31 Days of Learning is really into full swing now, so let’s turn our attention to the way that we can use mindfulness to help improve our children’s health with Mummy Burgess and her mindful art activities for children.
Mindfulness is fast becoming a buzz word for those who are seeking to improve personal wellbeing and mental health and with good reason. For those of you not familiar with the concept of mindfulness, it is simply the practice of being aware of our internal and external environments, in order to be fully present in a moment, if you would like to read more about mindfulness check out this post on mindfulness, and if you are looking for an activity to do with your children, check out KiddyCharts Mindful cat colouring for adults and kids.
Don’t forget our wild animals mindful colouring book for adults and kids either! We are raising money for mental health with it, and it’s a great way to bond with the kids.
So – take it away, Kay!
The great thing about mindfulness, is that is doesn’t have to involve quiet meditation so if you’re wanting to introduce this and teach mindfulness to children, you can aim to make it as fun as possible. Mindfulness for kids can be active, and noisy, and messy. And it works best when we incorporate all of their senses and really make it a whole body experience for them. Which is why art can be a great way to practice mindfulness with your children.
In this post, I will share with you a few ways in which you can use art to introduce mindfulness. These mindful activities are perfect for children but some are great for teens and adults too!
Painting the breath
When practising meditation and bringing a sense of calm, focusing on your breath is really important. My own daughter, now 7 often gets emotional when feeling anxious and she has been practising slowing her breathing since she was around 5. Slowing down your breathing and taking deep breaths is an almost instant relief to stress and anxiety. Trying to teach children this can be very difficult, but using art as an aid we can help children to become aware of this and it’s super fun!
Take a pen, pencil, brush – anything you have and start to draw as you take a deep breath in. When you release the breath (slowly) change the direction of the line. Keep doing this until you feel calm and your child’s breath is under control.
If you want, you can work and build on the this.
Perhaps adding colour to sections or water to the lines so they bleed a little. Experiment and explore and see where it takes you. There is no pressure for this to be anything, just an opportunity for you to take time out of your day and regain a little calm.
Here is one my daughter and I did recently.
This is the perfect activity in the cooler months when the leaves have fallen. Collect leaves in various shapes and sizes, which in itself is a really lovely activity with children and then grab yourself a brew and get to creating. Markers work very well for this activity, beautiful patterns can be created very easily and something all the family can do together.
In the summer months, you can pick leaves and use cocktail sticks to poke holes into the leaves, creating patterns that then can be held up to the light or even place them on the floor to create mandalas.
All the while, children will be “present” and taking in the beauty of the leaves.
A Mindful Jar is an easy way to try mindfulness with children. Ask your child to imagine that the jar and glitter are their thoughts inside their head. When they shake the jar the glitter swirls around, just like their thoughts when they are sad or angry.
This makes it hard to see inside the jar – their emotions take over and they cannot think clearly.
But….when they place the jar down and just watch it quietly, the glitter settles to the bottom and the water becomes clear again.
The same thing happens to their thoughts when they calm their body and simply notice how they are feeling. The feeling passes, and they can think clearly again.
All you will need for this is a glass jar, water and glitter. You could even try decorating the jars to make them more personal to them.
Drawing in the sand
Mindfulness is about using your senses and this activity is perfect for this.
You can either do this with a tray of play sand or even better, on the beach. Quite often we write messages in the sand or names, but drawing in the sand is so much fun! You could draw how you’re feeling, what you see or what you hear (patterns to replicate the waves).
Photography is a wonderful way to stay present and take in the beauty around you. The greatest photographers are the ones who look at the world in a different way, paying close attention to the finer details. This is something you can encourage your children to do.
Maybe come up with your own photography treasure hunt of things you would like them to capture – use the senses too, for example they could take photos of things like textures. My son, who is 4 absolutely loves to go to the woods and he is always fascinated by the texture on threes – so I asked him to use my phone to take some photos of his favourite – look at this incredible picture!
Once home you could even make a scrap book of your finds.
I hope that you find these mindful art activities for children useful and a door to entering the world of mindfulness together. If you have any other mindful activities you and your family enjoy, leave them in the comment section below.
We have a few other ideas for activities to help with mindfulness of KiddyCharts, so why not take a look at these too? Don’t forget all the colouring that we have on the site.
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Catch you chillin’ soon!