Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mindfulness and Yoga for Young Children: Tips, Books, Apps, and Activities

by Catharine Hannay

Are you interested in teaching mindfulness and/or yoga to younger kids but not sure where to start?  Or perhaps you've been teaching for a while and are looking for some new resources?  The following books, apps, training programs and activities are recommended by experienced teachers.  

Expert Advice at

I've had the privilege of interviewing a couple of educators with extensive experience teaching young children.
Kelli Love is a full-time yoga instructor at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary, a charter school in New York City where mindfulness is embraced as a school-wide content area.  In an interview on  "Best Practices in Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Young Children," she shares tips on:
  • how to structure a yoga class for young children;
  • how to meet the needs of different students; 
  • how parents and classroom teachers can integrate mindfulness into the daily routine; and
  • how  a personal yoga and mindfulness practice creates a solid foundation for teaching kids.
Renee Metty is the founder of The Cove School, a preschool specializing in mindfulness and social and emotional learning.  In an interview on "Breathing Buddies and Vibratones: Mindfulness for Young Children," she discusses:
  • how social-emotional learning is a foundation for academic learning; 
  • how principals and other administrators can promote mindfulness in their schools; and
  • specific techniques and activities parents and teachers can use when introducing mindfulness to young children.

image source: phanlop88 for

Teacher-Recommended Activities and Resources

I had an amazing response to a Facebook request for books and activities you've used successfully with children under ten.    Thanks so much to everyone who shared your suggestions! 

(FYI, I had a question about why some of the links are in blue and some are in green. That doesn't mean certain resources are recommended more than others; it happened because of a coding glitch that I haven't been able to fix.)

Teacher-Recommended Props and Activities
  • Kids love comfy cushions and snuggly blankets for meditation/relaxation time;
  • The Mind Jar activity is very popular;
  • Another popular activity is mindfully eating chocolate.
    • (Obviously check your school’s policy on snacks and make sure no one in your group has an allergy.)

Teacher-Recommended Apps and Websites

Teacher-Recommended Books (and yoga cards and CDs) for Young Children:
For your convenience, titles in this section link to Amazon or another website where you can order the book.  I don't have an affiliate account, so there's no financial benefit to me or if you order through links from this site.

Teacher-Recommended Mindfulness Training
  • Calm Classroom Professional Development 
  • British Mindfulness Institute Professional Training in the Applied use of Mindfulness for 7 – 11 year olds
  • Mindful Schools Mindful Educator Essentials training (K-12 curriculum)
  • Paws B training to teach mindfulness to 7-11 year olds, from the Mindfulness in Schools Project
  • Relax Kids coach training to help children with concentration, self-esteem and anger management.

Any favorite books, apps, courses or activities that aren't included here?  Please post a comment letting us know about them. has an international readership, and it's likely your colleagues in other countries won't be familiar with all the same resources.  


related posts: 

Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Lessons for Children (recommended book)

Great Children's Songs about Mindfulness, Self-Acceptance, and Gratitude

How Music Helps Kids with Social and Emotional Learning

Jungle Yoga Adventure for Kids

Mindfulness Activities and Teaching Resources

Teacher-Recommended Mindfulness Books

Interviews with Children's Authors: