It’s World Meditation Day – Try these easy mindfulness activities at home!
This World Meditation Day, let’s slow down and try out some fun mindfulness activities with our families!
Mindfulness can add to the quality of our lives in numerous ways, from nurturing a sense of inner peace and enhancing self-confidence to facilitating more meaningful relationships with others.
In children specifically, mindfulness has been found to:
- enhance focus in children with ADHD (Zhang et al., 2016)
- reduce attention problems (Crescentini, Capurso, Furlan, & Fabbro, 2016)
- improving mental health and wellbeing
- improve social skills when well taught and practiced in children and adolescents
Mindfulness practices are a big part of school life at Sunmarke School and we use exercises that are age-appropriate and extremely fun to do with kids.
Let’s get started!
Mindfulness Activities and Exercises for Children
1. Mindful Posing
One easy way for children to dip their toes into mindfulness is through the simple method of body poses. To get your kids interested, tell them that doing fun poses can help them feel strong, brave, and happy.
Let them go somewhere quiet and familiar, a place where they feel safe. Next, tell them to try one of the following two poses:
– The Superman: this pose is practiced by standing with the feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, and arms reached out, stretching the body out as long as possible.
– The Wonder Woman: this pose is struck by standing tall with legs wider than hip-width apart and hands or fists placed on the hips (Karen Young, 2017).
2. Mindfulness Games
– Blowing bubbles: Let your kids focus on taking in a deep, slow breath, and exhaling steadily to fill the bubble. Encourage them to pay close attention to the bubbles as they form, detach, and pop or float away.
– Playing with balloons: Tell your kids that the aim of this game is to keep the balloon off the ground, but have them move slowly and gently. You can tell them to pretend the balloon is very fragile if that helps.
3. The Body Scan
The body scan is one of the basic practices in mindfulness, and it is an easy one to teach to children.
– Get your kids lie down on their back on a comfortable surface and close their eyes.
– Then, tell them to squeeze every single muscle in their body as tight as they can. Tell them to squish their toes and feet, squeeze their hands into fists, and make their legs and arms as hard as stone.
– After a few seconds, have them release all their muscles and relax for a few minutes.
– Encourage them to think about how their body is feeling throughout the activity (Roman, 2015).
4. The Heartbeat Exercise
Paying attention to one’s heartbeat has a role in many mindfulness exercises and activities. Kids can learn how to apply this mindfulness practice to their own lives as well.
– Tell your kids to jump up and down in place or do jumping jacks for one minute. When they have finished, have them sit down and put a hand over their heart. Instruct them to close their eyes and pay attention only to their heartbeat and, perhaps, their breath as well (Roman, 2015).
This easy exercise shows children how to notice their heartbeat and helps them practice their focus. These skills will come in handy as they start engaging in more advanced mindfulness activities.
Good luck and enjoy!
Disclaimer: “As originally published in Positive Psychology Program “.