Mindfulness for kids couldn’t be more important in the world we live in. Particularly with COVID-19 and some states of Australia being in and out of lockdown for the past 2 years. It’s hard enough for adults to understand. What must our young people be thinking?
It’s becoming quite normal for kids to be doing more and more on digital devices.
- learning at home online
- online at school
- doing their homework online
- studying online
- chat to their friends online
- watch YouTube
- not to mention the endless array of social media channels out there – Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Kids Messenger
And the list goes on, but you can see kids spend a lot of time online.
There are many benefits to being online, but it can quite easily get out of control if you don’t limit it. But one way to keep your kids online use under control and in perspective is by practising mindfulness.
And by learning to practise mindfulness as a child, it’s a skill that will stay with you for life. And you can’t get a better skill than that!
What are the wonderful benefits of mindfulness for kids?
Mindfulness has so many great benefits for kids. Many schools are incorporating mindfulness sessions into the timetable, so kids:
- learn to self soothe
- can build self-esteem
- help with sports and other areas of life where kids need to keep their cool when the pressure is on
- helps if you need to do a presentation or get up in front of the class, which many kids can find scary or may make them feel overwhelmed
- allows your child to centre themselves when the day, the situation, an upcoming test or exam becomes too much for them and they become stressed or anxious
Many adults could learn to practise mindfulness couldn’t they?
How to explain mindfulness to kids
Kids are usually naturally curious, so if you want your kids to start practising mindfulness, the best way to start is by having a conversation about it.
If your child is younger, leading by example might be better as there’s no better way than to lead by example.
A great way to start practising mindfulness is by discussing how you can practise mindfulness. And it can be as simple and easy as slowing down to focus on your surroundings:
- what noises can you hear?
- what things can you feel?
- what can you smell?
Mindfulness is about being in the moment and not always having to rush and be in a hurry going a million miles an hour. Taking time out to “smell the roses” is a great analogy. You might be able to drop into conversation to kick the discussion off.
But there’s no better way than to show a child how to be mindful than by starting to practise it yourself.
How to introduce mindfulness activities for kids
All you need are fun activities that are easy to do. And you’ll have your child, students, or young person learning how to focus and stay calm down. Plus, mindfulness activities are a great way to spend quality time with your kids.
Some hugely popular mindfulness activities amongst kids are:
1. Mindfulness colouring for kids
Colouring for adults has become extremely popular over the last few years, and there’s a reason for that. It’s a great way to lower stress levels and helps kids to focus and concentrate.
You can keep colouring interesting for your kids by changing the books and colouring sheets, introducing new pencils and textas, or having fun with glitter markers. Whatever your child is interested in. Just follow their lead.
2. Mindfulness music for kids
Music has many benefits when it comes to mindfulness, whether your child needs a brain break from being overstimulated.
Or, if your child gets stressed or anxious, music is a great way to calm the mind and body.
3. Mindfulness meditation for kids
Meditation is an excellent way for kids to learn how to stay calm and collected.
There are some great apps and resources like Smiling Minds, or even Spotify has meditation tracks for kids.
Or you can practise mediation yourselves with deep breathing exercises. It can be as easy as encouraging your child to take a big breathe in and then on the exhale letting all the stress go.
It’s a great tool to file away as it can be easily done anywhere - during an exam or before you’re about to go on stage.
4. Kids are being mindful without even realising it
At the moment, a lot of kids love fidget toys. And without even realising it, they’re being therapeutic and practising mindfulness, which is a great win/win.
Kids yoga is also a great option to get your child practising mindfulness if that’s something they like.
There’s some great yoga YouTube videos, though. And why not get involved and have a go yourself. You could make it a regular Saturday or Sunday morning thing followed by a yummy breakfast. That’s another great win/win.
Toys to help your kids practise mindfulness
You can see the many benefits mindfulness has for kids in this busy digital focused world we live in.
But getting your child to practise mindfulness is all about finding what works for them.
For some, the above mindfulness activities will work wonders. And for other kids, you might want to try some of the great products we have available to help with mindfulness or visit us in person at our Altona North store.