Mindfulness Activities Kids the Family will Enjoy
Mindfulness activities for kids are a way to connect with self and emotions in a healthy way. This year has been more stressful than ever and I decided to add my children into my mindfulness practices. I have been implementing mindfulness exercises for kids at home to build self-regulation and self-awareness. I already do a lot of these exercises when managing migraine, and want my kids to know how to regulate their own bodies and minds. Mindfulness teaches thought recognition, emotions, actions, and how to react to them in positive ways. I am FAR from an expert and use each experience as a learning tool. Practicing mindfulness is something that needs to be done regularly and can always be improved upon. I always walk into these practices with an open mind.
My family has been participating in virtual mindfulness activities through the Miles for Migraine mindfulness series. Active mindfulness exercises during the pandemic have allowed us to practice self-care safely from home. Although the program is not specifically tailored to kids, my entire family has been able to participate. Mindfulness teaches approaches to self-regulating and supporting others in times of need. It is a great way to help nurture home culture, provide a shared language and add strategies to support mindful thinking. A growth mindset is part of all the events.
Although we do many of these activities, the biggest struggle I have is consistency. Finding ways to be mindful throughout the day and making it a practice is something I struggle with. Mindfulness exercises for kids need to be fun and won’t always end the same way.
Mindfulness Activities for Kids
Many mindfulness activities for children are the same as adults. Miles for Migraine provides experiential sessions on tai chi, yoga, mindful mediation, art therapy and are constantly improving on their program. They are short half-hour experiential sessions that focus on mindfulness in various ways. I signed up for myself and my whole family ended up practicing mindfulness.
The most convenient part of the program is the time and the place. The sessions take place at 7:30EST which works beautifully in our schedule. We wind down for the night with a mindfulness activity and it is a much easier transition than our usual game night sessions or technology. Game nights often end in tears. Our mindfulness activities, with the kids, typically end calmer. There is no winner or loser with the mindfulness exercises. My kids are more relaxed, less competitive, and more ready to sleep. It is calming. Cutting technology at the end of the day has limited nighttime meltdowns.
Game night tip: Play games of chance. As a parent, it’s easy to let your child win and they need to learn how to lose. It also prevents fights of cheating and skill deficits.
Meditation, or the practice of self-awareness in body and mind, has been revered for thousands of years as a natural, accessible way to regulate our reaction to stress and manifest good health.-Parents.com
Benefits of Meditation for Kids
- Better sleep
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved self-esteem
- Ability to focus and study
- Reduced levels of stress
Mindful breathing for kids is something that the meditation session provides. During the session, we all sit in my family room and breathe with quiet guidance. My children are very receptive and embrace the practice more easily than I do. I find that it is hard for me to relax and let the stress of my day go while my kids are present and take each breath at a time. Once again, the timing helps with this. It’s after dinner, it’s getting close to bedtime and it is a calm atmosphere. If I asked my kids to meditate in other situations, it wouldn’t work. It’s all about the time, the place, the practice, and the present moment.
As we all continue to practice, I wish I had started meditation as a child. Meditation is a lifelong practice and I want my kids to grasp ways for better self-control. People need to be taught to regulate themselves and it is hugely overlooked in childhood. Learning how to breathe and connect with yourself is really hard. But I find that modeling control to my children shows them how to regulate meltdowns, anger, and stress. Something that we often discuss, is how we can’t control life but we can control how we react to it.
Mindfulness Exercises for Kids
I’ve always been a fan of yoga for kids and have seen firsthand the benefits. Last year, I implemented mindfulness activities for preschoolers in my classroom. We did a yoga alphabet program that I taught in my preschool. Each letter is associated with the letter of the week. By mid-year, my three-year-old students were going through a flow of several yoga moves. With 5-minute mindfulness activities, my students were associating yoga moves with a letter, stretching their bodies, and using many different learning styles. It was interesting to watch how some kids learned the yoga move before the letter name with recognition. We all learn in different ways and yoga for kids teaches endless lessons.
During the mindfulness exercises, Adrienne walked us through yoga for migraine and pain. This is particularly important for me since I carry a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders. The yoga sessions are done seated. Our savasana at the end put us all in a deeply relaxed state. (Actually, my son fell asleep! Check out the picture above.) I love yoga! It’s another exercise I wish I had started at a younger age. I know it’s going to benefit my kids for a lifetime and a practice that they can carry with them forever.
By practicing yoga poses, children can learn how to exercise, develop confidence, and concentrate better.- Parent.com
Benefits from Yoga for kids may include:
- Enhanced physical flexibility
- Refined balance and coordination
- Develops focus and concentration
- Boosts self-esteem and confidence
- Strengthens the mind-body connection
- Builds self-esteem and self-confidence
Mindfulness exercises for kids can also be art! I love crafting with my kids and see so many benefits. For art projects, we do a lot of painting, coloring, playdough, slime, cutting, gluing, and creating. Art needs to be approached with an open mind like all mindfulness activities for kids. Art therapy can be paired with a professional in a clinical setting to meet various needs. At home, we use art as a mindfulness activity. Open-ended process art is my favorite art project to do with my kids.
The goal of art therapy is to utilize the creative process to help people explore self-expression and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight and develop new coping skills. -VeryWellMind
I am a horrible artist. My daughter is a very talented and perfectionist type. My son doesn’t love drawing but can be entertained by other activities. So we combine our interests and talents by just sitting together and creating. We discuss what we are doing, give ideas to brainstorm where another project can lead, and overall have fun.
During our mindfulness series art session, I had a migraine attack raising, and my son and I sat with my green light. Under my Allay glow, we listened to the mindfulness series and colored. Coloring is my favorite art activity for migraine. I can zone out and distract myself from the pain in a gentle way. With the combination of Allay and art therapy, I walked away from my table that night feeling better. Not a cure and gone, but better.
Mindfulness Activities for Families
Whether mindfulness exercises are for kids or adults, everyone can benefit. Fun mindfulness exercises are important when keeping a child’s interest. I never realized that I was doing so many things that are considered mindful and now really focus on being present. I used to do yoga and let my mind wander. Or I’d sit with my kids while they crafted but I checked my phone and tried to get something else done. Now, I really focus on sitting with them and creating with them. I focus on each breath and how my body and mind are reacting to it. Making time in our day to just be present is something that once again takes work but is really rewarding.
When I’m doing fun mindfulness activities with my kids, I really try to provide an environment that can relax us all. After going through the series, my children now ask me when the next session is. Mindfulness exercises need practice and consistency and the program has allowed us to keep on track. We are always looking for new and fun mindfulness activities for kids to keep our minds and bodies refreshed. We have loved getting a little sample of the many ways to take care of our minds. Over the year, creative mindfulness exercises have given us all strength during a time we didn’t have much control. I hope to continue our practices and find what works for us. I encourage you to do the same!
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