Mindfulness tools for kids (free download)
Mindfulness is a big word for a simple idea: being aware.
Our mind is always thinking.
And that’s okay, it’s supposed to.
But when our mind is filled with too many thoughts, it causes us to feel distracted and overwhelmed by undesirable emotions. With mindfulness, we teach our brain to focus on one thing at a time; To live in the present and not run away with all those busy thoughts. This allows us to be more calm, peaceful, kind, and help manage difficulties as they come our way.
Mindfulness is great for children in particular because it teaches them a foundation that they will carry with them into adult life! It teaches them at a young age to be more intentional about how they respond to their emotions and the world around them.
This post contains 2 free PDF downloads.
1) Mindful Moment Cards
The Mindful Moment cards are for you to print out and keep in a calm area of your home (or classroom) for the child to go to when they are feeling overwhelmed or need a moment to reconnect and ground themselves. They simply choose a card that speaks to them in the moment, and follow the exercise on the card.
*The first 10 cards don’t require any props, so they’re very simple to use anywhere!
The last 2 cards are bonus cards that require 1 small prop each (which I’m sure you’ll already have)!
My daughter also loves using these cards as a game. We lay them all out and have each person pick their favourite one. Then we all participate in the mindful moments together!
TIP: you can print multiple cards on one page, laminate them and cut them out.
This will make them last longer without having to reprint.
TO PRINT MULTIPLE CARDS ON THE SAME PAGE:
• save the PDF to your desktop
• select FILE > PRINT
• under ORIENTATION, click on the drop-down menu and select LAYOUT
• then choose how many pages per sheet you’d like! I usually choose to print 4 or 6 pages per sheet, depending on how large I want the cards to be.
2) Breathing Boards
Breathing Boards are a tool to help children take a moment to slow down and connect with their breath. They are intended to be printed out as a full size sheet (8.5″ x 11″). Just like the Mindful Moment cards, it is best to keep these in a calm area for the child to visit on their own and use the Breathing Boards as a tool.
They simple use their finger to trace around the lines or shape on the board, breathing in and out as they go.
TIP: I recommend laminating them as well so that they last longer and don’t fold or crinkle as the child is tracing their finger along them.
For both activities, it’s best to model to your child how to use them first so that they are clear on how to use them. Then, they’ll feel confident and at ease when the time comes to turn to the prompts on their own to self-regulate.