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 Meditation Exercises for Children
- 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.
Today’s meditation quote. . .Imagine yourself as being as light as air, as small as an atom. Air is free; it goes where it goes, with ease and boundlessness. The atom is power; from the atom all is made. When we allow ourselves to be as small as an atom, as light as air, we become infinitely free and infinitely powerful. -- -- P.m Harrison, author of How To Meditate Properly, Anytime, Anywhere
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