Mindfulness With Kids
As a mom of 5 kids, my days can be filled with meltdowns and tantrums.
Recently, our family set upon a path to learn about mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness can help kids control their big emotions and make home life a lot more peaceful.
What is Mindfulness?
While you may picture someone meditating for long periods of time, mindfulness is actually much simpler.
Mindfulness is a way of addressing challenging emotions. It does not make the problem go away or fix our children. It allows us to accept what is happening without judgment or wishing it different. My favorite definition of mindfulness comes from the book Ready, Set, Breathe. “Mindfulness is about noticing what is happening right here and now, in a friendly and curious way, and then choosing what to do next.” One of the most important aspects of mindfulness is paying attention and being present. If you are a busy parent like myself, then you know that paying attention and being present can be challenging. Let me show you some options that you can pick up on your next Target trip to promote mindfulness in your home.
Taking long deep breaths is a huge component of mindfulness. Yet, the concept of taking deep breaths can be foreign to small children. In our home, we use bubbles to help kids take a break and just breathe. Just simply blowing bubbles allows kids to blow in and out in order to make the bubbles. You also can play a game with your children called smell the flowers. Have your child pretend they are holding a flower in one hand and hold the bubble wand in the other. First smell the pretend flower with a deep breath in and then blow out with the bubble wand to make a bubble. My favorite bubbles are always Imperial Super Miracle Bubbles. They make the BEST bubbles.
#2: One on One Time
With a hectic schedule, life can get so busy that we do not always get one-on-one time with our children. This does not have to be a big outing. In fact, I recommend you stay at home and try to spend 10 minutes a day with each child in one on one time. This means that you are completely engaged in the activity. Let your child lead and just play.
A few of my favorite toys for one on one time:
#3: Draw what you see
I have found this exercise to be soothing for toddlers. When everything seems wrong, bring out the paper and markers. Encourage your child to draw what they see. This helps them to place their focus elsewhere and often times forget what was upsetting them. My favorite drawing materials are always Crayola. Here is a list to get you started:
Having these materials on hand makes it easy to grab and start drawing. I always do this activity with my child to help them calm down and increase mindfulness.
#4: Yoga for Kids
Yoga is the perfect exercise to do with children. It promotes breathing, stretching, and of course, mindfulness. There are lots of resources for doing Yoga with kids. Recently, these are some resources I found at Target.
Games increase concentration, which promotes mindfulness. Playing games also provide extra one on one time that kids crave. We are always impressed with the Target selection of games and are guilty of picking up a game or two on our Target runs.
Our favorites games:
All of these games provide time to sit and relax while interacting together. A great activity to promote mindfulness.
At first glance, these might seem like activities you already do on a daily basis. The important aspect is that you approach the activity with mindfulness in mind. We want to stay present, engaged, and involved in the activity. We want to put everything else aside and be in the moment with our children. These moments of mindfulness will bring peace and joy to your family when you can find your own rhythm and routine.