Broomhill’s Calm Corner

Welcome to Broomhill’s Calm Corner!

There is much we can do to help prepare children to deal with the stressors and experiences they will encounter in the world. Meditation and mindfulness are two such tools we can use to help children promote happiness and reduce stress while learning to understand and regulate their emotions. By developing a child’s understanding and awareness of both their inner and outer experiences, we also develop their critical thinking, social, and emotional skills such as compassion, focus and empathy.

Mindfulness is a simple technique that emphasises paying attention to the present moment in a nonjudgmental manner. By equipping children with the tools of self- awareness and self-regulation, we are instilling positive life-long habits that will aid them as they grow, long in to adulthood.

It is important to not just turn to these tools and practices at our most stressful times, but to embrace it as something the whole family can include in their daily routines, to explore our curiosity about what we think, how we feel, and the link between our bodies and our minds. By doing so we equip ourselves and our children with the tools to tackle life’s challenges and develop coping strategies that will have lifelong benefits.

Tips for introducing mindfulness to kids:

  • Make sure your child is in the right frame of mind to try mindfulness; if they are full of energy and would rather run and play, it may not be the best time to try mindfulness for the first time.
  • Explain what mindfulness is in an age-appropriate way, with words they will understand.
  • Practise mindfulness with your child, having you model it for them will help them gain confidence to try it on their own.
  • Assure them that it’s okay to get off track, and show them how to gently guide themselves back to mindfulness when they realize they have lost focus.
  • Keep sessions short and enjoyable so that they have a positive experience.
  • Be sure to engage in mindful practice with children in positive situations, and never use it as a disciplinary tool.
  • Try to incorporate mindfulness in to your family’s daily routine
  • Prepare the environment for successful practice: choose a relaxing, calm spot, lay out cushions or yoga mats, turn off the TV or radio, perhaps make a “We are meditating, please do not disturb” sign for the door to avoid interruptions.
  • Share your own experiences with your child – This will help them understand how mindfulness is applied and practiced in everyday life, including how you redirect yourself when you feel distracted during a mindfulness session.
  • Encourage your child to share their experiences as well, whether they were good experiences with mindfulness or experiences in which they got distracted.
  • Create a mindful bedtime ritual. Bedtime is a great time to introduce mindfulness to kids. Perhaps try a simply body scan or breathing exercise to help them unwind and prepare for sleep.

Essential Mindfulness Practices and Skills

1) Mindful Breathing

 Mindful breathing is a central practice of mindfulness and serves as the foundation of many other exercises. In this exercise, children are guided through a process of paying attention to their breath.

Encourage your child to pay attention to their breath in a way that is intentional but not forced. Children may be tempted to do big or fast exaggerated breaths which could raise their heart rate and have the opposite effect than desired. You may need to remind younger children that they should consider questions in their head without answering aloud.

A simple Mindful Breathing Script


  • Sit up in a comfortable way. Close your eyes.
  • Notice your breathing as you inhale and exhale normally. Pay attention to your breath as it goes in and out. Can you feel the place where the air tickles your nostrils?
  • Pay attention to how the breath gently moves your body. Can you notice your belly or your chest moving as you breathe?
  • Sit for a few minutes, just paying attention to your gentle breathing. See how relaxed you can feel just sitting, breathing in and out.
  • When your mind starts to wander and think about something else, gently guide your attention back to your breathing.

Some further mindful breathing activities:

Breathing Buddies

Balloon breathing

Blowing bubbles.

Have your kids focus on taking in a deep, slow breath, and exhaling steadily to fill the bubble. Encourage them to pay close attention to the bubbles as they form, detach, and pop or float away.

Pinwheels breathing

This activity encourages you to think about different types of breathing and how they make you feel. Start by blowing on your pinwheel using long, deep breaths. Notice how you feel. Next, blow on your pinwheel with short, quick breaths. Notice how you feel again—do you feel the same as you did when using long, deep breaths? Blow on the pinwheels as you normally would. Again, notice how you feel.

Square Breathing

Square breathing is a simple technique that encourages children to pay equal attention to all ‘sides’ of breathing: A square breath is a breath that is even on all sides, like a square. To help your child visualise their breathing and keep track as they go through the exercise, show them how to draw a square in the air with their finger as they breathe through the steps, taking four seconds on each side.

