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May 13, 2020

From tiny tots to big kids, mindfulness is an easy way to reduce stress and encourage happy moods at home. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment in a relaxed and stress-free way. This simple practice is a healthy daily activity, as well as a great way for your child to learn about managing their busy minds.  

Mindfulness at Around Age Eight

By age eight[1], children are developing a greater sense of their bodies. Motor skills and physical abilities are improving. Children can be quite active. You may also notice that your child is internalising stress, worry, and anger. They may seek alone time when upset and struggle to focus when they feel stressed.

Mindfulness can feel less natural at eight-years-old than four-years-old, but encouraging mindful activities at this age is a great way to help your child feel in control of their changing emotions and thoughts. Mindful activities like breathing exercises can be a rescue remedy for stressful situations and, they can use them at home, school, or anywhere life takes them.

Big Kid Body Scan: A Five-Minute Mindfulness Game for Eight-Year-Olds
With a better grasp on how to control their bodies, kids at around the age of eight are ready to take on more complex mindfulness tasks like breathing exercises, yoga, and body scans[2].

The Big Kid Body Scan aims to help young children gain a better sense of awareness over their bodies and thoughts. It can be a great way for mums and dads to reduce your own stress[3], too. So, consider joining your child in this mindful exercise to bring a sense of calm to the whole house.

  • Start by having your child find a comfy couch, bed, or spot on the floor to lay down on.
  • Have them take three deep breaths.
  • Tell your child to pay attention to their feet. How do they feel? Are they cold, hot, relaxed, wiggly? Help them focus on the feelings in their feet for a few moments.
  • Then, repeat the exercise with each body part rising to the head, ankles, legs, knees, back, belly, chest, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, and finally, face and head.
  • Remind them to concentrate on each area and take note of how it feels. Sit with each area for 30-60 seconds.
  • Finally, feel the entire body at once. Take a few deep breaths and finish the exercise with a good stretch.

Mindfulness and The Big Kid Body Scan can bring about better long-lasting moods and happiness into your family and child’s life. With a few simple games, you can keep your child stimulated in the short-term and better prepared for the long-term.  

Written by Kaitlan D.

As well as a writer with a passion for education, Kaitlan works in a wellness practice, working with mothers, mothers-to-be and hopeful mothers.

 

References
[1] Morin A. 8-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones. 2019-06-24
[2] Bertin M. Body Scan for Kids. 2016-10-12
[3] Ditto B, Eclache M, Goldman N. Short-term autonomic and cardiovascular effects of mindfulness body scan meditation. 2006-12

All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.

 

 

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