Since Lockdown, mindfulness has become a prominent theme. Indeed, my daughter’s have been receiving lots of academic work from their schools and colleges, and mindfulness activities have become a subject of their own. We decided, as a household, to find some mindfulness activities for our children.
What is Mindfulness?
To be honest, until recently, I had little idea of what exactly mindfulness is. After doing a little research online, I found an excellent definition from Professor Mark Williams, who was the Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre:
“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,”
“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen, moment to moment.
It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”NHS.uk
It makes sense that we should all be aware of the concept of mindfulness in these uncertain times. That we should ‘check in’ with ourselves and assess how we are feeling at this moment in time.
It is even more important for us to do this with our children. They must be so confused at the current state of affairs in the world. My 6-year-old daughter asks lots of questions, some of which I don’t have the answer to. But one thing I can help her with is her emotions and state of mind. Asking her throughout the day ‘are you ok’ just doesn’t seem enough at present.
As a 6-year-old, she is living through a pandemic. She is scared, nervous. She’s been taken away from her friends, her school, wider family and all that was comforting and regular for her. Her routine has changed, she now does her school work from home. She sees much more of her parents, but nothing of the wider family. Children can no longer play with their friends and go to the park or the farm. So much confusion and so many questions.
Mindfulness Activities for Children from Undercover Hippy Bus
I’ve been focusing on mindfulness activities with my 6-year-old this week. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive some mindfulness activities from ‘Undercover Hippy Bus‘. Rachel has created some wonderful resources on this site, including some mindfulness activities specifically designed for children.
Self Awareness Children’s Inspiration Pack
I asked Aurelia to choose some of the activities she would like to do, and she chose the Self Awareness Children’s Inspiration Pack. This pack contained lots of fun activities for children of all ages.
Aurelia really enjoyed completing the ‘All About Me’ sheet. She wrote down a few things about herself in the various categories: her favourite colour, the things that she is good at, her favourite place and food. Aurelia also added her fingerprint to the sheet.
My favourite thing about this sheet was the category ‘This year I want to…’. I loved to see Aurelia write the thing she hoped to do this year. Especially this year with all the restrictions we have been experiencing. It was so humbling to see the only thing she hoped to do this year was to play with her friends again! It’s amazing just how much we have taken for granted in the past!
Aurelia also enjoyed completing the ‘Follow Your Heart, Find Your Dreams’ section of the pack. This gave Aurelia the opportunity to think about her hopes and dreams. It also allowed her to write down the things she is good at. I find this sort of activity so important.
Aurelia often gets frustrated when she can’t do something – that could be loosing at a board game, or feeling frustrated when she can’t throw a ball into a net. Focusing on the things she is good at is an excellent mindfulness activity! Aurelia also wrote down the type of person she would like to be.
Meaningful Craft Activity Pack
Another of my favourite packs was the Meaningful Craft Activity Pack. This particular activity pack contained 14 different pages full of activities. Aurelia created a ‘kindness’ t-shirt.
Other activities included creating a kindness acrostic poem as well as some practical activities, such as making bath salts. All of these activities are designed to encourage children to be kind and to take care of themselves.
Aurelia really enjoyed making her very own dream catcher. The activity sheet contained full instructions which were really easy for us to follow. I love the fact that all the materials were things we had around the home. We didn’t have to go hunting for them in shops or order them online. Not only did we have fun making the little dream catcher, but Aurelia has a beautiful addition to her bedroom! I really believe in the power of dream catchers (even if this is a placebo effect). Aurelia is looking forward to a sleep full of magical and beautiful dreams!
Mindfulness is but one category on offer. The site also has plenty of other activities, such as studying plants, studying space and a food preparation learning pack. These are great to print off and have around the home ready to use! We used the food preparation learning pack this week whilst we were baking. Aurelia hadn’t really considered all the ingredients that go into baking a cake before.
Using this sheet, we could write down all the ingredients, consider the method of food preparation and what equipment she would need to use.
She also has a nice little record of the recipe for each dish she cooks and bakes! I’ve sent her completed sheet to her teacher to show the sort of things we’ve been doing at home!
We absolutely loved the educational packs from Undercover Hippy Bus, especially, the mindfulness activities for children. These are so easy to download and something we can use again and again!
*This is a collaborative post, however, as always, all opinions are my own.
For similar posts, see my parenting category