With many schools closed due to the Coronavirus and families being told to stay at home and social distance, it is a challenging time for many parents, especially when you’re also trying to juggle work commitments.
Changes in routine and being stuck at home can lead children to feel bored, restless, agitated, confused and even frightened.
It’s an anxious time for everyone.
Practising mindfulness with your children on a daily basis can help with their concentration and emotions, which will allow them to become more present and calm.
Here are some ideas you can use in the home to help your children stay mindful:
1. Sense Games
Play games that involve the senses – this can help children to feel grounded and present.
Here are some ideas:
Touch: get a box or bag and fill it with a range of different objects, with different textures, from around the house. Take it in turns to feel the objects and guess what they are.
Memory: get a variety of different objects and ask your children to memorise them for a few seconds. Cover them using a cloth / material and remove an object. Uncover and see if your child can guess what’s missing; you can take away as many objects as you want and mix it up. You can even swap, get your children to take the objects away and have a guess yourself!
Sight: get your children to look around the room and point out all of the things they haven’t noticed before
Sound: sit in silence and ask your children to listen to any sounds they can hear around them
I recommend having a look at Headspace for more activities like these.
2. Create a Glitter Jar
This is a lovely and creative way to encourage your child to be mindful.
Find an empty jar, any size, and encourage your child to decorate it.
Then fill the jar with ¾ water. Next add glue, food colouring and glitter. Seal the lid and give it a good shake.
The jar represents the mind, get your children to shake the jars and try to focus on just one colour or one piece of glitter until it settles.
After about ten minutes, it can really help to calm their mind.
3. Have Some Breathing Breaks
One great thing to help children calm their mind and thoughts is breathing breaks throughout the day.
Breathing can help rest the mind and help you reset, refocus and feel more relaxed.
Take them through a simple 10 minute breathing exercise – start by encouraging them to join in with you taking in deep full breaths and then slowly breathing out. Focus on counting the inhales and exhales maybe 4 inhales in and 4 exhales out, mentioning to keep the rest of their body relaxed.
Guide them to observe the rise and fall of their belly and chest.
And maybe ask them how they feel after they have completed their breathing exercise and congratulate them.
4. Go Outside
It’s important to get outside whether in your garden or by taking part in your daily exercise walk around your area.
Put all of your senses to work by paying close attention to your environment.
Notice the feel of the air on your skin, notice the sound of the ground as you walk and pay attention to all of the little movements and sensations.
Maybe get your children to pick up rocks/stones, touch flowers and plants, and notice the birds and insects around you.
Getting some fresh air is a great stress reliever as it helps clear the mind and spark creative ideas and helps you engage with your children.
5. Colouring In
Colouring is is a really soothing activity and affords children an opportunity to be aware of the moment.
In fact, it has been proven that colouring has really positive affects on adults too.
You can also download mindfulness colouring sheets for free from this website.
Any everyday act of mindfulness can really help not only you as a parent but your children to remain in the present moment and help them to move through their day calmer and relaxed and more productive to do school work.
The most important thing about being mindful is being in the here and now living your life and taking in the world around you.
Here are some other blog posts which might interest you:
- 4 Ways to Stay Mindful Whilst Working from Home
- 5 Ways Singing (and Music) Can Support Your Journey to Happiness
- 11 Tips For Homeschooling Your Primary School Children
Or if you’d like to see some more free resources for children or get some advice, please visit our Parent Page. We are continuously adding to and updating this page to provide as many great resources and activity ideas for you as possible during this time.
Author Bio: Emma Blunston, Brand and Marketing Manager
Emma started with Services For Education in February 2017 and has been brand champion ever since. She also runs her own business teaching children and adults the joys of yoga.
The creative arm of the business, Emma has turned Services For Education into the cohesive brand it is today and spends her time creating online and offline marketing collateral, resources that support our services (for example, training packs, programmes and videos) and she also finds time to manage our social media accounts.