Mindfulness meditation is not only cost effective and simple, it can also be done in short intervals throughout the day. Whether in the classroom or at home, implementing short mindfulness activities ranging from 1 to 15 minutes can assist a child in reducing stress and cultivating self-awareness and emotional resilience.
Why is Simplicity Important for Children?
Infusing the classroom routine with brief, regular opportunities to practice mindfulness skills will help keep children engaged in the practice. Teachers may begin by leading a 1-minute exercise and progress to longer time intervals. Keeping things short and simple will support children's short attention spans.
What are some Examples of Short and Simple Mindfulness Activities?
Drawing is a creative, calming way for a child to express themselves emotionally. By allowing them to draw different shapes, images and colors to represent their feelings, children can develop emotional intelligence while engaging in a peaceful, therapeutic activity. For example, children may choose from rainclouds, flowers and tornadoes to represent sadness, happiness and anger. Or they may simply draw smiles or frowns on faces to represent their current emotions.
Having play time with textured objects and inviting children to vocalize what they see and feel is a fun way to bring awareness to their present moment experience.
During lunch time, having a child describe the smell and taste of their food allows them to cultivate awareness of the senses.
Having children go for a walk and recognize different sights, scents, colors and textures and vocalize these physical aspects of the world around them is another way to engage them in noticing and appreciating different aspects of their environment.
Guiding children through short, 1-5-minute breathing activities can be useful for times when a child may need to stop, breathe and take a break to calm themselves.
Blowing bubbles is a fun way to teach children to how to take a deep breath and exhale.
Adding a competitive factor, such as ‘who can blow the feather the furthest’ will give children the opportunity to practice deep inhalation and exhalation.
These skills can be applied in the future when a child could benefit from taking a long deep breath. Simply by asking them to pretend they are blowing bubbles, they will recall how to breathe deeply. This assists them in calming their nervous system and working through their emotions.
Guided Meditation for Kids
In guided meditation, a trained adult leads children through a simple practice to cultivate mindfulness, often by using breathing, gentle movement or sensory exercises. The guided practice will offer opportunities for students to refocus their attention back to the present moment.
Benefits of Short and Simple Mindfulness Activities
Short and simple mindfulness activities will keep children engaged and allow them to further expand their abilities to understand their emotions, focus on the world around them and learn to stop and take a deep breath when they need it most.
When children are able to understand their emotions and articulate how they feel and why, it creates a more understanding, empowered environment.
To learn about Calm Classroom's short and simple mindfulness techniques, visit our homepage.