Mindfulness is a concept that encourages our frazzled beings to “focus one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”.
And it’s not just adults who are in need of some time out. Children sometimes need help relaxing, too, as their lives are filled with more kids’ clubs, more screens – and more pressure from the internet.
So, here’s a few titles aimed at helping little ones enjoy a moment’s peace during a busy day…
Here’s our pick of the best mindfulness books for children
1. Mind Hug: The First Story, £9.99
This book, by by Emily Arber and Vanessa Lovegrove tells the story of Jack, a very busy boy whose mind often feels “fizzy”.
But after the fizziness comes the pop and Jack is left feeling flat and miserable. When this happens Jack needs a hug, but not just any old squeeze will do, it has to be a mind hug which allows Jack to take some deep, deep breaths and achieve a calmer more peaceful state.
This is a very gentle story book that looks at self-soothing and how good habits early on in a child’s life can help strengthen their mental health as they grow.
2. Elmer’s Walk, £11.99
For very young children, David McKee’s Elmer’s Walk provides an excellent introduction to mindfulness. Elmer is going for a walk with his friends and wants them to stop and smell the flowers and take notice of the colours.
But his friends are too busy and just want to move on to the next place. Eventually as day turns to night and the sky is filled with millions of stars, Elmer convinces his friends to lie down and take in the beauty of the universe.
3. No Worries! Mindful Kids: An Activity Book for Young People Who Sometimes Feel Anxious Or Stressed, £9.99
Working with your hands is proven to be good for de-stressing. So for slightly older children, No Worries! Mindful Kids makes a really good addition to their book shelf.
Created by Lily Murray, it contains simple activities and tasks enabling children to colour or simply doodle their way to a calmer mind, thus relieving any stress or anxiety they may be feeling.
Great to share with your child at the end of the day as you both wind down. Highly recommended.
4. I Am At Peace, £6.99
Author, yoga-lover and mum Susan Verde has written a number of books for children that all deal with emotions and how to cope with them.
I Am At Peace shares her knowledge of mindful techniques to encourage children to connect with their surroundings and to make the most of the natural world.
Perfect for bedtime, Peter H Reynolds’ relaxed watercolour illustrations also add to the overall feelings of tranquility and perfectly compliment Verde’s calming narrative.
5. Breathing is My Superpower, £15.99
Age: up to 12 years
Sofia, the main character in Breathing is my Superpower, teaches kids how to manage their emotions in difficult situations through 5 different breathing techniques.
Whether it’s helping with self-confidence or learning how to cope with fears, this is a lovely book that gives some easy ways for kids to manage their feelings without being too text-heavy.
Available from: Amazon
6. The Friend I Need: Being Kind & Caring to Myself, £8.58
Kids learn a lot about how to be kind to others, but this a book that also focuses on treating yourself the same way.
The story takes you through different situations where children come under pressure and the ways in which they are kind and supportive to themselves. Some of these scenarios take place in the classroom, so this is a book that’d be great for school-aged children.
As summed up by one Amazon reviewer, “It is a nice offering to say, ‘What would you tell your friend if they were having this same struggle?'”.
Available from: Amazon
7. Ruby’s Worry, £6.99
Each of the books in Tom Percival’s Big Bright Feelings series focus on helping children to manage different emotions and worries whether that be anxiety, anger, self-acceptance or friendship.
This story is centred around Ruby’s worry, which at first isn’t big but eventually starts to grow. We find out how Ruby learns to cope with her worry and start to feel more like herself again.
We love the bright, contemporary illustrations which are great for engaging young readers and an aspect praised by customers on Amazon.
8. How are you feeling today?, £10.99
This is a great book for kids to dip in and out of when they’re struggling to deal with a certain emotion. They can pick from the feelings that relate to them and then see the range of imaginative ways to help cope with that feeling.
Towards the back of the book, you’ll also find useful notes for parents on other activities you can try with your kids when they’re feeling a certain way.
9. Calm Down Time, £7.99
Whilst a lot of mindfulness books are aimed at school-aged kids, this is a great option for toddlers which offers easy techniques on how to stay calm.
Through breathing exercises, creating a quiet place to calm down or asking for help from a grown-up, Elizabeth Verdick gives some simple methods that are easy to communicate to toddlers.
10. The HappySelf Journal, £19.90
Age: 6 to 12 years
For a way to help older children reflect on their emotions, this HappySelf Journal is a lovely tool which allows them to focus on their day and put mindfulness into practice.
We love all the different prompts such as ‘top three things’ of the day and the ample space for doodling, which can be beneficial for kids who aren’t keen on reflecting through writing.
If you want to help your kids to be mindful, you might want a reminder yourself on how to do it, so you can impart your wisdom to them in your own words.
Amber Hatch’s Mindfulness for Parents offers some very straightforward and accessible advice on how to stay in the moment and on top of the chaos.
Amber talks frankly about her experience while offering tips on feeling more connected to your children; staying calm in a crisis and building a sense of perspective.
Available from: Amazon