getting started with mindfulness for children
Mindfulness is a word bandied around a lot recently but what does it actually mean? It means paying full attention to what is happening right now. It might be paying attention to what you are hearing, feeling, seeing or being aware of what your mind is doing. I’m going to share some ways you can enjoy mindfulness without worrying about meditation which can sometimes be a barrier for many people.
Why should we teach children mindfulness?
By teaching mindfulness to children they learn the skills they need to build self-awareness, confidence and cope with stress. Mindfulness can help children deal with tough emotions and help them learn ways to relax and calm the mind and body.
5 simple ways you can teach mindfulness skills to children:
- Encourage children to listen to the sounds around them, whether they are inside or out. Get them to name all the sounds they can hear.
- Go for a walk and try to spot 10 things that begin with the letter ‘N’ – this really helps them to focus and pay attention on the walk rather than let their mind wander. Change the letter every time!
- Try out this fun mindful eating game. Give your child a Malteser and get them to really savour and appreciate the snack (they will definitely thank you for playing this game with them!). Get them to talk to you about the smell of the chocolate, what does the Malteser look like, describe the taste and the texture as it melts in their mouth.
- Musical statues is a great game for mindful listening. Focus on the music until it stops. To add in another element, teach them some simple yoga poses and when the music stops, they hold a yoga pose for 10 seconds. Another great way for kids to be in the moment.
- Drawing, colouring and taking part in craft activities. Each of these hobbies require focus, concentration, and growth mindset to overcome any challenges.
You see, not a meditation in sight but plenty of time spent focusing and paying attention which is amazingly rewiring the brain through neuroplasticity.
Stacey Harrison – The North Kind is a qualified mindfulness teacher and mindset coach for children. Find more useful tips and products which help with children’s social and emotional well-being here: www.thenorthkind.co.uk