Mindfulness Meditation Exercises for Children

Whether you’re a parent, teacher or caregiver, teaching mindfulness meditation exercises for children is an excellent way of helping a child to develop their minds.

When practicing mindfulness meditation exercises with children it is always best to use simple meditation techniques. Before beginning, make sure that there are no distractions in the meditation space (including TV and games), be certain to turn off your cell phones and make sure you have the child’s undivided attention—remember, mindfulness is about focus.

Here are five simple mindfulness meditation exercises for children.

mindfulness exercises for children

 

Mindfulness Meditation Exercises for Children

 

  1. Breathing Mindfulness Meditation 

Breathing meditation is often the best place to start with any sort of meditation practice. Ask the child to sit comfortably and with good posture and to close their eyes. Bring their attention to the sensation of their breath coming and going through the space between their mouth and nose.

Ask the child to place both hands on their stomach and feel their breath rising and falling from there. You may also ask them to repeat a simple word as they breathe in and out, saying “In” on in-breaths and “Out” when exhaling.

Go in stages of five breaths. Have them count five breaths and then ask them to be aware of any thoughts or feelings in their mind. Ask the child to let go of their feelings and thoughts and to return their attention to their breath.

 

2. Mindfulness with Sound

Once again, begin by focussing the child’s attention on their breath for a few breaths. Explain to the child that they are going to hear a sound and that they should focus on the sound as it gets quieter and quieter. Ask them to nod their head when they can no longer hear the sound.

Use a singing bowl or any other object you have that can produce a pleasant sound. Make the sound quieter and quieter. When the child nods their head (saying they can no longer hear it) have them count five breaths again.

Repeat this exercise a few times.

 

 

  • 3. Eating Mindfully 

It’s always important to make children aware of what they are eating. This exercise helps. Get some food and put it on a plate or in a bowl—be sure that the food is not in its wrapper as this produces unwanted noise.

Have the child count to five breaths. Now ask the child to be mindful of the food on the plate, being aware of the feeling, the image and the scent of the food. If they are holding cutlery you may ask them to be mindful of this.

Get the child to take a small portion of the food and ask them to eat it slowly while focussing on the taste of the food. The child should chew slowly, always aware of the food. Once they have finishing eating ask them to describe the taste and feeling of the food.

Finally, have the child take five mindful breaths and repeat this exercise.
4. Walking

Walking is one of the traditional meditation exercises in Zen Buddhism and is a great exercise for children. Go for a short walk with the child (somewhere safe, naturally) and ask them focus on the sensation of movement in their feet and legs. If the child shows a lack of concentration at any time, stop walking and have them count five breaths.

You may like to extend this mindfulness exercise by consideration sensations related to walking. Ask the child to be mindful of their clothing, or the feeling of wind on their skin or of any other simple aspect of walking.

 

 

5. Play

In this mindfulness exercise the kids will be playing a fun game like finger painting, using a sand table or a similar activity. Once again, begin with awareness of breath.

Tell the child that they can play in whatever way they like but with one condition: they must be mindful of everything they do. Whatever they choose to do during play, they must focus on it absolutely, as we do when meditating. Get the child to be aware of all five senses, being mindful of taste, touch, sight, sound and hearing. Once again, if the child loses focus use five mindful breaths to regain their attention.

 

On Mindful Meditation Exercises for Children

There are many different mindfulness meditation exercises for children. As you can see with the exercises above, they key is simplicity. You can easily find more exercises by choosing some simple exercises and having the child focus on it absolutely.

With regular practice of these mindfulness exercises you will find that the child’s attention strengthens, that they are more aware of the present moment and that they have must greater concentration.

Thanks for reading.

Paul.

 





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