What does mindfulness mean? It’s when you focus on what you’re experiencing in the present moment – whether it’s your feelings, your senses, or other physical sensations. Mindfulness practices like these help you to focus on what’s happening right now and be fully aware of yourself and your surroundings.
These are fun mindfulness activities that the whole family can do together!
Easy ways for kids and families to practice mindfulness
Although it’s sometimes difficult to practice meditation as a group, there are plenty of ways to incorporate mindful activities into your daily routine with other people.
Here are 10 simple mindfulness exercises that you can do with kids or friends—you don’t need any special training! These ideas can be a good way to start practicing mindfulness if you haven’t done so before.
1) Mindful Breathing
The most basic mindfulness exercise, a breathing meditation helps you focus your attention on simply being aware of each breath in and out. This is an excellent way to calm your mind and center yourself. Sit down in a comfortable chair or lie down on your back with legs elevated above heart level. Gently close your eyes, breathe deeply through your nose, inhale through your nose to a count of four and exhale gently through your mouth to a count of six.
2) Guided Imagery
Imagery is a type of mindfulness activity, especially when it comes to guided imagery. To practice guided imagery with your children, you can use stuffed animals or dolls to represent your family members. Then ask your kids what they would like their animal or doll to do—for example, play catch or have a tea party. Tell them to close their eyes and imagine themselves in that situation with their doll/animal friends.
3) Listening to Nature
Take a walk around your neighborhood. Focus on all of the sounds you hear: birds, wind rustling leaves, cars zooming by, etc. Pick one sound and really focus on it. What does it sound like? Is there another way to describe what you’re hearing? Does it have a color or shape? Concentrate on that one aspect as if you’ve never heard anything quite like it before.
4) Baking Together
Baking is a fun, open-ended activity that allows you to be creative while spending time with your family. Before you start baking, decide what you’d like to create: maybe simple sugar cookies, or even heart-shaped cupcakes? Then set out on your baking adventure together. When you’re done creating, spend some time eating and sharing with loved ones.
5) Counting Streaks of Light in Clouds
This activity helps children pay attention to detail, which is a crucial part of mindfulness. To play, watch a cloudy sky with your child, then ask him or her to count streaks of light in each cloud. Add up your scores at the end! The number of streaks should be equal to 10 times your age. If you can’t reach 10, practice until you get better at spotting them. (For example: a child who is 5 years old should be able to spot 50 streaks.) What did you learn?
6) Body Scan Meditation
One of the most common mindfulness exercises, a body scan involves lying down comfortably on your back and concentrating on each individual part of your body. Start at your toes, then move up to your feet, calves, knees, thighs, stomach, chest area, arms and hands before going over each facial feature. This can be done in bed at night just before going to sleep. It’s a great way to slow down and tune into what you’re feeling physical.
7) Meditation with Colored Pens
This mindfulness activity is easy to set up and is great fun to do. All you need are pens of different colors, enough pens for each family member (or child) in your household, and a nice quiet place where everyone can sit together. Ask everyone in your family to grab one pen. Now instruct them that whenever they are having a thought that makes them feel bad or sad, simply turn their pen over so it is uncapped. Whenever they have a happy thought, switch their pen cap back on again.
8) Gardening Meditation
Everyone in your family can benefit from time spent in nature. Practicing garden meditation is a terrific way to engage with your surroundings and become more mindful. If you have kids, getting them involved in gardening meditation can provide them with a sense of independence as well as help teach responsibility (e.g., watering plants, collecting produce). It’s also an opportunity to get together outside as a family.
9) A Puzzle as a Family Activity
Start a puzzle with your child (or children) and discuss how you’re going to do it. Set an intention that you’re going to take turns, that you’ll look at what they did before deciding on your next move, and that if they get frustrated or stressed out, you’ll figure something else out together. This activity can be as short or long as necessary; your family will always have time to complete a puzzle.
10) Play Who Am I? in the Morning
In Who Am I?, you’ll be describing yourself to your family—but without using words that actually describe you. For example, when describing what kind of food you like, instead of saying I like chili, say I like to eat delicious things. Not only is it a fun game that makes everyone laugh out loud, but it also helps introduce children to mindfulness. Bonus: It also helps kids understand non-verbal communication better!
How Mindfulness Exercises Improve Dynamics Within Families
There are many different exercises that can be done as a family in order to improve mindfulness together. Most of these require simple materials that you may already have on hand, such as blindfolds or scarves. By performing these activities, children will learn how to focus their attention by working together with their parents, which creates a deeper bond between them. For example, one fun way to practice mindfulness exercises is to walk slowly in nature while blindfolded.
