The best mindfulness activities for kids are designed to help parents raise kids and teens who live in the moment. I am a certified Mindfulness Parenting Practitioner here to guide your family through intentional living. Includes mindfulness activities for teens and adults, too.
For the record, I felt just as overwhelmed as my kids.
My daughter was crying. They weren’t sad-tears or anger-tears. The salty waterfall originated from a feeling of being overwhelmed for a long period of time.
My two boys were fighting. Over what, you may ask? Nothing. Literally nothing. It was a fight that was born from an afternoon of boredom-induced frustration.
Things were changing, as they always do as we grow older. And I was struck with the realization that my kids needed help coping with the changing of the seasons.
In this moment, it became abundantly clear that our entire family needed a lesson in mindfulness.
Raising Teenagers? Try these Mindfulness Activities for Teens
What is Mindfulness?
Think about a time when you were trying to multitask. Just today- I was trying to do the morning dishes, while my kids were trying to tell me about their dreams. I was thinking about my to-do list, my future goals, and my past regrets.
That is the opposite of being mindful.
Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present in the moment. Aware of where we are and what we’re doing. The concept of mindfulness refers to being able to live in the present moment – or to stop and smell the roses.
I realized how important this quality was, especially in this fast paced life.
It sounds silly that we have to teach our children to slow down, but it is our reality. Children need to be told to stop and smell the roses, too. A great way to teach young children about this is through mindfulness exercises.
Related: How to Support a Clingy Toddler
Teaching Kids to Practice Mindfulness
Teaching kids about mindfulness does not have to be complex. Once your child learns how to practice mindfulness, they will have, what experts call, a growth mindset.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.
These simple mindfulness exercises will help your kid feel grounded and prepare to grow emotionally, physically, and mentally.
The best way to engage kids is to use fun mindfulness activities that they can relate to. I like to 9 animal-themed activities because I find it a fun way to get kids to pay close attention to what you are teaching.
Even though you man think that the “theme” makes these mindfulness exercises geared towards young children, they also work great for older children.
At the end of this article, you can download your free printable workbook, packed with mindfulness mediation tips, engaging mindfulness games, and more to jumpstart your child’s social-emotional learning.
1) Be Physically Mindful
Being physically mindful refers to observing what is going on around you and how your body feels.
There are simple deep breathing techniques and observations activities that help children become aware of what is going on around them.
For example, we can instruct our child to be like a ‘lion’. Tell them to sit up straight, gather inner strength, and take deep breaths in and out as they imagine tracing a lions main.
Another simple mindful breathing exercise is to blow bubbles or practice pinwheel breathing (slowly blow on a pinwheel).
Another good option for children of all ages is to try body scan meditation. To practice this guided meditation, follow these simple tips:
- Sit for a couple of minutes in a quiet place
- Start by taking slow deep breaths
- Ask them to focus on how their body feels, how do your feet feel? How does your legs feel? (and work up the body)
- Notice how the air feels moving in and our of your lungs
This is a powerful tool that your child can use any time of the day, especially during stressful situations.
2) Be Emotionally Mindful
Gratitude and positive affirmations actually can wire your kids brain for happiness. Many studies have linked gratitude to improved physical health, better sleep, improved self-esteem, and overall happier adults.
A great activity to incorporate mindfulness and gratitude is the “Be a Lamb” exercise.
Ask your child to be like a sweet and grateful lamb. These questions will help them recall times when someone did something nice for them.
These simple activities will help wire your kid for emotionally intelligence.
Try these 5 QUICK mindfulness activities for teens, too!
3) Be Mentally Mindful
These calming activities and relaxation techniques will help your child find peace and mindful awareness.
One example is to ask them to “Be a Frog”. To do this, instruct your kid to pretend they are a frog sitting on a lily pad. Ask them to sit quietly and calmly for as long as they feel comfortable.
This technique helps a child learn how to relax, keep an open mind, and be comfortable doing absolutely nothing. Advise them to place their full attention on, well, nothing. This is a particularly useful tool for a child who wants to practice mindfulness.
Sensory Activities for Mindfulness Practice
Sensory bins are another great way to provide your kid with a sensory experience. Homeschool in Progress offers some creative and affordable sensory bin options.
Taming Little Monsters offers easy-to-follow instructions for a DIY sensory lid project for kids of all ages.
Your child might also love to relax with mindful coloring or making a glitter jar (if you are brave).
Final Thoughts on Mindfulness Activities for Teens and Kids
The benefits of mindfulness activities include less stress, improved general health, and a boost of confidence. Teaching your child these skills at an early age can help them develop a calm state of mind and healthy mental habits.
Even at a young age, trying a mindfulness activity is an effective way to teach kids to focus and live with intention.
The best part about these mindful exercises is that they are fun – no matter if they are young kids, elementary school children, or even attending middle school or high school.
Raise strong lions, calm lambs, and assertive bears when you teach them these lessons in mindful listening and living.
Take a mindful moment and try them yourself!
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