Mindfulness is a human ability that allows one to be present and aware of their surroundings and their own being, allowing them to not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by the world that surrounds them. When you bring awareness to what you’re experiencing, through your emotions and thoughts, you are being mindful. However, many humans don’t naturally behave this way. It can be hard when thoughts pop into our heads and they are coloured by what has happened in the past or what may happen in the future, even if it’s only a hypothetical situation. Working on being mindful can allow children and adults alike, to respond to challenges and stressful moments in a more thoughtful manner. Studies have shown that kids being mindful can improve their behaviour and focus. When kids have a negative experience in school, their motivation can decrease, making them feel defeated. Recognizing these negative thoughts and learning how to deal with them can help children stay focused and positive, bringing a sense of calm. With that being said here are 5 activities that can help improve mindfulness in kid
1. Heartbeat/Breathing Exercise
Typically for this exercise, you will want to either go on a walk, run, or do some sort of activity for at least one minute to get your heart beating fast. Once you do this, get your child to put their fingers on the pulse for one minute and be in the present moment and mindful. Feel your heartbeat, count the number of beats, and pay attention to your body. This is a great way to start mindfulness and get your children to understand what it is.
2. Mindful Walking
Taking a walk already alleviates stress on its own, so what is mindful walking? Mindful walking is being aware and accepting of everything around you. Being aware of each breath you take, the noises around you, viewing the nature around you, and trying to be calm. Our minds can often wander everywhere when walking, so focusing on specific things around you, or focusing on your breathing is a great exercise to try. No phones or devices, just a calm environment in your body and around you.
3. Mindful Eating
Nowadays it’s very easy to get caught up in junk/fast food. Trying out healthier options and thinking about mindfulness when eating can do wonders for your body and health. So what is mindfulness eating? Mindful eating is focusing on specific senses while eating. How do you feel when eating your food? What does it taste like? Focusing on your body, not overeating, no distractions like phones or the television, just taking in the experience and keeping calm.
Mindful colouring/drawing focuses on how we choose and apply ideas, colouring, shapes, and lots more into a design to bring the child’s awareness into the present moment. Instead of focusing on the breath like typical mindfulness, you focus more on each stroke of drawing, the weight of the pencil, the different colours and how pressure changes the colour, and how you feel when it happens. Research has shown that mindful colouring decreases stress and anxiety levels and keeps the mind calm.
5. Try Out A Mindfulness App!
There is lots of content on mindfulness nowadays, and apps can be a good source to bundle them together. Although there are many to choose from, we suggest apps such as “Calm” and “Headspace”. These apps have both free and paid versions, so give the free versions a try and see how it works for you! Our kids use devices quite often and having them try these apps may be a great start for mindfulness.
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