We all know practicing mindfulness is good for us and our kids. Studies have shown that mindfulness can help children with concentration, stress reduction, and improved sleeping habits. Often the rush of summer activities make it hard to take time to slow down. Here are some quick, fun, and easy to implement activities that you can do with your kids to keep everyone in the family thinking mindfully!
1. Have a Breathing Buddy
Give your child a stuffed animal or other small object. Have your child lay on the floor with a pillow under their head and place their stuffed animal on their belly. Have them breathe for one minute, noticing their breathing buddy as it moves up and down with their breath.
2. Scented Surprise
Have your child sit down with their eyes closed and tell them to pay attention to what they smell. Pass a fragrant object, such as a sprig of rosemary, orange peel, or jasmine under your child’s nose and instruct them to focus their complete attention on the scent. After focusing for thirty seconds or so, ask them if they can identify the object.
3. Spiderman Sense
Superheroes are huge in our house, so this activity is a big hit. Spiderman has heightened senses that help him focus on the world around him. Have your child pretend he is Spiderman and use his special spidey senses to really concentrate on the moment. What can he see, hear, touch, taste, and smell? Have him use all his energy focusing on his senses.
4. A Jar of Mindfulness
This is a fantastic activity for spirited children whose emotions often overwhelm them. Grab a clear jar and fill it most of the way with water. Add a large spoonful of glitter glue or regular glue and glitter. Screw on the top of the jar and shake to swirl the glitter around the jar. Explain to your child this lesson about emotions: The glitter is like your feelings when you get upset. See how the glitter twirls around and makes it hard to see through the jar? When you set the jar down and keep it still, the glitter settles the water becomes clear. This is just like your feelings when you get angry or upset. Sometimes we need to calm down and sit still for a minute to see things clearly and make good choices.
5. Blowing Bubbles
Everyone loves bubbles! Blowing bubbles is a fantastic way to get children to focus on their breath. Have your child inhale a big, deep breath. When they slowly exhale into the bubble wand, have them watch how the bubble grows. If they exhale too quickly the bubble will pop. See how big they can grow their bubbles. Watch the bubble as it floats away, where does it go, does it pop on the ground, whose bubble goes the farthest?
Even if you’re not using Inner Explorer over the summer, there are plenty of ways to implement mindfulness at home. These activities can be a fun way to help you maintain a regular mindfulness practice in your home and make your kids look forward to enjoying a healthy, mindful lifestyle.