Sarah Guerrero is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She has a degree in international business from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and writes about sustainable business practices and ethical living.
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Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment. It can help children foster emotional wellbeing, reduce stress from anxiety, sadness, or grief, and grow resiliency. The best part? Practicing mindfulness with children is beautifully simple!
Here are six mindfulness exercises to practice with your kids - three for each age group:
I don’t care how old you are; bubbles are beautiful and fun to play with! They’re also great for practicing mindfulness because you have to focus on your breathing.
Try blowing one bubble at a time with your little, and watching where it goes. Marvel over how beautiful it is, how it catches the light, and how it floats. You can even talk about how you feel when you watch it float away.
Note: mindfulness with young children is very short-lived, and that’s ok!
Whether you have five minutes or forty-five minutes, a walk is a lovely way to be present in your body. Try focusing on one of your senses: what are all the things you can hear, see, or touch?
Simple exercises are great, but I also appreciate a little more support at times, and mindfulness cards are great for that.
These Mindful Kids Cards were created by a mom who struggled with anxiety as a child and wanted to help support her children as they grew into adults. The cards are very simple and open-ended, but they’re also a great teaching tool for parents who want a little more structure!
If your kid is old enough to write/read, and they love a little structure, a Mindfulness Kids Journal is a great practice to begin.
This 100% characterizes my second-grader, but my fifth-grader prefers a more informal journaling activity: writing down a list of things he’s grateful for.
Either way, I notice a shift in their attitudes (and my own!) after practicing gratitude and mindfulness.
We adore fellow Austinite Yoga with Adrienne, and this Rainbow Flow is so soothing and fun! Yoga is another great way to be present with your body, and it feels great. Plus, I’ve found that this video feels grown-up enough that even older elementary kids are willing to try it.
We are 100% geology nerds in my house, and absolutely in love with crystals. These meditation stones are stunning and make really beautiful tools for practicing mindfulness for kids (our favorites are the labradorite, sunstone, and rose quartz stones).
We like to hold a crystal or meditation stone and do four square breathing: breathe in for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of four. Breathe out for four. Hold for four. Repeat for several rounds.
PS If you loved this post, you might also love our Mindfulness Toolbox post!