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mindfulness for kids

Mindfulness For Kids: 6 Activities To Practice with Your Child

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Whether you are already familiar with the term mindfulness, or the concept of mindfulness is new to you, this practice is an important part of our mental wellness and overall health as adults. You may be surprised to learn that mindfulness for kids is equally important to their development, overall sense of wellbeing, and their awareness of the world around them. 

In this article, we are sharing simple, fun activities you can use to practice mindfulness with your child today! For more mindfulness activities for kids, be sure to download Kinedu to join expert-led mindfulness classes for parents and children!

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice that involves focusing your awareness on the present moment and acknowledging all of the thoughts, stimuli, and sensations of your immediate surroundings. 

Practicing mindfulness can have wonderful effects on your child’s behavior, mood, and focus. By improving these factors, your child will be able to spend more time developing their physical, cognitive, and language skills. 

As a parent, mindfulness can help you to stay present in the moments with your child and improve your connection and bond, as well as help you to regulate stress and overwhelm. By practicing mindfulness with your kids, you both get to experience the many benefits of “being in the present” and can continue to bond and grow together. 

Benefits Of Mindfulness For Kids And Adults

Some of the main benefits of mindfulness for kids and adults are:

  • Enhanced neurological process of executive functions.
  • Improved relationship with yourself and those around you.
  • Increased concentration, creativity, and clarity.
  • Increased positive emotions.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Improved sleep and rest.
  • Reduced muscle aches.
  • Reduced anxiety, worry, and fear.
  • Increased mental flexibility.

Mindfulness practice is something you can begin introducing to your child’s everyday schedule little by little, with fun activities you can do together right at home. 

Mindfulness Activities For Kids

While many people associate mindfulness with meditation, meditation is only one way to help encourage being mindful and present in the moment and to reap the benefits of mindfulness for kids. 

There are a number of fun, interactive, and creative ways to introduce this practice to your child. Here are some of the best mindfulness activities for kids:

1. Kick and Balance 

  • Recommended Age: 25 months and up
  • Development: Physical
  • Goal: To foster your child’s awareness, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility
  • Skills Practiced: Balance
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Tape
    • Balls

How To:

For this activity, find a place to play with your child. Tape two lines on the floor to create a path. Ask your little one to try walking inside of it. Set the example and show them how. You can make this easier or more challenging by changing the width of the path. 

Walk beside your little one and when you finish, grab their hand and ask them to stand on one foot and then on the other. Then grab the ball and sit by the end of the path. Tell your child you’ll be sending them the ball so that they can try kicking it. Slowly roll the ball towards them and see if they can kick it while it’s moving. 

Keep practicing walking inside the trail, standing on one foot, and kicking the ball. This activity helps your little one practice their attention, concentration, proprioception, and balance, which will help them be more mindful.

Download Kinedu to discover more than 1,800 activities developed by early childhood development experts!

 

2. Jumping to the Beat 

  • Recommended Age: 25 months and up
  • Development: Physical
  • Goal: To foster your child’s awareness, mindfulness, and cognitive flexibility.
  • Skills Practiced: Jumping and Skipping
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Music

How To:

To begin this mindfulness activity, play some fun music and tell your child that they are going to jump up and down in place to the beat of the music. They can dance and move their arms as well. After your little one has exercised for a bit, sit back down and place your youngster’s hands above the heart to feel their heartbeat and hear their breath. 

Focus on the bodily sensations and the speed of them. Help by asking what your child notices about their body and how they are feeling in this moment. This activity will help your little one to connect to the present and be mindful about their own body.

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3. Yoga Tree Pose 

  • Recommended Age: 34 months and up
  • Development: Physical
  • Goal: To foster your child’s awareness, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility.
  • Skills Practiced: Balancing
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Brown and green clothes (optional)

How To:

For this activity, find a place to play with your child. Ask your little one to take their shoes off. Show them a version of the yoga tree pose. If you want to make it more fun you can wear brown and green clothes, like the colors of a tree! 

Teach them how to shift the weight of their body from one side to another to slowly lift the other foot above their ankle. Try opening one knee to the side, to make a four-shape with the legs. To gain balance, ask your child to stretch their arms to the sides. Practice this a couple of times. 

