At times like these it comes as no surprise that our kids are facing overwhelming emotions such as stress, confusion and anxiety. As a parent, you may be concerned for your child’s well-being, and are trying to do whatever you can to help.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool in bringing awareness to one’s thoughts and emotions. By incorporating mindfulness practices into your child’s daily routine, you are introducing and implementing a key skill that will follow their creative journeys and become useful at all stages of their development.
1. Practise Breathing with a Breathing Buddy
A key component of mindfulness practise resides in breathing exercises. Considering that instructing a child to take deep breaths while focusing on the length of each may be a little difficult for them, encourage your child to grab their favourite stuffed animal or action figure. Prompt them to lay on their back while placing the selected toy on their stomach. With each breath, their chosen buddy will rise and fall making it easy for them to focus on the exercise.
2. Try Spider-Man Meditation – Use your “Spidey Senses”
Meditation doesn’t have to be a boring chore as some kids would imagine it to be. If you feel like your child may have difficulty with transitioning into a meditative state, Spider-Man is here to save the day. For this activity, try collecting items such as beads, texturized toys or even soft blankets. It would also be handy to have different sounds that can easily be played through a smart device to increase the benefits of this activity.
Each item has a purpose. When interacting with different items, have your child close their eyes and hand them one item at a time. Once they have felt the item, encourage them to describe the texture, weight and smoothness.
Choose different sounds to play to make this portion of the activity extra fun. Sounds such as bells, animal noises, bubbles popping, and baby cries have been demonstrated to captivate and magnify focus in young children.
The purpose of this activity is to activate your child’s feelings and prompt them to acknowledge each sensation as if they had Spider-Man’s superpowers. Not only does this activity maximize mindfulness, a better state of focus is also achieved upon completion.
3. Make a DIY Glitter Bottle
This awesome parent-hack is a fun-filled family bonding experience, and anxiety relief for children all in one. This DIY Glitter Bottle craft is great for sensory play and makes for an excellent calming tool.
For this activity you will need:
· Clear glue
· Food Colouring
To prepare a bottle, simply fill the bottle with water and add the food colouring of your choosing until you reach the desired tone. Next, add the clear glue to the water mixture (typically ¾ of the bottle). It is important to note that the more glue used, the slower the glitter settles. Last but definitely not least, add as much glitter as you’d like to complete the project!
When your child is feeling stressed, have them shake up the bottle and watch the glitter settle. Remind your child to take deep breaths. As the glitter falls, so will your child’s stress or anxiety level.