9 Mindfulness Exercises for Kids that they Will Totally Love

Mindfulness is being aware of yourself as well as your surroundings.

Imagine the bliss of doing the daily tasks with total consciousness and being completely aware of what’s exactly happening.

Practicing mindfulness has some proven benefits that include stress reduction, coping with anxiety, self-realisation, increased energy and happiness, bringing peace and calm, improved focus, and most importantly, it equips you with the coping tools for uncertain times when life gets hard.

As much as it is important for adults to dive into mindfulness, it becomes super essential to take your kids on the same journey.

In today’s highly sophisticated world, our kids are bombarded with all sorts of activities from academics to co-curricular alongside the high tech resources that make it harder for them to be in the present.

Today’s kids deal with totally new emotions than we dealt in our times. Hence it now becomes so essential to teach them various mindfulness exercises right from the beginning to help them grow to be more kind and empathetic.

The term mindfulness is often coined to be boring because we adults associate it with meditation only. While it is super difficult even for adults to get into this meditation practice, we surely cannot expect our kids to dive into its depth.

Benefits of practicing mindfulness for kids:

1.    Improves their focus

2.    Lowers down their stress

3.    Equips them with coping tools

4.    Increases compassion and kindness

5.    Makes them aware of their emotions

6.    Enhances relationships

These are just a few to mention. When you, along with your kid, start practicing these fun mindfulness activities, you will notice some major shifts.

‘Let’s practice Mindfulness exercise today’, said no mum ever.

Well, if you wish your child to run away and treat the word mindful as something uninteresting or a monk kind of thing, you can surely go ahead with teaching them mindfulness in your own ‘adult’ way.

Being an educator, the most important lesson I learned about kids was, if you want them to do the work, do it in their style.

Try making it super fun and interesting. Teach it in the way that they look forward to your mindfulness games session every day. Make it more like a game than teaching.

I assure you they’ll follow you blindly if they enjoy it.

Not sure how to be innovative when it comes to mindfulness exercises for kids? I got you covered.

Here are some playful mindfulness exercises for kids that they will love to practice.

( Remember, you gotta have fun and enjoy yourself to convince your kid it’s totally interesting)

1.    Super Spidey Senses

Duration – 5 mins

Supplies – only your imagination

I bet every single kid loves being Spiderman. As the superpower of Spidey is his ability to tune into his senses, ask your kiddo to become just like spiderman for a while and ask the following questions:

What can you smell?

What can you hear?

What can you see?

What can you taste?

What can you feel? 

This mindful activity will make them aware of their senses in a playful way. Though this works best in nature, you can surely try it indoors too.

2.    Gratitude Jar

Duration – 15-30 mins 

Supplies – Jar, craft paper, pens

Tell your kiddo to write a note of thankfulness daily to one person they’re most thankful for (including pets)

If they are yet to learn to write, help them with that part and guide them to close their eyes, and feel the feeling of gratitude for everyone around.

Sometimes, their answers may sound silly but remember, they are tiny tots still with the weirdest of imaginations.

When I played this game in my class, I received a few messages like:

1.    Thank you mum for pasta in today’s tiffin.

2.    I am thankful for my teacher for guiding me every day.

3.    I am sending my sincere thanks to our postman for delivering the letters

4.    Thank you, Jimmy, for sharing your lunch today

You may notice a gradual shift in their thoughts but know that mindfulness is a journey without any end destination.

3.    Mindful walk 

Duration – 15 mins

Supplies – your imagination

Go out for a walk in nature or just a casual stroll in the neighborhood and ask your kiddo what they are seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling. 

Ask the little one to notice the sound of birds chirping, the smell of oak wood, and the feel of the air around. Let them feel the bliss of being present mindfully.

This mindfulness exercise will nurture their physical as well as their mental wellness.

4.    Mindful colouring

Duration – 15 mins

Supplies – Colour book or prints

Coloring is considered as peaceful as meditating. It is highly recommended even for adults. Drawing mandalas and filling it with beautiful colors is altogether a peaceful experience.

Try doing this mindful coloring activity along with your children to help them realise how art can bring peace and calm into their lives.

Play some soulful music around while you’re performing this art and enjoy the bliss.

5.    Breathing buddies

Duration – 5 mins

Supplies – Teddy bear or fluffy toys

This practice is similar to the breathing exercises designed for adults. So far, this is my favorite exercise to reduce stress and anxiety but for kids, we need to make it super interesting or they are more likely to run away from all mindfulness exercises.

Ask your little one to lie down and keep the teddy on their belly. Ask them to inhale on the count of three and then exhale for the count of 4.

Now ask them to notice the teddy fall and rise as thy breath. Do this for 4-5 times. (Do not overdo any of the exercises as kids tend to lose interest super quick)

6.    Weather games

Duration – 3-5 mins

Supplies – none needed

This is one of my new favourites. Teach your kids to associate their emotions with the weather. This will help them to be aware of what they are feeling instead of being confused.

Sunny – Happy

Stormy – Angry

Wintery – Lonely

Windy – Anxious

Rainy – Sad

They may come up from the school and say, ‘I am feeling sunny’ or when they are actually sad due to some reason, they can easily refer to rain as their sad feeling.

This exercise will teach them that no matter the season, it always passes. Hence just as the rain cannot be forever, their sadness shall also pass soon. This mindfulness exercise teaches them life lessons too.

7.    Laughing Buddha

Duration – 5 mins

Supplies – A laughing Buddha or its picture

Place the statue of laughing Buddha in front of your kiddo or take out its color print. Now play the game of laughing your heart out while raising your hands for at least 2 mins. Practice this along with your little one.

Laughing is super beneficial for mental wellness and undoubtedly it will cheer up your moods.

Besides being a mindful exercise, this is the best way to build a stronger bond and share joy.

8.    Mindful dinner dates

Duration – 30 mins

Supplies – none needed

Get together as a family for at least thrice a week to practice mindful dinner dates. Avoid all kinds of distractions or peeping into your social media while having dinner with your younger one. They learn what they see.

Take a moment to be grateful for the food you have and for this togetherness. Teach your child the power of practicing gratitude.

Besides this, be mindful while eating the food. Notice the aroma of your deliciousness, the smooth touch, and eat with the heart full of joy.

9.    Mindful gardening

Duration – 10 mins

Supplies needed – Plants, water jar/ can

Watering plants can be extremely mindful and stress buster. This single act can prove to be a great source of bringing calm and peace. 

This activity can also work best when done together, bond with your little one through the beauty of nature.

Invest in two watering cans, one for you and one for your little guy, or maybe make a colorful one for them.

Make it a morning routine to water your plants together. Fill up your cans and go for nurturing your green babies.

While watering the plants talk about how alive the plants are and take a moment to examine their leaves and color.

These mindfulness exercises will only work if you bring joy and fun into them. Try to involve yourself and make your child feel that this is something super fun and exciting.

I hope you enjoyed these mindfulness exercises for kids and had fun reading them. 

Do let me know which of the above mindful activities are you planning to inculcate into your daily routine. If you have older teenagers then you might find this new podcast aimed at supporting teen mental health, and offering support and ideas for parents to help their teenagers. https://actuallymummy.co.uk/…/welcome-to-the-teenage…/ really useful.

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