Why is everyone raving about mindfulness these days? What is mindfulness? Can I introduce my kids to mindfulness? Are there mindfulness activities for kids as well? How can mindfulness activities benefit my kids? When it comes to learning and understanding mindfulness, you are not alone. And these are all valid questions! In today’s post, I will introduce you to the basics of mindfulness and how you can introduce mindfulness to kids. As well as some of the best mindfulness activities for kids. Maybe, you’ve already introduced your kids to mindfulness. But need inspiration on finding great mindfulness activities for kids. If this is you – scroll straight down to 25 mindfulness activities for kids in this post.
What is Mindfulness
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”– Buddha.
Mindfulness is about living in the moment. It is the conscious awareness of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Mindfulness is being present in the now. Something many of us struggle with. We struggle with being present because with our modern lives – we are stressed and overloaded. These days we worry about any and everything. Researchers at Queen’s University in Canada suggest that an average person has about 6200 thoughts per day.
Wow! For sure, that’s a lot. Our minds can race in many directions at any given time. You see, many times, we do things but are not present. In other words, we are on autopilot mode.
Have you ever left your coffee in the microwave to reheat and completely forgot about it until the next time you were about to use it? Have you prep dinner, fold laundry, and watch the news all at the same time? As busy moms, we are always multitasking, which leads us to be stressed and burned out. We are always doing and thinking about things unconsciously.
Mindfulness practices help our minds embody our own strength and energy and keep us rooted in the present.
By implementing mindfulness into your daily life – you will be able to enjoy every minute of your life. Feeling happy and abundant in all arrears of your life. Letting go of things that are not real and don’t serve you. You will become more focused and present with the now.
Why Do Kids Need Mindfulness?
Kids are stressed out these days. Stressed with waking up early, hustling to get dressed for school, facing pressure from peers, and not being able to spend as much as they want with their parents. Kids are stressed from having to rush to after-school activities.
It sure is difficult slowing down in the 21st century.
That’s why as parents, we should encourage our kids to slow down and enjoy the present moment in life. Focusing on the now. We can do this and support our children by introducing them to mindfulness activities for kids.
It’s important to know as moms and caregivers – we need to take care of ourselves and start our own mindfulness practice before introducing our kids to mindfulness.
How To Introduce Mindfulness Activities To Kids
As I mentioned earlier, you must have a mindfulness practice as well. After all, what’s a better way to introduce mindfulness to your kids than by talking to them about it and sharing your own experiences with mindfulness.
Explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. Sharing with your kids how practicing mindfulness has changed your life. Maybe, you felt angry after having a conversation with someone. Explain how taking a nature walk helped you achieve a better understanding of why you felt angry or how it took your mind off the situation.
Remember, we as parents are our kid’s first teachers. They model what we do.
When introducing mindfulness to your kids – work at their own pace. Don’t force or insist on them doing it. It should be something they want to do, not something you want them to do.
Start practicing mindfulness as a family first. Maybe going for a walk together while listening to the sounds of nature. Having a warm cup of tea, drinking it mindfully savoring the taste, appreciating the smell and warmest from your tea. Have a conversation over dinner and really listen to what each other is saying.
Practice mindfulness regularly at home with a short time interval. I recommend starting with 5-15 minutes, daily. Explain to your kids what you all will be working on and how this activity will be of benefit to each one of you.
The easiest mindfulness activity to start with for both kids and adults is simple breathing exercises. Which we will talk about later on in this post.
How to be present with your child
How Could Mindfulness Skills Change Your Child’s Life?
Forming healthy habits as a child will positively influence our future. Introducing our kids to mindfulness early on in the game can help us raise kind, loving, thoughtful, and peaceful humans.
Practicing mindfulness with kids will:
1. Improve their attention
Our children learn how to focus on the present and pay attention to what is happening. They learn to appreciate the now. The ability to concentrate on the now will boost our children’s performance, allowing them to do better in school and extra curriculum activities. Increasing grades and performances.
2. Improve self-regulation
Mindfulness helps our kids to pause and think before reacting. Allowing them to be thoughtful with their choice of words and behaviors when face with stressful and upsetting situations. Kids who do not practice mindfulness may react impulsively to situations that may leave him /her with a bad reputation.
