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55 Calming & Fun Mindfulness Activities For Kids

Are you looking for mindfulness activities for kids? Practising mindfulness may seem like an adult thing but it’s also important for children. Teaching mindfulness to kids can have huge benefits for children of all ages.

The world can be both overwhelming and confusing for kids at times.

Learning how to practice mindfulness from an early age can help children manage stress and emotions while developing healthy habits.

Drawing from my time working with children as a psychologist, this article will cover some simple mindfulness activities that can help kids develop a sense of calm.

Three people lying on the grass so you can see the base of their feet

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment.

In the simplest terms, Mindfulness, or sampajañña, in one of the major languages of the Buddhist scriptures, means clear comprehension.

It can help children become aware of their thoughts and feelings, making it easier to regulate their emotions.

The practice of mindfulness can also encourage kids to be more compassionate and patient with themselves. It teaches children how to respond calmly in a challenging situation instead of reacting impulsively or aggressively.

Being mindful means you have clear comprehension to assess the issues you are facing and rationally respond to them.

A mindful state brings awareness to your emotions and bodily sensations.

You might also like to read these mindfulness activities for adults for more ideas.

Why Do Kids Benefit From Mindfulness Exercises?

There are many benefits of mindfulness activities for children.

During development, children start learning how to process emotions and different experiences, and mindfulness activities can have positive effects on their emotional well-being.

Developmental psychology studies show that elementary school students from the ages of 5 to 6 years old can already grasp emotions.

A mindfulness practice for kids can ensure the path towards emotional intelligence. It’ll help children enhance their social skills and build empathy towards others.

Through the practice of mindfulness, children learn to recognise their thoughts instead of reacting automatically, which reduces stress levels.

Mindfulness activities can help kids manage complex emotions.

These mindfulness skills allow them to tap into their feelings to determine why they’re feeling shy, frustrated, surprised, or guilty about something.

Mindfulness is especially beneficial for children who are struggling with anxiety or depression, as it can help them cope better with difficult situations and focus on more positive emotions.

Kids grow more resilient, productive, and confident and they are less likely to let the worry monster get the better of them!

Practising mindfulness is also beneficial for cognitive health. It increases grey matter in brain areas responsible for memory, learning, empathy, and emotional control. This means improved academic performance as well.

Relaxing And Fun Mindfulness Activities For Kids

When you introduce mindfulness techniques to your kids from an early age, you help them create a lifelong mindfulness practice that can become a powerful tool for managing stress.

Here are some fun and easy mindfulness activities for kids to get started with:

Quick Mindfulness Exercises

These simple and short mindfulness activities for kids can be done in less than 15 minutes.

This makes these great for practising mindfulness at home as well as perfect classroom ideas for when kids need a quick reset.

1. Square Breathing

Square breathing deep breathing exercise with instructions for how to do the square breathing mindfulness activity

Deep breathing is a classic mindfulness exercise that helps a person cope with stressful situations.

For kids, the suitable technique is square breathing or box breathing.

This is a really simple deep breathing exercise for kids where they draw a square in the air with their finger.

They follow the square in a counterclockwise direction then breathe in, hold, breathe out, and pause before repeating the steps.

2. Mindful Snack

If your kids are anything like mine, they come home from school or spend their days at home devouring everything in the house.

A mindful eating break can be a great way to get kids to focus as they are grabbing for their next snack.

Ask them to use their five senses as they eat. Make them describe its texture, taste, smell, weight, appearance, and the emotions they feel while chewing food.

This exercise is a good one for kids of all ages and mindful eating also encourages them to slow down.

3. Mindful Movement

Teach mindfulness to your kids by getting them to move mindfully.

This a great way to teach your kids how their body feels when they are focused.

Start with simple exercises such as standing tall, rolling the shoulders, stretching arms overhead or side-to-side movements.

Or get creative and have them imitate animal poses like a turtle, a bear or an eagle!

Dancing, walking, jumping, kicking, and shaking are all movements that can make kids stay in the present moment while identifying how their body feels during each motion.

Even jumping on a trampoline can be turned into mindful movement. Check out Vuly Trampolines. We have a Vuly, and one of the kids’ favourite activities is to take turns laying still while everyone bounces them on the mat.

It’s also a fun physical exercise parents, siblings, and friends can join in.

4. Using Affirmations

Writing or saying daily affirmations is beneficial for mental well-being. It gives your child a healthy coping technique amidst anxiety.

