There are so many benefits associated with mindfulness and meditation: improved sleep, fewer pessimistic thoughts, increased productivity and performance, and better mental wellbeing are just a few of them.
While the research on the impact of meditation and mindfulness on children is still insufficient, the available studies suggest that these practices can be effective in reducing children’s stress and anxiety. For instance, one study found that deep breathing exercises helped reduce stress in 5-year-old children and other studies found the same results among children with learning disabilities. In a different study, 11- to 12-year-olds who were taught breathing exercises noted a sharp drop in their anxiety levels.
Meditation has also become more common within the classroom setting and some teachers have reported a decrease in misconduct and a huge increase in focus and concentration among meditating children.
We now know that meditation and mindfulness can be beneficial for many kids. And the good news is that apps are an easy and fun way to help your child get started with these practices.
Here are several child-friendly apps your kids will enjoy using.
1. Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
As its name suggests, “Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame” is a free research-based app designed to help young children develop skills such as calming down and solving problems. This app encourages your child to help a monster friend calm down by taking long, deep breaths, and then to think of a solution to everyday challenges. The app is also great for teaching children skills such as self control and persistence. It is available in English and Spanish and is compatible with both iOS and Android.
2. Sleep Meditations for Kids
If your child is a terrible sleeper, or if bedtime battles are common in your home, Sleep Meditations for kids might just be what you need! This app was designed by Christiane Kerr, a yoga and Montessori teacher. Bedtime stories are transformed into guided meditations that help your child relax and sleep peacefully. This app is available for free on iOS.
3. Mindful Powers™
Mindful Powers™ is an award-winning app that is fully focused on the holistic development of children through play. The app uses voice-guided stories to teach kids about managing emotions and about the powers of mindfulness.
Kids also get to practice calming their own Flibbertigibbet™, a cute virtual pet. If your child is struggling with anxiety or concentration issues, you may want to try Mindful Powers to help them stay calm and focused. This app is available for free on iOS.
4. Headspace for Kids
Although the Headspace app initially targeted meditation and mindfulness in adults, it now has numerous sections your entire family can use. This app has breathing exercises, tutorials, guided relaxations, soothing sounds, visualizations, and meditations exercises, broken down into different categories depending on the user’s age.
The app also has short sessions and simple techniques for young children. Headspace also proposes a family subscription, meaning that your entire family can enjoy the app. A 7-day free trial is available on iOS and Android, and the premium version costs $12.99 per month.
5. Kids Yoga Deck
If your child is the type who thrives on movement, they’ll love the Kids Yoga Deck app. This app proposes fun and child-friendly yoga exercises to help kids focus on their bodies. It is available on iOS and costs $1.99.
6. Stop, Breathe & Think Kids
Stop, Breathe & Think Kids proposes mindful breathing exercises and guided meditations to help children ages 5–10 learn how to meditate, focus, and identify and process big emotions. This app encourages them to focus on their feelings and on how their body feels, and therefore helps them connect with their inner selves. There are more than 20 free exercises available on iOS and the premium version costs $10 a month.
Calm is the perfect app for tweens and teens, and your child will appreciate it regardless of whether they are just starting out with meditation or are more advanced meditators.
This app proposes a new meditation every day and guided or unguided meditation sessions of varying lengths (between three to 25 minutes), meaning that your child can choose whatever suits them best.
There are numerous stress-relieving tools and techniques (breathing exercises, mood check-in and trackers, contemplation exercises, music, body stretches, mental fitness exercises, sleep stories, etc.) to help them focus on the moment and reduce anxiety. This app is great for children struggling with anxiety. It is free to access on iOS and Android (a 7-day free trial), but the premium version costs $14.99 a month.
Meditation and mindfulness apps can help reduce your child’s stress and anxiety levels and increase their sense of wellbeing, but they are not a replacement for medical attention. Please see a physician if you are worried about your child’s behavior.
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