Are you looking for simple (yet exciting!) mindfulness activities for kids? If so, these activity ideas are the perfect way to introduce learners in KS2 to the concept of mindfulness!
What is mindfulness?
The concept of mindfulness originated from Buddhism over 2,500 years ago. Mindfulness is all about being attentive to what’s happening around us in the present moment and being conscious of our surroundings.
Mindfulness is being spoken about more and more frequently in schools, the media and workplaces, as there is an increasing focus on promoting physical and mental health around the world. With this in mind, there’s never been a better time to introduce children to the concept!
Why is mindfulness important for kids?
It’s not just adults who can benefit from practising mindfulness. Just like us, children can sometimes become distracted and lose their focus. This can lead to problems in managing their emotions, difficulties in their behaviour and poor communication.
This is where mindfulness comes in. By encouraging kids to think positively and take the time to appreciate the smaller things around them, you can help them to discover ‘the power of now’. Take a look at the following mindfulness activities for our tips on how to get started.
7 mindfulness activities for kids
Meditation is a very effective mindfulness activity, particularly for kids in KS2. The calming effect of meditation is a great way to calm the soul, settle the mind and encourage children to make the most out of the present.
To get started, ask your child to sit in a quiet, relaxing space. Then, ask them to close their eyes and listen to the sounds of everything happening around them.
Encourage them to focus on anything they can hear, from the tweets of birds to the sound of wind! After a couple of minutes, ask them to tell you what sounds they could hear and how they made them feel.
Once your kid starts practising meditation on a daily basis, you’ll soon start to see a positive change in their mood. And best of all, meditation is also proven to reduce stress and anxiety, making it a great way to promote the healthy regulation of emotions.
2. Visualising movements
Ask your child to imagine themselves walking along the top of a tightrope. While doing this, they’ll need to deeply observe their body actions in order to maintain their balance.
You can help your child to visualise their body movements by acting as a commentator. For example, you could say, “Now the tightrope is moving. Move your right leg forward to maintain your balance”.
This mindfulness activity works best when you also get involved. And the more often you use it, the more you’ll see how effortlessly they’re able to maintain their focus.
3. Drawing objects
Art activities are another great way to explore mindfulness with kids, as they can really help to expand their perspectives by using their imagination.
Every day, ask them to carefully observe a random object for a few minutes. For example, you could ask them to look at a tree, a rock or even an apple!
After their observation, encourage them to draw the object, giving them ample time to do so. Make sure they see it as a healthy exercise and not a competition. And most importantly, always take the time to appreciate and celebrate their hard work.
4. Promoting happy, positive thoughts
Our mind is like a garden: just as a garden looks beautiful with beautiful flowers, our minds also become beautiful when we plant happy and positive thoughts. So, teaching kids how to plant happy thoughts in their minds is another great way to help promote a growth mindset.
Train your child to think positively in any given situation. Kids learn best through observation, so a great way to do this is to act as a good role model by being calm and optimistic.
Various studies have shown that happy thoughts can have a positive effect on the function of the brain. Only a calm and positive mind can practise mindfulness in its true essence.
5. Holding blindfolded taste tests
A blindfolded taste test is among the most interesting and fun mindfulness activities around!
Most of the time, we eat food without paying attention to its aroma or taste. Teaching a child to pay attention to the taste of things will not only help them to become more attuned with their taste buds, but also help them to appreciate the smaller details of everyday life.
Place a blindfold on your child and ask them to guess the food they’re provided with. Give them small bites of different food items, asking them to chew the food for a few seconds to identify what it is.
You could use healthy food such as bananas and strawberries, or try more unusual items such as jelly or spices!
6. Using muscle relaxation exercises
Muscle relaxation is all about paying attention to various muscles of the body. Some muscles in our body can become tense without us even noticing. The goal of this exercise is to ease those muscles.
Ask your kids to lie down on the floor. Then, ask them to contract and relax a specific muscle.You might like to start by asking them to squeeze their toes and then gradually work their way up to their head, down each arm, ending at their fingertips.
Remember, when performing this exercise, be sure to keep in mind the age of your child and their level of motor control.
There are numerous free online lessons available for muscle relaxation. Take a look at these examples from Raising Children to get started!
7. Counting breaths
A very easy and effective way to calm the mind is to count the number of breaths we take.
Encourage your children to sit quietly, close their eyes, and count their breaths.
Ask them to count ‘one’ when they inhale and ‘two’ when they exhale. Encourage them to restart their counting exercise whenever their mind wanders or loses its focus.
This mindfulness activity will make them conscious of their breathing patterns and how their bodies and organs feel empowered when they breathe.
And there we have it – 7 marvellous mindfulness activities for kids! Practising mindfulness is all about being consistent. Taking time out of your busy schedule to get involved with the above activities will do wonders for promoting the importance of mindfulness to your child or class.
Try to make it a priority to nurture your child with the best mindfulness activities. And remember: a little positivity attracts bundles more positivity. Train your kids to be positive so that they can also attract more positivity and happiness in their lives.
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