Recently, I was asked how to introduce mindfulness to a child who is uninterested in meditation. Many children associate mindfulness with sitting meditation, but it is so much more.
Sitting practice is only one method for experiencing and honing mindfulness skills.
When we think about it, there are numerous opportunities to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives in a playful manner.
“Mindfulness is not really about sitting in the full lotus, like pretending you’re a statue in the British museum. It’s about living your life as if it really mattered, moment by moment by moment.” —Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
One way to get your child used to the concept of mindfulness is to demonstrate how it works for us in our everyday lives. You can demonstrate to your child how doing things mindfully and with curiosity can make even the most mundane tasks more enjoyable.
We can eat mindfully, listen mindfully and even wash our hands mindfully. We can take a moment to notice and feel the water, smell the soap, and enjoy the feel of damp, clean hands. Mindfulness can be experienced through all of our senses. Today, try washing your hands mindfully and notice how it feels to be completely immersed in a simple activity.
With this mindfulness activity, children and adults can…
Learn how to be more aware of their surroundings,
Find a new, active way to calm down,
And develop focusing skills.
Minfulness Games For Kids – The Rainbow Walk
Purpose: Awareness of Surroundings and Details, Focus, Calm
Best for ages: 3+, groups or one-on-one
What you need: Nothing!
This is a simple activity that teaches children to be aware of their surroundings. Before you begin, have a quick discussion to remind them of the rainbow’s colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). Then step outside.
Ask the children to find something that represents each color of the rainbow as you walk. They could bring a small notebook to jot down answers, or they could simply make mental notes of them.
Some colors will be more difficult to find than others depending on the environment; this is part of the fun! Continue walking until they find an example of each color. This simple strategy may become a daily mindful habit for the children.
When finished, inquire how it felt to be aware of the surroundings. Was it enjoyable? Was it relaxing?
I hope you and your family or class enjoy this activity.
Sign up for my upcoming NEW mindfulness GAMES book, which includes tens of mindful games. It’s going to be a fun book and it will empower you to teach mindfulness and executive function skills through movement, art, dance, music, nature, food, crafts and all of your amazing senses.
Click here to sign up for a chance to be part of the launch team, review the book and get it for free.
Wishing you many mindful moments
Chief Mindfulness Ninja @ Blissful Kids
Chris Bergstrom is a bestselling mindfulness author, a leader in the field of mindfulness, and the founder of BlissfulKids.com, a community of parents, educators, and therapists dedicated to children’s mindfulness and psychology, with over 15 years of experience facilitating meditation and psychological interventions to people of all ages.
Chris is a certified mindfulness facilitator, trained to teach mindfulness to students in K-12, and has received psychology and mindfulness training from UPenn, UCLA, UNC, Mindful Schools, and Mindfulness Without Borders.