fill an empty jam or mason jar with water.
- Add a heaped tablespoon of glitter, then put the lid back on and swirl the glitter around by shaking the jar.
- Create a fun visual by telling your child to think of the glitter as their thoughts and emotions.
When the glitter is swirling, it’s hard to think clearly. All your child needs to do is sit and wait, and the glitter will settle.
While making decisions and reacting when emotions are whirring is easy, often all it takes is a few minutes for your child to be able to see and think clearly.
Guided Meditation for Kids
Meditation is a fantastic night time activity, and a guided meditation will help your child to sleep better at night. It’ll also improve their mood and learning capabilities throughout the day.
Both kids and adults can practise guided meditations. They are led by a soothing speaker who will help guide your child into a relaxed state, getting their minds and bodies ready for sleep.
Child-friendly meditations often use engaging visuals to help keep your child focused – the perfect way to unwind after a long day learning, growing and playing!
MindEasy offers a full library of meditation courses, so you and your child can choose the meditation you prefer.
Our teacher Nadine leads our specific Meditation for Children course and consists of exercises to help them drift off to sleep.
- Mindful activities must be made to be fun and engaging.
- A texture walks and taste tests are an excellent way for your child to connect to their environment and senses.
- Heartbeat exercise can be a useful introduction to meditation practices like body scans
- Making and using a glitter jar is a fun and interactive experience you can use to bond with your child.
- Guided meditations can help calm your child before bed and improve their sleep.