Returning to school can be a stressful experience for kids, especially while wearing a mask and worrying about Covid-19. Mindfulness, a practice centered on self-awareness and focusing on the present moment, has been scientifically proven to improve kids’ ability to respond to stressors. By identifying and accepting their thoughts and emotions, children increase their well-being and gain the tools they need to deal with difficult situations. These resources, available from UP Library, help to teach kids mindfulness in a variety of ways.
Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anywhere, Anytime (DVD)
A collection of 30 exercises that teach children how to regulate their emotions through breathing and mindfulness. Children can learn to control their emotions and body as they practice these exercises in the car, on the soccer field, or before a test at school. Short and easy to memorize, these methods can also help families develop their own mindfulness practices at home.
Meditation is an Open Sky: Mindfulness for Kids by Whitney Stewart
If you would like to practice mindfulness using a book rather than a DVD, this book helps children grow in awareness of their thoughts and emotions. An elephant and monkey serve as meditation guides and the gentle illustrations lead kids through nine different mindfulness exercises for gaining focus, relaxation, and clarity. Included is a list of frequently asked questions about meditation, and the encouragement that each person moves through these exercises differently and at their own pace.
Breathing Makes It Better: A Book for Sad Days, Mad Days, Glad Days, and All the Days In-Between by Christopher Willard
Colorful illustrations and simple language take kids through the different feelings they may experience each day, and teaches them to apply mindfulness in each situation. Families might read the book from start to finish, or may choose to work through a relevant emotion as needed. Tips for parents are also included at the end for leading children through additional mindfulness practices.
My Magic Breath by Nick Ortner
This interactive picture book invites children into a simple breathing pattern as they read. As they do, they learn to calm their frustration and anger, replace sadness with happiness, and release tension. The beautiful illustrations make this an inviting mindfulness tool for preschoolers and elementary kids, who will love using their own magic breath to make worries disappear!
Calm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This miniature picture book is a simple tool for teaching even the youngest children the importance of mindfulness. Carle’s beloved caterpillar guides readers through deep breaths and relaxation techniques, showing them to soothe themselves when sad, frightened, or worried.