Mental Health Awareness Day – 18th May 2020

To mark Mental Health Awareness Day on 18th May 2020, we thought we would share some Mindfulness techniques for children.  Practising Mindfulness is known to support our mental health.  Mindfulness  is “to pay attention, on purpose, to the present moment”.  A five or ten-minute daily mindfulness practice can see children reduce stress and anxiety, increase concentration and engagement, sleep better, improve social skills, and develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Mindful Breathing

We practise this within the Nurseries.  It’s a great way to prepare your child to relax before lunch or dinner; or to prepare them to do a sitting-down activity.

  • Children lie down for this activity.
  • Ask your child to put their favourite teddy or toy on their tummy.
  • Guide your child in taking three slow deep breaths in and out to see if they can see their teddy or toy moving up and down.
  • You may like to count “1, 2, 3” for each breath in and “1, 2, 3” for each breath out, pausing slightly at the end of each exhale. Do this for a maximum of five minutes – and make sure they don’t fall asleep!
  • Encourage your child to think about how the breath feels, answering the following questions afterward:
    – What is moving your tummy? Is it the air filling your lungs?
    – Can you feel the air moving in through your nose?
    – Can you feel it moving out through your nose?
    – Does the air feel a little colder on the way in and warmer on the way out?
    – Can you hear your breath?
    – What does it sound like?