Are your kids restless, anxious or just plain bored? We get it. In this post, we offer you some free meditations for kids, along with other resources we think might help!
If you are a parent, teacher, or a caregiver, it’s all but guaranteed that you’re experiencing huge changes of what’s expected of you. We’ve heard of emotions ranging from joy at being able to spend more time with children to being completely out of patience and creative juices in knowing how to entertain kids at home. We see you! And we want to help.
We’ve put together three free offerings here:
- free printable children’s meditation and mindfulness practices
- accompanying free guided videos for kids
- a list of other resources of meditations and mindfulness activities for kids
Please share widely and use any way you like! (Home, classroom, whatever–it’s all free for you to use.) We just ask that you read through this blog post first for a few quick tips about how to introduce mindfulness practices for children.
These resources can help kids to feel more calm and grounded. These mindfulness practices for children are easy to teach, learn, and practice so your kids can even do them on their own eventually. Hopefully these practices can empower your kids to be in touch with how they’re truly feeling and bring in some peace and a feeling of lightness. We could all use some of that right now! More importantly, these meditation practices are not just restricted to quarantine or social isolation. They can benefit children regardless of what is going on in the world, but can be especially useful during difficult situations.
The printable cards are simple, quick and can be done by children (and their caregivers) to reconnect to calm and comfort. Just download, print off, fold and cut papers in half to have 10 cards! (They’ll last a bit longer if you print them on thicker paper.)
GO TO THE FREE VIDEOS
(Note: some of these meditation ideas are from our founder’s book, “EFF THIS! Mediation: 108 Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for When You’re Feeling Stressed Out, or Overwhelmed.” If you have the book, use it to try other practices with kids! Letting your children choose is a great option in helping them reclaim some control.) We’ve also included some additional meditation resources for kids below!
A Few Quick Tips on Introducing Meditation and Mindfulness Practices for Children
Our founder, Liza, offers a few simple ways you can set meditation with children up for success:
- Do the practices with them the first time, if you can
- Never force or coerce; offer everything as an invitation or gentle suggestion
- Let kids keep their eyes open if they want; it helps them to feel safer (you can suggest “gently resting” them instead”)
- Let go of any attachment to an outcome, such as calmer moods. It is what it is 😉
- If you have a strong desire for your children to gravitate towards meditation, the best way to convince them is to let them see you practicing regularly, over time
A Bit of Information About These Specific Practices
🎂 Birthday Cake Breathing
This is a super simple practice that even the youngest kids can use when they are feeling overwhelmed by strong emotions and want to help themselves relax. It works because lengthening our exhale reduces our heart rate and blood pressure; and focusing on the present moment helps us to stop worrying about the past or future.
🔔 Disappearing Bell
For this focusing practice, we can use anything that makes a resonant sound: a bell, a chime, a cymbal, a sound bowl, a gong, a tuning fork, a triangle, or kitchen utensils. (Seriously, just find something that resonates a bit–wood on thick metal is a good place to start looking.) This is a great liminal, or transitional, practice to use when moving from one activity or place into another.
🌬 Belly Breathing
Often when we are stressed, we take shallow breaths. This practice helps us to deepen our breathing, which reduces our stress levels by activating our parasympathetic nervous system.
⚽️ Energy Ball
Kids often “get” this one immediately; it may be worth establishing early that we aren’t aiming to touch our hands together, since kiddos sometimes like to jump ahead. This can be done sitting in one place (anywhere with room to outstretch our arms) or we can start running around in open space. It’s a great practice for outside.
🤗 Imaginary Hugs
This is a highly simplified version of a loving-kindness, or metta meditation. It’s a great one to do at bedtime and also especially now when many children might not be able to see and hug their friends and maybe family members.
🤚 Hand Trace
Like adults, kids can get caught up speedy-busyness, so it might be helpful to frame this one in a way that lets them know that the goal is to go slowwwwly on this one. 🙂
Some Additional Resources
Here are some other kids meditation and mindfulness resources that we think you might find helpful:
Website :: Annaka Harris’ Guided Meditation For Children
Stress Balls :: Puffer Stress Toys by Brooklyn based Neliblu. (My kids have thoroughly enjoyed these and even handed me one when they can tell I am stressed out!)
App :: Ninja Focus is a children’s app that has “guided meditations, bedtime stories, yoga flows and poses and music for children ages 3-12.”
We hope that you find this information useful for the children in your lives! We enjoyed putting them together. It was a family project–myself, my sister Liza (our founder), and my mom Sheila. From our family to yours, we send all the love in the world!
GO TO THE FREE VIDEOS
We’d love to hear how these cards and resources go for you. If you feel comfortable sharing please comment and tell us about it on our latest Instagram post!
This blog post was written on the unceded land of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ and Báxoje Máyaⁿ (Ioway) people. (Via Native Land.)