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Mindfulness for Kids

Posted 2 months ago by Amy H

Posted in Children and Parenting, eBooks and Audiobooks and Nonfiction | Tagged with awareness, Buddhism, calmness, child psychology, Children's Stories, meditation, mindfulness and stress management

What is mindfulness?

What does it mean to be mindful anyway? Well, in the simplest possible terms it means to fully live in the present moment. Here's a short video that explains what it means to be mindful:


Mindfulness is a way of being or a mindset. It is thought to help bring calm, ease stress and anxiety. Here are a few definitions that should help shed light on this complex topic:

Merriam-Webster:

The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.

Mayo Clinic:

Mindfulness is the act of being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling at every moment — without interpretation or judgment.

Mindful:

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Picture Books

The books below cover several interesting topics that relate to mindfulness ... awareness, calmness, emotions, stress and self-reliance.

A world of pausabilities : an exercise in mindfulness / by Frank J. Sileo ; illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo

Children (and adults) live in a fast-paced, demanding and stressful world. It is often difficult to slow-down our children's minds and bodies. This book was written to teach children to take a pause in their lives, to stop activity, to understand quiet time, and to think about what they are doing and where they are going

I am peace : a book of mindfulness / by Susan Verde ; art by Peter H. Reynolds

I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde

A child starts to get carried away with worry and rushing thoughts before taking a breath, steadying, observing thoughts, feeling kindness, feeling thankful, and experiencing the world.

Charlotte and the quiet place / Deborah Sosin ; illustrated by Sara Woolley

Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin

Sometimes children need a break from our noisy, overstimulating world. "Charlotte and the Quiet Place" shows how a child learns and practices mindful breathing on her own and experiences the beauty of silence.

Silence by Lemniscates

Silence by Lemniscates

Simple text encourages the reader to be silent and listen for sounds often not heard, such as the wind playing with a kite, or the chattering of trees.

Be still, life / Ohara Hale

Be Still, Life by Ohara Hale

Thought-provoking in its depiction of the relationship between stillness and motion, this is certain to engage children, slowing them down through sheer fascination and delight.

What Does It Mean To Be Present? by Rana DiOrio ; illustrated by Eliza Wheeler

What Does It Mean To Be Present? by Rana DiOrio ; illustrated by Eliza Wheeler

This vivid, sense-engaging picture book introduces children to a life-changing ability in a playful and accessible way.

Puppy Mind by Andrew Jordan Nance ; illustrated by Jim Durk

Puppy Mind by Andrew Jordan Nance ; illustrated by Jim Durk

A boy discovers his mind is like a puppy, always wandering away, into the past or the future, and trains his puppy mind to heel to the present through remembering to breathe, and thus keeping his attention in the present, if only for a moment.

Nonfiction Books

The books below delve into mindfulness, meditation, awareness, calmness and the mind/body connection.

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey

Provides thirty exercises to help readers find calm, gain focus, and feel energized during the day, and encourages establishing a consistent mindfulness practice at home and on the go.

Meditation is an Open Sky: Mindfulness for Kids by Whitney Stewart

Meditation is an Open Sky: Mindfulness for Kids by Whitney Stewart

Describes nine simple meditation exercises to help kids find focus, manage stress, and face challenges.

Breathe and be : a book of mindfulness poems / by Kate Coombs

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems by Kate Coombs

A collection of poems paired with imagery of the natural world reminds readers about the importance of staying calm, soothing emotions, and appreciating the world around them.

Calm : mindfulness for kids / written by Wynne Kinder, M.Ed.

Calm: Mindfulness for Kids by Wynne Kinder

A mindfulness-themed activity guide helps children recognize and understand their thoughts and feelings, explaining how to approach everyday activities in more aware ways that promote positive mental health, calmness and confidence.

Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids by Whitney Stewart ; pictures by Stacy Peterson

Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids by Whitney Stewart ; pictures by Stacy Peterson

Introduces children and preteens to mindfulness with over thirty exercises, meditations, and writing prompts intended to help with relaxation, thoughtfulness, anger management, acceptance, kindness, friendship, and citizenship.

Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens and Families by Susan Kaiser Greenland and Annaka Harris

Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens and Families by Susan Kaiser Greenland and Annaka Harris

Encourages parents to use mindful play to help their children develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion.

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh

"A Handful of Quiet" is a concrete activity that parents and educators can introduce to children in school settings, in their local communities or at home, in a way that is meaningful and inviting. Any adult wishing to plant seeds of peace, relaxation, and awareness in children will find this unique meditation guide helpful. Children can also enjoy doing pebble meditation on their own.

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel

Offers instructions on the basics of mindfulness meditation practices for children intended to help with calmness, focus, regular sleep, worry, anger, patience, and awareness.

Further Reading

Toledo Library Blog Posts

Using Mindfulness to Help Kids Destress

Mindfulness and Buddhism 101

Articles from the Web

Mindfulness for Children - The New York Times

3 Definitions of Mindfulness That Might Surprise You - Psychology Today

Woman browsing books in a library
Looking for more great reads?

Try our Give 3 Get 3 service.

What's Give 3 Get 3 you ask?

It's a personalized reading/listening/viewing recommendation service provided by the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Basically, librarians provide customers with reading, listening and/or viewing suggestions based on a short questionnaire. Tell us about 3 titles you enjoyed recently (and why) and we'll send you back 3 more recommendations based on your responses.


This blog post was compiled by Amy H. and April S.

Featured Image Credit: Image by Pezibear from Pixabay.

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