We’ve all heard about the benefits of meditation practice, but how do we start, especially with kiddos? Kidding Around Yoga is here to help! We’ve created this 30-day MEDITATION CALENDAR to provide you and your family (or your school classroom) with a daily meditation practices, short and simple sessions that guide you to try all different types of meditation. Some tasks ask you to breathe, others are moving meditations, some are art-based, and others are more traditional practices. Each day, spend a moment trying the task and sharing your experience with each other. You’re sure to find a favorite … and maybe even a new healthy daily habit!

Access the Meditation March Calendar here and start building your family’s meditation muscles!

Day 1: Bunny Breathing

Bunny Breath is energizing, aids in breath retention, stretches the upper body, and refocuses attention. Try it! Lightly hold up 2 fingers like tired bunny ears. Sit up tall. Inhale 3 short sips of air through your nose while lifting the bunny ears so they stand up straight. Then let the bunny ears soften again with a long exhale through your mouth. Repeat 3-5 times.

Day 2: Stoplight Breath

We spend a lot of time in cars, driving family and friends to school, sports, playdates, and more. Next time you are safely stopped at a red light, have everyone in the car take a long, mindful breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth with a hissing sound. Continue if you have more time at the stoplight and then carry on with more calm attention to the road.

Day 3: Opposite Hand

Writing with your opposite hand improves focus and dexterity while cultivating mindfulness and patience. Use your non-dominant hand for an ordinary task – writing, combing hair, eating, etc. Notice how closely you have to pay attention to your fingers’ tiny movements! Do you tend to squeeze your hand or eyebrows or jaw? What is your brain telling you while you try to use your opposite hand? This task really emphasizes our impatience and the strength of our habits.

Day 4: Hot Air Balloon

Have children rest comfortably, close their eyes, and follow along as you read this script:

Imagine you are going on a hot air balloon ride. As you walk to the basket, you feel the cool air on your skin. Look around at the field you are in. Are there flowers? Are you at the beach? Are there mountains? Ahead, you see the balloon is starting to inflate. As it does you begin to notice the colors and patterns on your balloon. What does it look like? Describe the colors and the shape of your balloon as it fills up with warm air. Isn’t it so big? Climb into the basket and get comfortable for your floating ride. What is the basket made of? Are there cushions or will you stand for your trip?

As you begin to gently lift up, up, up off the ground, the land below you becomes smaller and smaller. What can you see when you look over the side of the basket? Even though you are getting higher and higher, you feel perfectly safe. Continue drifting in your beautiful hot air balloon, floating along. What does the air feel like up here in the sky? Is it cool or warm? Can you hear the whoosh of the wind? How does it feel to float? Let your balloon float wherever you’d like, over the ocean, past mountain ranges, to another country, or even up toward the clouds and stars. When you are this high in the air, what can you smell? Flowers? The ocean? Rest in your balloon and enjoy your ride, looking around and feeling the gentle movement of the balloon.

(Let children rest quietly for as long as you’d like.)

It’s time for your balloon to land. You begin to slowly sink closer and closer to the earth. Gently down, down you come. The closer to earth you get, the more and more relaxed you feel. Finally, you land back in your field, the solid, safe ground below you. Before you climb out of the balloon’s basket, take a moment to remember your wonderful flight. Where did you go? What did you see? Remember, you can go on another hot air balloon trip whenever you’d like. Just close your eyes and imagine your balloon.

Day 5: Melting Ice Cube

This mindfulness practice can get a bit messy, so have a towel prepared or go outside to try it. Simply hold an ice cube in your hand and notice whatever comes up. That could be sensations of temperature, chatter in your brain, or tension in your hand (or eyebrows). What does your brain want you to do? Can you find a way to soothe that voice that wants you to put the ice cube down? Maybe try to breathe slowly or repeat a phrase to yourself like, “I notice the ice is melting” or “This will be over soon”. Try to settle yourself into the sensations without trying to change them. That’s mindfulness – noticing what is going on inside you and letting it be.

