The Benefits of Mindfulness for Preschoolers: Why It’s Never Too Early to Start

Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment, without judgment. It can be taught to preschoolers through simple exercises such as deep breathing, listening to calming music, and paying attention to their senses. Activities such as coloring, playing with playdough, and going on nature walks can also help children develop mindfulness. It is important to make the activities age-appropriate and to be patient with children as they learn to focus their attention. It is also recommended that parents model mindfulness in their own behavior and language in order to provide a good example for their children.

From Tantrums to Tranquility: How Mindfulness Can Help Your Preschoolers Manage Their Emotions

Many different mindfulness activities can be used to teach preschoolers about being present and focused at the moment. Some examples include:

  1. Deep breathing exercises: Children can be taught to take slow, deep breaths in through their nose and out through their mouth. This can be done while sitting or lying down, and can be accompanied by visualization exercises such as imagining a peaceful scene.
  2. Sensory exploration: Children can be encouraged to pay attention to their five senses and to notice the different sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures around them. This can be done while going on a nature walk or while exploring different materials in the classroom.
  3. Yoga: Yoga poses can be modified to be age-appropriate for preschoolers, and can help children learn to focus and be present in their bodies.
  4. Guided imagery: Children can be guided through an imagination exercise where they imagine a peaceful scene or place, such as a beach or a forest, and encouraged to focus on the sights, sounds, and feelings associated with that place.
  5. Mindful listening: Children can be encouraged to listen to calming music or nature sounds and focus on the sounds they hear, without getting distracted.
  6. Gratitude: Children can be taught to focus on what they are thankful for, and to express gratitude for the things in their lives.
  7. Mindful eating: Children can be encouraged to eat slowly and pay attention to the taste, texture, and smell of their food, without getting distracted.
  8. Mindful coloring: Children can be encouraged to focus on coloring, pay attention to the color and movement of their hand, and enjoy the process.

It is important to keep in mind that these activities should be adapted to the children’s age and development level, and should be presented in a playful and non-threatening way.

How are mindfulness and heartfulness incorporated into a Montessori education? 

1. The child is free to follow his interests and his heart.

2. The child is given space and time through uninterrupted long work cycles where he has ample time to explore and concentrate on his activities of choice.

3. The Montessori guide gives grace and courtesy lessons daily to demonstrate to the children how to behave in loving, kind, and thoughtful ways. 

4. The children work out conflicts at a peace table where each child holds a peace object, such as a rose, and has the opportunity to share their feelings, let them go, and resolve the issue with love and care. 

5. Mindful spaces are created within the environment so that the child has the opportunity at any time to spend time in quiet self-reflection.

6. The children play the silence game regularly. Children sit in silence and listen patiently for their names to be whispered. This simple activity tunes their senses, connects the child to the present moment, and gives the child a profound experience of the peacefulness of silence. 

7. The children are encouraged to practice gratitude as a way of life.

8. Montessori guides respect the children, and in return, the child develops this respect for himself and shares this respect with others and his environment. 

9. Simple mindful activities such as walking along the line at circle time are encouraged as a form of moving meditation. 

10. Children work collaboratively on projects in vertically aged groups. This collaborative approach helps the child to learn through experience to be mindful and respectful of others’ views and input.

Mindfulness and heartfulness have many benefits to the well-being of a child. These powerful practices reduce stress, improve immunity, regulate emotions, build resilience, increase feel-good mood-boosting hormones and expand compassion for others, among many more. 

With good intentions, uninterrupted attention, and a positive attitude, children can learn to master themselves. In this way, the mindful and heartful Montessori educational model prepares a child’s young mind for childhood and life and sows the seeds for a more peaceful world!


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