Mindfulness For Kids That Works Wonders To Calm Children

mindfulness for kids


Help your child relax with these proven mindfulness for kids techniques

In this article, I outline the best mindfulness activities for kids and answer common questions such as ‘how do I explain mindfulness to a child?’ and ‘how do I teach my child mindfulness?’.

Mindfulness for kids works wonders to improve focus, support healthy brain function and help overstimulated children to unwind. Here’s how to introduce mindfulness to children the easy way.

How do you explain mindfulness to a child

First off, let’s start with how to explain mindfulness to a child. The easy way to introduce mindfulness to a child is to begin with the concept of awareness. Children have a naturally heightened sense of awareness. Their intuition is strong.

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” – Mindful.org

For children to use mindfulness in their daily lives it is important to make the explanation relatable. Children are capable of being fully present, moment to moment. Once equipped with the understanding of awareness children find mindfulness super helpful.

mindfulness for little ones

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Mindfulness as clouds metaphor

Begin with a simple analogy. Imagine the clouds in the sky are thoughts and feelings. Watch as they pass by, bumping into one another, forming into clusters and shapes. Now, observe your feelings as you watch the clouds come and go, notice if you feel any sensations through the body.

Watch as each cloud slowly disappears and with it the feeling or thought along with it. Mindfulness is the ability to bring awareness to thoughts and feelings without attachment, as they arise and dissolve. Therefore, mindfulness for kids can be explained as a happy, safe place in the present moment, where thoughts and feelings just float away.

teach your child mindfulness

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How do I teach my child mindfulness

Now that we have a clear explanation of mindfulness for children we can introduce a mindfulness practice. At this stage depending on the age of the child, I would recommend anapana. This simple technique is perfect for children of five or six. But start gently, just a few minutes at a time. Let the children play!

Mini Anapana

Begin by inviting your child to become aware of their breath. Ask them to notice the sensations around the nostrils as they breathe through the nose. Just become aware of the breath as it comes in and as it goes out. Start with two minutes, three, building up to five or ten minutes. Repeat this a few times each day to slowly build up a mindfulness practice with your child.

mindfulness activities for kids

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Mindfulness activities for kids

The best mindfulness for kids activities are simple enough to become part of daily life. Here’s a few of my favourites:

Mindful walking – make time on your family walks to spot new things. Take a few minutes in complete silence to hear all the sounds of bugs and birds. At the end of the walk share what your saw and heard. Reporting back on these external ‘events’ is a great way to make mindfulness a fun game for children.

Mindful eating – this mindfulness practice for children engages all the senses. While eating bring awareness to what the food looks like, how does it smell, what is the taste, how does it feel does it have a sound?

mindfulness exercises for kids

Weather report – this is a brilliant minduflness activity for children that helps to identify feelings and emotions and learn to accept them. As the weather is an external event – we can’t stop the storm – so too with emotions. Sitting Still Like A Frog* explains how to manage the way we relate to our feelings and emotions.

Gratitude practice – cultivate an attitude of gratitude for a feeling of balance and equanimity throughout the day.  Gratitude is a fundamental element of mindfulness. Teach your children to appreciate the abundance they enjoy in their lives with simple thanks and praises at the end of each day.

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Mindfulness for kids video

This is a fantastic video that introduces the concept of mindfulness for kids through the ancient art of anapana.

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