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Planting Seeds of Calm: The Benefits of Mindfulness for Preschoolers

Genevieve Chan

Mindfulness for preschoolers is increasingly recognised as an essential component of early childhood education. Introducing mindfulness practices at this stage offers numerous benefits that can profoundly impact children's overall development and well-being.


Mindfulness involves paying full attention to the present moment with an attitude of openness and curiosity. For preschoolers, this can be introduced through simple activities such as mindful breathing, listening exercises, guided imagery, and sensory awareness tasks. Given the developmental stage of preschoolers, these activities are typically brief, playful, and integrated into their daily routines.


Here are some simple strategies for teaching mindfulness to preschoolers:


Simple Breathing Exercises:

Teach children to take deep breaths, imagining their belly as a balloon that inflates and deflates. This can be a calming practice and easy to understand.


Mindful Listening:

Use a bell or a soft chime. Ask the children to listen to the sound until they can no longer hear it. This activity sharpens their listening skills and brings their focus to the present moment.


Body Scans:

Guide them through a simple body scan, encouraging them to notice how different parts of their body feel. This can be done lying down or sitting comfortably.


Mindful Movements:

Incorporate simple yoga poses or stretching exercises that encourage children to focus on their movements and how their body feels.


Nature Walks:

Take children on a walk outside and ask them to observe what they see, hear, smell, and feel. This can be a grounding and engaging activity.


Mindful Storytime:

Read stories that incorporate themes of mindfulness or ask children to describe their feelings about the story's events.


Gratitude Practices:

Create a routine where children share one thing they are grateful for each day. This can foster a positive outlook and emotional resilience.


Tips for Success

  • Keep it Simple and Fun: Use language and activities appropriate for their age.

  • Be Consistent: Integrate mindfulness into the daily routine to make it a habit.

  • Model Mindfulness: Children learn by example, so practice mindfulness yourself and share your experiences with them.

  • Be Patient: It may take time for children to get used to mindfulness practices, so be patient and encouraging.


Introducing mindfulness to preschoolers can set a strong foundation for emotional health, focus, and overall well-being as they grow. However, their application and effectiveness for preschoolers (children aged 3-5) is a relatively new area of interest. Research in this domain is growing, and preliminary findings are promising.

Genevieve is a long time practitioner of mindfulness and a qualified Mindfulness Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) facilitator, offering  programs for kids and teens in Singapore. She is co-owner of The Corner Playhouse, a sustainable preschool, helping children learn through play in a 'natural' classroom.

Photo creds: Humanium

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