The mindful kids' menu
Updated: Feb 11
With most days filled with homeschooling or daily walks around (and around and around) the block, we asked Ciaran Ivanovic at Mindful Kids for a selection of calming and fun options we could put together in a kids menu for you to print out at home and stick on the wall.
Download your print-at-home menu by clicking the link below
And here's a run down of each fun activity.
1. Spaghetti body
Either lying down or standing, start by squeezing (tightly) hands, legs, arms and then scrunch the face up. Take a nice deep breath in and hold (the breath and the tight body) for 5-4-3-2-1 seconds (countdown for your child), then release. Repeat x 3. At the end of the practice your child's limbs should be completely loose and relaxed, like cooked spaghetti!
GOOD FOR: releasing any tension / stress in the body and turning it into energy. Also effective for a peaceful night's sleep (if done before bed).
2. Detective game: (with a partner).
The detective has one minute to 'scan' the room you're in, paying attention to as many details as they can (the colour of the curtains, pictures hanging on the walls...). They then close their eyes. The other person now has one minute to ask the detective what they remember about the room (what colour are the walls, how many chairs are in the room and so on...). Swap roles.
GOOD FOR: Focus / bringing your attention to the present moment.
This is a really grounding practice. Pause for a moment and spend a minute focusing on five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel (perhaps your feet on the ground, the chair you're sitting on...), two things you can smell and one thing you can taste (or name something you like the taste of).
GOOD FOR: calming an anxious mind / bringing your attention to the present moment / feeling grounded.
4. Breathe in, breathe out and shake it all about!
* Breathe in - in a standing position and with feet firmly planted on the floor, as you take a slow steady breath in, open hands gradually (in time with the breath - almost like a flower slowly opening)
* Breathe out - breathing out, slowly close hands (again in time with the out-breath).
* And shake it all about - shake hands from side to side, arms, bounce the knees, relaxing the whole body and letting go of any tension.
* Repeat steps 1-3 twice more.
GOOD FOR: turning stress / tension into energy / bringing clarity to the mind
5. A mindful minute
Close your eyes and focus on the sounds (both inside and outside) around you. When the minute's up tell your partner what you heard. Did they hear the same sounds? Try this at different times of the day.
GOOD FOR: connecting with the body / bringing your attention to the present moment / improving focus.
6. Superhero mudra
This is also known as 'I can do it'. Mudras are essentially yoga for the hands...
* make one of your hands into a fist and wrap the other hand around it.
* visualise your fist as yourself and your other hand as a magical cloak protecting you from anything that makes you feel anxious or scared.
* as you breathe in, gently squeeze hands together. Breathing out, release.
* Repeat five times and end by saying 'I am safe'.
GOOD FOR: feeling calm / inner peace / self-empowered / grounded.
7. Lion breathing
This can be done sitting or standing breathe in slowly and steadily and out fiercely, making a 'roar' sound (allow your child to be as loud as they like!) Repeat x5.
GOOD FOR: releasing feelings of anger or frustration / awakens the mind /energising