All of these have helped my kids and I on our meditation journey, let me know if you think there are any I should add to this list!
1. Practice what you preach, enable kids to see you meditate so they can copy you rather than just telling them what to do. Meditation is a difficult concept to grasp but L Star really made progress when we did it together. Practice together regularly and enjoy spending this special bonding time with each other.
2. Set up a special place where you meditate together, decorate it with things you find on walks or that are special to your child. L Star is constantly finding ‘treasures’ (rocks, sticks…) on walks which are important to him. It’s a nice opportunity to to connect nature with mindfulness and meditation.
3. Connect with the world and stars: when on walks, at the beach or park, help your child feel connected with nature, wildlife and the universe to cultivate that feeling of oneness. Something you can return to in your meditations.
4. Make some fun tools you can use to bring something tangible into your practice, such as these Calm Jars. One of the best things I did was make them in small plastic bottles so the kids could play with them, rather than the fancy glass jar I started with. At it’s most basic you can just add glitter and food colouring to water, but if you want to get fancy you can add some of that white liquid school glue, or glitter paint like we did to make the sparkles slow down and swirl a bit more.
Books and Visualisations:
I love the Relax Kids books. Now that L Star has the idea a bit more we can start to introduce these stories into our routine. http://www.relaxkids.com/UK/Books. They also have a free app available on the app store.
Somewhere along the line I picked up these gorgeous morning and night meditation cards. I can’t remember where I found them but if you know tell me and I will happily acknowledge them and their lovely work!
Breathe, Think, Do by Sesame Street: a great app for learning to use the breath to get to grips with big emotions and work on problem solving. Read my more detailed review of this app here.
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings: A sweet app for helping kids label emotions. Cute catchy songs that hopefully stick in little ones heads to help them manage their feelings and a demo of using breath to calm down.
Super Stretch Yoga HD: a fun interactive app that did get my kids engaged. Nice combo of explanation and video to motivate kids to move, plus breath breaks to maintain focus on mindful breath as an important part of yoga practice. Moves a bit fast but easy to use these ideas after the iPad is turned off.
Buddha Balance : a game to enhance concentration. Kids hold the iPad, focus, breath and stand as still as possible so the little guy doesn’t fall off the mountain.
There are heaps of videos on You Tube for kids meditation, but we love Cosmic Kids Zen Den the best, like this one:
Finally, sometimes music and dancing are the only tools you need to help you master a mood. There are definitely times when music is the only language L Star will respond to. We’re currently addicted to Happy by Pharrell Williams, I challenge you not to smile whilst watching and listening to this video!
If you’d like more ideas try these from Mind Body Green