When we were back at school, you might have heard your child mention ‘doing mindfulness after lunch’ or going to a lunchtime club for ‘mindfulness colouring’. So what exactly were they doing, apart from having quiet time or colouring, and why?

Mindfulness is:

Being mindful is being aware of 'now'. What your body notices in this very moment - how it feels, what’s happening around you, as well as noticing what’s happening inside your mind in a given moment.

Practising mindfulness is a great way to improve our ability to focus. We learn to pay attention to the important things AND to pick up on the smaller details. We learn to concentrate for longer, manage our emotions and respond thoughtfully and intentionally to stressful or uncomfortable situations.

Studies have shown that it also has an impact on:

  • decreasing stress and anxiety

  • improving sleep

  • developing better problem solving skills

  • managing your impulsivity

  • strengthening relationships

  • being aware of the needs and feelings of others

Five Senses

Wherever you are, stop and take a few moments to observe what is happening right now.

  • What can you see - colours, shapes, movement?

  • What can you hear - close by, in the distance? Do you recognise where the sounds are coming from?

  • What can you smell - specific scents? How do they make you feel?

  • If you're eating, take in the flavours, the textures in your mouth, the feeling of your jaw moving.

  • What does your body feel like - notice the ground you're standing or sitting on, what the temperature is like, what are others doing around you?


Childhood can be filled with lots of emotions and new experiences. A journal can be a safe place to record those new and brewing feelings. Many kids feel better when they can express their ideas and thoughts in a safe non-judgmental place.

Let your child pick out their very own journal. Find a special book, or decorate a scrap book with photos/trinkets/images of things that are special and important to your child and who they are.

You can search for lots of journal writing prompts online, but your child can communicate however they want - it's their journal! Drawing, photos and doodles, writing lists or dot points, song lyrics, this list goes on.

adapted from Scholastic

Calm Down Strategies for Children

Have a bath

Blow bubbles

Listen to a Headspace Meditation or audiobook

Go for a walk

Suck on some ice

Ask for a hug - or offer one!

Do some stretches

Count backwards slowly

Wrap up in a blanket

Focus on deep breathing

Listen to calming music

Build with Lego or blocks

Complete a puzzle

Drink water

Draw a picture

Have a healthy snack

Play with play dough

Squeeze a stress ball

Watch a calm down bottle or lava lamp

Play with a fidget toy