Mindfulness exercises for kids have many benefits including increasing optimism and happiness in classrooms, decreasing bullying and aggression, increasing compassion for others and helping children learn how to resolve conflicts on their own.
If you've already started a mindfulness meditation practice, than you're ready to teach more mindfulness activities for kids at home, here are a few simple exercises to add to your repertoire:
Five Mindfulness Exercises For Kids
Give your child a stuffed animal and have them lie down on the floor, placing the stuffed animal on their belly. Tell them to take deep breathes for one minute and notice how their Breathing Pal moves up and down.
They may also notice some other sensations. Have them imagine that the thoughts coming into their minds become bubbles and float away.
Squish And Relax
For this mindfulness activity, have your child lie down and close their eyes, then have them squeeze every muscle in their bodies as tight as they can.
Tell them to squeeze their toes, tighten the muscles in their legs, suck in their bellies, clench their hands into fists and pull their shoulders up toward their ears. Have them hold their clench position for a few seconds, and then release their muscles and relax.
This is a great activity for loosening the body and mind.
This kids' mindfulness exercise is all about discussing feelings. Sit down and casually ask your child to tell you about their feelings.
What feelings do they experience? How do they know when they are feeling those feelings? Where do they feel them in their body? Which feelings do they like best?
Ask them what they can do to feel better when they aren’t experiencing feelings they like.
Remind them about the practice of turning their thoughts into bubbles when they have feelings they don’t like. Or they can do the Squish and Relax Exercise to help them relax.
The Sense Of Touch
Give your child an object to touch and hold, such as a ball, a soft toy, or a stone. Ask them to close their eyes and describe what the object feels like. This great mindfulness exercise for kids teaches them how to isolate their senses from each another.
The Heartbeat Exercise
Get your child to jump up and down in place for one minute. Then tell them to sit down and put their hand over their heart. Have them close their eyes and feel their heartbeats, their breath, and anything else they may notice about their bodies.
With regular practice, your child will start to see how these fun mindfulness exercises help them to have more control over their feelings, emotions and attitudes. They will learn how to calm down and feel better when they are stressed.
P.S., Here are more simple mindfulness activities for kids.