Mindfulness means living in the moment! For kids, practicing mindfulness teaches them the importance of shifting their thoughts to what they’re actively doing! Mindfulness has also been proven to ease stress and anxiety.
As humans, we are all prone to thinking about things that happened in our past or could happen in the future. By promoting mindfulness in kids, we can contribute to their ability to shift their emotions to a more neutral or calm state of thinking rather than reacting to challenges in an unhealthy way. Studies have even shown that mindfulness can help ALL kids improve their behavior and focus.
It’s never too late to help your kids manage their emotions with mindfulness techniques. Check out these tips and tricks for practicing mindfulness with your kids:
No matter what age, everyone has a favorite environment or safe space that brings them into a calming state. Talk to your kids about their favorite place where they feel most comfortable, and teach them to close their eyes and think about all of the senses they experience in that place.
One of the easiest but most effective tricks for mindfulness is belly breathing! Instruct your kids to lay down somewhere comfortable and imagine that, as they breathe in, a balloon inflates. As they exhale, the balloon deflates. Kids can even put one of their favorite toys on their stomach during this exercise for an added element of fun!
Mindfulness activity books are the perfect one-stop shop for encouraging your kids to discover social and emotional skills like confidence and curiosity! Our Guion and Friends Mindful Activity Book is a great option featuring 32 pages of activities that promote mindfulness for your kids to enjoy! You can purchase the activity book here.
The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a quick and classic way to get your kids out of their own cycle of thoughts and focus on the environment around them. Ask them to identify five things they can see, four things they can touch, three things they can hear, two things they can smell, and one thing they can taste. Acting as a great relaxation technique, this method is perfect for young kids who crave constant entertainment as it mimics a game with its challenge of identifying a specific amount of things.
Looking to encourage your kids to think about the positives in their life during periods of stress or distraction? The Three Good Things game is the perfect mindfulness technique that also acts as a catalyst for growing appreciation for all of the good things in your kids’ lives. During times of disappointment or stress in the lives of your kids, ask them to name three good things that are currently happening in their lives! Don’t forget – this game isn’t about pretending their feelings of sadness or frustration don’t exist. Rather, it aims to show that they can feel grateful for good things while also feeling hurt about challenges they are facing.
We hope these tips are helpful for encouraging mindfulness in your childrens’ lives! For more ideas of how to teach kids about kindness, compassion and curiosity, follow Curious B.E.I.N.G.s on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to the Curious B.E.I.N.G.s newsletter.