Teaching kids mindfulness is just as easy as teaching them the alphabet or tying their shoes. Mindfulness helps children manage their behavior, reduce stress, sleep better, and improve relationships. Furthermore, mindfulness activities are an excellent way to engage the family at the table and to encourage positive thinking.
Here are some helpful tips and links for teaching kids mindfulness activities:
- Just Breathe – This video helps children understand that they are not alone in dealing with uncontrollable anger. It talks about how other children use deep breathing as a way to calm down and relax. Using the analogy of a calming glitter jar, children better understand how their brains process anger and how to calm themselves down.
- Family Engagement – This is a worksheet that offers guidance for the whole family. It teaches the benefits of practicing mindfulness activities together. It offers suggestions for mindful movement, activities, and guided imagery , and some tips for keeping children interested.
- Food Contemplation for Kids – An online worksheet. This helps children be mindful about where the food that they eat to nourish their bodies comes from. It teaches them to be respectful of our earth and animals and the people and processes that bring food to the table.
- Overcoming Our Childhood – A video reminding us that we are all products of our childhood. Tt teaches us to be mindful of how to respond better in social situations.
- Mindfulness for Kids – A video showing how children use the mindfulness skills. Using the glitter jar and deep breathing to calm down, the children talk about how much better it feels to be in control. They also talk about doing nice things for others and how it made them feel. Finally, they express their gratefulness for feeling more in control.
How to Frame Mindfulness
Think of mindfulness activities and practices as mental flossing. In the same way that we need to take care of our physical health and bodies with healthy foods and exercise, we need to practice relaxation and deep breathing. These daily exercises allow a child to access a feeling of calm and clarity in times of stress – a life tool that the will continue to use throughout their development.
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