  1. Breathe in, to the count of four.
  2. Hold the breath for four seconds.
  3. Breathe out to the count of four.
  4. Wait for four seconds before taking in your next breath.

 Darth Vader Breathing

This fun breathing exercise will keep your child engaged and interested. Follow these steps to give it a try:

  • Breathe in deeply through your nose.
  • Keep your mouth closed and exhale from the back of your throat, making a “Darth Vader”-style noise as you do.


2) Mindful Seeing

 In the video below, Greenland (Author of The Mindful Child) demonstrates an activity she calls the “Seeing Clearly” game. You can start by telling your kid that we all start with a clear, calm perspective, like the water in a glitter ball. Have your kid then shake the ball to show that stress clouds our perspective. When that happens, we can’t see or understand each other. When we focus our breathing and rest, as Greenland explains, all the things that were clouding our perspective “settle to the bottom.” Mindful awareness doesn’t get rid of the bad things in our lives, but it helps us see clearly again. Your child could also create their own ‘mindful Jar’ using a jar, some glitter or sequins, water and some food dye. (It may be an idea to tape or glue the lid on to avoid leakage when shaken!)

Mindful Window is a simple exercise requiring only a window with some kind of a view. Once your child is comfortable guide them through these steps:

Step 1: look at everything there is to see. Avoid naming what you see outside the window; instead of thinking “bird” or “stop sign,” try to notice all the colours, the patterns, or the textures.

Step 2: Now guide your child by asking them to notice everything yellow, or red.

Step 3: Next look for certain shapes. “Can you find the circles?”

Step 4: Tell them to notice what movement they see, to pay attention to the movement of the grass or leaves in the breeze. Try to see the world outside the window from the perspective of someone unfamiliar with these sights;

Step 5: if you become distracted, gently pull your mind away from those thoughts and notice a colour or shape again to put you back in the right frame of mind.


3) Mindful Hearing

 In this exercise, children are guided through an experience of paying attention to sounds. After some practice, children may find this exercise to be helpful in their daily lives – when they are having difficulty settling down at bedtime for example. Once your child has grown confident in this exercise it can be fun to add sounds – bells, shakers,  the rustle of newspaper etc. The fun of guessing the source of a wider range of sounds can also help children concentrate.

Much like the mindful seeing exercise above, have your child find a comfortable position. Tell them to close their eyes and focus only on what they hear. Start by having them listen for sounds within the room itself (Breathing, the clock ticking etc) Then ask them to ‘throw’ their hearing outside the room, what can they hear elsewhere in the house, or even outside.

Mindful Listening Exercise

Spidey-Senses is a great exercise to take mindful senses forward. Instruct your kids to turn-on their “Spidey senses,” or the super-focused senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch that Spiderman uses to keep tabs on the world around him. This will encourage them to pause and focus their attention on the present, opening their awareness to the information their senses bring in, encouraging observation and curiosity.


4) Mindful Body

Body Scan

The body scan is a key practice in mindfulness, and an easy one to teach to children.

  • Have your kids lie down on their back on a comfortable surface and close their eyes;
  • Then tell them to squeeze every muscle in their body as tight as they can. Tell them to squish their toes and feet, squeeze their hands into fists, and make their legs and arms as hard as stone;
  • After a few seconds, have them release all their muscles and relax for a few minutes;
  • Encourage them to think about how their body is feeling throughout the activity. Does it feel full of energy, or relaxed.
  • Encourage them to focus their attention on certain parts of their body. “Focus on where your body makes contact with the floor” or “can you feel where your clothes touch your skin?”
  • Visualizing switching off their muscles can be a great bedtime routine. Have them start at their toes and talk them though all the way to the top of their head. They can even visualise having a blow hole like a whale at the top of their head, where they can blow out any leftover energy or worry that is keeping them awake.


Heartbeat Exercise

To begin, tell your kids to jump up and down in place or do jumping jacks for one minute. When they have finished, have them sit down and put a hand over their heart. Instruct them to close their eyes and pay attention only to their heartbeat. How does it make them feel when their heart is pounding? This exercise teaches children to notice their heartbeat, and use it as a tool to help their focus and to tune in with their own body. You can then guide them in some mindful breathing and then again feel for their heartbeat. How has it changed? How do they feel?

