Mindfulness may seem like a trendy buzzword that represents an abstract concept, but it’s a legitimate and accessible self-help technique with proven benefits. The practice of mindfulness isn’t limited to a mountain-top monastery or an upscale yoga studio, and it isn’t restricted to ancient gurus or those who seem naturally earthy and Zen. Mindfulness comes in many forms, has many advantages, and can help people of all ages improve their mental health and emotional well-being.
What is Mindfulness?
Simply put, mindfulness is focusing on the present moment. It sounds absurdly easy — almost mindless – but in reality can often be trickier than expected. Clearing our minds of intrusive thoughts, worries, and to-do lists, focusing on only our senses, and learning to manage and prioritize emotions takes intentional effort. Just like anything, mindfulness gets easier with practice.
Here are some books that can help introduce the concept of mindfulness in a kid-friendly way.
A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh is a highly revered Buddhist monk, Zen teacher, peace activist, and best-selling author who teaches the art of mindful living and meditation. Hanh created pebble meditation to help introduce mindfulness to children in a way that would resonate with their playful and imaginative perspectives. This beautifully illustrated book uses the physical example of a pebble for children to focus on, provides guided practice, and leaves room for the child to add their own words and art to the story. Although marketed for children in kindergarten through grades four, A Handful of Quiet is meaningful to readers of all ages.
The Lemonade Hurricane: A Story of Mindfulness and Meditation by Licia Morelli
The Lemonade Hurricane is an excellent way to present the concept of meditation, mindfulness, and inner peace to young readers through a whimsical story of a young boy named Henry and his sister Emma. In an effort to calm the boisterous energy that Henry embodies, Emma teaches him how to sit, bow, and take deep breaths to find contentment and stillness. Simple meditation techniques are shared at the back of the book to encourage children to carry the lessons learned in the book into their own lives. This fun and easy story is ideal for children who are three to five years old.
Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey
Children from pre-school to third grade learn to manage their bodies, breathing, and feelings wherever they are — whether running errands, finishing homework, or at their desk at school. Breathe Like a Bear features happy, peaceful illustrations and short, easy exercises that focus on mindful breathing and movements that can be done anywhere to find calm, improve focus, and feel energized while improving emotional well-being.