When we teach mindfulness to our children, it prepares them with tools to build their self-esteem, manage stress, develop self-compassion and openness to approach the challenges in life. Not sure where to start? Try out our list of mindful practices for children below!
Take a Deep Breath…
Practice breathing exercises with your child(ren) in a comfortable place in your home. Start by setting a timer for one minute. Close your eyes and take deep breaths in and out, until the timer goes off. Pay attention to your breathing and to your surroundings.
Create (then use!) a Glitter Jar
When your child is feeling upset, anxious or stressed, using a glitter or a calm down jar can help. Watching the glitter fall can be soothing and it also gives the child something to focus on. Start by making a glitter jar. Use a jar or recycle a bottle with a tight seal and have your child decorate the outside however they like. Fill the bottle up 3/4 of the way with warm water then add clear glue, food colouring of their choice and glitter, then mix well. Seal tightly, shake, then watch the glitter swirl around as it eventually settles at the bottom.
Going on an Adventure
Get outside and go on an adventure, it can be around your neighbourhood or even a walk to your local park. This mindfulness activity will help redirect your child’s focus away from stress and anxiety. On your adventure, pay attention to everything you see around you; pick up a small rock, watch squirrels running around or touch a flower. Even try walking in silence – this will help you to notice everything around you, big or small!
This heartbeat exercise will allow your child to focus on their body’s sensations. Start by asking your child to jump up and down, run around or do jumping jacks for one minute. Once the minute passes, have them place their hand on their heart and feel and describe their heartbeat. Then, ask them to describe how their breathing feels as well. How did their heartbeat and breathing change after the one minute of physical activity? Get your heart beating too and do the heartbeat exercise together!
All in all, teaching mindfulness to children is very beneficial as it can help increase their focus/attention, improve their conflict resolution skills, and decrease their stress and anxiety. The sooner we begin teaching mindfulness to our children, the sooner they can begin reaping the benefits of it each and every day.
To your Balanced health,
Your friends at The Balanced Company