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8 Fun, Mindful Activities for Parents And Kids

This is a guest post from mindfulness mentor, blogger, and host of The Mindful Kind podcast, Rachael Kable

I was studying psychology and volunteering on a helpline at an anxiety recovery centre when I really began creating my own mindfulness practice. After struggling with stress for much of my life, I was grateful to discover such an empowering way of managing it.

And the more mindful I became, the more benefits I discovered. Better sleep, stronger relationships, more calm and enjoyment, increased self-awareness and so much more.

Being more mindful has helped me learn how to sink into the present moment and actually experience it, rather than constantly be distracted by the future or the past. It’s given me so many opportunities to discover richness and depth in daily life, whether I’m going for a slow walk around my neighbourhood or spending time with the people I love.

If you’d like to experience the benefits of a more mindful life and teach your kids at the same time, here are eight simple, fun, mindful activities you can start trying today.

8 Fun, Mindful Activities for Parents and Kids

1. Taste Test

Choose 5-10 (safe!) things to taste test, and have your child put on a blindfold. Ask her to try and guess which items she’s been given, using only the senses of smell, touch and taste. When she’s tried everything, swap roles so she can choose things for you to taste test.

Encourage your child to explore her senses and describe what she notices about each item of food.

2. Press Flowers

Go out in the garden with your child and find some fresh flowers to press! Put each flower in an old and heavy book (make sure it’s one you don’t mind being damaged; you could always pick up a book from a second-hand shop if you prefer!), and spread the flowers out so there are thick spaces in between. Close the book and place something heavy on top.

Every few days, move the flowers to different pages so they can continue absorbing the moisture. After two or three weeks, the flowers should be dry and you can very gently move them. Your flowers can be framed, used in art projects, or preserved in a scrap book.

Creative projects like these are great for cultivating mindfulness as they help us focus our attention on what we’re doing and express ourselves creatively!

3. Communicate

Make intentional communication a regular part of your day and practice mindfulness in a meaningful way. Simply ask your child to describe their day and listen carefully and non-judgmentally, taking the time to reflect back what they’ve said to show you’re paying attention.

Need a few more interesting ways to communicate? Try some of the questions below.

Tell me which emotions you felt today and how they came about?

What is your favourite thing to do at the moment?

Describe what you like about yourself?

Who do you look up to?

4. Go On An Adventure

Adventures are wonderful opportunities to be mindful as they naturally draw our awareness and bring us into the now. Here are a few ideas for fun adventures you can go on with your child:

Berry picking

Beach hopping

Exploring local gardens or nurseries

Visiting a museum, art gallery or chocolate factory

If possible, leave unnecessary technological items at home so you can immerse yourselves in your adventures together.

5. Colour and Create

You can scrapbook, take photos, colour, paint, make a blog, press flowers (see tip number 2!), play music—whatever you would both like to do. Talk about the creative process and discuss ideas, trying not to judge the final outcomes or be critical. The focuses for these creative sessions are to have fun, connect and pay attention to each moment you have together. 

6. Yoga

Do some research and find if a yoga centre offers child-friendly classes, or look up an easy tutorial online to try in the lounge room.

Encourage your child to listen to his body and tune in to his breath, and make sure you try, too!

7. Meditate

Try attending a class together, using a meditation app, or downloading a simple meditation script and reading it to your child. Related: A Meaningful Mindfulness Routine for Beginners

8. Journal

Journaling is another mindfulness practice that we can easily incorporate in everyday life, and it can be a fun and meaningful way to spend time with your child. Here are a few ways you can try it:

Buy matching journals for you and your child and dedicate ten minutes each night to sit down and write about your favourite memories from your days.

Keep a memory box. At night, write down with your child a favourite memory to place in the box. Before the start of the New Year, read through all the memories you kept from the year.

Create a gratitude journal by passing a journal back and forth between you and writing down 3 things you’re grateful for.

No matter which exercises you try, keep in mind that mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, letting go of the past and future, and being open to your experience (without being judgmental of it). Enjoy!

