Mindfulness is more than paying attention to a task, it is all about focusing on the present moment with curiosity and without judgment. We know that children who practise mindfulness techniques are better able to regulate their moods, help them accept and understand their thoughts and feelings. This is a great skill and starting early they are more likely to continue to practice mindfulness as adults.
Here are some tips for practicing at home!
Yoga and Meditation
One of our favourite ways to help kids practise mindfulness is to perform yoga, and meditation. Using these practices helps to calm the body and mind to prepare for play so they can get the most out of their day. Try going to a quiet and familiar place for 20 minutes of yoga whenever children need a break from their day. The Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies Activity Set has a whole range of mindfulness exercises and includes illustrations of yoga poses that are easy to learn. or try the Body Poetry: Yoga Cards for a range of poses with photo illustrations to follow.
For extra fun, we recommend the Mindful Kids Yoga Spinner! This is a great product because it conducts relaxation and self-awareness exercises within games. This product includes interchangeable discs with different techniques and games geared to improving children's mental and physical health.
Keep Grounded with all 5 senses.
The “54321” method is a very popular exercise practised for grounding yourself in order to be more mindful. Here it is laid out so you can practice at home with your children:
5-What do you see?
When trying to ground yourself during a stressful time, start by naming 5 things you can see. Look around yourself and become aware of your environment. Try picking out something you normally brush over and really focus on it. What do you see?
One of our favourite products for visual focus is our Natural Shape Viewers. This enticing set of five beech wood viewers will inspire children to explore their environment with new enthusiasm and focus. The viewers are designed to frame a particular item or area in the natural world and will enable children to really look at the detail.
4-What do you feel?
Next, notice 4 things you can feel. This can be the curve of your phone in your hand, the feeling of the carpet under your toes, the soft fabric of your shirt, anything! Take note of what you are feeling and focus on the textures and temperatures of the things around you.
Our Touch & Match Board is a great addition to this exercise! Match the different textures in these counters with their corresponding textured surface on the board. A multi-sensory activity that combines visual perception skills with tactile awareness.
3-What can you hear?
Stop what you are doing. What 3 things can you hear? Traffic? The whirring of your computer fan? Maybe you hear some music playing from a nearby cubicle?
Mindful listening is very important when feeling overwhelmed. For practicing mindful listening, a product like our Sensory Sound Eggs can be beneficial in helping children differentiate between sounds. Highly tactile and enormously appealing, the eggs are a simple and enjoyable way to help children develop early auditory discrimination skills. Children will delight in finding out which eggs go together and have the same sound… and then muddling them up again to have another turn.
2-What do you smell?
Next, notice 2 things you can smell, especially focus on smells you normally filter out. Maybe you’re at home and there is some baking going on, or there is a lit candle nearby filling the room with a floral aroma.
1-What can you taste?
Finally, notice one thing you taste. Take a sip of your drink or eat a snack to bring your focus back and concentrate on what you are tasting. Maybe you took a bite of a carrot, notice how crisp and sweet it is and really focus on how the flavours hit your taste buds.
Try Something New!
If you need additional suggestions for additional Mindfulness activities, we recommend our product 50 Mindfulness Activities, which is a set of cards including fun and engaging games and activities to help become more focused, manage difficult emotions and practice a more caring and compassionate attitude.
Available for FREE download!
The most complete mindfulness experience, Mindful Kids features 46 activities that will help entertain kids as they play at home.
Share the FREE link with your friends and encourage them to share their Mindful Kids experiences with you!