The last number of months has caused a huge amount of worry and anxiety for us all, including our children.
As we continue to battle the COVID19 storm, it is crucially important that we look after our mental health as well as our physical health. To help us achieve this, we need to all make time to relax, unwind and practice mindfulness.
We have compiled five effective ways you and your child can practice mindfulness, in a fun, achievable manner.
Mindfulness Activities for Children
1. Body Scan
The body scan is a key practice in mindfulness.
- Have your child lie down on their back on a comfortable surface and close their eyes;
- Tell them to squeeze every muscle in their body as tight as they can. Squeeze their hands into fists, and make their legs and arms as hard as rocks.
- 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
This simple exercise gets kids to be more aware of their bodies and helps them find a way to be present in the moment.
2. The Mindful Jar
- This activity can teach children how strong emotions can take hold, and how to find peace when these strong emotions become overwhelming.
- First, get a clear jar and fill it almost all the way with water. Add a big spoonful of glitter glue or glue and dry glitter to the jar. Put the lid back on the jar and shake it to make the glitter swirl.
- Now encourage your child to imagine that the glitter is like your thoughts when you’re feeling upset or worried. See how they whirl around and make it really hard to see clearly? That’s why it’s so easy to make silly decisions when you’re upset – because you’re not thinking clearly. Then put the jar down in front of them.
Watch what happens when you’re still for a couple of moments. See how the glitter starts to settle and the water clears. Your mind works the same way. When you’re calm for a little while, your thoughts start to settle and you start to see things much clearer. Deep breaths during this calming process can help us settle when we feel a lot of emotions” (Karen Young, 2017).
3. Mindful Posing
Allow your child to create whatever pose they wish, it can be after a superhero or animal they like. Encourage them to stand up tall and focus on every part of their body, encourage them to ground themselves by touching their belly with their hands. Feel themselves being fully present in this pose.
4. Blindfold Food Taste
Blindfold your child and give them different foods to taste. Encourage them to focus on using all of their senses and focusing on what they are doing. This will encourage them to eat more mindfully, being fully in the present.
5. Blowing Bubbles
Try to create this common game into a mindfulness routine, encourage them to really focus on their breath, inhaling and exhaling with the bubbles and focusing on them as they drift away.
Do you practice mindfulness? Give these a go with your kids and let us know in the box below how you get on!