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10 Books About Mindfulness and Meditation for Younger Kids
by Keith Rice
Keith Rice is a West Virginia native and a freelance writer residing in Philadelphia with his lovely, if oft-exasperated, wife and three cats. Keith is not-so-patiently awaiting the day he can introduce his impending little one to the worlds of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and The Ranger’s Apprentice. Drop him a line @Keith_Rice1.
If the year so far has demonstrated anything, it is the importance of practicing mindfulness, developing coping mechanisms, and indulging in self-care. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, or simply making time for the things that make us happy, being mindful of our emotional and mental wellbeing is key to being fulfilled in life. Children of all ages can benefit from mindfulness techniques to help reduce stress, focus on their thoughts, and unpack their emotions. Fortunately, there are plenty of books to introduce them to mindfulness at various ages and stages.
Here are 10 books that will help younger kids learn how to slow down, focus on their breathing, and become more mindful of big emotions swirling around inside them.
by Kira Willey, illustrated by Anni Betts
Controlling your breathing is a surprisingly effective and underutilized way to manage stress and emotions. With Mindfulness Moments for Kids: Bunny Breaths, we can teach even our littlest ones to replenish their energy and manage their growing bodies with simple – and fun – breathing techniques. Be sure to check the entire Mindfulness Moments for Kids series for other great mindfulness exercises for your kiddos.
(Ages 0 – 3)
by Taeeun Yoo
With its bright, cheerful illustrations and playful storytelling style, You Are a Lion is a great way to introduce your children to the benefits of yoga. Featuring a host of kid-friendly poses, You Are a Lion! inspires imaginative play as children learn both stretching and breathing techniques that encourage focus, calm, and — most importantly — fun.
(Ages 3 – 5)
by Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle’s most beloved creation, has been charming children for over half a century. Join everyone’s favorite caterpillar on a simple and engaging journey towards relaxation. With simple coping mechanisms and breathing strategies brought to life in Carle’s distinctive collage-style artwork, Calm with The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the perfect way to help little ones on their mindfulness journey.
(Ages 3 – 5)
by Cori Doerrfeld
This endearing tale of empathy and kindness is an ideal way to illustrate the value of simply listening and providing comfort. When something sad happens, Taylor turns to his animal friends for comfort. As each takes a turn telling Taylor what he should be doing, Taylor realizes this isn’t what he needs. It is only when he encounters a rabbit that Taylor realizes sometimes having someone simply listen to you is all the comfort and healing one needs.
(Ages 3 – 5)
by Marie Champeaux-Cunin and Dominique Butet
While mindfulness and meditation have obvious benefits to our sense of wellbeing, becoming more attuned with one’s emotions often comes with the added benefit of heightened empathy. Here, children – and parents – can follow along on the adventures of Yupsi, an endearing little dragon, in a series of practical routines that help calm the mind and channel some of that boundless childhood energy in a focused manner.
(Ages 3 – 7)
by Oliver Jeffers
While initially written for his son, Oliver Jeffers's Here We Are has a universality to it that makes it a wonderful read for children and parents alike. Featuring Jeffers' extraordinary artwork, Here We Are is a gentle, insightful, and humorous reminder of all the wonders of the world around us, and just how soothing and comforting this planet we call home can be.
(Ages 3 – 7)
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, illustrated by Bao Luu
In The Seed of Compassion, His Holiness the Dalai Lama brings his teachings and wisdom directly to children. With simple yet powerful prose, the Dalai Lama uses lessons gleaned throughout his life – from childhood to the present – to share his universalist message of peace, kindness, and compassion.
(Ages 4 – 8)
by Corinna Luyken
This beautifully-rendered picture book is all about recognizing the power of the heart and the importance of kindness and empathy. Featuring an engaging and recurring rhyming structure, My Heart is a study in the complexity of our emotions. A wonderful lesson in growing more in tune with your own feelings, it will help children learn how to deal with the multitude of human emotions.
(Ages 4 – 8)
by Mariam Gates, illustrated by Margarita Surnaite
Meditate with Me is an ideal guide for introducing curious children to the soothing power of meditation. The calming benefits of meditation can be helpful for children as young as four or five, and this guide is an accessible and engaging way to introduce meditation into a child’s daily routine. Kids will join five animal friends and learn to focus on their breathing, listen to their bodies, and settle those busy, ever-curious minds.
(Ages 4 – 8)
by Wynne Kinder
Developing the ability to focus and understand our thoughts and feelings is an important life skill, one that can be slightly challenging to teach children. Calm: Mindfulness for Kids features a host of fun activities to help your child begin a mindfulness journey. It is a fun and engaging way to help children focus on their thoughts and feelings so they can better interpret the world around them.
(Ages 6 – 9)
Have a beautiful weekend everyone! Long weekend here to enjoy for which I am very thankful. Please put some time aside to read! Reading is calming and a lovely escape from the busy world around you. Join me again here on Monday as I unwrap some more fabulous kid's books. Enjoy!
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