Easy Mindfulness Activities for Kids to Lower Stress
Has your kiddo ever had an epic meltdown over something small? or yelled at you for asking a simple question? or burst into tears because their toast wasn’t the correct shade of brown?
Most working moms can think of moments like these, and struggle to understand what’s happening with their child and all these big feelings. As moms, we can feel like we’re not doing something right and have our own yelling meltdowns too.
When kids become preoccupied with an embarrassing mistake they made, or worry about passing a hard test, these fears can hijack their brain and negatively impact their day. Mindfulness is a researched-based tool that can lower stress, and improve relationships, focus, and emotional regulation.
Instead of being stuck in “what happened” or worried about “what will happen”. Mindfulness is simply about finding joy in the present moment.
Overwhelmed moms have found tremendous relief from the stress of balancing parenting and life, with mindfulness meditation. The same practice that can lower a parent’s cortisol levels, can do the same for kids. But when your child can hardly sit still at the dinner table or stay on one subject for long, teaching them to meditate feels near impossible.
As moms, we can find success teaching our kids this powerful skill by going back to the basics of how children learn best—through play and relationships. When kids are having fun, the learning centers of their brains are online. And if they realize they are getting our full attention, they will be all in. Meditation for kids is about growing their focus muscle through fun practice.
Try these three meditation and mindfulness games for kids:
- Favorite Toy: ask your child to draw, write, or talk about their favorite toy for five minutes. Set a timer and keep it relaxed. If they need help you can ask them to write, draw, or tell why it’s their favorite, what it looks and feels like, and why they are grateful for it.
- Gift Giver: ask your child if they could give a gift to any person, what would it be, who would they give it to, and why. They can write, draw, or talk about their responses. Help keep them focused for five minutes by asking follow-up questions when they are stuck or distracted.
- Five Senses: give your child a piece of candy or a special treat and tell them they are going to learn everything about it for five minutes. Ask them to hold it in their hands and describe how it looks, feels, and sounds. Then open it and describe how it sounds and feels. Finally, they can eat it and tell how it tastes, sounds, feels, looks, and smells. If they have extra time or attention, they can draw or write how the candy felt to their five senses.
Working moms have so much to worry about, teaching your child mindfulness shouldn’t be one of them. Any time you can help your child stay focused on one thought or stay mindful of the present moment, you teach them the foundations of mindful meditation. You can work this into everyday moments like riding in the car and playing I-spy or talking about what you’re grateful for over dinner.
Ashley Christian is a mom to five through birth and foster adoption. Having special needs children she has seen firsthand the power of mindfulness. You can find her writing at homesteadsweethome.com.