Incorporating students with mindful activities have proven positive benefits of reduce stress level, anxiety, improve social skills, and develop problem-solving skills. People ask – “Should the academics be prioritized with social-emotional and mindfulness learning?” The answer is definitely, ‘YES’. The research says that five- or ten-minutes mindfulness learning techniques help students develop skills to process their emotions and increase their concentration level.
Below are some of the practical mindfulness activities for kids which can be taught in a class:
Breath Awareness Activities
- It is the first step to the journey of mindfulness, as this skill will be with them for life, in every situation they will ever encounter. Guide children to bring attention to the physical sensation of breathing. Let them feel the air moving in through the nostrils. Tell them to look at the rise and fall of their bellies or their chest. Encourage children to think how their breath feels, and ask them to answer silently in their mind for the questions –
- Do they feel that the air is a little colder when they inhale, and warmer when they exhale?
- Can they hear their breath?
- What is the sound of a deep breathing exercise?
The S.T.O.P practice for relieving stress
To calm down the worried mind and get back into the present moment, is enormously helpful to dilute the adverse effects of a person’s stress level. ‘STOP’ is a short practice carried by Abu Dhabi based Indian Schools to regulate the response when a child is under pressure.
S=STOP – Stop immediately what one is doing, and come in a comfortable position, either seated or lying down.
T=TAKE – Take deep breaths, through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Each exhalation allows the body to soften and let the stress settle to a low level.
O=OBSERVE – Notice if there is any tightness in your body, including your face. Allow the stiffness to soften and adjust your body as natural as should be.
P=Proceed–Proceed to what is most essential to you to at that moment. Take time to acknowledge yourself with a sense of self-care.
Mindful listening can be termed as the simplest way to introduce mindfulness to kids. Teachers in Abu Dhabi Indian Schools, train kids for singing bowl sounds. Students are advised to follow instructions for the ringing bell!
Pay attention to sound whether they hear it louder in one ear than the other ear
Concentrate on the sound and keep aside all the wandering thoughts
Keep the eyes closed when the sound is completely gone
Fifteen Sense Countdowns
- Let the students think of:
- Five things they can see.
- Four things they can touch.
- Three things they can hear.
- Two things they can smell.
- One thing they can taste.
The above-discussed resources for practising mindfulness will help children to be calm, navigate their anxiety levels, and tap into a sense of well-being. This skill helps children improve their ability to pay attention by learning to focus on one thing at a time. As teachers and parents, it is better to provide more opportunities to introduce mindfulness to future kids.