Children need more than ever to learn how to calm and re-center themselves in this world full of opportunities to get off-balance. The world is constantly providing us lessons, which we can use to remember that inside of us is everything we need including the ability to get calm and begin again.
During the last few weeks, I have introduced many kids to the one common practice that proves to offer them a sense of peace and power over their own minds when introduced and used consistently.
Meditation and Mindfulness.
During these uncertain times, the kids I see share these common feelings: Confusion, Frustration, and Worry.
Listed below are suggestions for easy and effective ways for your kids to practice meditation and mindfulness.
1. Headspace for Kids
The popular adult mindfulness app now has a kids’ series of breathing exercises, visualizations, and meditations grouped into five categories: kindness, focus, sleep, calm, and wake-up. Choose the one that best suits your child’s needs. 5 and under, 6 to 8, 9 to 12; $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
2. Stop, Breathe & Think
With an emphasis on fun activities and meditations, this app is designed to help kids with focus, quiet, peaceful sleep, and processing emotions. Your little one will learn mindful breathing and the importance of checking in with herself. She’ll also win stickers for completing “missions.” Ages 5-10; download for free.
3. Mindfulness for Children
Developed by a Danish psychologist, this audio-only app offers easy-to-follow breathing exercises for your kid to use any time she’s feeling stressed. Other activities like the body scan will help her relax, and soothing nature sounds can lull her to sleep. 5+ years; free for Mindful Family package and $4.99 for Premium package.
4. Thrive Global
Here’s another skill set from Amazon Echo. If your kid needs help quieting his mind during the day, he can say, “Alexa, open Thrive” and ask for a meditation. On nights when he can’t sleep, a “power down” will do the trick—and keep screens out of the bedroom. Download for free.
5. Smiling Mind
This app offers mindfulness sessions, developed by a team of psychologists, that start with a quick series of questions to focus the mind followed by simple, easy-to-follow meditation exercises. Download for free.
6. Sleep Meditations for Kids
The perfect app to incorporate into your bedtime routine, Sleep Meditations for Kids has four bedtime stories that are transformed into guided meditations designed to promote relaxation and contentment. Download for free.
7. Mindful Powers
Mindful Powers is a good app for introducing grade-schoolers to mindfulness. It guides kids through a series of meditations, called “stories,” that each build on each other. This is different from many meditation apps, which require kids to pick and choose what to do on their own. Kids work with a “Flibbertigibbet,” a cute round sea creature that helps them stay focused and breathe. The app uses a child’s voice, and it has a youthful look and feel. Price: Free to try ($4.99 for the full app)
8. Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame
This free Sesame Street app isn’t specifically for meditation, but it’s great for introducing very young kids to the concept of calming down through breathing. The app teaches kids the “Breathe, Think, Do” method. Kids help an animated monster facing a frustrating situation to calm down by taking long, deep breaths. Afterwards, they help the monster think of a solution and do it. Price: Free
9. Three Good Things: A Happiness Journal
Although not for meditation, this free journaling app can help kids build mindfulness based on a simple premise: If kids write down three good things that happen to them each day, they’ll feel happier. The app is very easy to use. After kids enter their name, they’re asked to write a few words about something good that happened that day, then a second and third thing. They can use the app to set a reminder to write each day, and they can look over past journal entries. Price: Free
10. Super Stretch Yoga HD
Super Stretch Yoga HD is for yoga, not meditation, but it can help kids learn the importance of relaxation and breathing. The app teaches kids how to do 12 different yoga poses. Each pose is introduced with a short animation, a live video with a child doing the pose, and an explanation. Kids can choose to do one of the poses, or they can do all of them in rotation. The app gives gentle encouragement while kids do the yoga poses, and it reminds them to breathe. Super Stretch Yoga HD is best for kids in grade school and Pre-K. Price: Free
The Calm app offers a new meditation every day, along with 7- to 21-day meditation programs like “7 Days of Calming Anxiety” or “7 Days of Focus.” Most of the meditations are guided, but there are options for unguided timed meditations, too. Guided meditations are read aloud by a pleasant, soothing voice. Kids can also listen to sounds like ocean waves or wind. It’s free to try the app’s first program and a few stand-alone guided meditations. There’s a fee to access more. Calm is best for older teens and young adults. Parents may want to try the app too. And if you have a younger child, Calm offers sleep stories to read to kids to help them relax and sleep better. Price: Free to try ($69.99 per year)
If you are feeling stuck or feel your child is struggling and needs to talk, I would love to meet you! Email or call anytime to schedule a virtual session. (817) 701-5438 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach
Empowering individuals, families and communities to grow and heal through advanced approaches in Creative Arts Therapy, setting the standard for treatment, practice and training within the field.