It’s normal for kids to have a lot of thoughts, whether about what their friends are doing, meals they’re missing out on, or when their bedtime is. Learning how to tune into those thoughts without getting overwhelmed is an essential part of mindfulness. This article will discuss mindfulness activities for kids that teach them valuable skills.
20. Buddy breathing practice
Buddy breathing is a mindfulness breathing exercise that is lovely to do with your child when they are anxious about something. Have your child close their eyes, and then place your hands on their belly so that they can feel your breath. Alternatively, you can lay down each with a teddy bear or another toy animal or pet and practice breathing. Tell your kid to breathe in, hold their breath for a moment, then exhale for a count of 5. Then ask them how they are feeling. This will help them calm down.
19. Bubble blowing
A great way to teach kids about focus is to have them blow bubbles. When doing this activity, ask them to watch their breath as it goes in and out of their body. Tell them as they’re blowing that they need to focus on one point, the tip of their bubble wand. Tell them to blow when they are focused on it, as it will make their bubble much bigger. According to Positive psychology, this exercise teaches them how to focus for a prolonged time and breathe simultaneously.
18. Reach for the sky
The kids can do this activity on the grass or the floor. The idea is to tell your child to get as high as possible. Your child may need to stand on their toes and perhaps even jump if they feel like it. This is an excellent way to teach them how to make their bodies into levers. As they figure out ways to become taller, they will use the part of their brain responsible for muscle activation and control. This activity encourages them to be mindful of their bodies as they move them around. To make it even more fun, you can name a treat for the one who will make the highest mark.
17. The five sense focus
This mindfulness activity distracts kids from their worries and focuses on what’s happening in their environment. According to Water ford, it’s an excellent way to teach them to tune into their senses – five senses, that is, smell, hear, feel, see and taste. Ask the kids to name what they can see. After that, you can blindfold them and then ask them to describe what they can hear. Ask them to feel what they can feel, such as if it’s warm or cold, smooth or rough. Tell them to smell may be spice, coffee, or other strong smells. Then tell them to taste what they can taste, such as eating a piece of chocolate, sour fruit, or drinking a glass of water. Be creative on this one.
16. Time to get still
Sit down with your kids and tell them it’s time to get still. Tell them they need to sit still for a few moments without talking, moving, or fidgeting. Tell them to close their eyes and focus on their breathing. You can ask them not to think of anything, and as they’re doing this mindfulness activity, notice or ask them about any thoughts that come into their head. This will allow them to learn to focus on the present moment.
15. Have a mindful snack
Kids love to snack, especially in times when they’re feeling anxious or stressed. Choosing foods that are nutritious and wholesome is one way to put their minds at ease when they’re going through a difficult time. Give them some fruits and ask them to describe the fruit before they eat it. Ask about the color, size, and shape of the treat. As they eat, let them describe the taste and the feeling of eating it. This will do away with the anxiety and help them prevent poor eating behaviors.
14. Make a stress ball
Stress balls are a fun thing to make with your kids. It is an excellent way to spend time together and for them to get creative. Have some balloons and place a funnel on their neck. According to Parents with confidence, ask the kid to fill the balloon with sand, soil, floor, or anything that can make a ball. When done, tie the neck and let them squeeze them. You can also hang them and let the kids decorate them. This activity draws the kids ‘ attention to what they’re doing and suppresses the negative thoughts in their minds.
13. Let the kids listen to an audio story
You can find many audio stories for kids that can be enjoyed as a great mindfulness activity for kids. It helps them practice their focusing abilities as they listen to it independently. Short stories are the best, as the kids remember most of the things mentioned. After the story, ask them about the story, like “what was the story about,” “what animals are in the story,” and so on. This will improve their listening, concentration, and memory.
One of the first lessons kids can learn is how to redirect their attention positively. If your child lost a game and is complaining about it, help them think of something else, they can do. For example, you might say, “Remember that time you won a game? Let’s play that one again.” Or if they’re feeling anxious about what’s for dinner, ask them to help you look through the cupboards for an ingredient you need.
Drawing is a fun mindfulness activity for kids. According to Declutter the mind, it helps them practice their focusing abilities as they draw and concentrate on what they are doing. Gently ask your kid to think of something they wish to draw. As soon as they have it, provide some drawing papers and crayons. As they are busy drawing, ask why they have chosen what they are drawing, how it feel to draw it, and so on. This will improve their imagination and concentration skills.
