In the past decade there has been a growing amount of research into the power of mindfulness practice. The physical, emotional and mental benefits of meditation and mindful activities have been demonstrated conclusively through research. Mindfulness can increase attention, emotional regulation, happiness, and concentration to name just a few. Recently, I shared my favorite Mind-Body Apps for adults which I frequently suggest to my adult clients.

However, teaching a small child to sit and focus on their breath could seem like an impossible task. Luckily, there are a growing number of resources for parents and caregivers who wish to introduce the power of mindfulness to their children. Here are a few of my favorites:

Children’s Books:

Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean

Visiting Feelings by Lauren Rubenstein

Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda by Laura Alderfer

Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean

Books and Programs to Guide Parents:

Ready . . . Set . . . R.E.L.A.X.: A Research-Based Program of Relaxation, Learning, and Self-Esteem for Children by Jeffrey Allen and Roger Klein and accompanying CD: Ready, Set, Release by Jeffrey Allen and Roger Klein

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and their Parents) by Eline Snel (includes cd with guided meditations)

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh

Teaching concentration to a child in our distracted world may seem like a Herculean task. However, if done playfully and flexibly,  children can reap the long lasting benefits of the ability to calm their nervous system. What a gift!