This time last year, none of us could’ve predicted the ways our lives have changed in the wake of COVID. There are numerous benefits to practicing mindfulness and gratitude, all of which alleviate the stress and anxiety of current life. Mindfulness can help stop the constant chatter in the mind, allowing people to take time to recognize and cope with their emotions. This may be especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, say Yale experts.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment and accepting what you are sensing and feeling without interpretation or judgment. Mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other techniques to relax the body and mind and reduce stress.
Mindfulness has benefits for kids too. Mindfulness helps kids focus, reduce anxiety, and regulate their emotions. It has even been shown to reduce aggression, which improves social relationships.
Let’s get started! We’ve assembled a collection of resources so you can learn more about mindfulness and find the methods and techniques that work best for you.
As we know, mindfulness has become a hot topic in recent years for all ages – young children, teens, adults, and everyone in between. This article gives an overview of our favorite mindful media resources here in the FACE office, starting off with these awesome YouTube videos for younger ages!
GRPL Mindfulness for Teens
As part of their 2020 Summer Reading Challenge, the Grand Rapids Public Library produced a great series of mindfulness videos created especially with Grand Rapids’ middle- and high-schoolers in mind. The FACE office encourages you to share the following videos with your teens!
We hope you enjoyed these video recommendations! The following is a guide to meditation apps and other resources for your family to explore, so you can build your own list of favorite mindful meditation tools. Before you start exploring those, though, here is another video made especially for parents and caregivers by the GR Public Library. Enjoy!
This is an uncertain time filled with stressful moments, anxiety, and the pressure to constantly “do something” with our kids, who have likely all lost any semblance of normal routines. Although meditation is something that both adults and kids can benefit from practicing at any time, now more than ever, being able to process feelings, destress, and get quality sleep is of the utmost importance.
While we all have our families under one roof, cohabiting in a way that’s different than ever before, turn to one of the below apps for kids that contain mindfulness activities, guided meditations, and more to help them process their feelings, stay calm under stress and pressure, and get to sleep a little easier each night.
All GoNoodle videos are created by a team of experienced designers, educators, and child development, movement and dance specialists. When your child is playing GoNoodle, you can feel confident that she’s in a safe, secure environment; we have no in-app purchases or links to other sites. And with everything from dance and yoga, to hip-hop and sports, GoNoodle has videos that appeal to kids of different ages and their varying interests. Every dance party, yoga video or breathing exercise is an opportunity for kids to wake up their bodies, engage their minds, and have a blast.
The Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness app has soothing bedtime stories for kids to help calm them down before bed and, hopefully, lull them to sleep. The app is free and has some free content, including “Close Your Eyes Sleepy Paws” and “Goldie the Mindful Moshling” (which is narrated by Goldie Hawn).
A free app aimed at kids ages 4 and up, Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame helps to teach kids skills such as problem solving, self-control, planning, and task persistence through its interactive activities. Your kids can also “Breathe With the Monster” to practice taking deep breaths when they need to calm down. Click here to read Common Sense Media’s review of this app!
Smiling Mind is a free meditation app for people of all ages, but has youth programs for kids ages 7 and up. The app was developed by psychologists and educators to aid users in keeping their minds healthy through times of stress, pressure, and the challenges of daily life. Click here to read Common Sense Media’s review of this app!
The fun and easy-to-use Mindful Powers app was designed to be a part of your child’s daily routine to help them to learn the power of mindfulness through a series of interactive voice-guided sessions. The free app will help kids develop the skills they need to overcome big emotions, stay calm and relaxed, and to focus. Click here to read Common Sense Media’s review of this app!
Stop, Breathe, and Think Kids
With the Stop, Breathe & Think Kids app, kids ages 5 through 10 can learn to check in with how they’re feeling, listen to mindful sleep stories before bed, go on “missions” to do meditation and mindful activities, and more. The app can help them manage stress, anxiety, and sadness, and aids with both better sleep and calming down when overexcited. Click here to read Common Sense Media’s review of this app!
Wellbeyond Meditation for Kids
Aimed at kids ages 4 and up, Wellbeyond Meditation For Kids offers five free guided meditations to help with sleep, relaxation, focus, concentration, managing feelings, and more. There are nine additional meditations available as in-app purchases. Click here to read Common Sense Media’s review of this app!