By Jessica Schofield-Wood.
The benefits of practising mindfulness from a young age really are astounding. It has been shown to improve focus, boost confidence and self-esteem, enhance wellbeing, better academic performance, and help social skills and creativity, among many other benefits. Perhaps most importantly, regular mindfulness practise can help to lead a happier and more productive life, which is what we all want for our children. Establishing a regular mindfulness routine while they are still young will mean that when exams or stressful periods come along, they will be equipped to deal with the challenges. We’ve put together these four simple Mindfulness exercises that are popular with children, and easy to slot into you and your child’s daily routine.
1. Go for a Mindful Walk
Mindful walks are really great for bringing attention to the present moment. Take your children out and try and get them to notice everything around them – the trees, birds, bugs, sun, shadows, puddles – everything. You can also play the game where you choose a colour and try to notice and point out everything of that colour.
2. Mindfulness with Music
Music is great for Mindfulness too – listening to music is widely shown to improve your mood and to promote better sleep. One activity is to play a piece of music and note down what instruments you hear. Another one is to get out the pad and crayons, and get the children to ‘draw’ the music; how they think it would look like if the music was a picture.
3. Breathing Exercises
Teaching your children simple breathing exercises is a great introduction to meditation, an excellent building block for future practise. Ask your children to lie down and focus on their breathing, in and out. Get them to imagine their tummy blowing up like a balloon, filling their whole body with air as they breathe in. It’s a simple exercise but very effective – it’s really energising and also helps to relax and reduce anxiety.
4. Visualization and Imagery
Visualization meditation exercises have been shown to help with both physical and mental health, and are also great for improving focus and getting children to use their imaginations. Ask them to lie down and do a couple of breaths first, and then begin the visualization. There are a lot of great scripts on the internet, or you could also come up with your own. Visualisation is a great way to wind down before bedtime, or could sometimes be done instead of a bedtime story.
Ultimately though, if you want your children to establish a regular mindfulness routine, the best thing you can do is practise yourself. Children always look to their parents and by practising regularly you are setting the best possible example.
We hope you found this blog useful! As always, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to talk to one of our team about the topic.