A list of mindfulness activities for kids, including ideas such as yoga, breathing, and focus tools, as well as children’s books.
In the classroom, you can use mindfulness activities for kids to help your students learn more about themselves. Studying mindfulness will lead to emotional wellbeing. For this reason, it is something that is important for students to learn.
Mindfulness Activities for Kids: Powerful and Effective Classroom Ideas
Did you know mindfulness is all about being aware of your feelings and thoughts? When teaching students how to be mindful, they will become more aware of how they’re feeling. In addition, they will learn how those emotions affect their actions. Teaching mindfulness to your students will help develop their emotional intelligence. As an educator, developing emotional intelligence is a wonderful goal to have. Here are some mindfulness activities for kids that will help you get started.
Strategies and Mindfulness Activities for Kids
There are many strategies that can help promote mindfulness in your students. From yoga poses that calm the body to breathing strategies that calm the mind, these mindfulness activities for kids are just what you need. Surely, you’ll be teaching mindfulness in your classroom – easy peasy!
- Yoga -Yoga is all about meditating and being mindful. There are certain yoga poses that can help promote mindfulness, including the tree pose and the low lunge. When you use yoga in your classroom, you’re encouraging your students to be aware of their bodies and their emotions. For instance, focusing on their breathing as they move through the poses will help your students become more mindful. Add in the fact that yoga gives your students a great reason to move and stretch, and it’ll quickly become one of your favorite mindfulness strategies to use in your classroom.
- Breathing – Learning how to control your breathing is an important part of mindfulness. By focusing on their breathing, students are forced to pay attention to their bodies. This helps them become more mindful. A breathing wand can be made with simple household items. You simply use a toilet paper or paper towel roll, markers to decorate, and ribbons. When it’s assembled, students will use the ribbons as a visual for their breathing. In effect, it will give them a tangible way to be mindful with each breath. Teaching different breathing strategies is a helpful tool students can use during their lifetime.
FREE Balloon Breathing Posters
Use this poster and technique to teach children how to calm down and self-regulate using balloon breathing. Use the large balloon breathing poster to teach the class and smaller size in a child’s calm down kit.
- Glitter Jar – In order for kids to be mindful of their emotions, it’s important that they have a chance to calm down when they experience strong emotions. Anger, anxiety, sadness or any other strong emotion can get in the way of mindfulness. One way to help with this is having a glitter jar as a resource. Glitter jars, or calm down jars, are just what they sound like — jars filled with glitter and other items. To make this, the jar is filled with water and glue then filled with glitter. Then, the jar lid is then glued shut so that it can’t leak. When a student needs a moment to relax, they can grab the glitter jar to shake it or swirl it. The movement in the jar helps to calm down the student so they can begin to be more mindful of their emotions.
- Journaling – Self-reflection is a great way to know one’s own mind. When you introduce mindfulness journaling to your students, you’re giving them an outlet of self-reflection. They’ll get the chance to think about how they would respond in different situations, what makes them afraid or happy, how they’ve been successful, and more. Because of this, journal prompts promote mindfulness, which leads to higher self-esteem and confidence.
- Being Outside in Nature – Affording kids the opportunity to experience the tranquility of nature can be a huge benefit to learning. With this in mind, take them outside! In other words, let them explore and meander. Or, just let them sit and contemplate peacefully. Give them time to think, uninterrupted and unstructured. You’ll see their creativity, confidence, and decision-making skills improve. We structure their days sometimes to the exact minute. Try the occasional breath of fresh air and quietness of going outside.
Books that Teach Mindfulness
Books are wonderful resources, no matter what topic you need to teach. When you read to your students, you are encouraging them to develop a love of reading. Also, you’re introducing important topics and skills in a safe way. Reading books with mindfulness as the theme will give you a safe way to talk about emotions and thoughts. You’ll be able to approach the topic in a way students understand, no matter their age.
- Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean – It’s no fun when things go wrong, whether it’s arguing with a friend or getting hurt. When things go wrong, it can be hard for kids to let it go. Moody Cow Meditates helps your students learn how mindfulness and meditation can help make things better. Students will get the chance to explore how mindfulness can help with frustrations that happen throughout the day.
- Mind Bubbles by Heather Krantz – Knowing your own mind, your thoughts and emotions, is key to mindfulness. Here’s a book that helps students start to explore how their mind works, including how to be mindful.
- Meditation is an Open Sky by Whitney Stewart – One part of teaching mindfulness is helping students recognize when they’re feeling frustrations. This book helps to do that, teaching kids that when it seems like everything is going wrong, they should find a quiet place to sit and meditate. Sometimes you just need a moment to refocus the mind, and then everything else falls into place.
- My Mind is My Best Friend by Karina Skye – Mindfulness is all about knowing one’s mind and how it works. In this book, students will learn how their minds work, as well as how to keep their minds relaxed and focused.
- A Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh – How can four pebbles help students learn about mindfulness? As an illustration, the author walks through meditation techniques using the idea of four pebbles. When you read this book to your students, make it into a lesson. Take a walk around the school and have your students pick out four pebbles of their own. Then, when you read the book, the students can use the pebbles as a manipulative to help remember the lesson.
- Imaginations by Carolyn Clarke – This book is the perfect read aloud for teachers wanting to teach mindfulness to students. In particular, this book walks students through relaxation and mindfulness techniques that can refocus the body. From yoga poses to meditation, this author teaches mindfulness in a way that can be used in the classroom.
- Visiting Feelings by Lauren Rubenstein – Every feeling serves a purpose, even the negative ones. In order for students to learn mindfulness, they need to be aware of their feelings. This book helps to teach students how to recognize their feelings and what they mean. Namely, it helps to create a sense of mindfulness that will benefit students in the classroom.
- Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey – If you’re looking for mindfulness exercises to do with your students, this is the book for you. This book walks through different exercises and movements that promote mindfulness, making it a must-have for any classroom.
- You Are a Lion! by Taeeun Yoo – Yoga is a great way to teach mindfulness to your students. The author of this book uses yoga and imagination to make kids excited about mindfulness! Each illustrated yoga pose uses their imaginations to make it fun.
- Breath Friends Forever by Laurie Grossman – These friends learn how mindfulness can help deal with emotions, including anger and sadness. Students will enjoy learning with Nessa and Leo as they discover mindfulness techniques that work.
In conclusion, there are so many mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in your classroom. From books to yoga, these resources will help you teach your students how to be mindful.
Classroom Resources to Help Teach Mindfulness
Free Classroom Calm Corner Kit
Create a calm down area in your classroom or home with this FREE Calm Classroom Corner resource!
This free Calm Corner Classroom kit includes:
- Posters to label your “calm down corner” area of your classroom or home.
- “I Feel” poster with emotions: Kids can clip the emotion to show how they are feeling.
- “I Can Be Calm” poster with 12 calming strategies: Kids can try the calming strategies listed pictured. Don’t forget to teach your students these strategies beforehand!
- “I Can Breathe” poster with 6 breathing exercises: Kids can practice the simple breathing strategies by following the instructions.
- Calm Down Journal: Kids color in a box to show how they feel and write a sentence about what they will do to calm down.
Click the image below to grab a copy.
Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum
The complete self-management unit for K-2 includes tons of helpful lessons and activities to help children learn to self-regulate and develop self-control and self-esteem. Click here to see everything included.
The complete self-management unit for 3-5 includes tons of lessons and activities to help older kids continue to self-regulate their emotions and behaviors and develop mindfulness. Find calm down tools, breathing and yoga cards, as well as many discussion topics and activities. Click here to see everything included.
Other Mindfulness Activities for Kids
FREE Social Emotional Learning Email Series
Sign up for the social emotional learning email course filled with tips to get you started, lesson and activity ideas, PLUS tons of FREE resources you can access right away. Everything you need to teach social skills and emotional literacy in the classroom!