The term “mindfulness” is very popular right now. But in reality, it’s just being mindful of your body, your thoughts, and your surroundings. Also, it can teach children methods for calming down when their emotions feel out of control. A straightforward and effective method for calming the mind and managing stress is “Mindfulness”. Kids are capable of doing it, frequently better than adults!
Who Can Mindfulness Instruction Help?
Any child who struggles with focus is an excellent candidate for learning mindfulness, but it is actually a great tool for all children, as we all experience moments of stress and anxiety in the game of life. Learning the skills of mindfulness can definitely help children in understanding their thoughts and feelings. This is because identifying our feelings is the first step in managing them when we are about to lose control.
Learning to manage our emotions is really an important life skill that will be helpful beyond childhood and into adulthood. Just think of all of those “Real Housewives” shows and the women that are continually losing control of their emotions. It makes good entertainment, but it can cost you your job, your marriage, and your friendships.
Mindfulness Can Also Help With Decreasing Behaviors
Developing mindfulness abilities in children at a young age might also make things simpler for both them and their teachers as they get older. With incorporating some mindfulness instruction into your classroom’s culture, behavior issues can be transformed into teaching opportunities for your students. This can be done with discussion questions, restorative circles, or a “Think about my emotions and behavior” worksheet.
Through mindfulness instruction and practices in the classroom, kids can also be reminded to take a moment to breathe, stretch, take a break, use a fidget, color a picture, or get a drink of water when they identify that their emotions are elevating…before a behavior occurs. When students and teachers speak the same language about mindfulness, it can become easier for them to use coping mechanisms to use in stressful situations indepdently with a little practice.
The ultimate goal of mindfulness is to help children become more conscious of their emotions so they may learn better ways to manage them.
The EASIEST and CHEAPEST tool…VIDEOS!
As a School Psychologist, I often use videos to teach a concept or provide instructional practice in a social-emotional skill. There are so many videos to choses from, however. So, how do you know which ones are best for your kids? Over the years I have compiled different lists of Social-Emotional Learning Videos (including Mindfulness Videos) for different age groups of videos for students. If you’d like to check them out, click HERE or on the pictures below!
Here are TWO of my favorite Mindfulness Videos!
Mindfulness Coloring Activities
Mindfulness Coloring is a great tool for helping children learn to manage their emotions. Coloring can be done during personal breaks, as part of an SEL lesson, or as a transition activity when students finish work early. They also make great decorations for your classroom or office. Pictures can be downloaded for free from various websites, but I have made my own that are more gender neutral pictures, less detail oriented, and positive affirmations pictures. This is because I’ve found that many mindfulness coloring pictures are either too feminine or too detailed for younger children.
Click HERE or on the pictures to check out these Mindfulness Coloring picture packets in my store!
Games for Teaching Kids about their Emotions
Mindfulness is about being fully aware of your own emotional state. But, what if your students do not know about emotions? This board game is tons of fun for teaching students about Emotions and helps them to learn to identify when they may need to regulate an emotion. It can be played in a small group or individual setting.
In summary, Mindfulness does not have to be this complex or inexpensive thing that you are having your students do. There are many academic and behavioral benefits to teaching it, however. So, if you were on the fence, hopefully my ideas and products can make it easier for you to help bring a little calm and emotional awareness to your students’ school day.
To find more Social and Emotional Learning materials, please visit my TpT store, Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun. Also, check out my new SEL books for Elementary School Students. Just click on their picture so learn more!
How to Get Counseling Activities… for FREE!
If you are hoping to find not just inexpensive, but FREE Counseling Activities, then you are in the right place! Subscribe to CounselingFannyPack.com and gain access to the Free Resource Library! In it, you will get new counseling activities that are updated monthly for subscribers! Just Click HERE to sign up for access!
If you are OK with spending $3-$5 on a few fun counseling activities for your students, please just click the pictures within this post and they will all link you to the product in my Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun store.