5 mindful activities for chilled happy children

It’s Sunday afternoon, about 4:30pm. You took the kids swimming this morning, then round the retail park to buy a coat (which they hate), and you’ve just done a big Tesco shop. The kids are hyper and knackered, but it’s too early for bedtime. They need to chill out for a little bit… as do you!

So here are a few mindful activities to keep little ones calm, focusing on what they can see, smell, hear, taste and feel. Pausing to be in the moment… before chaos (and your headache) resumes. These quick ideas can be done at home, and are suitable for kids aged 3-plus.

1) CALMING SNOWGLOBE: An easy nostalgic make that encourages kids to stop and look

What you’ll need: an empty jar, water, a waterproof toy, glitter, glue

1. Help your child to glue the toy to the inside of the jar’s lid.

2. Now they fill the jar about ¾ full with water and sprinkle in some glitter.

3. Screw on the lid tightly (the toy is now inside) and wrap some tape around it to make it extra secure (remind your child not to unscrew it!)

4. Now they can turn the jar to make the glitter swirl. Encourage them to put their faces close and watch one piece of glitter. Mesmerising!


2) COLOUR ME CALM: A simple creative colouring activity to keep kids quiet for a moment or two…

What you’ll need: colouring books (or plain paper), pens, pencils, crayons

What you do:

1.Find a nice quiet spot, and get your little one to focus on a colouring book page, or on drawing their very own picture!

2. If your little one is struggling to think of picture ideas, write a few simple objects on scraps of paper and let them pick them up and draw them one by one!

Kids love getting their crayons out? Try these easy drawing ideas.

3) MOVE TO THE MUSIC: Dancing fun to encourage kids to listen and move

What you’ll need: any music you like!

What you do:

1. Play your little one’s favourite song, and ask them to listen to it carefully.  Is it loud and headbangy? Or soft and floaty?
2. Ask them to make up a dance, and bonus points if it suits the style of music!

4) MMM-MMM-MMMINDFUL SNACKS: A tasty guessing game to encourage mindful eating!

What you’ll need: An assortment of sweet and savoury snacks – aim for some different textures

What you do:

1. Ask your little one to close their eyes.
2. Give them a bite of each snack one by one.
3. Can your little one guess what they’re eating? What does it taste like? What does it feel like on their tongue? Is it hot or cold?

Does your child turn into a hangry monster after school? Try these easy snacks.

5) BREATHING BUDDIES: When it all gets a bit much, just stop and take a big deep breath!

What you’ll need: nothing!

What you do:

1. Get your little one to just… stop.
2.Both close your eyes.
3. Take a big deep breath in through your noses.
4. Breathe out through your mouths.
5. Relaaax.

So, hopefully these activities will restore some peace and calm on those manic afternoons. But if you and your little one are still struggling, then grab a duvet and their favourite book, and read the hours away together. Ahhh, lovely!