Day 6: 30-Second Bike Ride

This moving meditation settles energy and improves gross motor skills. Either on the floor or in a chair, have children lean back to lift their legs and begin pedaling an imaginary bicycle. You are going to guide them on a trip that fits their energy level and the amount of time you have to “ride”. Kids begin pedaling as you begin to narrate a story of a journey. Pedal super slowly up hills, coast down narrow mountain trails, swerve around trees and pedal quickly to avoid the dog chasing you. Enter a dense rainforest, listen for the toucan’s call, and screech to a sudden stop on the beach to listen to the waves hit the shore. The more abstract and imaginary your journey, the better. Always finish by getting off the bike and resting in the soft green grass or a warm sandy beach to relax for a moment. Breathe deep, let go of your wild ride and say to yourself, repeating three times, “I am re-focused and calm”.

Day 7: Five Finger Breath

The 5 Finger Breath is calming, refocuses attention, and encourages deeper breathing. Sit up tall and hold up one fist. As you inhale, count to five and lift one finger at a time. When your lungs are full, your hand should be open wide. As you exhale to the count of five, fold one finger at a time back into a fist. Repeat three times.

Day 8: Peace Begins With Me

A 4-finger meditation is something the entire family can do. Sit or stand tall, but with your body at ease. Close your eyes softly and take a deep breath in and out of your nose. Bring your thumb and pointer finger together, saying the word, “Peace”. Bring your thumb and middle finger together, saying the word, “Begins”. Bring your thumb and ring finger together, saying the word, “With”. Bring your thumb and pinky finger together, saying the word, “Me”. Peace Begins With Me. Peace Begins With Me. Peace Begins With Me. Repeat over and over, softer and softer, until you are moving your fingers and repeating it in your head.

Day 9: Pencil Squeeze

Pencil Squeeze is a mindfulness practice that is self-soothing, calming, and refocuses concentration. Have children hold a pencil in each hand and ask them to squeeze it very, very tightly and hold until you tell them to release it. Discuss what they notice about their hands, the rest of their body, their breath, and their thoughts. Now have them place the pencils on their desk and tell them that you are going to practice the activity with imaginary pencils. Tell kids to gently close their eyes and imagine they are holding a pencil in each hand. Can they feel it? Squeeze the pencil very, very tightly and hold as you quietly count to 10. After counting to 10, tell the children to release the imaginary pencils and allow their hands to rest in their laps or on their desks. Guide them to feel the warm, tingly feeling in their hands and ask them to allow their hands to melt right there onto their desk or lap, very heavy, very relaxed. Count slowly to 20, kids’ eyes still closed. When they open their eyes, remind them that you know they are focused and ready to get to work.

Day 10: Listen to the Bell

Have children sit up tall, eyes closed, palms up on their laps. We call this gesture their “listening ears”. Tell them their palms are going to act as super-strong extra ears. Ring a tingsha, bell, or chime once, and as long as they hear the sound, their palms remain up. When they no longer hear the tone, they silently turn their palms down. Try this a couple of times. 

Day 11: Turtle Time

Get into your shell and make yourself comfortable. This could mean stretching out on the floor, settling into Child’s pose, or simply sitting comfortably. Close your eyes and imagine collecting all of the scattered energy and attention that is swirling around you and pulling it into your shell. You can give yourself a hug if that feels better. Once you get into your shell, take three slow, deep breaths. Next, just like sea turtles float in the ocean, you are going to “go with the flow”. Relax your body, and let all of your muscles melt like you are floating in the ocean. We are going to stay here for a while, just floating, imagining the warm ocean around us. We can watch fish swim by, or hear the waves above us. Now, when you sit up again, you are going to “go with the flow”. Whatever it is that worries you or makes you upset, just “go with the flow”. You don’t have to like what is happening, but it won’t upset you and it won’t last forever. Just check back into your shell, take a breath, and flow on.

Day 12: Sinking and Floating

Resting comfortably, notice the parts of your body that are touching something solid – the chair under you, your back along the floor, your feet on the ground. Wherever you feel something underneath you, imagine that body part is heavy and growing heavier. Feel yourself sinking into the floor, settling and spreading like a thick liquid. At the same time, notice where your skin feels the air. Maybe your hands feel a cool breeze, or your face senses the air around it. Wherever you feel the air, imagine your body floats into it, weightless like a cloud. Be still here and stay for a while, both floating and sinking at the same time. 

