Looking to have your child calm down and enjoy their surroundings, allow them to feel calm and focused? Then this is for you!
What Are Mindfulness Activities for Kids?
Kids going at full speed and finding it hard to keep up? Mindfulness activities for kids just may be the exercise they need to find calm, reflection, and focus.
Every parent wants their children to be healthy, happy, and wise.
- Healthy in mind and body
- Happy in spirit
- And wise in how they handle the tough things life throws at them
While encouraging behaviors like eating nutritious foods, getting plenty of exercise, and keeping love in the home are all essential for helping your children achieve these goals, there's one thing that parents often miss: mindfulness.
If you are able to help your children become more mindful, you will be giving them a lifelong gift that will never expire.
Teaching mindfulness to adults is often done through explaining, literature, and extended practice. For kids, it's a bit different. In order to teach mindfulness to children, it's better to use fun kids activities, arts and crafts, and game ideas.
The good news is you don’t have to make this your full-time job. Even doing a simple art drawing with your children can cultivate mindfulness1. In fact, arts and crafts for kids are some of the best mindfulness activities for kids.
Why Is Mindfulness Important for Kids?
Mindfulness teaches a range of things to kids:
- How to ride out strong emotions or “surf them” like waves
- How to focus on just one thing
- How to have self-control
- How to communicate more effectively
- How to differentiate thinking and feeling
- How to enjoy the present moment
- How to breathe better
This is a Big One - Breathing
Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit, Anahana Wellness Instructor, suggests that breathing is especially important for kids because sometimes it is the only thing they can control. Unlike adults, children have very little in their lives that they can control. They are told when to eat, what to eat, and what they can and cannot do.
Teaching children to focus on their breathing allows them to have full control over one (very important) aspect of their lives.
Breathing is also important because it’s the key to emotion regulation.
Say, for example, that a child’s friend has just embarrassed them. Often, in a situation like this, the emotions the embarrassed child is feeling are not even ones they can identify. Alternatively, they may have such a range of emotions that they cannot sort or understand what they are truly feeling in the first place.
In either case, it is crucial that the child is able to at least control and focus on their breath.
Finally, Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit goes on to say that, on a clinical note, the ability to control breathing will strengthen all of the muscles of the respiratory system, especially the diaphragm muscle. The diaphragm acts like a pump to improve circulation and flush out toxins.
Breathing work also teaches the ribs mobility and chest expansion, helping with activities such as swimming, singing, and playing an instrument. Finally, slow controlled breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system or the relaxation response. This response helps greatly with digestion, sleep, anxiety, and more.
Mindfulness For Kids: Frequently Asked Questions
How can I practice mindfulness with my child?
Any family activities you do where you are fully present can be considered mindfulness activities. For example, eating together as a family — without phones, TVs, games, or computers at the table — can be a form of mindfulness.
There are also mindfulness drawing ideas for kids, mindfulness worksheets, mindfulness games, and even mindful movements you can find with online or print resources. Check out mindfulness blogs and mindfulness magazines for more ideas.
What are the benefits of mindfulness for kids?
Mindfulness for kids provides numerous benefits:
- Increased confidence
- Better focus
- Improved breathing
- Better sleep
- Improved digestion
- Stress relief
- Better emotional regulation
What is mindfulness in the classroom?
Mindfulness teaches us to focus on the present moment and not to dwell on the past or future.
How do I reassure my child who suffers from anxiety?
Often, emotions like anxiety get bigger when we try to stomp them down. This is what kids often do. So, teach your child that anxiety is an okay emotion to have — just like a positive emotion is okay too. All emotions are okay, but we need to notice them and accept them.