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The Best Mindfulness Activities for Kids

by Anna Harpe
May 20, 2024
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Some of our favorite fun and thoughtful mindfulness activities, perfect for cultivating emotional intelligence with kids.

Mindfulness is more than just the latest parenting buzzword. By incorporating a few mindfulness activities into our parenting toolkit, we can help our children gain essential skills for navigating life’s challenges with grace and resilience.

From enhancing kids’ emotional intelligence to fostering better focus and stress management, mindfulness lays the groundwork for a healthier, happier future.

mindfulness for kids pinterest
Photo by Rachel Withers

Mindfulness Activities for Kids

Mindful Art

Art can be a wonderful and accessible mindful activity for kids of all ages. Simply provide art materials and invite children to express themselves creatively without judgment or expectation. Whether they’re painting, drawing, or sculpting, encourage them to focus on the process rather than the end result, fostering a sense of flow and self-expression. Here are some of our favorite mindful art activities to try. 

Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

1. Sticker Mandalas

Kids of all ages love stickers! Set out a variety of label stickers and circle paper to see what radiating mandala designs your kids can make! We love how this activity is super simple and totally mess-free.

painting a geode
Photo by Danielle Falk

2. Watercolor Geodes

Follow this tutorial to paint a beautiful watercolor geode with a series of concentric circles. The repetitive motion allows your mind to wander as you paint, inducing a state of calm relaxation.

Photo by Andrea Martelle

3. Dot Painting

Another art activity that involves repetitive motion, dot paintings are so easy and so fun! Use cotton swabs and liquid watercolor or tempera paint on sturdy paper.

watercolor resist
Photo by Andrea Martelle

4. Watercolor Resist

Process art activities like this one are all about enjoying the journey of art-making instead of focusing on the finished product. Encourage your child to let go of expectations and observe how the oil pastels and paint interact.

mindful drawing
Photo by Rachel Withers

5. Musical Art

Invite your child to draw, paint, and color while listening to different styles of music. They’ll begin to focus on the tempo, beat, and style of the music and let it inform their art.

Sensory Exploration

Experiences that use multiple senses are fantastic for mindful play. Encourage your child to notice sights, sounds, smells, and textures as they explore the world. Try these sensory exploration activities. 

mindfulness activities--sensory bin
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

6. Sensory Bins

The sky’s the limit when it comes to sensory bins! Whether it’s cloud dough, aquafaba, or just a tub of water, adding a bit of sensory play to your day can have a wonderful calming effect on everyone.

mindfulness activities--playdough
Photo by Rachel Withers

7. Playdough

We LOVE playdough! Kids can knead and mold the dough, roll it into balls and snakes, poke their fingers into it, and squish it between their hands. So much sensory fun!

Photo by Rachel Withers

8. Nature Walks

Engage the senses with a nature walk in your neighborhood or local park. Invite your child to closely observe the world the world as you walk, taking the time to notice interesting sights, sounds, and smells.

Mindful Breathing

Encourage children to take deep, slow breaths, focusing their attention on the rise and fall of their chest or the sensation of air passing through their nostrils. This simple practice calms the nervous system and centers the mind. Here are some mindful breathing activities to try.

Photo by Anna Harpe

9. Bubble Blowing

Try making your own homemade bubbles and practice mindful breathing with your kids. You can even create your own bubble wands!

blow painting
Photo by Andrea Martelle

10. Blow Painting

Encourage your kids to concentrate on their deep breaths when making fun paint splatters!

5 fingered breathing
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

11. Five Fingered Breathing

This is a helpful mindfulness technique for kids using your fingers to guide breathing. Start by tracing up one finger while inhaling, then trace down the same finger while exhaling. Repeat this process for each finger, helping your child to relax and focus on their breath and the movement of their fingers.

Did you see our free mindfulness bundle? It includes a helpful 5 Fingered Breathing Guide, Mindful Coloring page, and Gratitude Scavenger Hunt! If not, click HERE to get your own!

Gratitude Practice

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by asking children to reflect on things they’re thankful for each day. This simple ritual shifts their focus from scarcity to abundance, fostering positivity and resilience. These gratitude activities are a great starting point.

gratitude tree
Photo by Anna Harpe

12. Gratitude Tree

A few twigs in a vase gives you the base for this easy to make gratitude tree, perfect for Thanksgiving or anytime of year!

mindfulness activities--thankful_bunting
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

13. Gratitude Garland

Moments of gratitude become cheerful decorations with this sweet garland!

Books about Mindfulness

Reading together is always a wonderful way to slow down and connect with your kids, regardless of the subject matter. But we think you’re going to especially love this fantastic list of our favorite books for social emotional learning Make sure you bookmark it for your next library trip!

Mindfulness isn’t just a practice; it’s a gift we offer our children—a gift that equips them with the tools to thrive amidst life’s challenges, fostering a resilience that will guide them for many years to come.

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