Sunday, June 11, 2017

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


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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 MindfulTeachers.org

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.


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! 


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 MindfulTeachers.org 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.  MindfulTeachers.org has an international readership, and it's likely your colleagues in other countries won't be familiar with all the same resources.  

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related posts: 

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

Jungle Yoga Adventure for Kids

Mindfulness Activities and Teaching Resources

Mindfulness Training Links

Teacher-Recommended Mindfulness Books


Interviews with Children's Authors:

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