7 Mindfulness Activities for Kids
June 4, 2021
Mindfulness is described by the NHS as an awareness of paying more attention to the present moment, including your thoughts, feelings and the world around you. Developing such an awareness may help to improve mental wellbeing.
Mindfulness can be practiced by people of all ages, including children. The website mindful.org details how mindfulness can help children to cope with challenges and stress, whilst also building confidence and improving concentration. Read below to discover seven mindfulness activities for kids in KS2.
1. Develop Awareness of Thoughts and Feelings
Helping children to develop an awareness of their thoughts and feelings can highlight that they have a choice in how to react to different situations. But how can children develop such an awareness? This excellent BBC video about emotions from the perspective of a KS2 pupil introduces mindfulness as a way to keep calm. The video helpfully compares emotions to the weather, as it is something that is continually changing and impermanent.
Children can also curl up with a favourite book and immerse themselves in a story. Your Mind is Like the Sky is a charming picture book that compares thoughts and feelings to the weather, explaining how to be mindful in a digestible way for children. Rain Before Rainbows is an incredible picture book with mesmerising illustrations reminding children to be optimistic in the darkest of times using a weather analogy. You can also find free activity sheets and teacher’s notes to support reading Rain Before Rainbows on the Walker Books website.
2. Create a Mindfulness Box
As seen on BBC Newsround, children can create a ‘Mindfulness Box’ to use whenever they need to take a mindful moment. Simply upcycle and decorate an old box, such as a shoe box. Next, children can fill their box with tools to encourage mindfulness and bring about feelings of calm. These tools will therefore differ between individuals. Children may choose to include photos of happy memories, bubbles to blow or cards with positive words. Stress balls such as this sensory MindWare Sqwooz ball are brilliant for tactile stimulation, whilst sensory rainbow fluids encourage quiet focusing with their captivating effects. Mindfulness boxes are excellent resources to have in the classroom or at home. For children heading back to school, having a mindfulness box may help them feel less anxious.
3. Meditation and Mindfulness Breathing for Kids
Focusing on the breath can encourage children to anchor themselves in the present moment, which may help to alleviate feelings of anxiety. Yoga is a form of exercise that unites body and mind. Barefoot Books Yoga Pretzels flashcards are a charming resource for children (and adults!) of all ages. As stated on the box, the target age range is 4 to 104! Within the flashcard set, there is a fantastic section of mindfulness breathing for kids to follow, such as ‘Bear Breath’ and ‘Bunny Breath’.
Moreover, Barefoot Books Mindful Kids flashcards provide wonderful guided mindful activities for children and are usefully split into five categories: ‘Start Your Day’, ‘Find Calm’, ‘Focus’, ‘Open Your Heart’ and ‘Rest and Relax’. The cards contain mindfulness meditation for kids, such as ‘Mind Bubbles’. This is a lovely activity where children imagine their worries as bubbles that float away, pop and disappear. Both flashcard decks are beautifully illustrated with easy-to-follow instructions and are a lovely resource to help children relax and unwind. You can also find free mindfulness worksheets for kids from Barefoot Books with examples from Mindful Kids and Yoga Pretzels here.
4. DIY Mindful Breathing Wand
To help children practice breathing exercises, why not create a DIY Mindful Breathing Wand? You will need a paper straw, coloured card, scissors, glue and a map pin. Cut the card into a square measuring 20 x 20 cm. Fold the square along the two diagonal lines of symmetry. Next, cut along the diagonal folds, stopping 3 cm before the center. Gently bend one side of each quarter into the center and glue in place. Push a map pin through the center of the card and into a thick paper straw. Be careful not to push the pin through the back of the straw to avoid any sharp edges. Watch the video above to see how to make a breathing wand. Practice mindfulness breathing activities for kids by directing the breath when exhaling to spin the flower on the wand.
5. Online Cosmic Kids Mindfulness Activities
Whilst it is important to acknowledge the importance of setting boundaries for screen time with children, there are also online activities for times when kids are using digital devices. For example, children may enjoy Cosmic Kids mindfulness activities. The Cosmic Kids website is filled with yoga and mindfulness videos targeted at kids, with varying watch lengths and energy categories. You can easily filter the videos to find the right one for your child’s age and interests.
6. Indoor Mindfulness Activities for Children
Over the past year, many families may have spent an increasing amount of time indoors due to the Coronavirus pandemic. From books to jigsaw puzzles, there are a range of great indoor mindful activities to inspire children to focus on the present moment. Children can enjoy hours of calm entertainment with 500–1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. Try products such as this Ocean Life puzzle or fun family games.
Colouring can also be a mindful, calming activity. Check out this Summertime Colouring Book with cards and envelopes – perfect for posting to loved ones. Moreover, you can download free mindfulness worksheets such as a fun emotions board game or curate a positive mindset with this free printable about kind thoughts. Plus, From My Window is a beautiful free Barefoot Books printable for children to draw what they can see from their window, which is great for observing how the world outside changes. Discover more free mindfulness worksheets for kids on WordUnited’s Free Resources Hub.
7. Outdoor Mindfulness Exercises for Kids
Where possible, children can head outside for fresh air and exercise. This may be any outdoor open space, such as a garden, park, forest or beach. With lockdown restrictions starting to ease and summer weather, more opportunities to explore the great outdoors arise. Mindfulness can be practiced by being present and noticing surroundings. When walking in nature, ask children to think about their senses: what they can see, smell, taste, touch and hear. Children may like to keep a Nature Journal to document their discoveries. You can also browse a selection of outdoor and gardening toys for kids here to inspire little ones to adventure outside.
For more activities to support children’s wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic, head to this blogpost. Plus, browse our extensive range of educational resources, toys and books for kids at WordUnited.com!