Day 13: Line Drawing

With a paper and a writing utensil, have children close their eyes and breathe in while drawing a line. On the exhale, draw another line in a different direction and without lifting the pen from the paper. Do not try to manipulate the direction of the drawing, just let the breath guide you. Straight lines, curvy lines, it doesn’t matter. Repeat for quite a while. When finished, look at the line drawing you made. Are all the lines the same length? How do you think your drawing would look if you were angry while drawing? If you were feeling silly? Sleepy? You could even color in the spaces between the lines to continue with a coloring meditation.

Day 14: Bumblebee Breath

Close your eyes. Put your index fingers over the upper eyelids, and middle fingers under the lower eyelids, touching your nose. The ring fingers set over your upper lip. The pinky fingers rest under your lower lip. Close your ear flaps with your thumbs, take a long breath in through your nose, and say BUZZZZZZ, HUMMMMMM, or OMMMMMM really loud for at least 10 seconds. Feel the vibration in your head. For a simpler variation, cover your eyes with your hands and close your ear flaps with your thumbs. Buzz the same way. Talk about how you felt before the Bumblebee Breath meditation and then how you feel after.

Day 15: I am … Calm

Rest comfortably. Inhale through your nose and say to yourself, “I am”. Exhale through your nose and say to yourself, “Calm”. Continue the pattern, “I am… calm. I am… calm” as long as you’d like. If the word calm isn’t a good fit for you, choose your own positive, affirming word to repeat on the exhale.

Day 16: Weather Report

Sometimes our feelings are all jumbled up inside and we can’t easily tell exactly how we are feeling. Are we angry or scared? Are we excited or nervous? Sitting still in meditation gives our minds a chance to really notice how we are feeling, name that feeling, and learn to accept that feelings come and go. Try it like this: Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take a minute to notice how you are feeling right now. We are thinking about the weather inside of us. What is the weather like in your brain and body? Do you feel relaxed and sunny inside? Or does it feel cloudy and rainy? Are there storm clouds? A nice breeze? What do you notice without thinking about it too much? Once you have noticed your weather, there is no need to feel anything different or do anything different. You cannot change the weather outside, right? Just let your weather be, just as it is. Just watch your body’s weather.

Day 17: Mandala

Mandalas are a piece of art that we can use to stay focused and calm our minds. We can simply look at the patterns in the mandala, or we can trace the lines with our fingers. Mandala shapes can be created in our own imaginations or in nature. Give each child a piece of paper with a simple mandala printed on it. Show children how to find one line in the pattern and trace it slowly with a pencil, with a finger, or just with the eyes. Instead, you could color the mandala. Find a mandala coloring sheet here or create your own here.

Day 18: Sunflower

Sit tall and imagine your spine is a long sunflower stem, so tall and strong. At the bottom of your stem, you can feel your roots growing down into the earth. At the top of your stem is a giant sunflower, blooming in the sun. Follow your stem up from your roots all the way to the tip top of your sunflower. The petals of your sunflower feel the warmth of the sun and become a more beautiful golden color. Your roots grow even deeper down into the earth, finding water and nutrients. Sit tall like a sunflower for a while, growing in the sun. 

Day 19: Solid as a Mountain

Stand or sit tall with your feet firmly on the floor. Really press the soles of your feet into the ground and feel the ground pushing back into you. That energy keeps pushing up, up, up all the way to the top of your head. You may even feel like you are growing taller. You are a mountain, strong, stable, and able to withstand storms. You know that if bad weather rolls through, you can stand or sit like a mountain and just let the storm pass by. You will still be strong and powerful. Breathe into your mountain, feeling taller and stronger with each breath.

Day 20: Walking Meditation

Walk very slowly feeling each part of your shoe or bare foot, as it touches the ground. Focus on something just in front of your eyes. Take your time. Shhhh.. no talking. You can pretend to be an animal sneaking through the jungle, or walking in a slow-motion film. After a few minutes of silent mindful walking, share something you didn’t notice before. You could give kids a color to look for, a list of scavenger hunt objects to find, or challenge them to walk as slowly as possible without falling. 

Day 21: 7-11 Breath

Sit or stand tall. Inhale through your nose for the count of 7 and exhale to the count of 11. On the exhale, try not to count more quickly to get to 11. Instead, slow your exhale down. Repeat several times, feeling settled, calm, and focused.

Day 22: 4-Finger Meditation

Using both hands, touch your thumb to each finger (index, middle, ring, pinky) and say one word for each finger. Here are some examples to get you started: I am deeply loved. My brain is calm. I’m a strong girl. I can handle this. Keep moving your fingers as you repeat the words several times out loud, then as a whisper, and then only in your mind. Continue as long as you’d like.

