4 Mindfulness Activities Your Kids Will Love

Want to make mindfulness a family priority? Bring focus and peace with these fun family-friendly
mindfulness activities.
Ever wondered what a mindful Children’s Day weekend would look like? Imagine activities that focus on “being” rather than “doing”. Try putting emphasis on the little moments that make your bond stronger, that light up you and your child’s day.
Everyday, your mind races about your list of errands, and then there’s the reality of our 21st century lifestyle, where technology constantly competes for our attention. Though we can’t avoid distraction, we can always use a mindfulness practice to help our kids and ourselves become more present in our daily lives.
What is mindfulness? Well, it’s the ability to be fully aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions at all times, and in every moment. It also helps you fully engage in any task you are performing, without distractions or judgement. With a little practice, you might find yourself and your kids becoming more patient, empathetic, compassionate and ultimately, happier people!
With that, spend time with your child this weekend by engaging in these four simple activities that promote mindfulness. They foster closeness and connection, and are perfect for harnessing the power of those little moments with your kids.

1. Go for a walk to sharpen the senses

A walk in nature releases anxiety and awakens your senses.

Taking meditative walks can help sharpen your child’s ability to focus by encouraging them to explore the world around them through their five senses. It also shows them how applying mindfulness to the most ordinary or mundane tasks can bring about some new discoveries!
Start by setting aside 10 minutes in the day to take a stroll around the neighbourhood or in a park, and try these activities with your child. Enjoy each step for one to two minutes before moving on to the next.
Let’s begin:

  1. Start the walk together at a slow pace and take the first few seconds to notice any sensations, thoughts or emotions that come up. Ask your child to notice their breath, and if it feels deep or shallow.
  2. Together, try to be completely silent and have them focus on hearing any sounds around them. It could be birds singing, leaves rustling, or even cars passing by.
  3. Have your child close their eyes and hold your hand as they continue walking. Ask them if they smell any interesting aromas or scents. It could be the smell of grass or flowers nearby. 
  4. Have your child open their eyes once more. Get them to feel the pavement or grass beneath their shoes, and ask them if it feels rough or smooth, hard or soft. Get them to explore other interesting textures found along the walk, and encourage them to touch a tree bark or a leaf, and notice how these items feel on their fingertips.
  5. Start a game with your child and challenge them to spot seven things along the walk that are the same colours as those in a rainbow. Keep walking until your child has found all seven colours.
  6. After the walk, encourage your child to share what they have noticed for each of the senses during the walk. Even better, share your own observations and make it a fun discussion.
Comfortable walking shoes will make this a more enjoyable daily habit, so grab yourself and your little one a pair at ECCO Outlet located at The Centrepoint; Dr. Kong located at Causeway Point, Changi City Point and Northpoint City; Happy Walker located at Northpoint City; and Skechers located at Causeway Point, Northpoint City, Tampines 1, Tiong Bahru Plaza, and Waterway Point.

2. Unfolding the art of mindfulness with origami

Origami is a peaceful art used to help children develop their focus.

Did you know that origami — the art of paper folding — is said to be practised by Buddhist monks as early as the 6th century? This craft can enhance mindfulness in both children and adults, and even promote a sense of calm. In fact, children in Japan are taught origami in school to help develop their focus, patience, memory and concentration.

Unlike popular belief, origami is not about perfectionism. You will find that after folding the same paper crane a hundred times, it is impossible to fold the perfect crane. Thus, origami is learning how to let go of self-judgement or criticism, and enjoying the practice. By focusing on each step of folding in the moment, neither thinking nor rushing to the next, you train your mind’s ability to become more present in each moment of the day.
Let’s begin:

  1. Use origami paper bought from the store, or square shapes cut from plain paper or old magazines lying around the house.
  2. For origami to be meditative, your child needs to know the folds by heart. So start with learning simple origami shapes such as a paper plane, bird or heart together. Be prepared to go through an initial stage of learning and guide your child through the steps. Once mastered, they will be able to fold in a meditative way.
  3. When folding origami, make sure your child focuses on the paper and the folding, performing each step calmly and slowly.
  4. Encourage them to study the paper, the lines and the colours. Feel the texture of the paper between their fingers and notice the sounds of the paper as they fold.
  5. Before moving on to the next step, have your child check the steps they have just completed.
  6. Origami can be performed anytime and anywhere, such as on the way to school, before bed or on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
  7. For more options, find various origami designs on YouTube such as this origami bird, and fold away.
Discover a range of beautiful origami paper from Daiso located at Changi City Point, Eastpoint Mall, Tampines 1, Tiong Bahru Plaza, and Waterway Point; and Popular Bookstore located at Causeway Point, Eastpoint Mall, Hougang Mall, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Northpoint City, and White Sands.

