If only I knew then what I know now…
This statement has been known to be as light as a feather or as heavy as a boulder when applied to adulthood and all the trials that come along with it. There is so much I would have done different in hopes of making this journey a little less bumpy. However, one very simple thing I would have done different is meditate in my teenage years and even prior to that. As an adult meditation not only reduces my stress and anxiety but improves my focus. If it wasn’t for meditation (and the birth of my son) I probably would have popped a coworker or two in the mouth years ago.
A few weeks back I was meditating during one of my sons naps when he woke and asked me what was I was doing. After explaining meditation in the most kid friendly way possible he shrugged, gave a simple “oh”, and walked away. This morning was one of our better mornings. No fights over brushing teeth or wearing underwear until he couldn’t find his Power Ranger costume or his dinosaur (everything went downhill from there). Ready to explode myself, I started to count backwards from the as slow as possible. Before I got to 5 I realized that he was joining in on the countdown. I opened my eyes to discover a very calm four-year old sitting with his legs folded, eyes closed, and the biggest grin on his face. My preschooler was meditating. Proud Mama moment.
I began to do some research about meditation for children and I stumbled across an awesome blog entitled MindValley that gave the blue print on how to teaching children to meditate. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t share this information with everyone else right? Below is the top ten guided meditations taken straight from MindValley.
1. Snowman Relaxation For Kids
Time: 7.5 Minutes
Enjoy this free meditation for kids during bedtime or any moment they need to relax and find stillness. This winter-themed meditation is guided by an enthusiastic female voice, making it almost story-like. Your kids will imagine themselves as snowmen warming up and relaxing as the sun warms and soothes the tensions and worries they have.
2. Children’s Rainbow Meditation
Time: 5 Minutes
This 5-minute meditation is perfect for pre-school kids who are trying meditation for the first time. Bird imagery, visualizations of the colors of the rainbow, a soothing female voice, and calming music makes it easy to find peace and calm.
3. Mindful Breathing for Kids (Full Version)
Time: 6 Minutes
Annaka Harris has created several guided meditations for children ages 6-10. In this 6-minute mindfulness meditation, Annaka guides kids towards heightened self-awareness and relaxation through simple breathing exercises. A bell is rung every 10 seconds to help kids notice the first moments of breathing, catching the breath right when it starts.
“You don’t need to do anything at all. Your body will breathe all by itself, and you can just pay attention to it.”
4. Mindful Breathing for Kids (Short Version)
Time: 4 Minutes
This shorter version of the mindfulness audio meditation by Annaka Harris above focuses on the breath and self-awareness for quick access to inner peace and stillness. Annaka’s simple guidance make this an enjoyable meditation when kids need a quick mindful awareness check-in.
5. Mindful Hearing For Kids
Time: 5 Minutes
Annaka Harris guides kids in this audio meditation to pay attention to surrounding sounds and what it feels like to really listen and be in the moment. After two minutes, Annaka uses a simple bell exercise to heighten their auditory senses to achieve full-awareness of themselves and the environment.
“There’s nothing you need to do at all. The sounds happen all on their own, like little surprises.”6. Guided Relaxation For Children
Time: 7.5 Minutes
Kids feel anxiety and stress just like we all do, and meditation is a quick and easy way to feel safe and secure. This short guided audio meditation led by a female voice and available without background music focuses on the breath and “letting go.” Recommended for kids five years or above.
7. Magic Book Relaxation
Time: 18 Minutes
This guided audio meditation uses playful imagery and visualization techniques to access inner peace and joy. The soothing female voice paints a story-like journey of discovering a magic book and experiencing an exciting, magical wonderland. Perfect for kids and the young at heart.
8. Bouncing Ball Mindfulness
Time: 12 Minutes
Have you ever followed something in nature, along a street, or in your neighborhood, because of the sheer enjoyment and curiosity of where it would lead you to? This audio meditation guides you to achieve full awareness and mindfulness by using a special visualization exercise of following a bouncing ball. Kids will love it. This audio can also be used for sleep to lull your child’s mind into a deep slumber.
9. Magic Forest Meditation
Time: 12.5 Minutes
Visit magical landscapes and animals in this meditation adventure for a much needed mental vacation. Kids can select their preferred imagery to enhance their experience. This is a fantastic audio meditation, especially for kids who love animals and nature!
10. Whirly Burly Snow Storm Meditation
Time: 4.5 Minutes
Modern day living can often make kids feel like they are caught in a snow storm where in the thick of things, they feel stress and can’t think clearly. This guided meditation is great for kids age 3-7 who need a quiet moment to feel peaceful, secure, and relaxed. Calm the snowstorm by having your child tune into beautiful sounds, breath work and visualization techniques.