Help students stay calm and focused throughout the day with these mindfulness activities for kids!
Have you considered adding mindfulness to your classroom routine? Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present. It relieves stress, fosters empathy and helps focus attention—for grownups and kids.
Teachers can play a vital role in nurturing mindfulness in the classroom and at home. Not sure where to start? Read on for our mindfulness tips and a roundup of mindfulness activities for kids!
From craft time to storytime, there are so many opportunities throughout the day to weave in mindfulness activities for kids.
Start with morning mindfulness
We know students don’t always arrive in the classroom ready to sit still and stay engaged! Pick a soothing activity to help ease them into the day. One idea? A simple body scan. Tell students to close their eyes and focus on different parts of their body, going from head to toe. Have them notice how each body part feels. Calm? Tickly? Warm? It’s a great way to release tension and focus their attention.
Take breathing breaks
Breathing breaks are a helpful calming exercise for the classroom. They give students a chance to relax and focus, which may even help them better manage academic tasks. One effective way to introduce these breaks is by using a mindfulness app like Calm—which is free for teachers to use in the classroom and offers guided breathing exercises, meditations and more.
Make a calming glitter jar
Looking for a fun activity that combines creativity and is a practical tool for relaxation? Teach students to make their own calming glitter jars. The slowly swirling glitter offers a soothing visual distraction, helping kids relax when they’re frustrated or upset. If you’re not sure how to make one, watch this video for step-by-step instructions. It stars Scaredy Monster—a favorite Epic Originals character—in puppet form!
Try a yoga break
Want to help students get their wiggles out while also bringing a sense of calmness? Try a yoga break. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got an engaging video featuring Yoyo in the whimsical unicorn world on Epic. This fun activity combines movement, imagination and mindfulness through the art of yoga.
Look to books
Last but definitely not least, inspire mindfulness through reading! We’ve got tons of engaging books about mindfulness, and most are free to use during the school day (M–F, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) with Epic School. A few of our favorites include “Bee Still,” “I Am Peace and “A World of Pausabilities.”
Mindfulness doesn’t have to end when the school day does. You can help students continue practicing these techniques after class with a few simple ideas.
Introduce a bedtime gratitude ritual
Gratitude promotes a positive mindset by helping kids focus on what they have, rather than what’s lacking. And bedtime is the perfect time for this type of reflection! Before going to sleep, students can take a few moments to identify three things they’re grateful for. You can even bring it back to the classroom, asking them to share what they reflected on the night before.
Encourage quiet time before homework
Before diving into their assignments, students can take a few minutes to practice deep breathing. One simple practice is “4-7-8” breathing: inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8. This helps them transition from the distractions of the day into a more focused and centered mindset, making their study session more productive.
Teach students about mindful eating
Eating with intention can help promote students’ mental, physical and emotional well-being. Encourage them to try mindful eating during their next home meal! Ask them to pay attention to their food’s textures, flavors and aromas. Then invite them to share their eating experience in the classroom the next day. What did they eat? How did it taste? How did it make them feel?
We hope these tips help you infuse mindfulness into your students’ day. Want access to the books and videos mentioned here? Be sure to get a free Epic School account. For 24/7 access to over 40,000 books, talk to your administrator about getting Epic School Plus for your school or district.
Wishing you and your students a mindful year ahead!