Unlocking Inner Calm: Mindfulness Activities for Children
20 June 2023
Looking for ways for your child to stay grounded in the here and now? Look no further than our list of mindfulness activities for children and adults alike 👇
Mindfulness for children is more important than ever in the digital age. With so much for children to do and see, it’s vital to teach them how to slow down and tap into their inner calm. After all, childhood goes so fast – you don’t want them to miss it!
In this post, we’ve curated some fun and engaging activities to help your child develop lifelong mindfulness skills.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is awareness of one’s internal state and surroundings. In other words, it’s being grounded in the here and now. While this may sound obvious, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many forms of entertainment and technology. And children are no exception.
Therefore, it’s important to teach children how to be grounded in the present to reduce stress, anxiety, and boost overall happiness.
In fact, experts at the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) suggest that mindfulness and ‘connectedness to school and home is the #1 most protective factor for youth well-being and resiliency.’
Explore the Five Senses
We use them every day, but how often do you stop to really think about your senses? Something as simple as closing your eyes and focusing on your breath can do wonders to ground yourself in the present. So, find a cosy spot, get comfy and invite your child to engage with their senses:
- Sight: Look at around you. What colours do you see? What shapes? Where is light coming from?
- Sound: What can you hear? Are there any background noises? Where are the sounds coming from?
For smell and touch, consider a sensory board filled with natural materials like sand or pebbles. For taste, you can lay out foods of differing consistencies to broaden your child’s palette:
- Smell: What does this space smell like? Is it a nice smell?
- Touch: What do they feel like? Are they soft? Hard? Scratchy?
- Taste: Describe the taste. Is it sweet? Sour? What foods also taste like that?
Sensory Nature Walk
Step into the great outdoors and embark on a nature walk together. Take your child to a nearby park, beach, or nature trail and encourage them to connect with all their senses.
Listen to the chirping of birds, feel the grass under their feet, inhale the sweet scent of flowers. This is a wonderful opportunity to get children out of the house and into nature. With each step, guide them to be fully present. What kind of animals do you see? What sounds do they make? What do they eat?
Additionally, it’s an important reminder of the beauty of our natural spaces and the need to preserve them for generations to come.
Yoga is the perfect time to stretch, breathe, and relax. Clear some space and invite your child to join in a sensory yoga session. Pretend to be wild animals, mimicking their movements, and encourage them to focus on their breath.
If your child is more a visual learner, there are plenty of YouTube guides on how to strike the perfect pose – just make sure you do it together!
As they flow through various poses, highlight the importance of being present and tuning into their bodies. Wind down the adventure with a soothing relaxation exercise, allowing them to relax and find inner calm.
Unleash your children’s creative spirits with mindful art! Set up an art station with natural, colourful materials and let their imagination run free. Encourage them to paint or draw with mindful awareness, feeling the brush strokes and textures of the materials.
Remind them to stay present in the moment, letting go of distractions. Remember, the aim is to let their inner artists shine while also experiencing a sense of peace and relaxation through creative expression.
There are over 600 muscles in the human body, but when was the last time you stopped to think about them?
Invite your child to close their eyes and to consciously relax their muscles. Start slow and simple by asking them to gently squeeze their feet, and then their hands. As they progress, move to larger muscle groups like the calves, biceps, and abdomen.
This is also a great opportunity for continued learning. Explore the different kinds of muscles and bones in the body through research and discussion. You can even take a trip to Scienceworks or the Melbourne Museum!
Why is Mindfulness Important?
More and more studies are showing the profound benefits of mindfulness for children and adults alike. It’s easy to get lost in the rush of modern life but taking as little as 10-15 minutes a day to reflect and recharge can do wonders for overall joy. Likewise, teaching these skills to children at an early age is vital for long-term happiness and success.
With these engaging activities, you can introduce your child to the wonders of mindfulness while also having some fun along the way. So why not invite your child to take a breath, look around, and smell the roses?