Smell and tell – give something fragrant to each child, such as some fresh orange peel, a flower, a mint leaf etc. Ask them to close their eyes and breathe in the scent, concentrating all their focus on the smell of their object. Scent can help with anxiety-relief as well as relaxation, stress, concentration etc.
The Art of Touch – give your child an object to touch, such as a ball, a feather, a soft toy, a stone, etc. Ask them to close their eyes and describe what it feels like. This exercise and the previous one teaches children to isolate their senses and to tune into separate, clear-cut experiences.
Mindful walks – children will love to do a ‘noticing walk’. We can walk along noticing things we haven’t seen before and then have one minute where we are completely silent and pay attention to all the sounds we can hear, such as birds singing, a lawnmower, a stream gurgling over stones etc. We can even expand it into a Safari walk by asking them to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies etc as they can. This will turn a normal walk into an exciting adventure and teach them to focus all their senses.
The Heartbeat exercise – ask your children to jump up and down for one minute and then ask them to sit back down and put their hands on their heart. Ask them to close their eyes and feel their heartbeats, their breath and whatever else they notice about their bodies.
The Mindful jar – this activity can teach children how strong emotions can take over and how to calm down when these emotions happen. We should put a big spoonful of glitter glue (or something more environmentally friendly!) into a clear jar and fill it almost to the top with water. We then put the lid back on and shake it to make the glitter swirl. We then tell the children that the glitter is like their thoughts when they’re upset or angry and they can see how when it is whirling around it makes it hard to see clearly. And that’s why we make silly decisions when we’re upset and this happens to all of us. We then put the jar down in front of them and ask them to watch what happens when they’re still for a little while – the glitter starts to settle and the water clears. We then tell them that their mind works the same – when they’re calm for a few moments, their thoughts will settle and they will see clearer.
Personal weather report – ask the children to best describe their feelings at the moment. Are they sunny, rainy, stormy, calm, windy etc? How do they know they are feeling those feelings? Where do they feel them in their bodies? Ask them which feelings they like best? Then ask them what they can do to feel better, reminding them they can always imagine their thoughts as bubbles when they’re upset; they can do the Squish and Relax activity when they need to calm down; or they can take a few moments to listen to their breath or feel their heartbeat if they want to relax. This activity shows children that they can observe their present state without over-identifying with their emotions. They understand that they can’t change their emotions any more than they can change the weather, but they can change how it affects them. They can learn to recognise that they are not the rain, but it is raining: they are not a scaredy-cat, but they can sometimes feel scared.
Have a daily gratitude moment – you can teach your children to appreciate the abundance in their lives, instead of focusing on all the toys eat they want. It can be as simple as sharing about one thing we are grateful for at dinner every night.
Credit to https://mindfulness4u.org/mindfulness-activities-children/
Mindfulness colouring sheets to print at home