MINDFULNESS FOR CHILDREN
Mindful awareness exercises help children develop concentration and self-awareness.
All of the exercises are from Annaka Harris the classes are designed for children ages 6-10.
In this exercise, children are guided through an experience of paying attention to sounds. After some practice, children may find this exercise to be helpful in their daily lives – before doing homework, when they are having difficulty settling down at bedtime, or at other any other time when it would be useful to settle the mind.
Note to parents / educators: In our classes, we often add sounds – bells, drums, shakers, etc. I didn’t include other sounds here, because the element of surprise would be lost after only one use. But the fun of guessing the source of a wider range of sounds can also help children concentrate.
In this exercise, children are guided through a process of paying attention to the breath. There are two versions of the guided exercise below – the first is the full exercise and is intended for children who have had some practice, and the second is a slightly modified version for beginners. They are both designed for children ages 6-10.
In this exercise, children pay close attention to the experience of seeing. Before sitting down to listen to the meditation, find a small rock or stone for children to use as a “focus rock”.
In the first version below, during the meditation, I briefly talk about the unique qualities of the present moment. For repeated use, the second version has this portion of the recording omitted so that children can choose not to listen to it every time.
Note to parents / educators: Before the meditation, you can make a fun outing of going on a walk to find a special rock!
The three exercises below are guided visualizations called “Friendly Wishes,” and they focus specifically on developing compassion, in addition to concentration and awareness. All of the following exercises are designed for children ages 6-10. (See the Scientific American article posted below about our ability to become more compassionate.)