Kids can practice meditation in many different ways. Here are some suggestions for meditation activities that you might like to try together.
Meditation by Watching Your Breath
Sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes and bring your attention to the sensation of breathing. When you breathe out, make the breath a little longer than usual . When you breathe in, make the breath a little shorter than usual . Keep your attention on this cycle of breathing and notice how it feels.
If you notice that your mind has wandered away from the sensation of breathing, gently bring it back to watching the breath. After practicing for about five minutes, open your eyes and stretch slowly and gently.
Practice regularly – perhaps every day for 5-10 minutes.
Picking Flowers or Leaves
Go for a walk with your child and look at the world around you together – notice the clouds in the sky, the tree branches moving in the wind and so on.
Ask your child to pick a flower or leaf and bring it home, drawing their attention to its colors, shape and texture. Sit together and examine the flower or leaf, describing its qualities out loud.
Meditation by Walking Mindfully
Take your child for a walk and ask them to pay attention to all the sensations of walking as they do it:
notice how their feet feel as they move over the ground, how their legs swing from side to side as they walk and how their breath moves in and out of their chest.
You might sing a walking song as you go, such as “This little light of mine”, with actions to make it more fun.
Staring At a Candle Flame
Sit your child down comfortably somewhere where they won’t be disturbed, give them a lit candle and ask them to watch it for a few minutes. Gently bring their attention to the flame, noticing how it flickers and dances in different ways.
After five or 10 minutes, ask them to describe what they saw without judging whether what they described was “good” or “bad”.
Meditating With Music
Choose some gentle background music that your child likes. Sit down with them somewhere comfortable, close your eyes and bring your attention to the music.
Notice how it sounds, its rhythm and melody. If you find your mind wandering away from the music, simply notice where it has gone and gently return your attention to the music.
Ask your child to take off their shoes and sit in front of them with their feet together. Ask them to listen carefully to the sound of your voice as you guide them through several gentle stretches, helping each other reach forward, backward and side-to-side.
After five minutes or so ask your child to stand up slowly, stretch once more and then open their eyes.
Meditating With Pets
Sit quietly with your pet and bring your attention to its breathing. Notice how the animals chest rises and falls, noticing any changes of pace or rhythm. Hold your hand against their side or gently stroke them while you focus on this movement.
If you find your mind wandering away from the sensations of breathing, simply notice where it has gone and gently return your attention to the breathing.
Meditate With a Plant
Plant mindfully in a pot for your child and ask them to water it every day, noticing how it feels when they hold their hands underneath the running tap.
Sit down with them beside the plant and bring their attention to its roots – if they place their hand around the plant, they will be able to feel them pushing against the pot.
Sit with your child and read a book together – BOTH of you should turn off electronic devices such as TV and phones, sit comfortably and make sure to notice all the details in the story.
Ask your child to pay attention to their breathing while reading, noticing how it feels to hold the book, turn the pages and look at pictures.