3. Boosts creativity
Mindfulness gives kids an opportunity to tap into their creative side. Using their imagination to bring their dreams into a reality. This skill will come in quite useful as they grow into adulthood.
4. Reduces stress
The practice of mindfulness helps kids cope with stress and anxiety when face with the unknown. It also helps them to stay calm and figure out things when faced with a difficult situation.
5. Promote resilience
Kids do go through many changes in their lives. Sometimes not all these changes are positive. Perhaps your child is having to deal with a divorce, loss of a close friend or family member, change of school, and moving into a new home. Mindfulness helps kids stay calm and cope with unexpected changes in the best manner possible.
6. More compassionate and empathetic for others
I’m sure we can all agree that the world needs us to be more compassionate and understanding to others. Mindfulness helps us develop these qualities that can impact both our kid’s and other people’s lives.
Of course, you can do these activities in any order with your kids. As mentioned earlier, the easiest way to get your kids involved in mindfulness is for you to practice mindfulness yourself. Your kids are constantly watching and learning from you. You are their biggest and most important role model.
25 Simple Mindfulness Activates For Kids
Focusing on their breathing and experiencing the movements of their bellies as it raises and falls can support children to be present in the now.
Here’s one exercise you can do with them. Have your kids take a deep breath in through their noses, imagining the smell of their favorite food. Hold that breathe for a count of 1,2,3 and then exhale through their mouths as if they are blowing their birthday candles out for a count of 1,2 and 3.
Repeat this for at least five minutes. If your child is younger and unable to do this or is just not willing – that’s ok. Just start them off with simple deep breaths in through their noses and out through their mouths. 5 breath cycles are perfect to start them off with.
2. Create a morning ritual
Having your child create and commit to a morning mindfulness ritual can set your child’s day up for success. It may help your kids start their day feeling confident and organize. And whatever happens – that’s out of the ordinary your child will be able to step up and get through it. Making the best decision for his/her life. Allow your child to create a ritual that works for them. Whether that’s taking a few deep breaths or spending a few minutes making their beds or starring outside witnessing the beauty of nature as they open their blinds. Or simply taking a few seconds to say thank you to the universe for waking up to another beautiful day.
3. Create a mindful bedtime ritual
Similar to a morning ritual having a mindfulness ritual at the end of the day can help your child unwind, relaxed, and reflect on their day.
This can be done by having a gratitude rock. ( any flat rock from your garden will work) Before your kids go to sleep, ask them to hold on to their gratitude rock and think of something that happened during the day and express gratitude for it. Or, have your kids close their eyes and focus on each part of their body (working from toes up to their heads) as they relax and fall asleep.
I introduced my daughter to journaling at a very young age of 7. And have recently started with my 4-year-old. Of course, there’s a lot of scribbling on his journal. But it’s getting him into a healthy habit. I recommend you start your child off by asking them to write one thing they are grateful for daily. Then you can gradually introduce them to these prompts:
- What makes me happy?
- How did I feel today?
- What did I enjoy working on today?
- Write a few lines about someone you admire
- What’s my favorite food and why?
I recommend inviting your child to sit and journal together with you. As it will inspire them to follow suit. After you guys are finished, talk to your child about how they felt while journaling, allowing them to share their emotions with you.
One of my favorite tools is the 5-minute journal. Within days of using it, I was full of gratification and felt so much happier. My daughter currently uses the Big Life Journal and she loves it.
5. 15 Minutes of Yoga
Getting your child to move their bodies is so important for their growing needs and joints. Yoga is such a great mindfulness activity for kids because it helps them move their bodies and stay calm and breathe. Visit cosmic kids yoga for some amazing kids yoga activities
6. Mediate for 5 – 10 minutes
Introducing your child to meditation at an early age is so important. It teaches them to sit in stillness and bring awareness to their thoughts. Have your child sit next to you while you both do a short guided mediation. You can also choose to sit in a quiet room, with some soft music, burning some incense sticks while you both visualize your perfect day.