Words significantly affect how a person feels about themselves and they can be a great tool to use with kids who are particularly anxious or shy. When kids speak affirmations, these words become part of their self-identity.

Have your children write down or say out loud one positive thing about themselves each day such as “I am kind”, or “I am brave”.

5. Mindful Gratitude Exercise

A person is focused on the positive things in their life when they practice gratitude.

This daily practice can be done through gratitude journalling or spoken out loud, such as during a family dinner with each family member sharing something they were grateful for today.

This practice encourages young children to seek the positive in their day and reflect on their experiences. It’s also a wonderful conversation starter for kids.

Conversation starters for families can be helpful to get kids talking. Try these conversation starters for kids, teens, and couples, conversation starters for family dinner & Would You Rather questions for kids to get everyone talking!

6. Today I Feel…

Help your kid identify what they feel at the moment.

For instance, with younger kids, use flashcards or relevant photos that show different emotions. Let them pick the one they relate to and guide them in assessing their feelings every day.

7. Guided Meditation

A short guided meditation is an effective mindfulness tool for kids

Guided meditations need not be long or complicated — even just a few minutes is beneficial depending on the child’s age.

Mindfulness meditation is easier for kids when using a guided voice.

Guided meditation can help kids appreciate their breathing, relax their bodies, and focus on sounds. It is also a great way to end the day.

8. Animal Breathing

Animal breathing is a fun way for children to practice mindful breathing.

The activity involves the child imagining different animals they like while mimicking their breathing sounds (e.g., heavy breathing like an elephant). They can take breaths in time with the animal sound or take a few breaths in between each one.

Animal breathing is an enjoyable way to practice mindful breathing as it helps kids become aware of their breath and relax their minds.

9. Mindful Listening

Get your kids to sit comfortably and listen carefully to the sounds around them: from birds chirping outside, to the ticking of a clock, or the humming of an air conditioner.

This is essentially a meditation practice but one that is much easier for kids by giving them something specific to focus their attention on.

10. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Help your child relax their body by teaching them progressive muscle relaxation.

Start with the feet and work your way up, squeezing each muscle group for a few seconds then releasing it. As they practice, tell them to focus on how their body feels when it is tight or relaxed.

This activity teaches kids that mindful relaxation can be done anytime – even when they are faced with a stressful situation at school or at home.

I used this mindful activity a lot with my clients as a psychologist and found it to be a lot easier for most people to learn (adults and children alike) compared to many other relaxation techniques.

It’s a useful tool for everyone to have when they need to calm down.

Free printables library sample.


11. Five Senses Exercise

Join your child in the five senses activity to help them pay more attention to their surroundings.

Guide them in noticing five things within their sight, four things they can feel, three things they hear, two things their nose can smell, and one they can taste.

12. Heartbeat Exercise

Use the exercise as a supplemental activity after a mindful movement or exercise activity.

Instruct your child to close their eyes and sit down as they place their hand on their chest to focus on their heartbeat.

Prompt them to describe the changes as their bodies start to calm down.

13. Stress Ball Squeeze

Have your child squeeze stress balls in their hand and be mindful of the pressure they are putting in it as they do.

This is a great way to show them how their body can tense up when under stress, while also teaching them healthy ways to release tension.

Guide them to take deep breaths as they squeeze the stress balls — this will help relax their body parts further and make it easier for them to focus on their let go of tension.

14. Balance and Coordination Exercises

Balance and coordination exercises can be done at home by walking on a line gap in your floor tiles, for example.

There are also interactive games like hopscotch which can help kids become more aware of their movements.

These activities require concentration and focus, while also helping your child to work on their coordination and movements during physical activity.

15. Nature Scavenger Hunt

Child collecting items to put in a box during a nature scavenger hunt

Go outdoors with your child and ask them to look for specific items that are around you.

Ask them to focus on the details of things like leaf shapes, colours of flowers, or bird calls they can hear in the distance.

This activity helps children be mindful while also encouraging them to explore nature and appreciate its beauty. It’s also a great way to help kids learn more about their surroundings.

16. Writing Activity

Writing activities help kids to reflect on their day and express what they’re feeling in a creative way.

Start by asking your child to think of something that made them feel happy or proud today, then have them write it down with some details. They can also draw a picture to illustrate their thoughts.

