Mindful Activities for Small Children
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it is never too early to start teaching the young children in your life how to check in with and care for themselves. Below are a couple of simple exercises to implement throughout the day to help toddlers regulate and understand the big feelings they experience.
Mindful doesn’t always mean quiet
We know toddlers are seemingly made more for noise and movement than silence, and that’s great! Mindfulness doesn’t always mean quiet. Get your child, or class, up and going meaningfully with loud, liberating movement to help relieve built-up emotions. This can include exercise like running and jumping or dancing freely to favorite music. Animal imitations, an idea from Early Impact, gives children the chance to lead and teach.
- Have your child name an animal.
- Act out the actions and make the sounds of the animal. Is it a bird flapping its wings? An alligator clapping its mouth? Go big, don’t hold back.
- Choose another animal and begin again!
And now, one for stillness. We appreciate this quick and effective deep belly breathing guided video to help bring calm and awareness to the body. This is an excellent activity for any age, at any time of day.
- Take both hands and place them on your belly
- Take a deep breath in through your nose
- Feel the way your belly expands
- Exhale and feel your belly return to the start