Meditation for kids has proven benefits.
Practising for just five minutes a day improves focus, mood and concentration and helps children manage the stress and ups and downs which are an inevitable part of life.
Yoga has been an important part of my life for quite a few years now and I was introduced to mindfulness meditation about two years ago. Both are now an essential part of keeping me physically and mentally well and happy.
Because I am a mum and teacher, I have been very interested to read the recent research about the wonderful benefits which flow from teaching mindfulness meditation and yoga to children.
Over and over again, research is confirming the benefits and I am loving the
fact that more and more teachers are incorporating a few minutes of
daily meditation into their daily classroom routines.
So what exactly does the research show?
In a nutshell, it shows that children who practise meditation or yoga (which is a type of meditation) regularly do better at school, have more positive relationships and enjoy better physical and psychological well-being.
So it's worth looking into.
The books on this page are my favourite books for introducing children to these life-enhancing practices. It is my hope that you will enjoy reading them with your little ones and practise the exercises together.
By doing so you will be giving them a wonderful gift which will help them develop resilience,focus and a peaceful attitude to life.
This is a lovely book for introducing young children (3-8 or so) to yoga.
Each pose is linked to a letter of the alphabet as in accompanied by a rhyming verse describing the pose and an illustration of a child practising it.
Some of the poses are described using the usual English translation of their name (Cobra, Downward Dog, etc) while others are renamed to fit in the alphabet theme.
Snuggle up together to read the book aloud or read the rhyme and do the pose.
This book introduces Thich Nhat Hanh's pebble meditation and provides ideas about how to teach it to children.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk, scholar and human rights activist who helped to develop the Pebble Meditation as part of the Plum Village community's practice with children.
Pebble meditation is a fun, hands-on activity that parents and teachers can do with children to introduce them to meditation. It touches on our connection to nature and can help children manage stress, practise gratitude and manage difficult emotions.
This book includes a DVD which demonstrates the ten 'meditations in motion'.
Meditation teacher Thich Nhat Hanh guides you through a series of gentle exercises specifically designed to cultivate a joyful awareness of body and breath.
This easy-to-learn practice is suitable for children and for adults of any age. It combines simple stretches and graceful gestures with mindfulness meditations.
This book is designed to be a fun and gentle introduction to yoga for little ones aged from about 12 months up.
A few basic poses are shown, some of which have been renamed for the animals they resemble.
The illustrations and text are simple and photos of children practising the poses are included in the back of the book, along with tips for parents.
Yoga strengthens bodies and calms minds but it is also very empowering, strengthening creativity and showing us that anything is possible.
This delightful new book encourages children to explore the world of yoga and to make room in their hearts for the world beyond it.
It includes a child-friendly guide to 17 yoga poses.
This book is based on the growing body of evidence that demonstrates that yoga and mindfulness practices can help children develop focus and concentration.
The simple yoga exercises are designed to be easily integrated into the child’s daily routine, improving health, behavior, and even school achievement.
The book is designed primarily for parents but teachers will also find it useful.
I know a number of teachers who use this book in their classrooms and their kiddos love it.
The book is basically an introduction to mindfulness meditation for parents and teachers keen to teach this to their children or students.
The accompanying CD includes practices for children that can help them calm themselves down, become more
focused, fall asleep more easily, manage stress, worries and anger and become more patient and aware.
This book contains 20 beautifully-illustrated short stories for children which are based on ancient Buddhist tales. The stories are each 1.5-2.5 pages long so they're perfect for reading at bedtime.
Each story highlights a moral or ethical dilemma that echoes problems children face in their own lives.
The stories are a great intro into discussing all sorts of issues with your children and how they might tackle them in their own lives.
At the end of each story, the relevant Buddhist principles are discussed however you can, of course, skip these if that's not your thing.
Recommended for ages: 4-10 years
This bright, colourful book features a sequence of nine simple yoga poses designed to help young children relax and wind down before nap or bedtime.
The poses mimic the movements of night-time animals: bats, owls, tired bunnies and sleepy bees. The book also includes useful information for parents and teachers and photos showing each pose.
Recommended for ages: 2 years and up
This is an excellent introductory book on
meditation that can be used to teach the practice to children.
It discusses finding a quiet spot, a special place with a few simple things, and
focusing on breathing, using cute illustrations of Peaceful Piggy.
The book also guides children through the
reasons why meditation is necessary, using a great, hands-on demonstration.
Recommended for ages: 4-9 years
This lovely book is both a bedtime story and a series of simple poses which follow the natural world as it comes to rest at day's end.
The text is lyrical and gentle, yet the book is also a very practical, user-friendly way to introduce children to yoga and a calming bedtime routine.
Recommended for ages: 2-12 years
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