Mindfulness is quickly becoming a popular activity to manage stress and anxiety in both adults and children. I have two very strong willed daughters with lots of big emotions, so mindfulness is important in our home. Today I’m sharing a few mindfulness activities for kids.
6 Mindfulness Activities for Kids
Mindfulness is not the easiest skill to teach a child. It means paying full attention to something – which doesn’t come naturally to most kids unless it involves a t.v. show. Mindfulness means slowing down to really notice what you’re doing or how you’re feeling. These activities encourage kids to consciously slow down.
Square breathing, or box breathing is a technique used to relieve stress. We, my daughters and I, practice square breathing when we are upset, angry, or nervous. This is how: Inhale slowly to a count of four, holding your lungs full for four seconds, exhaling at the same pace, and holding air out of your lungs for a count of four. Begin again.
Mindfulness Yoga for Kids
My daughters absolutely love tuning into Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube for easy yoga sessions and other mindfulness activities. The yoga poses are simple to follow as the flow is usually part of a storyline where children go on an adventure with the host. Whenever Ailey is crabby or Annabelle is bored, I turn on Cosmic Kids Yoga and their moods immediately change.
“Tense and Release” Game
I first read about “Tense and Release” while searching for grounding activities for adults. This mindfulness activity for kids is a series of tensing and relaxing the body’s muscles to help release the strain and stress of the day. Tense and Release is great for helping your child get a wonderful night’s rest or as a way to reset after a stressful moment.
Positive Affirmations for Kids
Positive affirmations are a powerful mindfulness tool for children. As our children learn behaviors and how to handle emotions, affirmations can be very effective in nurturing wellbeing in childhood. They also boost their self-esteem! You can recite affirmations with your children, write them on post-its to stick on the bathroom mirror, or create cards to flip through. Here are some wonderful positive affirmations for kids:
- I am smart and capable of doing great things.
- I can choose to bring joy to the people around me.
- I can learn from mistakes.
- I can find beauty in anything.
- I am on this planet for amazing reasons.
- My words leave an imprint on other’s hearts.
- I’m proud of myself and who I am.
Guided Meditation for Kids
When I was in first grade my Aunt came to my class to lead a guided meditation session for me and my classmates. I remember thinking it the story was so amazing and magical! My Aunt Kate gave me the book for Christmas, but it remained on my bookshelf until a few years ago. I now lead the same guided meditation session from “Starbright” with my daughters – whenever I can get them to relax on the playroom rug.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
One of my favorite games to play with my daughters is a scavenger hunt. The purpose of a Gratitude Scavenger Hunt is to encourage your child to focus on things that bring them joy within their home (or outside). The game should be played slowly and quietly, as you walk around looking for items from the list below.
- Find something that is your favorite color.
- Find a place you feel most cozy.
- Find a book that makes you smile.
- Find something you know someone else will love.
- Find something soft.
- Find something new you’ve never noticed before.
- Find someone who makes you happy.
- Find something that tastes good.
All of these free mindfulness activities for kids can be done at home or on the road. Anyone can easily teach their child calming techniques to increase awareness and build self-esteem.