Mindful Posing

Have the kids go somewhere quiet and familiar, a place they feel safe. To get them excited, tell them that doing fun poses can help them feel strong, brave, and happy. Yoga poses can be useful for this exercise also

  • The Superman: this pose is practiced by standing with the feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, and arms reached out to the sky, stretching the body as tall as possible.
  • The Wonder Woman: this pose is struck by standing tall with legs wider than hip-width apart and hands or fists placed on the hips.
  • Ask the kids how they feel after a few rounds of trying either of these poses. You may be surprised.

 Mindful Walking

This exercise is about paying attention to how your body moves as you walk slowly.

  • To start, pick up one foot and take a step forward, in slow motion. Pay attention to how you naturally keep your balance.
  • Now walk in slow motion, step by step. Notice how your arms and legs and feet move. Pay attention to how your knees bend and straighten, as you lift one foot and then the other, nice and slow.
  • Breathe in and out, in time with your steps. See if you can keep your attention focused on walking slowly, step by step, as you relax and breathe.
  • Whenever your mind wanders, gently guide it back to your s-l-o-w motion moving. Keep breathing, in and out, as you enjoy moving in slow motion.

The Safari Exercise

This activity turns an average, everyday walk into an exciting new adventure.

  • Tell your kids that you will be going on a safari: their goal is to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals as they can. Anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies is of interest, and they’ll need to focus all of their senses to find them, especially the little ones (Karen Young, 2017).
  • Ask them to notice things that fly
  • Then to look for things that crawl
  • Encourage them to stop and close their eyes. Can they hear any animals?

Mindful Eating

You can do this with an orange, an apple — or even something as tiny as a raisin. The idea is to really pay attention to what you are eating.

Let’s say you decide to do mindful eating with an orange. Your job is to eat the orange slowly, without rushing. You can do this mindful eating exercise with your eyes open or closed.

  • Start by holding your orange. Roll it in your hand. Notice how it feels.
  • Hold the orange near your nose. What does it smell like? Take a whiff of the bittersweet smell of the orange peel.
  • If you have your eyes open, notice how the orange looks. Pay attention to whether the skin is smooth or bumpy. If you hold it firmly, is it squishy?
  • Slowly peel your orange, paying attention to how it feels in your fingers. Notice the juiciness, and whether the inside of the orange smells different from the outside.
  • Is your mouth watering? Go ahead and taste your orange. Notice how it feels on your tongue, and against your teeth. Notice the flavour, the texture, and the juiciness as you chew each piece slowly. Take your time as you chew, taste, smell, and feel each bite of your orange.


Websites and apps  


Headspace is an excellent app which has a large bank of meditations and mindfulness exercises for adults and children. While there is always some free content, usually a subscription is needed to access all content. However headspace has launched free access to help children deal with the global pandemic. 


MindSpace (meditation app)

MindSpace, a website concerned with mindfulness in schools which also offers its own meditation app, offers several resources for mindfulness in the classroom.

One of these resources is called Five Minutes to a Calmer Classroom, which is an easy way for teachers to introduce mindfulness meditation into their classrooms and includes videos.  Teachers can either lead a 5-, 10-, 15- or 20-minute meditation in their classrooms with this resource.


Stop, Breathe & Think Kids

This mindful app is created specifically for kids aged 5-10. (there is an adult verion also) “Kids can check into how they are feeling using fun emojis and try recommended mindful missions and meditations tuned in to these emotions.”


Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness

This app has a range of stories designed to be rhythmic and relaxing to help children drift off to sleep.


Mindfulness for Children: Meditations for Kids

This app is centered around guided meditation. It is designed to help children relax before bed. Nature sounds and instructions start the sessions. The app can guide the user through a body scan, visualizations, and breathing exercises.

For more information or to give this app a try, visit


Smiling Minds App

Another application that is popular for children as young as seven is the Smiling Mind app. This app is available through the Apple app store as well as the Google Play store. It is free to download and use.

If you’d like to check out the reviews for this app or learn more about it, visit


Still Quiet Place Video

If you’d like to use a video to help your kids learn how to practice mindfulness, the “Mindfulness Exercises for Kids: Still Quiet Place Video” is a great resource. This animated video can help students learn how to go to a “still quiet place.”

Mindfulness Games for Kids

(not free but good resource if wish to learn more)