10. Body scan game
The body scan is a great activity to help kids to focus on their physical feelings and emotions. You can start by telling them to touch their legs and let them describe the feeling and how it looks. Repeat the same procedure for other body parts like the head, hand stomach. Every time kids touch and describe a body part, they focus on that area alone. This will help them to control their body and not let them control them.
9. Go out for a safari or walk
Moving from a typical home environment to a park or zoo allows kids to see what’s happening around them. It distracts from their anger, hatred, or other negative feelings that can come about during times of stress. Ask them to notice anything moving, crawling, or standing. You can ask to name the colors of different things you come across. Making it even more fun by competing who will spot the next color, object, or animal first. The kids will be carried away by the adventure and forget their negative thoughts.
8. Garden time
Gardening is a mindfulness activity for kids. It helps them learn patience and have patience during hard times. They will grow different plants, flowers, trees, and fruits. Try to make it like a family activity by conversing about the plants, trees, and fruits and how some need water or sun to grow. According to Moshi, they will also learn about the seasons, weather conditions, and many new things. You can sign a particular flower or plant for the kid to take care of. The first time they do the right thing and let it thrive, they’ll be proud of themselves.
7. Mindful Movement
Mindful movement is a great activity to improve their focus, concentration, and awareness of their bodies and emotions. Ask the kid to move their body differently, like rolling, swaying, jumping, and moving around. As they move, you can ask them how they feel in their bodies or what they notice. Request them to stop, place their hands on the chest, and explain the movement. Such activities where you use a lot of energy and then relax help the kid cool down and relax physically and mentally.
6. Back and forth game
Involve your kid in a back-and-forth game. The game can involve naming pets, toy characters, or fruits. The goal is to keep the child focused on one thing so they can gain control and attention. As you play, the kids get their brains at work by thinking quickly and coming up with answers. This will improve the kid’s focus and concentration skills, leading to a peaceful state of mind.
5. Listening to music together
Listening to music together can be a great mindfulness activity. As your kid is listening and singing, you should familiarize yourself with the song to make it more interesting for them. You can dance with them and join in the singing. This is an excellent way to spend time with your kids as they are relaxed and happy. Music allows them to forget their problems and be held with beautiful sounds and melodies. You can also ask them if they recognize the instruments in the song.
4. Practice and play the rainbow game
You can play the rainbow game in the house or while walking. According to First discoveries, it involves finding objects with rainbow colors. For example, a red balloon. If you’re walking with your kid, you can point at the street and ask your kids to count the rainbow-colored cars you see. Or ask them to find the purple car or red house. If you are in the house, you can ask them to collect small objects with a rainbow color. These can be small toys, pictures, or even tablecloths. They will have to find the objects in the house and try to make them into a rainbow created by touching their colored objects. They can also say how many objects they see and how many they count. This game is a great way to test their concentration and awareness.
3. Guided meditation
Most kids may not understand the importance of meditation, especially if they are very young. You can sit down with your kid in a quiet place and ask them to close their eyes and empty their mind for a few minutes. Help them focus on one thing to help clear other thoughts. For example, you can ask them to focus on the feeling of the air as it enters their nose and then exits through their mouth. Explain that breathing in is being positive and breathing out is being negative. Keep repeating this until they get used to it.
2. Blindfold play
This can be a game or a teaching tool. You can challenge your kid to close their eyes and walk the hallway without turning or bumping into things. Then have them guess what’s in front of them without looking at it. You can also ask them to touch and describe the objects around them. You can introduce something they are unaware of and let them spend time thinking about what it is. This may sound difficult but it is the best way to challenge the kid’s mental and physical abilities. The exercises will help them improve their awareness and attention.
1. Gratitude exercise
Start by telling the kid to make a list of things they are grateful for. Then tell them to mention one thing at a time and explain why they’re grateful. This will surprise you with how many things they can come up with. It will make them think of the precious things they have which leads to a sense of happiness and a peaceful mind. It’s not only good for kids but also great for adults. This is the best to teach your kid about the importance of gratitude. It can help kids to be more positive and careful about their actions which can lead to fewer problems.
Involving your kid in mindfulness activities will be different from one kid to another. But the activities and techniques we have mentioned will work out for the kid. Mindfulness helps in controlling your thoughts, managing emotions, and relieving stress; as such, your kid can lead a peaceful life by giving up worries. Activities that leave the kid with a balanced mental and emotional state will improve their concentration and focus.