I’m on my 8thyear as a parent and I have to say that I’m learning that my kids need more than love, a good education, nutritious meals, socialization, weather appropriate clothing, extracurricular activities etc. Those things are necessary, but my kids also need tools to help them through life’s challenges, and stressors. I started introducing them to mindfulness activities over the past few years and it’s been great for them. I’ve been more deliberate this year about mindfulness and practicing self-care as a family. This weekend, we took a meditation class together and it’s safe to say we’l be adding meditation to our daily routine. Here’s the thing, I only learned about mindfulness as an adult and it’s so important to my overall wellbeing that I’m teaching my children while they’re kids. I want it to be an integral part of their self-care routine by the time they become adults. I think as a woman of color, it’s especially important for me to teach my children self-care at a young age, it’s armor for them. Here are a few mindfulness activities for kids that you can add to your family’s routine too:
Back in the spring, I decided to ask my kids one night at bedtime to share one thing they’re happy for and one thing they thankful for that day. Since then it’s become part of our nightly routine before we say our prayers, if I forget they would remind me. I’ve listened to my children celebrate each on many nights as they up on each other’s list, I listened to them express gratitude for friendships, experiences, family and it fills my heart every night. This exercise is powerful, and I hope they continue doing it for the rest of their lives.
As I mentioned earlier, we attended a family mediation class together hosted by Tropicana Kids at MNDFL and it was exactly what we needed to feel centered. Personally, I started meditating around the time I was pregnant with my son (I had tried it a few times as a teenager, thanks to all the references to it in reggae music). I started with guided meditations. If you’re new to meditating, guided meditations are a great way to start if you can’t find a class in your area or don’t want to attend one, there are now apps like Calm, Headspace and Buddify. You can watch tons of YouTube videos and there are books like Dan Rather’s Meditation for Fiddety Skeptics. Meditation is a really good mindful activity for kids to practice, the earlier they’re introduced to it, the better.
ps: NYC moms, MNDFL has an excellent school program, you can learn more about it or request they bring it to your kids school here.
One of the things we did at our mediation class was to create a mind jar to explain to kids how our brain works and how we can calm it. We added water and glitter to the jar and shake it up. The glitter went all over which showed the kids how scattered our thoughts are when we aren’t mindful and then how it settles when we’re calm. This is a fantastic activity for kids as they’re very visual.
One thing I admire about my son is that, at only 5 years of age. He’s very aware of his needs. Whenever he needs to clear his brain, he practices deep breathing. Sometimes we do it together, and other times he does it alone.
Affirmations and Power Posing
I shared before that every morning I do affirmations and power posing with my kids before they leave for school. I was inspired to start this when Amy Cuddy shared all about the power of power posing at Cosmopolitan Fearless Female conference a few years ago.
Coloring and Art
Coloring is wonderful mindful activity! My daughter and I both have coloring books and she loves spending time coloring all of the
This is an area where I would like to invest my time into learning more this year. I have an essential oil blend that helped me with my anxiety throughout my pregnancy and post-partum period. I use lavender in our home at night to get the kids calm before bed, but I would like to add more essential oils to our routine in the next few months.
What mindfulness activities do you practice with your children?