Mindfulness can add a lot to the quality of our life: it can help us feel a sense of inner peace, improve the quality of physical training, strengthen self-confidence, and build deeper and more meaningful relationships with others. .
Benefits of mindfulness
Specifically, as regards children, some scientific studies have shown that the mindfulness is very useful for:
- mitigate the effects of bullying (Zhou, Liu, Niu, Sun and Fan, 2022);
- improving attention in children with ADHD (Zhang et al., 2022);
- reduce attention problems in general (Crescentini, Capurso, Furlan, and Fabbro, 2022);
- improve mental health and psychophysical well-being;
- improve social skills when it is well taught.
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It is important that educators provide age-appropriate awareness practices of children. Above all, promoting mindfulness through small "tools" such as images, objects, food, simple movements and music with preschoolers, can help them develop a capacity to focus attention on a higher level.
READ MORE: Mindfulness, 7 exercises
Here are some simple and very useful ones from the Positive Psychology Program magazine mindfulness activities to do with the children:
1. "Mindful" position
A simple way to immerse children in mindfulness is the so-called body "posture" method. To get your kids' attention, tell them that taking funny poses can make them feel stronger, braver and happier.
Together, choose a quiet, familiar place where they feel safe. Then, tell the children to assume one of the following two "postures":
- The Superman: it is practiced standing. The feet should be slightly more apart than the hips, fists closed and arms extended outwards. In this position, "stretch" your body as long as possible.
- The Wonder Woman: always standing, the legs must be more apart than the height of the hips and the hands with the fists placed on the hips. Afterwards, it is necessary to "stretch" the body as long as possible (Karen Young, 2022).
2. Spiderman senses
Staying on the subject of superheroes, there is a simple and fun way to introduce your children to mindfulness and therefore to focus on the present moment. Instruct them to light their "Spiderman senses", ie the" superfocused "senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch that Spider-Man uses to keep an eye on the world around him.
This will encourage them to focus their attention on the present, stimulating their awareness of the information their senses carry (Karen Young, 2022). This is a classic mindfulness exercise, packed in a fun and easy-to-understand format - kids won't have a hard time doing it.
3. The "Mindful" jar
This activity can teach children how emotions can be strong and how to find peace and serenity when these intense emotions emerge. First take a transparent jar, perhaps a glass jar, and fill it almost completely with water.
Next, take a large spoonful of glitter glue and put it in the jar. Put the lid back on the jar and shake it to get the glitter to spin. Finally, use the following sentence or take inspiration from it to formulate your mini-lesson:
"Imagine that the sparkle of glitter is like your thoughts when you are stressed or angry. Do you see how they spin and how they make it difficult to" see "clearly? clear way. Don't worry, this is normal and happens to all of us (yes, even adults) ".
Then place the jar right in front of the children. And tell them the following statement:
"Now watch what happens when you wait for a while. Keep watching. See how the sparkle begins to settle and the water clears up? The mind works the same way. When you are calm for a while, the thoughts start to calm down too. and you begin to see things much more clearly (Karen Young, 2022) ".
This exercise not only helps children learn how emotions can cloud thoughts, but also facilitates the practice of mindufulness while focusing on the swirling sparkle in the jar.Read also: What is the Montessori Calm Jar
The "Safari" exercise is another fun way to help children learn mindfulness. This activity turns a normal daily walk into an exciting new adventure.
Tell the children that you will do a safari and that their goal is to notice as many birds, insects, beetles, etc. possible, in addition to any other pet. Everything that walks, crawls, swims or flies is of interest to them: they will have to concentrate and "test" all their senses to find them .... especially the smallest animals (Karen Young, 2022).
A similar exercise for adults is "mindfulness walk". This exercise provokes in children the same response that the "mental journey" gives in adults: a state of awareness and rootedness in the present.
5. Game with soap bubbles
Get yourself a container of soap bubbles. Ask your children to focus and breathe slowly and then exhale to fill the bubble. Encourage them to pay close attention to bubbles as they form, peel off and burst or float away.
6. Game with balloons
Tell your children that the purpose of this game is to keep the air balloon off the ground and make it move slowly and gently. You can tell them to pretend the balloon is very fragile so they will take better care of it.Read also: Mindfulness: what it is and some practical exercises and mindfulness at school
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Mindfulness games: for children under pressurego to the gallery
What is mindfulness? A contact with the present, an awareness that arises by educating one's attention. The mind is guided with a series of exercises (or games, in the case of ...
- mindfulness children
- mindfulness children
- 3-5 children years