Mindfulness For Kids - 5 Fun & Easy Exercises

fun Apr 15, 2020
Mindfulness For Kid

Our everyday lives can quickly become a whirlwind of activities, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and stressed. This hectic pace isn’t just challenging for us dads — it can also be stressful for children, impacting their mental health even at a young age. With this in mind, starting your kids on mindfulness can make a huge difference.

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing one’s attention on the present moment — it’s paying attention to yourself, your thoughts, and your surroundings: acknowledging and accepting what you are feeling, thinking, and sensing without any judgment. With regular practice, mindfulness can help manage stress, improve focus, and cultivate a greater sense of overall well-being.

The secret to mindfulness for kids lies in its simplicity. Keep things as light, easy, and fun as possible. Here are five mindfulness exercises for kids you can try to introduce the practice into their daily routines.

Mindful Coloring

Coloring is probably the best way to introduce mindfulness to young kids — and yes, we’re talking about good, old-fashioned-but-still-fun coloring book activities that your child probably already enjoys. A lot of adults have even gone back to coloring as a way to de-stress and meditate.

The concept of mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment without any judgment. So, applying that to coloring, the idea is to concentrate on the task at hand as a whole. Mindfulness coloring works by focusing a child’s attention on the simple, enjoyable task of coloring — allowing their mind to relax and their thoughts to flow without judgment or distraction.

The no judgment part is crucial here. This means no judging the color choices your kids make or whether they color within the lines or not. Encourage your child to take their time, focus on each stroke of color, and recognize how they feel as they create their masterpiece.

Just let them be creative, be in the present moment, and enjoy the fun, calming activity.

I See, I Hear

Another simple mindfulness exercise for kids is called “I See, I Hear.” If you’ve ever played “I Spy” with your kids, you might find this mindfulness activity to be similar — albeit minus the mystery of the game.

You and your child can do this simple exercise anywhere and anytime. All you need to do is ask your child to name three to five things they see around them. After that, ask them for five sounds they hear. For really young kids, you can guide them with a few leading questions.

This mindfulness exercise helps children focus on their senses and become more aware of their surroundings, gently forces your kid to be in the present moment, and is a great way to help kids calm down when they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, since the game stops them from thinking about anything else except for what’s around them.

If you need a quick meditation exercise to calm down and return to the present moment, this technique works well even for adults.

Smell the Flower, Blow Out the Candle

“Smell the flower, blow out the candle” is a fun and easy-to-understand way to teach kids how to do mindful breathing exercises. The name of the technique already tells you how to do this exercise.

First, ask your child to imagine they’re smelling a flower — AKA taking a deep chestful of air through their nose. Next, tell them to imagine as if they’re blowing out a candle or exhaling the air gently from their mouth. Repeat this exercise as many times as you’d like.

You can add a bit more fun and realism when teaching this mindfulness exercise for kids by actually getting a flower and a candle (and maybe an electric candle lighter) for them to practice on. The exercise is a great way to teach kids how to take deep breaths and calm their minds when they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Additionally, telling your kids to “smell the flower and blow out the candle” sounds much gentler and more fun than just telling them to breathe deeply.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditation helps children relax, focus on the present moment, and be more aware of their thoughts and emotions. This meditation is a great mindfulness activity to do together with your kid but it’s also very easy for kids to do on their own.

Nowadays, there are plenty of guided meditation apps and videos specifically designed for kids, making it even easier to incorporate this practice into children’s daily routines.  A quick search on YouTube or the App Store and several minutes of vetting the content will put you on the right path.

Once you’ve found a guided meditation app or video, all that’s left is for your child to put on their headphones, listen carefully, and follow the soothing instructions. In particular, guided meditation can be a useful tool for helping children relax after a long day and fall asleep.

If you want to start your kids young with guided meditation, you can skip the headphones and simply choose a guide with soothing ambient noise that you can play on the speakers. This way, the whole family can participate and practice mindfulness together.

Practice Gratitude

This technique is mainly for kids who are old enough to write. The instructions for this are simple and straightforward: simply ask your child to write down three things they are thankful for. To help kids develop an even stronger sense of gratitude, ask them why they are thankful for the three things they wrote down.

Simply writing down things your kids are thankful for helps them focus on the positive aspects of their lives and makes them appreciate the simple things more.

You can make this activity even more fun by creating a gratitude journal together and making it a daily habit before bedtime. Journaling is also a great opportunity to bond with your child and share what you are grateful for as well. Of course, you can also go the non-written route and have younger kids express their gratitude verbally.

Last Tips for Mindfulness for Kids

If your kid is resistant to any of the mindfulness exercises for kids we recommended, don’t worry — simply move on to another technique and try again. The five we discussed above are just the tip of the iceberg.

Remember, not every mindfulness exercise will work with your kid. With patience, you and your child can find a fun and easy mindfulness exercise they can use to help bring peace and calm into their lives.

Watch the "Mindfulness For Kids - 5 Fun & Easy Exercises" video here:

Enjoy this article?
Get unlimited access to Dad University

The #1 educational platform for dads. Join our growing community of fathers from around the world!

Become a Member