The best mindful activities to help your child develop self regulation skills

Want to raise a mindful & gentle, conscious-centered, child?

 

Then these mindful resources and activities will definitely help you with getting your child centered and grounded in this practice!

 


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Being able to self regulate their emotions and feelings is an important skill for children to learn.

 

What does being mindful mean?

Mindfulness can be defined as living in the moment and taking notice of the environment around you. Being mindful can help teach children to view their thoughts in a more neutral manner and keep their emotions in check. Practicing mindfulness  can help them respond to challenges and stressful situations in a more thoughtful way.

 

 

How can mindful exercises benefit children?

Studies have shown that mindful exercises can help kids improve behavior and focus, and develop self regulation skills to help calm or distinguish anger, stress, and anxiety.  Improved behavior and focus is a plus for all kids. But mindfulness can be even more valuable for kids who learn and think differently; like children who are anxious or impulsive.

 

 

Related post: 8 mindfulness and meditation apps for kids

 

 

Practicing and implementing mindfulness

Mindfulness may not come naturally, but the good thing is that it can be practiced and taught. Practicing mindfulness typically involves breathing exercises. The goal is to concentrate on each breath, in and out. A good way to do this is to prompt your child to notice when their mind wanders and gently remind them to bring their thoughts back to the sensations of their breath. For younger children, using a stuffed animal on their belly will help them with practicing mindful breathing.  Watching it rise and fall makes focusing on breathing more concrete.

There are ways to practice mindfulness outside of breathing exercises. The activities and resources I have put together below will help you with implementing mindfulness practices with your child. Mindful activities helps children learn skills that can be used over and over again.  This helps to strengthen and build their self control, self regulation and self esteem!

 

Mindful resources to center & ground your child

Some of the activities and books listed I may have shared with you before, but there are some that are new as well.

 

 

Mindful activities

1. MoveMindfully Cards 

MoveMindfully Cards uses developmentally-appropriate language and images to teach breathing techniques for self-regulation skills to young children. The simple language and storytelling sequencing makes learning (and teaching) these mind-body practices fun. Included in each deck are tips on how to introduce mind-body strategies in early education and sequences for different times and needs during the day.

 

2. PeaceMakers Mindfulness Cards

PeaceMakers Mindful Cards help children and adults connect in daily, playful ways around the things that matter most: our ideas and our feelings. Each card delivers a unique, affirming message designed to nurture emotional intelligence including self-love, social skills, a growth mindset, confidence, and mindfulness.

 

3. Breathing Ball(Haberman Sphere)

The Breathing Ball or Haberman Sphere is used to relax and calm your mind & body with techniques that are designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation. Simply hold it in front of your belly, take deep breath in while expanding the ball, and exhale slowly while contracting the sphere.

 

4. Omi the Elephant Meditation Toy

Omi the Meditation Elephant is a fun, cuddly plush that teaches kids deep breathing, emotional regulation skills, and positive thinking. Place Omi on your belly as he guides you through a mindful breathing exercise. This mindful kids elephant toy can help your little ones improve the growth of key brain regions associated with emotional regulation and self-control. Just push the paws, to access one of the four guided exercises!

 

5. Little Renegades Mindful Kids Cards

Little Renegades Bedtime Mindful Cards can help ease your little ones to bed with a mindfulness activity such as quiet reflection or a breathing exercise. They come with 40 two-sided cards featuring mindfulness prompts and beautiful watercolor art for your children. Each card also provides detailed instructions for parents.

 

6. Mindful Maze Boards

Mindful Maze Boards are a great way to teach kids how to sooth themselves through breathing exercises. Each set of the Mindful Mazes comes with three double-sided mindful maze boards and are a calming sensory toy that helps children pace their breathing while tracing. Each of the mindful mazes offers a unique experience because each child needs different breathing activities for different situations.

 

Related post: Family friendly activities & resources that promote mindfulness

 

Mindful books

1. The Breathing Book

The Breathing Book allows children to discover the power of mindful awareness through breathing practices and engaging activities designed to calm the mind and body, set positive intentions, and spark creativity and imagination. Children use their sights, sounds, and tactile sensations to explore each page.

 

2. Breathe like a Bear

Breathe like a Bear is a collection of mindfulness exercises designed to teach kids techniques for managing their bodies, breath, and emotions. The 30 simple, short breathing practices and movements can be performed anytime, anywhere: in the car to the grocery store, during heavy homework nights at home, or even at a child’s desk at school.

 

3. My Magic Breath

My Magic Breath is a book that teaches children the magic of their breath; sometimes it’s hard to feel happy. Children can learn breathing strategies as they learn how to make angry or sad thoughts disappear. In a world that is sometimes too busy, with too many things going on, this book will help children find a serene space of mindfulness, self-awareness, and balance.