17. Identifying Cloud Shapes

The great outdoors offers lots of discovery for toddlers and that includes learning mindfulness through identifying cloud shapes.

This can be a fun activity for the whole family to lay on a picnic rug or on the backyard trampoline and gaze up at the clouds.

Mindfulness Art Activities For Kids

Hone your child’s creativity while they also improve focus and staying in the present moment.

These creative mindfulness activities for kids will help them discover a natural skill and a healthy way to express emotions.

18. Colouring Pages

Colouring book open with half finished colouring page of mandalas

Colouring pages are a wonderful way to help kids focus.

Choose images that are suitable for their age and interests — from animals to rockets, or cute cartoon characters. By doing something they enjoy, it will be easier for them to stay in the present moment while they colour.

To start, you can use these wonderful printable mindfulness colouring pages for kids and adults.

19. Mindful Glitter Jar

Create a glitter jar with your kids to incorporate a fun mindfulness activity at home.

All you need is a plastic or glass jar, distilled water, a hot glue gun, and glitter.

Once the glitter jar is made, children can use it as an object of their focus whenever they feel frustrated, angry, or sad.

Breathing in and out while observing the glitters move inside the mindfulness jar helps in self-regulation and properly processing emotions.

20. Paint Nature

Combining art and nature guarantees a positive impact on one’s well-being. Take your kids outdoors to paint nature, even if it’s just in your own backyard. The park is also a good place to start especially when surrounded by trees, flowers, ponds, and more.

21. Draw Your Breath

This is an easy activity where the child draws a line for every inhale and exhale. The line should start in the middle of the paper and kids can draw in any direction.

They can use different colours for each breathing cycle to make the end result really colourful.

22. Sand Drawing

Drawing in sand is a great way to introduce mindfulness for kids.

You can do this at the beach or in a sandpit at home. Have them use their finger or a stick to make simple patterns or drawings in the sand.

Let them draw random things related to their thoughts, feelings, or what their senses pick up. It’s also a fun sensory activity for developing toddlers.

23. Petal Art

This activity is best done in a garden. Have your child pick some petals and shape them into the image they desire, whether it’s a flower or an animal.

The creative activity keeps children focused and calm while enhancing their creative skills.

24. Stone Painting

This calming activity is perfect for kids who love crafts.

Collect some smooth stones and set up a DIY painting station. Kids can then use the paints to create their own designs, from patterns to abstract art pieces.

The mindful activity encourages your child to take time to create something beautiful and unique with all their concentration and focus.

You can get rock painting kits that have everything you need if you’re having trouble finding anything suitable for painting. This is a fun creative activity for young kids that will keep them focused.

25. Art Journal

Teach kids to channel their emotions and thoughts in a creative art journal.

It’ll help kids understand their emotions even more when symbolism in shapes and colours is used.

This is also great for kids who don’t enjoy the traditional journaling practice of writing so much.

26. Doodle Art

Creating doodle art is an effective activity to slow down and calm the nervous system. It’s a relaxing activity after a child experiences an overwhelming situation like a crowded place or after a temper tantrum.

When doodling, their focus is anchored to the drawings rather than the negative emotions they find hard to control.

27. Diamond Painting

A diamond painting kit is a great activity for older kids, not just because it’s fun but also because it helps to improve their concentration.

Diamond painting is an activity that involves placing tiny diamond-like beads onto adhesive canvas according to the design that comes with the kit.

By doing this activity, kids can learn how to be calm and mindful while focusing on something intricate and creative.

Diamond painting is also an excellent way to teach your kids about colours and shapes as they’re creating art.

28. Play Dough Sculpting

This activity is perfect for sensory play.

Playing with dough helps kids to be mindful while also allowing them to express themselves through their creations. They can make anything from animals, shapes, and scenes from books or stories.

The tactile experience of the playdough provides a calming effect which helps children stay focused.

29. Make A Worry Monster

Making a Worry Monster is one fun way for children to get rid of the things they are anxious about.

They can make their own worry monster using a cereal box or tissue box, adding eyes and teeth to give it some character.

Encourage your child to give their worry monster a name. They can then write down all the worries that bother them on pieces of paper and feed it to the monster.

This activity will teach your child how to express their worries while also helping them realise that it’s ok to let go of things they can’t control.

They can add new worries into the monster’s mouth whenever they need a little extra help with emotional regulation or are feeling extra stressed.