For more mindfulness ideas and inspiration, I’d love for you to head over to my website at www.rachaelkable.com


Erica note—You and your kids might also appreciate some of these fun reads! (I just ordered A Handful of Quiet!) 

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) 
The Lemonade Hurricane: A Story of Mindfulness and Meditation
What Does It Mean to Be Present? 
A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles 

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Daikuro @ SimplicityBlogger.com
    February 16, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Going on mini adventures is the best. It does not even need to be some faraway place. Even the park can be an adventure if you do fun games and activities. It is about being present with each other as you do it and to not be afraid to be a child again.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      February 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Completely agree, Daikuro! So many of our adventures are within town or within an hour of where we live. It doesn’t take much!

    • Reply
      Rachael Kable
      February 18, 2017 at 1:22 am

      Absolutely! I love your comment about not being afraid to be a child again- what a wonderful way to connect with your child and have a more fun time yourself, too!

  • Reply
    Daisy
    February 17, 2017 at 9:51 am

    These are all great ideas! I particularly love the idea of keeping a memory box and opening this in the New Year, so I will try this. Certainly it’s not too late to start now in February.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      February 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      That was one of my favorites, too, Daisy! We’ve done one in years’ past, and sometimes at dinner I just pull out a pen and some slips of paper, and we all brainstorm recent favorite memories. Such a great way to bond.

    • Reply
      Rachael Kable
      February 18, 2017 at 1:23 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and good luck with your memory box!:)

  • Reply
    Amber Mae
    February 17, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I’m pinning this one for sure! These are great ideas.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      February 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks, Amber! And I especially love how easy they all are to execute. Simple is my jam. 🙂 😉

    • Reply
      Rachael Kable
      February 18, 2017 at 1:23 am

      Thank you so much! I’m really glad you enjoyed the post:)

  • Reply
    jill conyers
    February 20, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Over the years my husband and I have done all of these with both of our kids. So many hours coloring and journaling and I would trade those hours for anything in the world. Now, I workout with my 18 year old daughter 3 days a week and text with my son at college throughout the week. More time I wouldn’t trade for anything. Great post!

    • Reply
      Rachael Kable
      March 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      That’s so wonderful to hear, Jill! Sounds like you have some really amazing memories of time spent with your kids:) And how great that you still have meaningful ways of staying connected with them now that they’re older!
      Thank you so much for sharing:)

  • Reply
    Fussy Habits to Break NOW – Un-Fussy
    February 22, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    […] Daily mindfulness practices Here is a list of links with great ways to practice being mindful everyday and why it’s important: Be Present: 9 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Each Day 30 Simple Mindfulness Practices to Help You Focus and Be Present 8 Fun, Mindful Activities for Parents and Kids […]

  • Reply
    Roxy E
    February 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Hi! Love ur ideas! I love to go for little adventures but my kids (specially my 10 & 8 year old start complaining and we r not even out yet. Any advice?

    • Reply
      Rachael Kable
      March 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Roxy, thank you so much for your comment! I’m so glad you loved the ideas:) Just a couple of ideas in regards to your question. Maybe you could implement a rewards system- if they don’t complain they get to choose a restaurant for dinner, or have a small amount of money to buy something they like, or get to choose an activity for the weekend. Secondly, you could explore their complaints with them and see it as an opportunity to understand more about them- why do they not want to go? What do they think about the activity? What would they rather be doing? Perhaps, you could reach some kind of a compromise. I’m sure your kids will be grateful one day that you took them on adventures and gave them new experiences! I always used to complain about going for long walks in nature with my parents and now that I’m older, it’s one of my favourite things to do xx

  • Reply
    Christine
    April 7, 2017 at 10:25 am

    It’s amazing how quickly my kids have embraced the mindfulness coloring trend. They haven’t colored in years, but my youngest remarked at just how calming her new forest character coloring book is. And my high schooler uses a coloring app and a coloring book. I guess childhood is just really in our souls forever!

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