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Mindfulness is an amazing tool.
It’s good for kids, and adults, and it’s quickly become a new catchphrase and a popular teaching strategy to incorporate into all classrooms and settings.
Mindfulness is gaining some good research, too, on how it can be important for kids’ cognition and stress reduction.
I teach mindfulness to my students as often as I can during the day.
Mindfulness can be taught to kids in many ways. It works well in a whole class setting, small break out groups, and even with kids and students one on one.
The important thing to do before (or after) playing a mindfulness video or doing any mindfulness activities, is to teach your kiddos WHY it’s important.
You need a little bit of investment in the WHY in order to really get kids interested.
Here are some posts I’ve written that may help you teach them why mindfulness is good for all us:
- How to Calm a Class (or a child) Using Mindfulness
- 14 Clever Ways to Breathe with Your Kids to Calm Down
- The Most Fabulous Book for Teaching Mindfulness to Kids
If you choose to show any videos to your kids or class, set them up for success by letting them choose a comfortable way to sit. Maybe lead them through a couple gentle stretches, use a Hoberman Sphere to help them breathe deeply, and then help them find stillness.
I also prep them for a mindfulness session by saying something like,
“reach up to the sky, interlace your fingers, then flip your palms up to the ceiling. Stretch to one side, now the other side… then reach your arms out to the side and sparkle glitter down to the floor… now hands on your hips and twist one way, then the other… hands on your ears, rub your ears… hands on your head, hands in front of you, fold your hands one way. Now, switch your fingers and put your opposite thumb on top… switch back…. press each finger in the back of your other hand one at a time… and now gently place your hands in your lap or on your knees. Back straight and tall, eyes up.”
That whole dialogue technically leads them through a mini mindfulness session, because it forces them to focus on your specific directions and think only about their hand positioning (ideally). So, it’s a good warmup to the video, or could be done on its own.
I’ve seen and looked through lots of videos on YouTube to teach mindfulness and attention focusing techniques to kiddos. There are some amazing ones and a few that aren’t that great.
Here are my favorites that work well for kids ages 5-10 (and older, too, I’m sure!).
The videos below are listed, in my opinion, in order of age appropriateness, starting with the younger ones. Read the descriptions to figure out which one would be best for your setting and situation!
by GoZen Online
Well, those are my favorite mindful videos that I have found out there so far!
Cosmic Kids and Go Noodle have other active movement and yoga videos too (I use them ALL THE TIME for quick breaks with kids when I am out of energy myself). Check those out and let me know what you think!
Are there any others that you enjoy and use with your students or kids? Share and comment below!