Day 23: Heart Map

Draw a picture of a heart. Spend time filling in the shape with images of the things you enjoy, dream of, and love. You can find photos, or simply assign a colored section to each corresponding desire. If you want, share your hearts with your family and display them to remind yourselves of all the beautiful things in your life.

Day 24: Mindful Eating

Hold a slice of apple (or other fruit/vegetable) in your hand. What do you notice? Is it just one color, or many colors? What temperature is the apple? Can you see different textures? Now smell the apple slice. Did you recognize the smell? Did it make your mouth water? Take a bite of the apple slice and notice the sound it made. Don’t chew it yet! What does it feel like in your mouth? Can you taste it before you even chew it? Now slowly start to chew it, again noticing the sounds it makes and the reaction your mouth has to it. Does the taste change as you chew? After you swallow the bite of the apple, can you still taste it? Repeat these steps each time you take another bite of the apple.

Day 25: Plant Peace

What happens if you plant a tomato seed? Hopefully, you’ll grow a tomato! And if you plant a sunflower seed? You’ll grow a sunflower. The same works in your brain! Imagine your mind is like a garden, planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love. Seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness can grow in your mind garden, too. Both wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind, waiting to be watered. The quality of your life depends on the kinds of seeds you choose to water. If you water a seed of peace, peace will grow. When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy. Water the seeds of anger, and you will become angry. The seeds that are watered regularly will grow strong. How do you water seeds? If you think positive thoughts and act in kind ways, you will water the good seeds. And while you are watering healthy seeds, the seeds of anger, sadness, stress, and pain don’t get watered and as a result, stop growing. Which seeds have you been watering lately? 

Day 26: Breathe Through Your Skin

Rest in any comfortable position. Notice where there is fabric touching your skin. Then become very aware of where there is just air on your skin. Now imagine that you can breathe through the skin that feels the air. Can you breathe through your fingertips? The crown of your head? Can you imagine that your ankles can breathe? Where else can you feel the air on your skin? Your eyelids? Maybe your earlobes can breathe? Take your time and feel your skin breathing.

Day 27: Closed Eyes

If you feel safe, close your eyes gently. Don’t squeeze them shut, just let them close softly. What do you see when you close your eyes? Are there colors? Shapes? Does anything move as you watch the dark? Relax your eyebrows and slow down your breathing. Just watch, like you are watching a movie. What do you see? 

Day 28: Starfish Breath

While deeply breathing, make a starfish with one hand (fingers spread out wide). Using the pointer finger of your other hand, gently trace the outline of the starfish hand, slowly going up a finger as you inhale and slowly down each finger as you exhale. Let all of your attention focus on what you feel. Repeat on the opposite hand.

Day 29: OM

OM is the vibration of the universe. Or the heartbeat of the Universe. It is the sound of the waves on the shore, the wind blowing through the trees, the inside of a shell, a bird’s wings. It is the sound of the ebb and flow of the ocean, the change of seasons, and the movement of day to night. The entire universe expands and contracts constantly and this pulsation creates a hum, that for centuries, people have been vocalizing as OM. So when we chant OM we remind ourselves of how we are connected to one another and to all that is. To harness this power, simply sit tall, inhale through your nose, and exhale the sound of OM. Hold the sound as long as comfortable and repeat three times. After the third repetition, feel the sound of silence surrounding you like a safe, familiar blanket.

Day 30: Toothbrushing

Brush your teeth and with every stroke of the toothbrush, imagine the color white becoming brighter and brighter on each tooth. Your teeth practically glow with white light. Maybe you can feel them turning white? Can you hear the bubbles on your teeth? You can certainly taste the white light in your mouth, can’t you? Be sure that you turn the white light on for each tooth. When you finish, look at yourself in the mirror, take a big breath in through your nose, and breathe out with a big smile.

Day 31: Name 3

Next time you are feeling upset, anxious, or just scattered, take a moment to “Name 3”! Stop whatever you are doing and be still. Name 3 things you can see. Name 3 things you can hear. Name 3 things you can feel. If you don’t feel more settled yet, repeat it again with different things to see, hear, and feel.


Bringing Mindfulness into the Classroom

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Relaxation & Meditation for Kids

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