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Mindfulness activities for all ages

What is mindfulness?

Put simply, it is giving something your full attention. This could be focusing on your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, other people or things in your surrounding environment.

How does mindfulness

benefit us?

Mindfulness brings many benefits including reduced stress and increased focus, resilience and wellbeing.

Mindfulness activities to try

Hand breathing

  • Hold up one hand with your palm facing your face.

  • Use the index finger of your other hand to start at the base of the thumb and draw up to the tip. As you do this breathe in. Breathe out as you trace your finger down the other side of the thumb.

  • Now breathe in as you trace your finger up your index finger and breathe out as you trace it down your index finger.

  • Repeat for all fingers until finally breathing out as you trace down your little finger.

  • You might now like to do this on your other hand for extra relaxation.

  • You can even trace your toes too. The kids might like to do this, starting at the big toe.

Body Scan

  • Sit or lie down somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes if you like.

  • Take three deep breaths.

  • Starting at your toes, clench and then relax them.

  • Work your way up your body, clenching, flexing or wriggling each body part:

- circle your ankles clockwise and then anticlockwise

- tense and relax your calves, then knee caps, thighs and buttocks

- pull in your stomach, relax and then round out your back to relax it

- clench and relax your fingers

- circle your wrists clockwise and then anticlockwise

- tense and relax your arms

- hunch up your shoulders and then relax them

- tense your mouth by smiling wide as you can and then relaxing it

- wriggle your nose

- open your eyes wide and then close them.

  • As you this you can say “I tense my [body part] and I relax my [body part]

  • For young children you will need to talk them through this.

Using five senses

  • Can you see 5 things around you that aren’t that obvious?

  • Can you feel 4 things around you such as the texture of something, wind or rain on your skin?

  • Can you hear 3 different sounds?

  • Can you smell 2 different smells?

  • Can you taste 1 thing?

Walk and explore

  • Walk around the space you are in

  • Notice natural and man made things.

  • Pick 3-5 things to really look at.

  • For each thing you notice, consider, what are all the different colours in the object, what size is, what patterns are on it, what textures does it have, does it give off a scent?

  • Get the kids to tell you what they see.

Give thanks

  • Find a comfortable space to sit or lie down. Close your eyes if you like.

  • Take 3 deep breaths

  • Now think of 5 things that you are thankful for right now eg. the sun, the cooling breeze, the people you are with, the picnic you have brought.

  • You can ask the kids these questions.


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