4 Kid-Friendly Mindfulness Activities for a Relaxed and Calm Summer
The summer holidays are here, and everyone is excited! From long morning lie-ins to a jam-packed schedule of activities and playdates, keeping the kids entertained over the 6-week break can be lots of fun but also – let’s face it, a little bit chaotic. Whilst you’re coming up with oodles of boredom busting brilliant things to do, juggling the demands of all the little (& big) people and even trying to work, everyone can get a little bit overwhelmed- especially the kiddos.
Injecting a little bit of mindfulness into your day can help things feel a bit more manageable. Not only is it good for the kids but it’s good for you too! Don’t be surprised if your little one finds their zen before you do – after all we’ve been immersed in our mindful movers theme all term which has seen us exploring the idea of mindfulness and understanding its brilliant benefits.

To kick start your holidays with some serious serene vibes, we’ve picked out 4 of our favourite mindfulness must-do’s you can easily do at home. Add some soothing summer fun to your to-do list. It’s your summer holiday sanity sorted.

Mindful art

1. Mindful Art
Creative quiet time is a fab way to easily add mindfulness into the mix. Arts and crafts allow children’s creative freedom and expression to thrive, so whatever you and your child choose to do whether it’s painting, sculpting or crafting – the best way to maximise mindfulness is to simply encourage being in the moment and not worrying about the finished product. Artistic activities are brilliant for helping children relieve stress and anxiety. It encourages them to really focus on a task as well as being brilliant for flexing those fine motor skills!

Mandalas are a great place to start with mindful art. The Mandala name derives from the Sanskrit word for circle. Mandalas are often intricate designs or symmetrical patterns that start from a central point and promote self-awareness and spirituality in their design. Either print free mandalas to colour in an appealing way or think about ways to make your own. Whether it’s a beach mandala using a sand circle and beachcombed items like rocks, driftwood and shells or even use items you find at home, mandalas are a wonderful way to encourage creativity.

wild walks

Another of our favourite art inspired activities is going on ‘wild walks’ where we collect items that we can use to make pictures or to tell the story about where we’ve been. Heading to wide open spaces or woodlands gives us a healthy dose of fresh air as well as immersing us in the calming surrounds of nature. Foraging for pretty leaves, pinecones and other natural treasures can inspire the most marvellous art. We’ve used some of our art activities as gifts for people we love too which adds another extra-thoughtful element to the activity and gives us the extra positive vibes of delighting our recipient.

Breath art is a simple and fascinating way to bring two key concepts of mindfulness together. These unique pieces of art are created by (you guessed it) breathing. With a pen and paper, encourage your child to breathe in and as they do, let them mark a line representing their breath on the paper. Then, without removing the pen, as they let out a long exhale, let the pen move across the paper in any way they feel. Repeat and see what markings emerge. Then, like a mandala, use coloured pens to colour in the pattern.

Whether you explore patterns through mandalas or give breath art a go, whether you create nature inspired art or explore artistic ideas that come from your imagination, adding artistic expression to your to-do list is a magical way to be mindful.

Breathwork for kids

2. Brilliant Breathwork
Deep and thoughtful breathing is at the heart of mindfulness. It’s not complicated or time consuming, in fact 1-2 mins a day is all it takes to master this skill. Breathing deeply helps little ones manage those BIG emotions. It’s incredibly calming and helps us to refocus and get rid of any pesky negative feelings. We love doing dragon breaths – so don’t be surprised if your little one roars in delight if you attempt this technique. Inhale deeply for 4 seconds and then exhale loudly like you’re a dragon breathing out fire. It’s a FAB way for children to visualise their breath and is much more effective than asking a child to calm down if their emotions have become too big for their bodies.

Turning breathing into a creative activity, consider creating a breathing wand. These handy little accessories are fun to make and can become part of your little one’s bedtime routine or for moments when they need a bit of help to manage the hustle and bustle of a busy day! You could try sock bubble snakes too, great fun on a sunny day, encouraging kids to exhale deeply without even realising they’re doing it!

Yoga for kids

3. Yoga & Stretches
What better way to build on breathing techniques than with mindful movement. We know that when kids move their bodies, it helps them regulate their emotions and releases any pent-up energy or tension. Yoga is brilliant for bringing mindful movement to life. Focussing on good breathing and super stretching, yoga promotes gentle, mindful ways to move your body as well as building balance and strength. We love Yoga with Rebecca and Cosmic Kids Yoga that cleverly build the stretches into engaging stories to keep the kids interested.

Dancing is another great mindful way to expel energy as well as increasing strength and flexibility. Memorising routines and sequences allow children to get fully immersed in the activity. We like to follow along to Just Dance Kids videos for their energetic routines, but we also encourage kids to come up with their own dance routines too. Dancing allows kids to work on coordination and balance plus it’s uplifting and most importantly FUN. Music has a magical way of tapping into our emotions so playing all different genres and exploring how we can move to them is a simple and easy activity to encourage some time out.

Mindful movement isn’t just yoga and dance though, every movement can have mindfulness added to it. One of our favourites is the line game – where we use rope or ribbon in lines or shapes and encourage kids to follow it without stepping off the line. It’s a simple game that works on building coordination and concentration skills. From walking on walls and boosting balance, steppingstones or jumping in puddles, mindful movement can be part of everyday fun.

mindfulness for kids

4. Perfect Pampering
This has been by far one of the most popular activities of late, hosting our own mini spa! And it’s so easy to recreate at home. All you need is some soft lighting, some calm music and a couple of slices of cucumber to encourage children to lie down and close their eyes. Gentle massaging of feet and hands works to increase dopamine (the feel good hormone) and decrease cortisol (the stress hormone). Plus we’ve found they’ve loved feeling like grownups. If you’re lucky they might return the favour!

Summer might be full of fantastic family time, but it can also have occasions when everyone’s emotional bucket feels drained – and that’s okay. Adding mindfulness techniques to your tool kit might help manage those moments where there’s been too many late nights, or the busy schedules get a little bit too busy.

Your job? Inhale and exhale. Bliss.
If you’d like to find out more about the practical magic we can bring to your family please get in touch.
Call 07581 156684 or email sophie@practicallyfamily.co.uk