Mindfulness Activities For Toddlers

There are also many age-appropriate mindfulness activities for toddlers that are fun to add to their daily routines.

Here are some of the best mindfulness activities for toddlers and younger children:

30. Sensory Surprise Bag

Fill up a paper bag or a pouch with items in various sizes, texture, weight, and smell.

The sensory surprise bag can be an exciting morning activity to quickly practice mindfulness.

Each time, put new items inside but leave one or two from a previous sensory session to see how well they were paying close attention.

This is a wonderful mindfulness activity for toddlers. The exercise is also great for improving their sensory and communication skills.

31. Mindful Bathtime

Make bathtimes much more interesting for your toddler by describing everything their five senses notice.

Encourage water play with pouring water from one container into another or seeing what floats and what sinks to the bottom.

For instance, explaining the temperature of the water, the colour of the packaging, or the soap’s texture. You could also narrate what you’re doing like, foaming up the shampoo and rinsing the soap.

32. Noisy Running

Bring laughter to your backyard or living room with noisy running as your children’s morning mindfulness activity.

Allow them to run around while making noises. The intensity of the noise escalates as their movements start from walking to hilarious jumping and running.

They need to concentrate on both the movement and the sound.

33. Teddy Breathing

Teach children mindful breathing with their favourite stuffed animal. The mindfulness method is called teddy breathing where kids lie down on their backs while the stuffed toy is on their chest.

As they breathe, they have to concentrate on how their teddies rise every inhale and fall every exhale.

34. Mindful Storytime

Your kid’s love for storytime can also be used as a mindfulness activity. Pictures and words can stimulate their sense which helps them slow down.

Other than the classic fairytales and adventures, try to engage them with sensory and interactive books.

35. Bubble Blowing

Blowing and chasing bubbles is a fun way to teach your kids mindfulness.

The activity requires full concentration while watching the bubbles float in the air, then pop when they reach their hands.

It’s also an enjoyable outdoor activity that helps children practice sensory awareness as they observe the beauty of nature.

Group Mindfulness Activities For The Classroom

Mindfulness activities can be useful tools for teaching kids in the classroom as well.

Here are some group mindful activities for kids that are perfect for the young students:

36. 5 Finger Deep Breathing

5 finger deep breathing exercise with instructions for mindfulness

Try this 5-finger deep breathing exercise as a brain break in the classroom or when your class is getting rowdy and needs a quick calm down.

37. Follow The Leader

This activity helps children improve their balance and coordination while being mindful of their own body movements.

Choose one student to be the leader and have the others imitate their movements as accurately as possible. This could be from simple hand and arm motions to complex movements of the whole body.

38. Group Stretching

Gentle stretching exercises are highly recommended for the classroom setting. Kids can do it sitting or standing while they focus on their breathing and mindful movements.

Stress levels are reduced as each muscle is gently eased and relaxed.

This is a great activity for the classroom where kids can stand by their desks and follow their teacher’s movements.

39. Nature Walks

When the weather is nice, a nature walk is an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness with your students.

Ask them to focus on each step and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells they encounter.

Instruct your students to take a moment and sit quietly for a few minutes while taking everything around them.

We did this along a rainforest track during my first school camp and that moment has stayed with me into adulthood. Each child sat around 10 metres apart and focused on their own surroundings and what they could hear, then shared each of our experiences together at the end.

40. Emotion Bottles

This is an interesting activity to teach kids about identifying emotions.

Fill a clear bottle with water and add colourful items such as glitter, beads, or stones that represent different feelings like anger, happiness, or disappointment.

Give each child their own emotion bottle and have them shake it up and observe the contents inside. As they discuss the different emotions, ask them to describe what each item in the bottle is saying.

This is a great activity for teaching kids how to identify and express their feelings.

41. Rainbow Walk

Take students for a rainbow walk to improve mindful awareness of their surroundings.

Ask them to point out different objects within sight that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white, and purple. It’s an interesting way to learn colours and stay focused.

42. Freeze Dance

To enhance the concentration skills of younger students, engage them in a fun freeze dance game.

Kids must freeze when the music stops. If they don’t pay attention to the music, they are out for this round and won’t proceed to the final.

It’s a mindful training technique that teaches kids the significance of an attentive mind.

43. Walking Meditation

Take your class for a walking meditation to experience mindful movement.

