Believe it or not kids are in the moment more than we are; they live in the present, whereas our mind tends to be either in the past or future. Children can teach us a lot about being present and these five activities are a great way to bring mindfulness into your life with your children!
ONE: This is a great bedtime activity. Invite your child to find their favourite stuffy. Have him/her lie down on the bed next to you and place a stuffy on each of your tummies. As you breath in and out watch the stuffy rise and fall with each breath. Focus on the breath and let the rising and falling happen on its own. Do this for a few minutes and see if it helps relax and ground your child – and even you! Children of all ages enjoy this activity.
Tip: You may need a pillow under the neck so you can see the stuffy properly.
TWO: This is always a fun activity especially when your child doesn’t know what treat he/she is going to get. Ask your child to close his/her eyes and then offer him/her a small piece of fruit like a blueberry or a slice of something he/she likes. Invite him/her to simply let the food sit on the tongue and taste what it is. Let your child swirl the treat around in his/her mouth and after a minute or so ask him/her to describe to you what he/she tasted and felt.
Tip: Treats like yogurt or chocolate covered raisins, nuts or fruits are great too because as the layers melt a new taste and sensation is revealed.
THREE: This is a favourite of mine – when you are outside at a park or beach invite your children to lie down on the ground with their legs and arms spread out wide. Invite them to let their bodies be heavy and sink into the ground. You can do this with your eyes open or closed depending on where the sun is. This activity is about letting go and simply being in the moment and feeling into the ground – so simple and yet so grounding and relaxing.
Tip: Start with one minute and see how it goes. If you want add in listening for the sounds around you – it is amazing what you can hear when you are fully present.
FOUR: This activity is great for learning to stay tuned into a sound and be present with it. Find a bell, a chime or even a wine glass and a spoon. Invite your kids to close their eyes and then ring the bell or make the noise. Ask them to raise their hand when they no longer hear the sound. You may want to try it a few times and see if they can extend their focus.
Tip: If you don’t have a bell or other way of making a long vibration sound there are some sound files on the internet; chose ones that allow the full length of the sound. The free app Insight Timer has some great chimes that go on for a long time – as well as some wonderful mindfulness meditation exercises for you – hint hint 😉
FIVE: When you are in a backyard, park or beach invite everyone to take off their shoes and socks and take a few moments to really feel the grass, dirt, sand or water beneath your feet. Really feel with your toes, heel and whole foot what is beneath you.
Tip: For extra fun add some water to the sand or dirt and really feel the mud between your toes and all over your feet – so gooey and fun!
Enjoy these activities and please share your own ideas and stories of mindfulness below!
If you are looking for more mindfulness activities for children check this out.
I am a Certified Integral Coach and offer life and parenting coaching programs. Please contact me to learn more about my coaching services or visit my page.