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7 Best Books For Teaching Kids Mindfulness

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Today, life moves way too fast. With televisions, tablets, video games, and smartphones, it’s a miracle we can still think for ourselves. Our children are used to things happening quickly and immediately. Since things happen so fast in today’s world, that means stress comes just as fast.

As adults, when we get stressed we can make the decision to step away from what is stressing us. If we’re working too much we can take a day off. If we’ve had a hard day we can soak in the tub, or do whatever calms us. Children have a harder time knowing when to slow down. Its one of the reasons why we should introduce mindfulness activities into the everyday lives of our children. Teaching kids mindfulness gives them a great tool to reduce anxiety and increase happiness.

Mindfulness is simply making ourselves aware of what’s happening around us, whether it is the sound of the breeze blowing in the window, the smell of barbeque cooking next door, of the soft feel of a kiss on your cheek. You just stop and experience those things without letting anything else interfere. It doesn’t have to last a long time, even if it’s just a few seconds.

How to teach this to children? Luckily, we have lots of great books to help children learn about the world around them and experience it in a new way.

1. I Can Breathe Like A…A Mindful Breathing Book for Kids

Author: Megan Johnson

Purchase Link:  Amazon.com

This mindfulness book allows children to breathe with the animals as they try to imitate them with their breathing. The colorful illustrations feature poses that children can imitate while they’re breathing. Each page features a new technique to try. It makes mindfulness easy enough for kids and parents to try together.

2. Listening to My Body

Author and Illustrator: Written by Gabi Garcia and Illustrated by Ying Hui Tan

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

The full title is Listening to My Body: A Guide to Helping Kids Understand The Connection Between Thier Sensations (what the heck are those?) and Feelings So That They Can Get Better at Figuring Out What They Need. This book really helps children to stop and realize when their little bodies are telling them something. For example, they learn that they yawn when they’re tired and get goosebumps when they’re cold. Each page also includes activities to do together that help them to build on what they just read. The website listeningtomybody.com includes downloadable resources to go with the book.


3. Mindful Kids: 50 Activities for Calm, Focus, and Peace

Author and Illustrator: Written by Whitney Stewart and Illustrated by Mina Braun

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

This isn’t a book, it’s actually a card deck. Shuffle them and randomly choose an activity that helps kids practice mindfulness. Both sides of each card include full-color illustrations with activities broken down into easy-to-follow steps. The cards are divided into five categories of mindfulness game. Once you go through the entire deck, children will have improved skills in concentration, relaxation, focus, and more.


4. Breathe Like A Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere

Author and Illustrator: Kira Willey and Illustrated by Anni Betts

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

The exercises in this book allow children to use their imaginations while they’re developing awareness of the world around them. For example, one page tells them to imagine they are holding a candle and breathe in and out softly without blowing the candle out. The illustrations make it easy for parents and children to relate to what the characters are doing and have fun. Taking the time to practice these activities will allow your child to calm themselves when they get too overwhelmed. They can take the practices here and use them anywhere they go.


5. I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness

Author and Illustrator: Written by Susan Verde and Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds have given us a series of books including I Am Yoga and I am Human: A Book of Empathy. I Am Peace discusses mindfulness in a way that children can understand. It helps them to stop and look at the world around them, and it helps them to realize when they’re getting overwhelmed. It’s a great story to encourage conversation between children and adults and help them to enjoy the world around them.


6.  My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

Author and Illustrator: Written by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor and Illustrated by Michelle Polizzi

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

In using their imaginations while exploring their breathing, children find a new way to stop and experience the moment instead of racing through it. Like magic, they can feel better by breathing. The bright illustrations allow children to imagine their breath becoming like a colorful, peaceful wind surrounding them. This book helps adults guide children through mindful breathing by simply saying “take a deep breath in…and take a deep breath out”.

teach-kids-mindfulness7. The Mindful Dragon: A Dragon Book About Mindfulness

Author and Illustrator: Steve Herman

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Volume 3 of the My Dragon Books, this book allows children to practice mindfulness while imagining they have a pet dragon. How would they train him to be mindful? Children will love listening to this story as parents and children learn about mindfulness in a fun and unique way. The My Dragon Books teach kids about many different things including potty training, learning to accept the word “no”, and managing anger, among other things. Grab the entire collection to help your child learn about life with their “pet dragon.”




Rounding It Out

Introduce mindfulness to kids by having them take a moment and breathe. The mindfulness exercises in these books will help you and your child, students, or charges, take a moment and breathe together. Whether they’re training a dragon, breathing like the moon, or trying hard not to blow out their candles, children will appreciate the activities in these books with increased happiness and decreased stress and anxiety.


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