Children's Mindfulness, Mindfulness Activities, Child Development, Mind-Body-Spirit, Mindfulness for Kids, Spiritual Growth, Mindfulness Guide, Child Well-being, Mindfulness Techniques, Mindfulness Practices, Holistic Child Care, Mindfulness in Education
Mental Health

Children’s Mindfulness: Engaging Activities to Develop the Mind, Body, and Spirit

The power of mindfulness in building a strong body, mind, and spirit in both adults and children is tremendous. Science has shown that it can lessen the symptoms of autism and ADHD, guard against anxiety, depression, stress, disease, and pain, enhance educational achievement and social interactions, and increase the capacity to feel good emotions.

It involves taking a step back and observing how ideas and feelings flow and go while maintaining an open mind and complete attention to the present. 

Children are incredibly present in everything they do, but as life gets more active, it might be harder to access the ability to experience that calming, maintaining stillness. The more quickly we can help the little ones in our lives develop mindfulness, the more they will be able to practice mindful presence. A consistent mindfulness practice will guarantee that new neural connections are formed and that old ones are maintained.

It often works best when mindfulness exercises for kids are limited to five minutes or fewer. Obviously, if they can keep going longer, great; use that. All set to play?

Breathing with awareness.

Place your children in a comfortable position and encourage them to shut their eyes. Next, inquire about how their respiration feels as it enters and exits their body. They can feel the rise and fall of their breath by placing their hand on their tummy. Do this five times: five inhales and five exhales. After five deep breaths, lead them to whatever emotions or thoughts they may be experiencing, and then encourage them to let those ideas and emotions go. As they return to their breathing, have them consider that their emotions and thoughts are bubbles drifting away. Continue the five breaths – five in, five out – as frequently as feels comfortable.

Clouds of Thought.

This is a little different approach to the previous task. Ask your mindful children to try this when they have gotten used to the rhythm of inhaling through the nose for three breaths and exhaling through the mouth for three: “As you breathe in, pretend that your ideas are beginning to form tiny clouds above your head.” As you exhale, consider the cloud fading into nothingness. Continue taking deep, slow breaths while allowing your thoughts to come and go.

The Mind(ful)-Body Relationship.

The manner in which we handle our bodies has a significant impact on how we feel about ourselves and how other individuals see us. In fact, different stances can alter a person’s biological chemistry. By encouraging them to investigate how they experience when they adopt a pose, you can help your kids develop an understanding of the mind-body link. Here are some effective ones to try, especially if they are about to do an action that might cause them to feel a bit anxious. Urge them to perform one of such powerful poses in a secluded, peaceful area, then talk with them about how they feel as you hope they become more self-assured.

  • Superman: Place your feet about hip-width apart. Make fists, extend both arms, and lengthen the body to its fullest extent. Stretching and expanding up might help you feel more powerful and proud (just think of the athletes who cross the finish line first and raise their arms in celebration). 
  • Wonder Woman: Put your hands on your hips, stand tall and strong, and spread your legs.

And while we’re on the subject of superheroes… 

Encourage them to use their amazing ‘Spidey senses’ to discover what they’re able to taste, smell, hear, see, and feel right now.

The Jar of Mindfulness.

A mindful jar functions in two ways. First, it will assist them in comprehending what happens when intense emotions begin to take a grip on them. Second, it can assist them in regaining control when they are stressed, unhappy, or overloaded. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Begin by filling a jar close to the brim with water. Add a few large dollops of glitter glue (or classroom glue and dry glitter) to the water. Put on the cap and shake the jar. Here are several indications:
  • ‘Imagine the glitter as your thoughts whether you’re irritated, angry, or upset. See how they twirl about, making it difficult to see clearly? Because you’re not thinking clearly while you’re upset it’s simple to make stupid decisions. Don’t worry, this is very natural and occurs in all of us (yes, even adults). [Now place the jar right in front of them.] Now see what occurs when you stop for a few moments. Keep an eye out. Notice how the glitter settles and the water clears? Your mind operates in the same manner. When you’re peaceful for a while, your mind begins to relax and you begin to see things more clearly.’

The lovely thing about this exercise is that they gain knowledge about their inner selves while also practicing mindfulness as they observe the glitter drop to the bottom of the jar.


But this is no ordinary safari! The goal is to help people learn how to activate their senses, quiet their minds, and become fully immersed in the present. Explain to them that they are on a safari and that they are searching for any animal that crawls, flies, or walks. Then take them outside. Inform them that in order to find little wild animals that the world may or may not have seen before, they must be silent and on guard with their hearing, feeling, and seeing super-senses activated.

Mindful Smelling.

Take a variety of mouthwatering smells from your home, such as candles, fresh herbs, blossoms, fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, grass, etc., and allow people to inhale them while observing what happens to their bodies as a result. (For example, “The jasmine makes me feel sleepy,” or “The cinnamon makes me think of Christmas.”)

A breathing companion.

Place a toy that’s soft on their stomach and have them lie down. Encourage them to focus on noticing the toy rising and falling as they breathe. This can enable kids to comprehend what it’s like to take deep breaths, which is an effective way of self-calming when intense emotion takes control.

Walking mindfully.

Take a brief walk together to teach children to be mindful while moving. First, encourage them to concentrate on their breathing. Then they should pay attention to everything else that comes to mind – the breeze on their skin, the sound of the trees, the fragrance of the clean air, and the way their body feels as they move. The goal is for them to feel the feelings rather than become ‘heady’ from overthinking them. 

A Mindful Snack.

Try practicing mindful eating for a couple of minutes the next time you grab a bite to eat together. ‘Let’s experiment with mindful eating. It’s where you slow down your eating so you observe things you wouldn’t normally observe. What does it feel like to touch your food? What about the odor? What happens if you compress it a little? How does that feel? Take a bite now, but chew gently. Take note of how your mouth moves up and down. Can you detect the food between your teeth and against your tongue? What is the flavor like? How does it make you feel? Continue chewing for a few seconds (20 to 30 seconds). When you’re prepared, pay attention to how the meal feels as it passes through your mouth and proceeds toward your stomach

 Guided Meditation.

Ages 7 to adult can use the meditations that are guided on the Smiling Minds app. It’s great, free, and simple to use. 

It can be challenging to be “still” at times (for all of us). Just keep practicing in short bursts if your kids are initially uneasy until they get acclimated to it. Do something enjoyable with them afterward. Give them your undivided attention while you converse with them briefly about what they accomplished, read them a story, or give them a hug.

It will be beneficial if you take any action to expose them to mindfulness practice. They will soon be doing it independently and equipping themselves with a remarkable ability that will provide them with a strong, solid platform from which they can discover the rest of the universe.