How a Family Meditation Practice can Help Teach Mindfulness to Children
There are so many ways to incorporate mindfulness into family life, one of which is a family meditation practice. Meditation not only helps kids develop focus and self-control, but also teaches them a host of other useful skills. Teaching kids to meditate also helps your child to sleep better at bedtime.. Here’s how it works: Parents meditate first so they can be models for their children. Then, each person takes turns meditating or observing in silence with another family member or with friends. This will help kids learn valuable lessons about cultivating compassion and being present in every moment.
5 easy ways to teach children mindfulness
Looking for mindfulness exercises for families? Here are five easy ways to teach children mindfulness
1. Grow a garden together;
2. Plant a tree or plant flowers;
3. Practice breathing techniques together;
4. Take walks in nature;
5. Meditate with your child every day before bedtime
What are you waiting for?! Start teaching your kids these fun activities today! This can be done at home, in school, at camp, or even during vacation time.
Now go out there and make yourself some mindfulness-minded mindful-families! And remember: Be here now! Be present!
Engaging Mindfulness Exercises for Families that can Have a Positive Impact
Engaging in family mindfulness activities can help build self-esteem, calm anxious minds, teach children to be more independent, improve sleep quality and so much more. And don’t worry: these exercises aren’t as boring as you might think. Here are’s our favorite fun mindfulness activity for families.
Purpose of mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness is paying attention to what’s happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the present without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be that way (which it won’t). —Jon Kabat-Zinn.
As a parent, you can teach your children mindfulness at an early age. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Let them experience how powerful their minds are through fun, engaging activities they can do alone or with friends!
This guide includes 10 age-appropriate activities perfect for families and children of all ages! Perfect for parents and teachers of preschoolers, elementary school-aged kids, tweens, teens, and beyond!
The word mindfulness refers to a mental state in which we focus our complete attention toward one object or task. In essence, mindfulness meditation is like turning off our other thoughts so we can focus on one thing better.
Once practiced regularly, meditating becomes second nature to us and gives us greater awareness about ourselves as individuals and human beings in general.
To help you understand how mindfulness works in everyday life here are some examples: When we drive home from work do we notice our surroundings? Or do we spend most of our time thinking about anything else but driving?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then it may benefit you greatly by learning more about mindfulness meditation. We hope these activities keep everyone engaged while teaching valuable lessons along the way!
When done correctly, mindfulness exercises for families and children strengthen self-awareness skills, encourage healthy relationships and build confidence among those who practice them regularly.
Try incorporating one activity into your daily routine and see how beneficial it can be!
1) First 5 Minutes Meditation – For Kids Ages 6 & Up
A great exercise to start with especially if you just started practicing mindfulness yourself! You can simply explain to your child that anytime they feel tense or rushed they should stop whatever they are doing and take five deep breaths.
Each time he/she takes another breath make sure you say one, two, three… until he/she has reached five. Make it a game by counting out loud together. Once both of you reach five make sure he/she smiles after exhaling and remember how good it feels! This little tip can change their lives forever.
2) Weather Exercise – For Kids Age 7 & Up
Our bodies react to emotions differently than others depending on where we are and what season it is. On hot days, you might be prone to anger, frustration, and exhaustion. On cold days, you might get overly excited and happy.
Ask your kid to close his eyes and imagine being outside during various seasons. How does he/she react when it’s hot vs cold? How does he/she act in spring, summer, fall and winter? Explain to your child that it’s a good idea to learn how to control our actions regardless of what is going on outside.
3) Watch Time Fly By – For Kids Age 8 & Up
Whenever your children find themselves with too much time on their hands they are likely to look for distractions or entertain themselves in ways that aren’t productive. Sit down with your children and give them a clock.
Then make them wait for a certain amount of time before they can do something they enjoy. Tell them it is up to them how they want to use their time and remind them that by waiting they are being mindful of how precious time really is.
4) Shadow Work – For Kids Age 9 & Up
Mindfulness activities for families and children don’t need to be difficult or overwhelming! Take your child outside, point their hand towards you and give them a stick or rock. Then tell them to make a shadow by moving their hand.
Encourage them to watch their shadow and focus on how big it is or what shape it makes on different surfaces. After a few minutes ask them how long they think they were watching their shadow, make sure you write down how long it was for next time!
From now on, whenever your child sees a giant or tiny shadow tell him/her to watch closely and count how many seconds pass by. This teaches your child how to focus and how to become aware of their thoughts.
This is very simple mindfulness meditation, it doesn’t require anything except sunlight or moonlight. It helps teach children to focus on one specific action and not be distracted by other things in their environment.
Mindfulness is beneficial to children and adults alike, with children as young as nursery age being taught about it in school. Observe a child absorbed in play, and you will discover that they are mini mindfulness masters.
Practicing mindfulness involves paying attention to what is happening outside of yourself, as well as your thoughts and feelings, and allowing them all to exist as they are. Having this skill helps us cope with big emotions and challenging experiences and it can be developed just like any other skill with practice.