 

4. Mindful Moves

Mindful Moves is a book that introduces kids to simple mindfulness activities that are fun, easy to remember, and available for kids to turn to any time the need arises, no matter where they are. It encourages children to tune into how they feel in the moment and accept their feelings without judgement. Each of the meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and movement activities is designed to help kids stay calm, be present, and feel focused and happy.

 

5. I am Peace: A book of Mindfulness

With the I am Peace book, children can learn how to manage their emotions, make good choices, and balance their busy lives by learning to be mindful, express emotions through speech, find empathy through imagination, and wonder at the beauty of the natural world.

 

6. Breathing is My Superpower

In Breathing is My Superpower, Sofia shows children how to control their breathing in various situations, whether at school, at home, or on the playground. These breathing techniques will help calm your child and show them a fun way of managing their own body, breath, and emotions.

 

Related post: My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

 

What to take from this

The most important takeaway from this is that you help your child develop the skills to help them self regulate their feelings. So many children suffer from anxiety, among other mental health issues, and have difficulty focusing. Introducing them to mindful exercises can be extremely beneficial to their overall well being, and help them navigate through tough feelings and emotions in a positive, productive manner.

 

 

Which of these mindful exercises are you most interested in introducing to your child? Let me know in the comments!

 

Be mindful.

Get centered.

Stay grounded.

 

Until next time!

Anitra J.

22 Comments

  1. I love your selection of mindfulness books and activities! We have the breathing ball and the Little Renegades cards which my daughter loves! We have to look into those books because we haven’t tried those yet.

  2. These are great! I am going to have to try some of them with my kids <3

  3. I love the breathing ball and the mazes! I’ll have to get those for my daughter!

  4. In this digital era, procrastination is very common so it is very essential to teach mindfulness to kids from an early age. Great Post!!

  5. Teaching mindfulness to kids has so many benefits. I just wish schools did it as well. I love these mindfulness books and activities.

  6. Visiting my grandkids this weekend. Will try some of these. Thanks.

  7. Mindfulness is super important for self control. I actually started to do something like this at night with my kids., but fell away from doing it. I would walk through a guided meditation on the fruits of the spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We focused on relaxing the body through breath and with each breath they would be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk through the each good fruit. I like the movemindfully cards. They seem like a really cool thing. to have. Whip out a card for a particular situation and do that move to help you through that situation.

  8. I have been working on breathing and taking small breaks so my kids don’t become too anxious. You have given me many new resources to go to thank you.

  9. I love these mindfulness books and activities you’ve shared! Can’t wait to try it with my kids 🙂

  10. Great post! I loved the books and activities. i will try to incorporate some of these into our routine.

  11. I am often at a loss with my kids when they get out of control crazy or when we are battling at bedtime. I am going to look into some of these activity cards and books to see which ones my kids would benefit most from. I am hoping that they will make the upcoming year a much more mindful one! Thank you for all of these resources!

  12. This is such a great post and I can totally relate. I have been struggling with being present for some reason or the other like I’m with the kids but thinking about a million things and then I realized it’s affecting my heart rate. Strange right? Then I saw this suggestion on my Fitbit app about breathing and mindfulness and every time I felt my mind doing some weird thing, I would breathe deeply and it works. I now have to transfer these techniques to my cubs. If they can master this skill at an early age, it would serve them well.

  13. This is so helpful and I love all of the resources listed. I have been learning about mindfulness for myself, but have yet to make that leap to teaching my children to use the techniques. Thanks for a helpful post

  14. Whitney Bell (Crafty Alane) says:

    These are great tips, especially for teenagers. They
    are dealing with lots of pressure and implementing
    mindfulness is a great way to relieve anxiety. Even
    though these are for little children some of these
    can be used for teenagers and young adults.

  15. This is helpful. I love this list

  16. Centering our bodies and brains is something that we have to consciously work on at our house. I’ve found with my daughter that books usually help a lot to help her get a concept in the first place. She likes the breathing ball, but I could see that becoming a “play” toy instead. The Omi elephant is an interesting idea. Stuffed animals are always a hit!

  17. This is a very good article to share and very helpful for parents! Sharing this to my sister, surely she will love this!

  18. Whitney Stewart says:

    This is such a useful post that focuses on a childs mental development! I like it even more because none of the options have anything to do with a screen! Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll be holding onto this to future reference!

  19. Melissa Cushing says:

    Very educational post and move this for my little Scarlet. I especially love these mindfulness cards…. what great tools listed here to help to teach them about mindfulness. I am definitely checking out a few of them so thank you for sharing!

  20. Melissa Cushing says:

    Very educational post and love this for my little Scarlet. I especially love these mindfulness cards…. what great tools listed here to help to teach them about mindfulness. I am definitely checking out a few of them so thank you for sharing!

  21. Great tips for helping you child handle their emotions and their daily activities. Thank you!

  22. There are numerous advantages to imparting mindfulness practices to children, and it would be great if schools included it in their curriculum. Personally, I find mindfulness books and activities quite enjoyable.

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