3. Healing notes for music lovers

Let music reveal your true emotions with deep listening. 

If you and your family members are music lovers, why not turn listening to music into a mindfulness practice? Music can help us understand our thoughts, emotions and feelings better. For our children, it can improve their awareness and control of their emotions. It can also help reduce any stress or anxiety they might be experiencing in school. In fact, deep listening of music has been found to be fundamentally healing for our body, mind and spirit.
Let’s begin:
  1. Pick a calming song that you and your child will enjoy, starting with jazz or classical. It should be a new experience, so pick a song that the both of you have not heard before.
  2. Get comfortable and put away any devices.
  3. For the next few minutes, sit silently, relax and take a few deep breaths together.
  4. Once both of you feel settled, press play and focus on listening to the song.
  5. Ask your child to notice any emotions, moods, or thoughts that first arise while listening, and if they notice any physical sensations in their body.
  6. The key here is not to judge these feelings, but to simply observe them.
  7. Guide your child to return their focus on the music every time their mind starts to wander. 
  8. When the song ends, take a minute to sit still and digest the experience together. 
  9. Now encourage your child to share their emotions, thoughts or feelings with you, as you share yours. Remind them to observe without judging. 
  10. Repeat the experience with a more upbeat or familiar song, and compare how both of you feel during the experience.
For a more immersive experience, find headphones from Best Denki located at Waterway PointChallenger located at Bedok Point, Causeway Point, Changi City Point, Eastpoint Mall, Northpoint City, Tampines 1, and Tiong Bahru Plaza; Courts located at Causeway Point and Eastpoint Mall; Gadget Mix located at Causeway Point, Century Square, Hougang Mall, Northpoint City, Tampines 1, Tiong Bahru Plaza, and Waterway Point; Gain City located at Causeway Point, Northpoint City, Tampines 1, and Waterway Point; and Harvey Norman located at Bedok Point, Hougang Mall, Northpoint City, and The Centrepoint.

4. Awaken the mind and body connection

There’s no room for judgement during a playful yoga practice together!

Research has found that a mindful yoga practice can help kids boost their focus, memory, and self-esteem. When we coordinate movement with breath, and pay attention to how our body feels at the same time, yoga can become a practice of mindfulness. It brings our attention inward to our bodies, instead of getting lost in our noisy thoughts.
The key to practising mindful yoga is to simply notice how your body feels, and perform the poses without judgement or expectations. For parents, we encourage you to bring as much fun and play into the yoga practice as possible! 
There are countless yoga poses to explore, but you can start by taking your kid through these two simple movements. To make this a more enjoyable experience, practice these poses a couple of times before starting the activity together. This way, your child can mirror your movement as you use the following instructions to guide them.
Let’s begin:

Pose #1: I am a Warrior

  1. Stand tall with feet wide apart.
  2. Turn your right toes out, and keep your left foot as it is.
  3. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Press into the pinky toe side of your left foot to help you balance.
  4. Spread both arms out horizontally to create a straight line from left to right at shoulder height. 
  5. When your mind wanders, bring your mind back to the task. Check if your torso is straight, your legs and arms are aligned, and your fingertips are reaching out to both sides of the room.
  6. Take five to 10 deep breaths in this pose, focus on your breathing throughout and notice how your body feels.
  7. Once you feel balanced, imagine becoming a strong warrior, how does it make you feel?
  8. Return to original position and switch sides. 
Pose #2: I am a Growing Flower

  1. Start by curling your body into a tight ball on the floor.
  2. Notice your breath, the heat of your body, and any emotions.
  3. Start to uncurl your body slowly, like a growing flower, into a kneeling position.
  4. Gradually grow into a standing position. Stretch your arms above your head and reach up like a blooming flower.
  5. Finally, bring your palms together above your head and take five deep breaths.
  6. At this stage, encourage your child to share how they feel. Ask if they feel happier, and how their body feels.
  7. After five to 10 deep breaths, curl back slowly onto the floor again, and repeat the practice a few more times. 
Get all your yoga needs at Adidas located at Causeway Point and Tampines 1; Decathlon located at Tiong Bahru Plaza, The Centrepoint and Waterway Point; and Royal Sporting House located at Causeway Point and Northpoint City
More often than not, practising mindfulness can bring you and your child a sense of calm, and act as a reminder that we are in control of how we think, feel and act. We hope that you and your family will start enjoying daily mindfulness practices together, to strengthen your relationships, increase your joy and well-being, and form closer bonds.
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Theresa.