Instruct the students to concentrate on their feet as they walk and take note of their body’s motion with each step. They can also practise deep breathing while focusing on their thoughts or emotions.

This is an excellent exercise for helping kids manage stress, improve concentration, and increase mindfulness.

44. Listening Circle

This is a great way to teach kids how to be mindful of their surroundings.

Let the group sit in a circle and give each student an item such as a wind chime or mindfulness bell. Ask them to listen closely while each person takes turns shaking their instrument.

The exercise encourages children to pay attention and be aware of what they hear.

45. Back-to-Back Breathing

The activity follows the classic breathing meditation but this time participants must grab a partner. Instead of focusing on their breath, students need to concentrate on their partner’s breathing time.

This sensory experience an easy way to enhance awareness of the people around you.

46. Spidey Senses

Unleash your student’s inner Peter Parker as they improve mindfulness with Spidey Senses.

Ask the participants to close their eyes and imagine they are superheroes with special spidey senses. Instruct them to use their imagination as they focus on each sense – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

This exercise encourages kids to open up their minds and become mindful of their environment.

By adding the superhero Spider-Man twist, it makes the activity more fun for kids.

47. Stillness Challenge

Kids love games and fun challenges. For this reason, you can easily slow down a rowdy classroom with the stillness challenge.

For this quick mindfulness game, instruct everyone to sit on the floor while calming instrumental music plays or during complete silence.

The challenge is to remain still and silent throughout the entire exercise.

48. Yoga Storytelling

This is a great way to get your class into yoga while learning about mindfulness at the same time.

If you’re not familiar with yoga poses, have your kids help you come up with ideas on poses they can hold that are animal shapes.

For the storytelling part, read a story about mindfulness and ask your students to act out each pose as they listen.

Mindfulness Activities For Teens

Teens can benefit from mindfulness activities, just as kids and adults too. Here are some suggestions for teenagers that you can add to your lesson plan:

49. Mandala Drawing

This is an excellent activity for helping teens stay focused on the present moment by using art therapy.

Have each student draw a mandala – a symmetrical, circular design – in their sketchbook. Ask them to focus on their breathing and the movement of their hand as they create each shape.

This is an enlightening exercise that encourages teens to stay mindful of their sensory experiences.

50. Journaling

Young girl sitting at a table in the family room with a journal open

Daily journal writing helps your teen to tune in with their emotions. It leads them to self-discovery and better self-awareness.

If it’s their first time, recommend using journal prompts as a guide in writing daily entries. Each prompt allows them to slow down and write genuine answers to the questions during quiet time.

51. Body Scan Meditation

This activity teaches teens to be aware of the body sensations that come with emotions.

Instruct them to lie or sit in a comfortable position and start scanning their body from head to toe. Ask them to focus on their breathing during this exercise and describe what they feel in each part of their body.

When they get accustomed to the practice, your teen can easily do a body scan to relieve stress and overcome anxiety when they are on their own.

52. Mindful Music

Listening to music can also be a big help in developing mindfulness.

Instruct your teen to close their eyes and focus on the song they’re listening to. Ask them to pay attention to the beats, rhythms, instruments, and lyrics of the track as if it were their first time hearing it again.

This practice allows them to be mindful of their auditory experiences and emotions associated with the music.

53. Gratitude Walk

Encourage your teen to take a gratitude walk, a simple exercise that encourages focus and appreciation for the surroundings.

Have them go for a slow stroll outside and observe nature as they take note of everything in sight that they feel thankful for.

54. Shaking

Taylor Swift was right when she said that you just have to Shake It Off!

Teach your teens to release stress and frustrations by shaking their whole body. They can do random shaking movements with or without music.

The activity allows them to focus on physical sensations before and after the exercise.

55. Yoga

Mother and tween daughter doing yoga stretches in a large living room, wearing white tshirts and trackpants

A low-intensity exercise that calms the mind is perfect for your teen. Get out your yoga mat so the two of you can bond over yoga during self-care Sundays, especially if both of you had a busy or draining week.

Doing yoga connects a person to their inner calm as they practise deep breathing and get some extra physical activity in their routine.

Conclusion: Mindfulness For Kids

It’s vital that we teach our children how to care for their mental health. These mindfulness activities for kids, toddlers and teens prepare them for the future and allow them to grow with an attentive mind. Though it might take some time for them to become automatic habits, these simple activities are healthy ways your child can manage emotions and stress.