It’s okay if they can’t do it at first. Even if they can stand on one foot only for a second, this is good practice! Continue this activity for as long as they find it enjoyable. It will stimulate your child’s focusing skills, body awareness, balance and mindfulness. These are important skills that benefit their cognitive and physical flexibility.

4. The Mindful Cereal Box 

  • Recommended Age: 36 months and up
  • Development: Cognitive
  • Goal: To foster your child’s awareness, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility.
  • Skills Practiced: Imagining 
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Dried beans
    • Empty cereal box
    • Buttons
    • Crayons
    • Safe, small objects

How To:

To begin this mindfulness activity for kids, take the cereal box and fill it with the different unexpected objects, then close it so that the items remain hidden. Afterwards, show it to your child and ask them what might be inside encouraging creative answers. Now, change the focus from the box to your little one’s emotions: how do they feel about not knowing what is inside the box? Impatient? Excited? Worried? 

After talking about these feelings for a moment, tell them that you are now going to open the box. How are they feeling now? Has the emotion changed? Tip over the cereal box and reflect alongside your child about their feelings now. Are they happy, surprised or disappointed? Where has the other emotion gone? This activity teaches your kid to notice their feelings mindfully and in context, as well as being open to possibilities in their surroundings.

5. I Can Solve This Conflict

  • Recommended Age: 42 months and up
  • Development: Social and Emotional 
  • Goal: To foster your child’s awareness, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility.
  • Skills Practiced: Emotional Intelligence

How To:

To begin this activity, sit with your child and talk about how sometimes, even though friends always try to be kind to each other, conflict arises. Prompt your little one to think about a situation where there was conflict between them and a friend, sibling or cousin. Help to pick an example, like when they wanted to play with the same toy, when one ate the other’s snack, or when one said something mean out of anger. 

Teach your little one a good way of solving such a problem mindfully, by first identifying what the problem is, then asking “how am I feeling?”, “how does the other person probably feel?” and “what can I do?”. The purpose of this activity is to help your child navigate through conflicts in a mindful manner, paying attention and caring about their own feelings, as well as the other person’s.

6. My Little Plant 

  • Recommended Age: 44 Months and up
  • Development: Cognitive
  • Goal: To foster your child’s awareness, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility.
  • Skills Practiced: Concept learning and Logical thinking
  • Supplies Needed:
    • Beans
    • Plastic cup
    • Strip of cardboard
    • Cotton balls
    • Marker
    • Journal
    • Pitcher of water

How To:

For this mindfulness activity for kids, tell your child you will be learning about plants! Talk about how they are living things and that they need water in order to grow. Ask them to place the cotton balls in the cup and pour a little water with a pitcher using both hands. Feel the difference between the dry and then the wet cotton. How does it feel in your hands? Is the water hot or cold? Make sure the cotton is damp but not too wet. Put at least two beans on the sides and find a window or sunny spot for it. Explain to your child that you need to wait, water and observe the plant patiently in order for it to grow. 

This will encourage them to be more mindful about the environment. Within the next 2-3 days you will see a small root growing. Encourage your little one to measure it with the cardboard strip and put a little mark. Continue measuring the plant’s growth every 2-3 days. Keep a bean diary together and encourage your child to keep track of it. You can include a drawing or take a picture of how your plant looks each day! 

When you see it outgrowing the cup or jar carefully remove it and examine it with your child. See how the roots grew and notice how you helped the plant grow giving it sun and water. If you’d like, you can transfer it to a garden pot and continue taking care of it. 

This activity helps your little one be mindful about what they feel and encourages their awareness of living things and the environment, their self-discipline and independence.

Practice Mindfulness Regularly

Like any practice, the more you practice mindfulness for kids, the better you and your child will become at being aware of the present, themselves, and how they interact with the world. 

Regular practice will also impact the amount of benefits you and your child can expect to see from being mindful. With these simple, easy mindfulness activities for kids, you can incorporate mindfulness into your child’s experience every single day!

And remember, at Kinedu, we are always here to support you and your child. For more mindfulness activities for kids, download the Kinedu App to join parent-child mindfulness classes and discover more than 1,800 activities developed by early childhood development experts.

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