4 Strategies for Teaching Mindfulness in Kindergarten

I recently heard from a counselor who is trying to incorporate mindfulness into her Kindergarten lessons but is having a hard time. Her question was this: “How do I teach Kindergarteners mindfulness? They aren’t getting it and I’m not getting buy-in.” We chatted for a bit and broke it down to 4 strategies that she could try to help her Kindergarteners understand what mindfulness is and get them engaged in quick but effective mindfulness exercises. If you’re also having trouble getting your youngest students on board with your mindfulness lessons, keep reading for 4 tips for using mindfulness in Kindergarten.

Are you trying to teach mindfulness in Kindergarten and struggling to get buy-in or focus? Try these 4 mindfulness for Kindergarten strategies! You'll love these mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in school counseling mindfulness lessons. -Counselor Keri

Mindfulness for Kindergarten

Bring a Friend

I don’t know about your students, but the Kindergarteners I’ve worked with will do just about anything to hold a stuffed animal. I have a zen safari mindfulness script set to use with younger students, so I like to bring along a stuffed animal to match the script.

Are you trying to teach mindfulness in Kindergarten and struggling to get buy-in or focus? Try these 4 mindfulness for Kindergarten strategies! You'll love these mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in school counseling mindfulness lessons. -Counselor Keri

For example, one of my favorite scripts from the set is Relaxed Rabbit, so I bring along a stuffed bunny. I tell students, “I have a special friend I want to introduce to you. But my special friend is a little shy and only likes to come out when it’s very quiet. Let’s make this a comfortable space for him.”

Afterward, I’ll lead students through a brief calming breathing exercise to calm their bodies. Then, I’ll bring out the stuffed animal and let all of the students quietly pet and hold the animal. After students have had a chance to meet the stuffed animal, I’ll lead them through the mindfulness exercise. I’ve had a lot of success with this strategy!

Zen Safari Mindfulness Activities

Use a Video

If you think the real problem is that your students just don’t quite understand what mindfulness is (and let’s admit: this is a hard concept even for some adults), try using an engaging book or video. Cosmic Kids Yoga has some fantastic videos on YouTube to introduce mindfulness:

And read more about some great mindfulness books here to introduce your students to the concept of mindfulness. Once they see relatable characters trying mindfulness, they may be more willing to buy-in to your lessons!

Are you trying to teach mindfulness in Kindergarten and struggling to get buy-in or focus? Try these 4 mindfulness for Kindergarten strategies! You'll love these mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in school counseling mindfulness lessons. -Counselor Keri

Integrate Nature

In mindfulness exercises, we’re asking students to pay attention to a lot of things: pay attention to your body, your thoughts, senses, the world, etc. This can be hard for Kindergarten students! To help them engage, relate your exercises to nature. Move outside and lead students through an exercise integrating the things around them.

For example, “Sit firmly on the ground. Sit up straight like a tall tree. Feel your bottom firmly planted on the ground like the roots of a tree. Breathe in deeply and blow it out like a peaceful breeze. Feel the warm sunshine on your face…” Using concrete things that students can actually see and feel will help them to understand the concept and be engaged in the activity.

Are you trying to teach mindfulness in Kindergarten and struggling to get buy-in or focus? Try these 4 mindfulness for Kindergarten strategies! You'll love these mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in school counseling mindfulness lessons. -Counselor Keri

Consider Your Timing

As I’ve mentioned before, the timing of Kindergarten lessons is everything. I am a firm believer that Kindergarten lessons should be no longer than 30 minutes. In that lesson, I keep the mindfulness exercise to around 5 minutes. As students get used to the exercises throughout the year, I think they can handle upwards of 10 minutes. For the other portions of the lesson, I’m using the previously mentioned animals, books, and videos to warm up and hook students.

Additionally, I try to arrange for mindfulness lessons when I know students will be willing participants. For these lessons, aim for after lunch or the end of the day when your students may have a little less energy than other times of the day. After all, if you’re going into the classroom right before your students are anticipating recess, your students will probably be less interested in a lower-energy focused activity.

Summary

To get your littlest students engaged in mindfulness activities, try these things:

  • Bring an animal friend
  • Use an explainer video or book
  • Integrate nature
  • Consider your timing

What about you? How do you get buy-in from your Kindergarten students in your mindfulness lessons? Less us know your best tips in the comments section!

Are you trying to teach mindfulness in Kindergarten and struggling to get buy-in or focus? Try these 4 mindfulness for Kindergarten strategies! You'll love these mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in school counseling mindfulness lessons. -Counselor Keri

Are you trying to teach mindfulness in Kindergarten and struggling to get buy-in or focus? Try these 4 mindfulness for Kindergarten strategies! You'll love these mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in school counseling mindfulness lessons. -Counselor Keri Are you trying to teach mindfulness in Kindergarten and struggling to get buy-in or focus? Try these 4 mindfulness for Kindergarten strategies! You'll love these mindfulness activities for kids that you can use in school counseling mindfulness lessons. -Counselor Keri

2 thoughts on “4 Strategies for Teaching Mindfulness in Kindergarten

  1. THANK YOU! I reached out to you about the lack of K buy-in via instagram 😉 These tips were amazing and I have already incorporated them. I also used “My Magic Breath” and had kids choose a crayon to link their breath with that color. They “painted” the room with the breath! Thank you for inspiring me!!

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