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3 Ways To Effectively Cultivate A Mindfulness And Meditation Practice For Kids

Written by: Marissa Nicole Azucena, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Imagine a world where we provided mindfulness and meditation tools to every young child. What would a generation of adults — who could calmly navigate their emotions, stressful situations, and have an outlet for stress reduction — look like? In turn, what would our world look like?

The benefits of mindfulness and meditation are limitless. It decreases stress and increases happiness. It has been proven through hard science to actually change our brains. Mindfulness and meditation for kids is a great way to set up our future generations for success by providing them with the tools they need for stress relief, emotional regulation, cultivating compassion for themselves and others, finding contentment within, and much much more. By teaching children mindfulness and meditation, we can provide them with the tools to identify the emotions they are feeling, teach them exercises such as deep breathing to calm down when they are having big emotions and provide activities that help them to cultivate their attention span and focus. Through finding mindfulness and meditation activities that they enjoy and want to do, we can help our kids achieve all of the benefits previously stated. Now, every child is different — from personality to likes and dislikes and learning styles. The amazing thing is, with so many different types of meditation and mindfulness exercises, there’s something for every child!

Below, I’ll be laying out the biggest takeaways I’ve gathered from starting a Mindfulness and Meditation program at a children’s school. Whether you’re a teacher looking to bring some mindfulness and meditation techniques into the classroom, or you’re a parent or loved one wanting to bring some of these practices to the kids in your life — read on for some tips and tricks to get your kiddos to participate and experience the benefits of cultivating a mindfulness and meditation practice.

1. Take into account that not all kids learn the same way.

Did you know that there are different learning styles? We all have a certain way that we learn and retain information the best — and the same goes for kids. Some of the most widely known learning styles are the following:

  • Visual Learners: These learners prefer to see things drawn out or in graphs to understand concepts better. If your child enjoys doodling, drawing out graphs, or creating mind maps, it’s likely that they're a visual learner.

  • Auditory: Auditory learners prefer to listen and hear information in order to process it optimally.

  • Verbal: Verbal learners are individuals who love words, reading, and writing

  • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learners (also known as physical learners) are hands-on. Rather than listening to directions or watching someone demonstrate how to do something, physical learners like to perform the task themselves.

It’s important to provide mindfulness and meditation styles that are effective for each of these learners. What this can look like is having a mix of ways to teach about mindfulness and meditation. Perhaps in one class, a diagram of the body is drawn to show why breathwork calms us down. In another class, a journaling prompt can be done for the verbal learners to read and write. Other times, having hands-on activities, such as mindful eating could be effective. There are so many ways to play around with activities; the important part is making sure things are being taught in an array of styles so everyone is able to learn, process, and retain the information.

2. Show students that there are several different styles of mindfulness and meditation.

There are so many different styles of mindfulness and meditation that we can also do activities that cater to different personal interests of kids. For example, perhaps you have kids that are athletic, love to be active, or always seem to have energy and feel the need to move their body — you can put on a kids yoga flow for them which is meditation through movement. For children that are more artistic, you can print out mandalas — intricate drawings with lots of detail to color in and focus on — and have them color while you play some relaxing music. For children who love to read and enjoy storytime, you can do a guided meditation filled with rich visuals, giving them an opportunity to use their imagination. The possibilities are truly endless.

3. Make it fun!

At the end of the day, kids are most engaged when things feel fun and enjoyable. I like to turn games into mindful moments. For example, with the kids I’ve worked with, we’ve played “Mindful Jenga”. With Mindful Jenga, we begin by having a conversation around emotions and which ones we notice come up when it’s our turn. Whether we’re feeling nervous or excited to pull out a Jenga block, the kids have to identify their emotions and then take some deep breaths before taking their turn to practice using this tool to calm their minds and body down. I’ve actually had a class of 3-year-olds successfully get through several rounds of Jenga by playing it in a mindful way! There are so many opportunities to be creative with mindfulness and meditation activities, and kids absolutely love when anything is made to be fun or turned into a game.

Hopefully, these three tips are a helpful start in bringing mindfulness and meditation into the lives of the kids around you. As we look to the future and how we can do better for the generation of tomorrow, giving kids these tools early on can make impactful and lasting change on an individual level, communal level, and for the entire world.

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Marissa Nicole Azucena, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Marissa Azucena is a certified life coach and mindfulness and meditation teacher. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelors in Psychology, and spent most of her time during undergrad doing research around the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. She currently runs her own business, Younique Coaching. She works with individuals on a one on one basis, offers group mindfulness and meditation classes, and also founded and is currently running a mindfulness and meditation program for a school in the California Bay Area. Her goal is to help others improve their lives through stress reduction techniques, life coaching, and positive psychology.



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