As parents and teachers, we often prioritize a child's academic growth, sometimes overlooking the need to teach them practices and coping mechanisms for dealing with failures, self-doubt, stressful moments, and anxiety – all of which are normal and inevitable aspects of life.
Many schools are now incorporating mindfulness practices and activities to help young minds discover the benefits of mindfulness in their daily lives.
As mothers, we can also introduce mindful activities at home to teach our children empathy, self-confidence, and compassion. This sets the stage for a positive relationship with themselves and society as a whole.
Mindfulness is a transformative practice that encourages awareness, acceptance, and engagement with both internal experiences and the world around us. It's like being super focused on the present moment, without worrying about the past or the future. It's noticing how you feel, what you see, and what's happening around you, and accepting it all without judging.
Fostering Mindfulness in Young Children
- We empower children to embrace the present moment, overcome challenges,
- Develop essential social-emotional skills, establishing a strong base for lifelong mental and emotional health.
- Enhances focus, attention, and cognitive skills, potentially leading to better academic achievement and a passion for learning.
- Fosters empathy, compassion, and effective communication, setting the stage for positive relationships and healthy social interactions in future.
- It equips children with invaluable tools to navigate anxiety and self-doubt.
- Leads to fewer behavioral problems and conflicts.
According to the studies, it has been proved that mindfulness has a profound impact on brain structure and stress response. Children with learning disabilities, including ADHD, have shown marked improvements in academic performance and behaviour after engaging in mindfulness training. Furthermore, special education students reported enhanced social connections with peers following mindfulness practice
15 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Kids
It’s a lot to ask of youngsters to simply sit still and breathe! and meditate. Instead incorporate these fun mindfull activities at home or school tohelp children connect with their innerself and their surroundings.
- Heartbeat Exercise: Encourage students to pay attention to their heartbeats and breathing after physical activity, fostering the awareness of their own bodies. To begin, tell your kids to jump up and down in place or do jumping jacks for one minute. When they have finished, have them sit down and put a hand over their heart.
- Rainbow Breathing: Encourage young children to practise deep, mindful breaths, promoting calmness and focus.
Five Finger Breathing. This is a great exercise for children and adults. You take the index finger of one hand and slowly trace the fingers of your other hand, breathing in as you trace the outside of your finger and breathing out as you trace the inside of your finger.
- What's in my bag?: This activity bring instant curoisty in younger minds. It fosters the mindful observation and communication by allowing children to feel and describe objects without visual cues. Place a collection of small, familiar objects of various textures into a bag (a rock, stick, leaf, marble, a squashy and fluffy toy etc). Have them describe it and guess what it is. It involves multiple senses of the child, encouraging relaxation and calmness.
- A ‘noticing’ nature walk: Engage students in a sensory-rich outdoor walk, encouraging them to observe and appreciate their surroundings. Going on a nature walk and deliberately noticing things encourages children to observe with all their senses.A nature walk can help your child learn to focus their attention and take in the details of things around them. It can also be a peaceful, reflective experience for you and your child.You can do this by asking questions as you go. For example:
- Short Body Scan: Guide students in a brief body scan to settle the mind. Encourage children to take three intentional breaths, each focusing on a different area of the body—head, gut, and heart.
This is a simple but thoroughly relaxing activity that helps in developing a mindful and attentive personality. The ideal time for this activity is before your child’s bedtime, as it can help them relax and sleep soundly.
- Fly Like an Eagle: Promote physical activity and mindfulness by inviting children to embody the majestic flight of an eagle.
- Belly-Breathing: To teach young kids about mindfulness and attentive breathing, use a ''belly buddy'' which is a stone, bean bag, or stuffed animal placed on the stomach that kids can watch rise with each inhalation and lower with each exhalation.
- Self portrait: Self-portrayal is an excellent mindfulness activity for younger children as it encourages self-reflection, self-expression, and the development of fine motor skills. It provides a positive and creative outlet for children to explore their own identity and emotions.
- Nature-Inspired Painting: Foster a deep connection with nature by encouraging children to adorn leaves, sticks, and rocks with vibrant colours.
- Texture sensory walk
- Sensory Bin Play: Provide a sensory-rich environment for children to explore, stimulating their senses and promoting mindfulness.
- Water Play: Engage children in water-based activities, allowing them to experience the soothing effects of water and connect with the present moment.
- Fidget toys: Playing with a fidget toy can be calming and help reduce stress, restlessness or anxiety, especially in situations that may be overwhelming or overstimulating. Focusing on the sensation and movement of a fidget toy encourages mindfulness by redirecting attention away from distracting or stressful thoughts.
- Visulaization : Studies have shown that guided imagery can help the mind and body relax. It can help in managing anxiety, stress and depression; Choose a topic which suits the child or kids in one group, and something that will also address their concerns.
Ask children to sit in a relaxed and comfortable posture and close their eyes.
Give them specific and clear instructions, right from the beginning of the visualization process to the end.
To make the activity very soothing, you may also choose to play music such as nature sounds or calming rhythmic playlists.
Introducing mindfulness to kindergarteners (young children) can lay the foundation for a lifetime of self-awareness, resilience, and emotional well-being. By integrating these engaging activities into their daily routines, we empower children to navigate challenges with confidence, embrace the present moment, and cultivate a lifelong love of learning. Mindfulness is not just a practice; it is a gift we give to future generations, nurturing their holistic development and well-being.
LOVE AND SUPPORT ALWAYS...!!!