Mindfulness is simply the act of being in the moment and as such, practising some mindfulness activities can be a fun, engaging way to help our kids and teens stay in the moment and not worry about what is going to happen next.
These activities are not designed to simply dismiss a problem or worry for another day but to bring ourselves back to a state of calm so as we can return to addressing them in a calm rational way.
Simply choose 1 or more of the following activities for your child or teen to do independently (or with a little help) when they are starting to feel stressed or anxious and watch the transformation.
Some examples of Mindfulness Activities can include:
1. One Minute Meditation
Just concentrate on your breath. Every time your mind wanders just bring it back to your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. One minute is all it takes to reset the mind and calm the body. You should get about 16 breaths in one minute for a healthy adult or about 25 breaths in a primary school aged child so just count your breaths. Breathe in, one, breathe out. Breathe in, two, breathe out and continue for one minute. A video explanation can be found here.
2. Draw or Colour in a Mandala
The word mandala comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and loosely means “circle” or “centre.” These sacred circles have long been used to facilitate meditation in the Indian and Tibetan religions promoting relaxation, balancing the body’s energies, enhancing creativity, and supporting healing.
3. Box Breathing
Breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 4. Repeat 3 more times.
An article outlining some Journalling Prompts to get you started can be found here.
5. 5,4,3,2,1 Grounding Activity
Look around and name five things you can see, 4 things you can feel (or touch), 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can taste and 1 thing you can smell.
6. Listen to a guided meditation
A playlist of children’s Meditations can be found here.
8. Heartbeat Exercise
Monitor your heartbeat before and after exercise.
A printable list of “30 Mindfulness Activities for Kids and Teens” can be found here.
© copyright. May not be reproduced without acknowledgement to the author. Written by Kim Norton 31st August 2021.