Mindful breathing exercises are easy to teach to children. All children can feel overwhelmed at times. Calming the inner storm is very difficult for young children to master. Their emotional overload may be displayed through a variety of emotional outbursts, such as, fear or anxiety, sadness or crying, and frustration or anger. Once a child begins expressing themselves in an emotionally out of control way, it’s very difficult for them to gain their self control. However, teaching children to practice mindfulness, along with teaching them when they should be putting it into practice, gives them a tool for successfully navigating through their own emotions.

Often parents and teachers think they need to play apps or You Tube links in order to give children mindfulness lessons. However, it’s easy and also a lot better to teach children yourself, without using technology. By making the exercise very short you are empowering yourself and the children to gain confidence in practicing mindfulness successfully. Short successful sessions are also the key to truly developing the child’s ability to practice mindfulness on their own. Additionally, spending two minutes to refocus our attention is usually all that’s needed to calm down.

Below is a simple script for a two minute breathing exercise. If you feel you can’t remember the words you may like to make a couple of palm cards and just pull them out after you have asked the children to close their eyes.

A two minute Mindful breathing exercise

[Always let the children know that you are about to practice mindfulness and speak with a clam voice]

Lets spend two minutes practicing a mindfulness of breath exercise. We need to practice mindful breathing everyday when we feel good, so that when we aren’t feeling so good, because we are upset or anger, then we know what to do to feel good again.

Sit comfortably with your back straight and your eyes closed. Begin by focusing on your breath and feeling the air going into your body and then leaving your body.

[Allow 10 seconds to pass]

Feel the air traveling through your nose as it goes in and then comes out again.

[Allow 10 seconds to pass]

Whatever your breath is doing just watch and notice how it feels.

[Allow 10 seconds to pass]

Feel the movement of your body as the air goes into your lungs and then out again.

[Allow 10 seconds to pass]

If your mind wonders off to other thoughts just bring it back to focus once again on your breath.

[Allow 10 seconds to pass]

Just feel yourself breathing.

[Allow 10 seconds to pass]

When you are ready gently open your eyes.

[Allow 10 seconds to pass]

You did so well! You’re amazing! And you’ve made me very happy because you tried your best. Do you feel better inside your mind and your body? I’m sure you’re feeling nice and calm now. Let’s practice again tomorrow because I want you to get really good at this so you can use it to calm down whenever you need to.

Note: In the future when you see the child experiencing an emotional overload just remind them to take some great big breaths.

Author: Elizabeth Mulhane

And if you are keen to improve the wellbeing within your family please sign up for our family orientated mindfulness course . This amazing 8 week online course was designed to help you improve yourself, your mind, your life and your families overall levels of wellbeing.

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Kind regards,

Elizabeth Mulhane B.PsySc(Hons)