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.
Shop Mindfulness for Little Ones on Amazon*
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.
Shop Teach Your Child Meditation on Amazon*
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!
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.
Shop Mindfulness Activities for Kids on Amazon*
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?
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.
Shop Mindfulness For Kids on Amazon*
Mindfulness for kids video
This is a fantastic video that introduces the concept of mindfulness for kids through the ancient art of anapana.
*At no cost to you I earn a small commission when you make a purchase using these links which helps keep this content free to read