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The Importance of Cultivating Mindfulness in Early Childhood

Updated: May 3


Image of two kids meditating

There is a wonderful saying that “mindfulness is the art of being present and not being silent.” Adults often mistake children talking or making noise as those who lack mindfulness. However, children are more prone to experiencing mindfulness when they are fully engaged in an enjoyable activity. They stay in the moment without wishing it were different, they are more welcoming to changes, and place no conditions on how events should move from one moment to another. 


Mindfulness for preschoolers is simply a practice of stopping and observing. It is training their attention and awareness to focus on the task at hand. Now, before we jump into the benefits of mindfulness, let’s look at 3 activities to promote mindfulness-based learning in early childhood.


1. Nature Walks

There is no better teacher than Nature. Spending time in Nature stimulates their senses and allows them to absorb the world around them. It is the most natural state for all humans, and it is highly recommended that children spend a substantial portion of their childhood outdoors. Walking around and exploring their surroundings provides ample opportunities to learn and engage.


2. Yoga for Children

It may be difficult to believe but children love moving their bodies and exploring their limits. Simple yoga asanas can help them have fun while connecting with their minds and bodies. Plenty of innocent giggles are elicited when children learn to balance and work on their flexibility. Practicing a few minutes of silence is key to this activity. Adults often underestimate children but even the smallest child can maintain pin drop silence for a few minutes if the habit is cultivated.


3. Sensory Games

Sensory games are powerful promoters of mindfulness. Imagine having to participate in an activity without being able to use one of your senses. The child will have to rely on the other senses, and this calls for greater focus and awareness. For instance, blindfold the child and ask them to taste a few snacks. They will have to rely on smell, touch, and taste to figure out what they are eating. 


What are the benefits of cultivating mindfulness in early childhood?

  • Enhanced Attentiveness – It is an arduous task to have children pay attention. However, there will be no need to do so if they are automatically attuned to being attentive in each moment. With several children being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) nowadays, encouraging mindfulness from an early age can effectively help avoid such neurodevelopmental disorders

 

  • Improved Information Absorption – Learning is not only enhanced but children can process information, retain it accurately, and understand its application better when they develop and practice mindfulness. 

 

  • Improved Communications – Firstly, mindfulness helps enhance listening skills. The mind learns to control its urge to keep talking and instead focuses on intaking information. Furthermore, it gives way for effective verbal and non-verbal communications. 

 

  • Better Emotional Regulation – Teaching a child to be in control of their mind can help them manage their emotions effectively. It enables controlled responses and builds emotional fortitude in the face of traumatic experiences. This ability fosters self-confidence and allows for healthier social interactions. 

 

  • Effective Stress Management – Being mindful keeps stressors at bay. It is not that children will not experience stressful events, but they learn to control their minds such that anxiety is not heightened. They learn to manage situations calmly and use techniques for relaxation to their advantage. 

 

  • Resilience – The lack of control over things can disturb many of us. It is important to understand that our mind is the only thing we can control. Children need to be taught this right from an early age. It is their first step towards building themselves up to face challenges in the world. Being mindful encourages thoughtfulness and promotes strategic thinking, leading to effective problem solving.  

 

  • Heightened Sense of Well Being – Practicing mindfulness automatically improves a child’s sense of well-being, cultivating a positive outlook towards life. It also instils a profound sense of happiness.


There are myriad opportunities to cultivate moments of mindfulness with your children whether they are engaging exercises, breathing techniques, games, relaxation activities, or mindfulness-based interventions to introduce the concept to your children. Such practices are primarily cultivated by observation, as an adult’s influence in a child’s life can have tremendous effects on their behavior. Indulge in your favorite mindfulness activities as a family to experience its complete benefits.


At Dibber International Preschools, we believe in the power of a happy and calm mind. We try to create mindful moments for children while they are at our units. We allow children to have independent time where they are free to play, explore, or simply observe – tiny pockets of time that they can spend with themselves.

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