Guide your child into speaking positive and kind words to themselves. Perhaps you can teach your child to say, “I am calm,” whenever they feel stress or upset. They can remind themselves of this as many times as they choose or until they feel calm again.
Here are some more powerful and kids friendly affirmations:
- “I am kind and caring.”
- “Being kind is important.”
- “I choose to walk away.”
- “Peace be with me.”
- “I am helpful.”
- “I am brave.”
8. Walking as a mindfulness activity
Walking is such a great mindfulness activity that allows your kids to connect to nature and be present in the moment. They get plenty of fresh air. sunlight and exercise. As you and your kids walk – notice the beauty of nature, the smell of the air, the sounds of birds chirping merrily, leaves rustling noisily. Take a moment to really slow down, and take in the moment. Be present with your kids as well, leaving all electronics at home. Make walking a regular practice – because it’s such a beautiful and inexpensive way to bond with your kids.
9. Do some art mindfully
Art allows your kids to tap into their creativity while having so much fun at the same time. And don’t forget to compliment your child on their artwork. I use Art for Kids Hub with my kids. Their videos are always fun and worth checking out!
10. Blow and pop bubbles
What child doesn’t like bubbles?! Bubbles are so much fun! It doesn’t have to be “just a summer activity.” Blow bubbles with your kids as they happily pop them. Ask them to notice the different sizes of each bubble and talk about it. Pay attention to the bubbles that sit on the grass or floor. Bubbles can be so much fun, allowing kids to connect with the present. What child doesn’t like fun?!
11. Connect with your kids
Talking and getting to know your child is critical to mindfulness. It’s one of those mindfulness activities for kids that are quite inexpensive that allows you both to bond. It allows your child to share their feelings and emotions with you and seek support when needed. Talking to your kids reassures them that they are loved and protected.
12. Eat a snack … mindfully
We always seem to be in a rush these days. Gobbling down our meals before heading out the doors or eating while in the car. Practice slowing down and eat mindfully as a family.
All of our senses are engaged when we eat mindfully. Before your kids eat their snacks, ask them to pay attention to the snack’s texture, appearance, smell, and weight. Encourage them to chew slowly, savoring every bite. When kids eat mindfully, they can digest better and enjoy their meals.
13. Create a vision board
This is such a fun mindfulness activity for kids. Ask your kids to create a bucket list of ideas of things they would like to have. Then gift them a canvas and help them cut images of the things they want out of magazines, flyers, or print from the web and place them onto their canvases. Have them spend a few minutes daily looking at their vision boards and imagining what it feels like to have this luxury that they desire. Coach your kids into believing and knowing the sky is their limits. They can have/be and do anything they put their minds to.
14. Listening to their favorite songs
Music is good for our souls. It can help your kids to melt away any bottled-up emotions they may have. Music helps kids to relaxed and let go. Sit with your kids and have them compile all their favorite songs into their own playlist. Talk to your kids about the music they choose – why do they like it, how do these songs make them feel?
15. Doing something nice for someone
The world will be such a better place if we can all be kind. Schedule a day into your calendar where your kids get to do something kind for someone. Perhaps smiling and saying hello to the gentleman who seems lonely. Holding the door for someone. Saying thank you.
At the end of the day ask your kids, what nice thing did they do for someone? Ask them how it made them feel. Explain what a chain reaction of kindness can bring about.
16. Think of someone they are grateful for
Gratitude is one of those mindfulness activities for kids that is critical. Teaching your kids to practice gratitude can have such a positive and lasting influence on them. Instilling gratitude in your kids at a young age could support them in becoming happier people as they grow older.
Kids who express gratitude are more likely to be confident, kind, loving, and compassionate.
17. Clean or organize their room
There’s just something about staying in a clean space. Have your kids clean and organize their rooms. Paying attention to the way they put things into place, noticing the color and shade of their room, the smell of their sheets, their blinds, the posters on their walls. Allow them to take some time and pay attention to their rooms.
When they are finished, have a conversation as to why they moved things around or didn’t move things around? Ask them how does it feel to be in a clean and organize space?
