Mindfulness For Children

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By Brenda Williams

This article provides great tips for practising mindfulness in your setting!


Most of us have practised mindfulness at some time without realising it. It is simply a matter of engaging in the moment. This could be a moment of awareness such as watching the sunset over the sea; finding the first spring snowdrops peeping through snow; noticing the pattern formed by autumn leaves on the ground or looking upwards through the remaining leaves, highlighted by a background of a blue sky. Sometimes it can be a painting or an object which catches our attention and absorbs us totally.

However, there is now a growing awareness of the benefits of such mindfulness to relax our mind and body, easing stress, or creating feelings of happiness and joy. Observations of children, at home or in school, often show us their capability to be engrossed in an activity, such as reading, colouring and creating. Engaging and developing this ability in children will help them to pay further attention to mindfulness and improve their capacity for attentiveness, self-awareness, thoughtful attitudes to others and the curiosity to explore the world around them.

How we create a sense of well being

Endorphins are the chemicals of our brain that can induce a sense of joy. They are created whenever we experience delight in an achievement; sense wonder at a beautiful scene; feel the warmth of friendship; experience or remember happy moments.

Everything that makes me smile
Start by talking to children about the best parts of your own day, describe the things from waking in the morning until going to bed at night that make you feel happy, give you pleasure or just ‘put a smile on your face’. Encourage children to do the same.

Pleasure through our senses
Read the poem Everything That Makes Me Smile , and discuss how it describes many things related to our five senses that can make us smile. Point out that the last couplet refers to the happiness that a sense of achievement can bring.

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  1. Philippa Plummer
    on 11 April 2018

    If only ...

    I'm in total agreement with the thinking behind this article, but find it sad that nowadays time has to be 'allocated' for mindfulness. As an ex teacher who now tutors children I find it alarming that the creativity, joyfulness and curiosity of children has been sacrificed and marginalised in favour of constant testing and a rigid too heavy curriculum that is leaving many children with low self esteem and confidence from an early age. Believe me, I encounter many on a regular basis. While I am glad to be out of the system I long for present day teachers to be able to teach a creative, engaging curriculum all the time, not just in designated mindfulness sessions.

    4out of 5