Mindfulness Activities For Kids to Focus and Feel Calm

Mindfulness activities for kids

In simple terms, mindfulness is all about noticing what’s happening now. It’s about being calm and connected to your senses: sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste. When life gets busy, your brain can sometimes get lost. The TV, iPad, and phone can be pretty distracting, too. That’s why mindfulness activities are important for kids.

Why are mindfulness activities important for kids?

Mindfulness is one of your body’s superpowers! Your five senses give you clues on how to be safe and happy.

When you turn the page of a book, your skin feels the crisp edges of the paper. As you walk on the street, your ears hear the “zoom” of a motorcycle zipping by.

These sensations give your brain information.

Then, you use that knowledge to avoid the sting of a paper cut and stay on the sidewalk until the street is quiet and safe to cross.

Mindfulness also brings joy and comfort, like when you smell your favorite food or look at a beautiful flower.

Practicing mindfulness helps you focus and feel better.

mindfulness activity for kids - smelling delicious food

Benefits of mindfulness activities for kids

Here are just a few ways that mindfulness can help your body and mind:

How mindfulness helps your body

  • Slow a racing heartbeat
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Calm fast breathing
  • Relax tense muscles

How mindfulness helps your brain

  • Boost attention span
  • Listen and communicate better
  • Feel less stress

Simple mindfulness activities for kids

These easy exercises can help kids practice mindfulness.

Explore these mindfulness activities and see which ones you like best. Remember, everyone is different!

Activity #1: The five senses countdown.

Mindfulness Activities For Kids: Helpful Ways to Focus and Feel Calm
  • What do you see? Name and describe 5 things that you can see with your eyes.
  • What can you hear? Name and describe 4 sounds you hear with your ears.
  • What can you feel? Name and describe the texture of 3 things you can touch with your hands.
  • What can you smell? Name and describe 2 things you can smell with your nose.
  • What can you taste? Name and describe 1 thing you can taste in your mouth.

Activity #2: Slow down at snack time.

Eating is one of the most important mindfulness activities for kids.

Imagine grabbing a huge bag of chips, plopping down on the couch, and turning on the TV. After the show ends, you realize you ate the whole bag! You can accidentally eat too much when you’re busy watching a video or doing something else.

The opposite happens when you practice mindfulness while eating. Your brain and body can communicate better! You can notice if the smell is rancid or see if there is fuzzy mold – signs that you should not take a bite. If the meal is fresh and delicious, you can notice that your stomach feels full – a sign that you should probably box up the leftovers.

Want to get in the habit of eating mindfully? Ask yourself these questions at snack or mealtime:

  • Sight: What is the color, shape, and texture outside and inside the food?
  • Touch: What do your fingers feel as you hold the food? What does your mouth feel as you chew and swallow the food? As the food travels down the esophagus and stomach, do you feel any changes in your chest and belly?
  • Sound: What do you hear when you open, peel, or cut? What do you hear when you bite and chew the food?
  • Smell: What odors do you notice when you open, peel, or cut the food?
  • Taste: What flavors – salty, sweet, bitter, sour, umami – do you notice?

Activity #3: Study the sky.

clouds in the sky - cloud watching mindfulness activity for kids

What do you see in the sky? Look out the window or go outside and lay on the grass.

Use your eyes to notice the sky’s colors and the clouds’ puffs. Do the shapes of the clouds remind you of anything? A cuddly cat or piles of poop? Get creative with your imagination!

Try this relaxing mindfulness activity at different times of the day. Have you noticed the pink, purple, and orange colors at sunrise and sunset?

Activity #4: Stroll for sounds.

Here’s another easy mindfulness activity for kids! Go for a walk outside. What natural sounds do you hear? How many animal sounds do you hear?

If you’re in a busy city, how many honking horns can you count?

If you can’t go outside, what sounds do you notice at home? Do you hear the hum of the heater, fan, or air conditioner? Can you hear the soft tick of a clock?

Activity #5: Have a rainbow scavenger hunt.

Walk around and see how many things of each color you can see. Go through the colors of the rainbow in order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

color scavenger hunt printable English, Chinese, Korean from Chalk Academy

Write down what you see or draw them in a journal.

This mindfulness activity is great for kids of all ages:

  • Younger kids can enjoy a rainbow scavenger hunt with a printable activity sheet.
  • Teens and grown-ups can bring a camera and photograph what they see.

Activity #6: Read books about mindfulness.

family reading human body books together

Reading out loud is one of the best mindfulness activities for kids. When you use more senses, you can be more focused during reading.

In addition to touching the page and seeing the words, you can hear the words you are seeing.

Some people even love the smell of books, which means they use four senses during reading time!

Books can also give us reminders and tips for being mindful. Check out these great children’s books about the senses and mindfulness.

Published on February 11, 2022. Updated on December 27, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD

Published on February 11, 2022. Updated on December 27, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD

Dr. Betty Choi pediatrician

Betty Choi, MD

Dr. Betty Choi is a Harvard-trained pediatrician who makes learning fun and doable. She created the kids’ anatomy book Human Body Learning Lab, which Science Magazine recommended as a “notable standout in the genre.”