Mindfulness Activities are anything that requires focus on a particular thing and noticing the feedback and feelings that arise either physically or emotionally. It’s the noticing part that connects body and mind!
A mindfulness activity with a child can be guided by you to begin with (this may be beneficial for someone who has never practiced mindfulness before). It should prompt the child or person to not only engage their senses into the activity but most importantly notice changes in the way they feel based on engaging in the activity.
Here are my top 4 mindfulness activities that can be done easily with minimal equipment and are fun for children ??
You could try practicing 1 or 2 a week at a time when distractions can be minimised.
- Blowing Bubbles!
- Eating with eyes closed
- Rock Balancing
First up……BLOWING BUBBLES!
Every child wants to blow the BIGGEST bubble, but to blow the biggest bubble we need to control our breath (cue focus and control skills needed!)
To start: Practice different ways of blowing bubbles; very light, slow breath, very strong, fast breath.
NOTICE: what happens to the bubble? What happens to our body? How do you feel in each scenario (no feelings are wrong – the activity is about noticing and verbalising feelings)
Put your hand on your heart, notice how fast it is beating.
(Finding balance in the middle) – discuss how finding the “middle breath” can be the most effective to blow the biggest bubble.
NOTICE: What happens when we practice the middle breath? What happens to the bubble? How do you feel? Notice any differences.
NOTICE: What are you feeling inside your body after blowing bubbles? Put your hand on your heart and notice how fast it it beating now, is it different?
(No answer is right/wrong, all we are doing is noticing our own body to increase the connection between our body and mind!)
Next COLOURING! ????❤️
This is a fun one to do after an intense, fun, high energy children’s class or activity.
Before starting to colour, notice your physical state, place your hand on your heart, how fast is your heart beating? Notice how you are breathing….fast or slow? Are you hot or cold?
Now choose a favourite picture to colour in, set a timer for 5 minutes, focus soley on colouring, no t.v or music or any other distractions.
After 5 minutes notice your heart beat again, hand on heart, how fast is it beating? How has your breathing changed? Fast or slow? How has your temperature changed?
NOTICE: How do you feel?
Notice the difference between the two states of energy – how you felt before colouring and how you feel after.
This activity when performed in this way will have a more predictable flow of energy from highly energised to calm. The aim is to notice how easy it can be to calm ourselves through focussing on something different for just 5 minutes and clearing the mind from the stimulation.
The idea of doing this activity is not to prove that calmness is better…both stimulated and calm serve important functions in our lives but to simply notice how we can change our state and how we can notice and control how we feel – this in itself is a huge confidence boost!
We have produced our own Colouring Sheets and creative worksheets for exactly this reason – they match our Yoga Cards and work great together! You can play one of the Games with the cards and follow with the worksheets during relaxation.
Have you ever tried EATING WITH EYES CLOSED?!
This is something we hardly ever do so it’s super fun to try! Often we eat whilst focussing on something else and we rarley notice anything about our food as we eat! (Apart from if it looks or tastes funky – then we notice!)
Take a simple food, like an apple, an orange or even a raisin. Hold it in your hand and look closely at it, notice it’s colour, notice it’s shape and texture, move your fingers across the surface and feel the texture.
Now close your eyes and hold in your hand, feel it in your hand and notice just how it feels to touch in your hand. If needed peel the food and then place a segment, take a bite or place in your mouth but DO NOT CHEW OR SWALLOW!
Notice how the food feels in your mouth as you notice it on your tongue and move it around your mouth. Slowly chew the food for 30 seconds to 1 minute (longer than you would normally) and NOTICE the sensations in your mouth!
Finally swallow the food and gently open your eyes – How do you feel?
Did that feel different to how you normally eat?
Have a discussion with your child about all the things you noticed and how different that was to how we normally eat.
(Oh and you can now eat the rest of the food in whatever way you fancy!)
Lastly (and most relaxing of them all) ROCK BALANCING!
This is soooooo much fun!
Make sure there are very few directions for this as it is open to your childs own creativity!
First collect a variety of rocks (not stones, they will need to be bigger!) and ideally a variety of different sizes so that you can stack them to a height!
(You can also use dice to do this or anything where you can stack a tower – like Jenga!)
Choose a place without any distractions and start balancing the rocks in anyway that comes into your mind.
–Parent note here: The LEAST guidance you give the better – let their mind flow and let mistakes/falls be made, this is a process of creation and evolving. Ask them to notice how they feel during this phase, are they excited/nervous? If your child is anxious of making mistakes reassure them it’s ok if the rocks fall, you can build them back differently and make them balance better!
Allow your child space and time to experiment until they are happy with their stack, if they would like to let them admire their creation for a while noticing all the little details and how they connect and balance together to make the stack.
Ask your child how they feel at the end – just notice how they feel after focusing on the task of creating!