18. Read a book
Reading books help your kids develop early literacy skills. It helps them to identify friction and non-friction. Reading helps with brain development and communication skills. It helps spark our kid’s imagination while stimulating their curiosity. Encourage your child to cultivate a love for reading. This love for reading will empower them to keep learning and growing.
19. Bake with you
Baking with your child can be so much fun. And of coursé messy! But who cares about the mess when you get to share this beautiful moment with your child?! As you bake – allow your kids to use all their senses and explore the ingredients. Explain the baking process, and answer whatever questions your child may have.
20. Sit outside and create different shapes in the sky
As a kid growing up, I remembered having so much fun doing this. On a cool day, spread a blanket on the grass or your porch and lay down with your kids to look at the clouds gliding across the sky. Observe with your child that some are white and puffy while others are maybe dark. Have your child tell you what shape they see in the sky. Take turns sharing with your child what you see in the sky as well. Apart from bonding, this mindfulness activity allows your child to connect with nature and appreciate the joy in the simplest things in life.
21. Painting rocks
Another great mindfulness activity for kids – is picking up random rocks, washing, and let air dry. Then you and your kids can paint these rocks and write kind words onto them – peace, happiness, courage, joy, brave, and love. Then during your regular walks together leave these at random places so others can spread the same kind of love. This mindfulness activity will help your child to be compassionate, generous, able to empathize with others, and spread love everywhere they go.
Moving helps us keep fit and stay healthy. Put your child’s favorite playlist on and dance freely. Dance like no one is watching and have fun together with your kids. Dancing will help your kids to be free-spirited while boosting their self-esteem.
23. Talk about your child’s favorite photo
Going through some of your kids’ favorite photos and ask them to share their thoughts on them with you. Why is this photo so special to them? Can they remember most of the details from the day when that photo was taken or given to them?
24. Teach your child something new
Personal growth is essential and the earlier we as moms and caregivers can support our kids to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset, the better it is for their overall well-being. Spend a few minutes today and teach your child something new. Perhaps sewing, gardening, learning to ride a bike or a horse. My kids love it!
25. Bird watching
Why not go bird-watching in your backyard? Even better, visit a nearby park for different scenery. This can be such a fun way to learn about different birds as well. Have your kids listen to the birds chirping merrily, observe how they fly, and look at you, where they sit. Are they with another bird or by themselves?
Introducing your kids to mindfulness at a tender age is critical in determining how your child will respond to outcomes in their lives as they grow older. Mindfulness creates lasting positive qualities which include but is not limited to empathy, kindness, diversity, and love.
Have you tried mindfulness activities with your kids before? Will you be starting mindfulness activities for kids with your children soon? We would love for you to share with us in the comments below.
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When my daughter goes to therapy she ends the session doing a mindfulness activity. It’s been so helpful! I want to start doing them regularly too.
Yes! I’m cheering you both on. 🙂
Very interesting article. I remember a friend of mine whose son learned about being mindful/practicing mindfulness at school.
These are great activities. I’ll get my daughter o some of these during the summer holidays.
Have fun with these, Sonia.
it’s great to start practicing mindfulness at a young age!!
It is, for sure.
These are some amazing tips on mindfulness. I’m currently working with my daughter with some of these and its going great.
Ashley, I love that you have introduced mindfulness to your daughter.
These are great activities to practice mindfulness for any age group!! Love how you have provided specific examples for each one as well. painting rocks is something i keep meaning to do with my teen and keep pushing it.. maybe this summer
Thank you for your kind words, Vidya. You both will have so much fun painting rocks.
Creating a vision board does help. I love the idea of getting the kids to practice mindfulness.
Vision boards are amazing and it sure does work. 🙂
I love these mindfulness activities that I can do with my oldest daughter! I do many of these for myself and I practice affirmations with her but I will involve her more in what I’m doing to be mindful. Thank you for making me more aware of this!
Of course, Nathania. 🙂
Mindfulness is so important. It’s good to instill it at a young age.
I can totally relate to this and multitasking all the time. And being frazzled and burnt out. These are good points to consider.
I’m happy you found it useful.
I love this article. i will for sure be trying journaling with my kids. It is so important to step away from the screen and teach them mindfulness early on to create those helpful habits! Thank you for sharing.