Home Study and Activities
"At Parkhead Primary School I have been working with all of the children on developing their ability to use mindfulness techniques and strategies to help them develop resilience and manage their emotions. The children are becoming confident at using their breathing to help them during times where they may be feeling angry, worried or sad. Planning some opportunities for the children to be mindful within their day may act to support their emotional wellbeing during this time of school closures. It is a beneficial practice for adults too and could be something you and your child could practice together during this challenging time. Below are a list of activities, websites and apps that can be downloaded to support your child with this at home. "
|Finger Counting This is an activity that we have all used in school to focus our minds. It involves using your thumb to slowly tap each finger (working from index finger to pinky finger). In school an adult has counted aloud from 1-4 repeatedly while the children have focussed on listening to the slow, steady counting and tapping their fingers. This is something you could try with your child at home to help them focus before completing a home learning task. It can also act as a strategy to help calm emotions.|
|Breathing Activities In school we have focussed on various breathing exercises sitting crossed legged on the floor or lying down on our backs with our feet on the floor and knees up to support our lower backs. When breathing we have focussed on breathing air in slowly and steadily through our noses, holding the breath for a second or two then exhaling the air out of our mouths. This type of breathing forms the basis of most mindfulness activities however can be adapted depending on individual needs. During this breathing the children have also been focusing on their tummies and chests rising as they inhale and falling as they exhale by placing their hands gently on their chest and tummy.|
|Relaxing Music There is lots of relaxing and calming music available online. Mindful Kids is one we have been using in school for our breathing activities|
|Hands On Scotland contains lots of information on the benefits of mindfulness for adults and children and is a useful introduction to the practice if you would like more information before trying activities with your child. It also contains a range of mindfulness activities to try with children as well as links to some useful websites and apps.|
|Cosmic Kids is a great resource for both yoga and mindfulness activities for children. This particular link takes you to a range of videos called the 'Zen Den' which help to guide children with their breathing and thoughts and helps them develop their ability to 'be in the moment'|
|Go Noodle is another fantastic website many of the teachers use in school with the children. It has lots of fun dance along videos, yoga videos and mindfulness activities. This particular link takes you to a range of mindfulness activities to try out with your child.|
|Smiling Mind is a completely free app that has a range of programmes for children broken down into specific age groups. Once you have downloaded the app, select 'All Programmes' and then 'Youth Programmes' and you will find a range of modules aimed at 3-6 year olds, 7-9 year olds and 10-12 year olds.|
|Headspace is another app with a wealth of mindfulness and meditation resources designed specifically for children. This app offers an initial free trial that lasts two weeks and then following this trial there would be a subscription fee. Headspace are currently offering free subscriptions for all staff that work in education, the NHS and the RAF.|
|Calm App is similar to Headspace in that it offers an initial free trial and then following this there would be a monthly or yearly subscription. It also contains guided mindfulness activities for children split into age groups 3-4 years, 5-6 years, 7-10 years and 11-13 years. It also has a feature called 'Sleep Stories' which allows children to listen to audio stories to help them fall asleep at night.|
Twinkl is a resource primarily aimed at educators however during this current climate of school closures it is offering a free full months access using the code: UKTWINKLHELPS.It also has some resources that can be accessed for free at any time. If you search 'Mindfulness' you will be able to download a range of resources including mindfulness colouring sheets, challenge cards and PowerPoints that include relaxing pictures and music.