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Meditation Activities for Children

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

Meditation is a good way to help students learn how to center and calm themselves. This lesson discusses different meditation activities for a variety of ages.

Meditation

As we all know, when teaching a class, it is inevitable that you will walk in and the kids will be yelling across the room and unable to sit still long enough to learn anything. This is where meditation comes in, especially since it can often be a quick and calm way to help students focus.

Meditation is the process of clearing your mind and focusing on one object or process, so that nothing else intrudes. Sounds simple, right? Yet how many times do our minds continue racing because we have so much to do, and we are unable to focus? Studies by the Psychiatric Research Journal show that meditation does actually have an effect on the brain. Meditation slows down parts of the brain, giving it a much needed break. So, how do you get kids to meditate?

Activities for Elementary Kids

Elementary school kids will likely have the most difficult time with meditation, as they are filled with so much energy. It's important to organize activities for these children that are fun but will also help them meditate.

Relax Every Muscle

For this activity, have students lie down on yoga mats completely flat on their backs with their palms facing up. Play music if you like. A calming type of music works especially well. Then, starting at the toes, tell the students to wriggle and relax their toes. Then move up to the ankles, calves, knees, thighs, and so on. Each new part should be wriggled and shaken a little before being relaxed. Doing this all the way up to the head helps keep kids calm and focused on the muscles in their body, which is a great way to ease into meditation. It may also make kids feel a little sleepy.

Focus on an Object

This activity is harder at this age though not impossible. All you need is an object that is interesting to look at like glitter! Have students bring in a jar from home, preferably a tall and skinny one. Also, the jar must be clear. Tell the students to fill the jars with water, a colored dye of their preference, and the type of glitter they desire. Then have them seal it shut. Now the students have their own personal meditation focus. Whenever they enter the classroom, they can sit down, shake their jar, and focus on each little piece of glitter falling down and settling on the bottom.

Activities for Junior High Kids

By this age it's a little easier to convince students to focus, so it's a wonderful time to start them on yoga. Since all yoga requires is a mat, having kids do 2-3 simple yoga poses can help the students find their center and reach a certain calm. Specific yoga poses that are good for this age group may be:

Butterfly Pose

Have your students sit down with bent legs, thighs flat on the ground, and feet together. The spine should be elongated and the hands holding onto the feet. Have the kids breathe slowly in and out for 10 breaths.

Happy Baby Pose

This one may make the kids laugh. Have them lie on their backs, legs spread apart, knees up, with their hands grabbing the outside of their feet. Tell them to rock back and froth and focus on their breath.

Happy Baby Pose
Yoga

Legs up the Wall Pose

This is a simple one. Have your students lie flat on their backs near a wall so they can place their legs flat against the wall. Instruct them to lie there and breathe for 10 breaths.

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