Guest post by Mia Barnes - Editor-in-Chief at Body+Mind
Fostering mindfulness in children has myriad benefits that help their growth and development. Mindfulness involves using your senses to engage with the world around you openly. Introduce hobbies to encourage kids to devote their attention and energy to one task rather than being immersed in a screen.
Here are some hobbies to promote mindfulness in your children.
1. Mindful Yoga Poses Yoga can help kids find calmness in a chaotic world. Holistic and mindfulness approaches can mitigate symptoms of anxiety and teach kids resources on how to deal with their emotions. Kids often don’t understand their emotions or haven’t developed enough self-awareness to properly convey their feelings. This can make it challenging for us to help them.
Yoga allows your child to express their feelings and find their center. Teaching gratitude can give them a resource to notice and appreciate things and dismiss what is out of their control. You can incorporate yoga into little ones’ bedtime routines or practice it each morning. Yoga can boost your child’s confidence, improve their self-esteem, and empower them in all areas of their lives.
2. Cook With Them Use cooking to bring awareness to your kids’ sense of taste. There are so many health benefits that you can incorporate into a cooking lesson! You can try different recipes with your children and use various techniques to make them fun. Teach your children to be mindful of food by diverting their attention from daily stressors to the aroma that fills your kitchen.
Depending on their age, you can have them help you in the kitchen by giving them small tasks or a recipe to cook independently. You can start by having them help you cook meals for the family and then move on to more fun tasks like baking sweet treats. You can also incorporate mindful eating practices by teaching how and why to appreciate your food.
3. Mindful Jar Activity Creating a mindful jar can teach your child deep breathing exercises and help them learn how to regulate their emotions. Activities like mindful jars encourage children to focus and think critically while practicing mindfulness – and it’s fun to make. Here’s how: Get a clear mason jar and fill it more than halfway with water. You can use a snow globe or plastic water bottle instead of a mason jar if you like. You can customize this activity however you want by adding food coloring and decorating the jar.
Add a spoonful of glue and dry glitter, or glitter glue, to the jar and seal the lid. Have your child shake the jar to watch the glitter swirl. Use glitter to represent your child’s emotions by teaching them to shake the jar and watch the glitter settle into the bottom.
As the glitter floats and settles, have them take deep breaths to calm their nerves. When they are feeling anxious, upset, or nervous, have them shake the jar. Encourage them to remain still, focus on the glitter when they’re done shaking, and simply watch it. This can promote calmness, instill focus in your child, and give them a tool to manage their feelings.
4. Mindful Nature Walks There are so many benefits of getting outdoors and getting some fresh air. You can use this to your advantage when teaching children mindfulness. Take your kids on a nature walk and have them pay close attention to their surroundings without talking. Teach them how to engage all of their senses by noticing the sound of their footsteps, the feel of the air, the smells of nature, and so on. Encourage them to collect rocks or other nature items, pick a flower, or dig in the dirt.
Nature walks can help you redirect your attention from anxiety and stress and refresh your mindset. Getting physical activity can boost creativity and mood and increase productivity in you and your children. Noticing the little things in nature can give your child a mental break and promote their positivity. A nature walk can increase your child’s awareness of their environment and help them appreciate the world around them.
5. Blow Some Bubbles Who doesn’t love blowing bubbles? Bubbles are an excellent activity for children that can promote mindfulness. Similar to the mindful jar, this activity can increase your child’s emotional awareness and teach them how to regulate their emotions. Like the glitter in the mindful jar, bubbles are pretty to watch and can be enticing for children.
Bubbles can encourage kids to breathe slowly as they exhale and blow the biggest bubbles they can.
Teach your child to use the bubbles to carry their anxious thoughts. They can watch the bubbles float into the air and pop and release their fears and worries. This can help your child get out of their head and redirect their attention to the bubbles, easing their anxiety and teaching them how to practice mindfulness.
Mindful Hobbies for Children Mindful hobbies can alleviate anxiety and stress and improve sleep. Along with many other fabulous benefits, practicing mindfulness can help kids learn how to regulate their emotions. Introduce these mindful hobbies to your children so they can reap the results!
This week, we go over the Turtle Pose. Inspired by the patient turtle, this pose increases mental focus and stretches the arms, back, and legs. This pose looks like a turtle withdrawing into its shell!