19 fun and easy mindfulness activities for kids

Last modified on Tuesday 14 March 2023

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Mindfulness can help kids learn to focus, manage their impulses and cope with stress and anxiety. It can be great fun, too! Try these mindfulness activities with your little ones today.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness simply means paying attention to the present moment.

Kids are often so busy rushing around that they don’t take the time to pay attention to their surroundings. Mindfulness techniques can help them slow down and notice what’s going on around them.

Mindfulness is also brilliant for helping kids to understand and manage their own emotions. By taking time to notice how they’re feeling – body and mind – they can learn how to recognise and manage negative emotions before they get out of control.

Read on to see some great ways to help your kids to embrace mindfulness.

What are the benefits of mindfulness for kids?

According to family therapist Marilyn Wedge, writing in Psychology Today , mindfulness can have the following benefits for children:

  • It gives kids the habit of focusing on the present moment and ignoring distractions.
  • It teaches them to stay calm in the face of life’s stressful times.
  • It creates good habits for the future. When faced with life’s challenges, they know they can find peace by taking a few moments to meditate.
  • It promotes happiness by lowering social anxiety and stress.
  • It promotes patience.
  • It can improve executive functions in their brain like cognitive control, working memory, cognitive flexibility and better grades.
  • It can improve attentiveness and impulse control.

Some experts have suggested that mindfulness has even greater benefits for kids than for adults, because their brains are still developing.

Mindful Kids by Whitney Stewart (Barefoot Books, £10) gives 50 different mindfulness activities that little ones can do. You can see more details here at Amazon.

How do I introduce my child to the idea of mindfulness?

  • Keep things light and playful. Choose activities that you think your child will enjoy, and introduce them as fun new games.
  • Be realistic: your three-year-old isn’t going to sit calmly and meditate for 20 minutes. Keep activities short, but practice them regularly. Don't expect any particular outcome; just keep going with them and see what happens.
  • Choose your timing with care. When your child is bouncing off the walls, it’s probably not the best time to introduce them to a brand-new technique. Instead, you could encourage them to do something energetic to burn off steam, and try the new technique when they’re calmer.
  • You are your child’s greatest role model, so you can also demonstrate mindfulness activities by doing them yourself, or talking lots about what you can see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel.
  • Check in with your child to see what they’re getting from the techniques they’ve tried. Some kids can be prone to letting their thoughts run away with them, instead of noticing the world around them. If this happens to your child, gently guide them back towards paying attention to the present moment.

No Worries! by Dr Sharie Coombes is an activity book for children when they're feeling anxious or stressed. You can see more details here at Amazon.

Looking for more ways to boost your child's mental health, or activities to do at home? Check out our articles below or join the chat on the Forum.

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