Meditation for kids
April 21, 2020 8:58 AM   Subscribe

I find meditation helps me a lot and I wish I found it earlier. How can I introduce it to my kids?

Should I?
posted by aeighty to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am always in here talking up the Insight Timer app, even the free version. They have tracks for kids, tweens, and teens. You should probably try them first, you know your kids and what they'll respond to, but I am flipping through the list right now and seeing all kinds of options. They do have a "Kids: Learn to Meditate" 5-day course (many of their courses are for-pay, but this one is free) led by Andy Hobson, who's a bit of a rockstar in Mindfulness meditation and has a great voice. It's listed as 12 minutes a day, so probably do-able for most kids.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:17 AM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

There are a lot of kid-focused guided meditation and mindfulness resources coming out right now, and I think the worst-case scenario is disinterest. I wouldn’t press if that happens, but there seems little harm in trying (unless you have a child with anxiety, OCD, etc. who finds it increases rumination or similar — in which case, still worth trying but extra-definitely don’t press if the kid doesn’t have a positive experience).

Not sure your kids’ ages, but my 5-year-old really likes the mindfulness exercises on GoNoodle, which were both used by his kindergarten teacher and recommended by a play therapist.
posted by LadyInWaiting at 9:21 AM on April 21, 2020

My kids are two and six and both of them really like the "Zen Den" mindfulness series from Cosmic Kids. It's video-based, but I do find that reliably holds their attention far better than than audio tracks, and Jaime teaches the basics of meditation and mindfulness and gives them some of the language at the same time. There's a bunch of different ones; my dog-obsessed toddler particularly adores the one with Mini the Puppy. My 6yo daughter was actually the one to discover it and bring it to her brother to help him calm down in the midst of a bad tantrum AND IT TOTALLY WORKED.

My oldest LOVES to turn on "relaxing music" on our Echo Dot while she lies in bed powering down before she goes to sleep, and that too is a form of meditation...I think the station itself is called "Mindfulness Music"!
posted by anderjen at 9:37 AM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Smiling Mind is an app out of Australia which is specifically geared towards young people. I felt it was really helpful for learning a lot of the basics. It's been around since before all this started and if your kids are fine with the accents, it's a great way to get started.
posted by jessamyn at 10:14 AM on April 21, 2020

The Waking Up app, which I personally use and love, has a series of meditations for kids also.
posted by pdxhiker at 2:56 PM on April 21, 2020

The Peace Out podcast from BedtimeFM is amazing and each episode features a guided meditation “calm down” at the beginning, followed by soothing stories. My 5yo is obsessed with it (and so am I, tbh).
posted by lomes at 4:10 PM on April 21, 2020

The Starbright series of books by Maureen Garth loom large for my kids. They're a bit cheesy, but she encourages readers to put their own spinn on the text, leave out what didn't suit you etc. We went through the whole series multiple times, and it's super comforting to them (they go right to sleep). It has also really laid a foundation for the mechanics of what meditation is, so I feel like they're now ready for transiting to something a little more robust.
posted by Text TK at 7:36 PM on April 21, 2020

I liked this book a lot: Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean
posted by splitpeasoup at 8:03 PM on April 21, 2020

We have been using the Headspace app for kids for a long time. In fact, when we talked with our pediatrician about some mood issues they were having, she recommended Headspace. Lots of scenarios/foci to choose from.

I am a Headspace subscriber/frequent user FWIW.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:22 PM on April 21, 2020

I read my mum's book "The 5 Minute Meditator" that she left lying around in the early 90s. Maybe she did it on purpose as I was an anxious kid and she knew I would read anything that was in my line of sight?

Anyway, it was simple, non-woo, and wasn't directly aimed at kids, which was I think important. I have always swung round back to meditation throughout my life, and I think it was that book which instilled in me that it is a part of regular life, not some sort of medicine.
posted by Balthamos at 3:25 AM on April 22, 2020

My parents used the "Imagine Yourself" tapes with me and my brother back in the 80s — "Be a ball, be a bird" — great exercises to do body scans and learn about relaxation/visualization, very appropriate to younger kids. I think you can still find this under iTunes/Amazon music.
posted by pants at 5:43 PM on April 22, 2020

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