Ready to spark “the joy of just being” in both yourself and your children? Mindfulness activities can help increase focus, improve mental health and wellbeing, reduce anxiety and manage emotions. With many early childhood centres and schools adopting mindfulness practices or moments into their days, mindfulness is more than a buzz word – it is a much-loved tool in many people’s toolboxes!
Having used mindfulness activities here in the Mud Mates’ family, we’re sharing five of our favourites with you today.
Best 5 Mindfulness Activities for Kids
Mindfulness encourages kids to develop mind-body awareness and an understanding that each can affect the other. These five fun mindfulness activities are easy to do, and we hope you and your kids love them as much as us:
- Spidey-Senses – turn on those super sensitive senses of smell, hearing, sight, touch and taste to learn what Spiderman experiences every day. By focusing on what is currently happening, children can develop their observation and curiosity skills.
Find a quiet spot inside or outside the house and ask your child to close their eyes if they would like (never force a child to close their eyes).
Encourage your child to activate their Spidey Sense to become aware of the environment around them.
Ask them the following questions: What do you see? What do you smell? What do you taste? What do you hear?
Explain to your child that when they pay attention to their senses, they are able to calm their mind and quiet the “noise” inside their head. Encourage the child to practice this for 2-3 minutes at a time.
- Mindful Glitter Jar – fill a jar with bio glitter or other ‘floaty’ objects and water. When you shake the jar, imagine that the floating bits are your thoughts when you are stressed. When you calm down, they are settling down. When watching the ‘thoughts’ move, taking big deep breaths helps to show how a stressed mind calms when doing deep breathing too.
- Heartbeat Exercise – notice how your breathing and heartbeat are. Next go for a run or do star jumps for a minute. Then feel your heartbeat after that exercise. Is it going fast or slow? How about your breathing?
- Pinwheel Breathing – grab your pinwheel and demonstrate how to take big deep breaths and gently blow them out to turn the pinwheel. Great as an anxiety busting tool. An alternative to this is blowing bubbles.
- Texture Bag – fill a bag with lots of different objects with different textures. When putting your hand in, you must describe what you are feeling and make a guess as to what the object is.
If your kids are digitally inclined, there are some great mindfulness apps available such as Smiling Mind, Breathe Think Do With Sesame, Mindful Powers and Headspace. YouTube is also a great place to find videos which will help guide kids through mindfulness activities too.
We also suggest you take a read of the article Using Backyard Loose Parts to Calm Kids. Written by an occupational therapist, it explains fun ways of calming a child’s sensory system through play!