Mindfulness for Kids and Families

Got stress? Feeling overwhelmed? We have resources to help you learn and practice mindfulness skills that can support your family's mental and emotional wellness during these extremely challenging times!

Mindfulness is a science-backed practice that trains the mind, body, and heart to be in the present moment with specific mindful skills. Research shows the benefits of mindfulness include~

  • Reduced stress

  • Decreased anxiety and depression

  • Strengthened immune system

  • Improved attention and memory

  • Better sleep

  • Increased self-awareness

  • Improved blood pressure and cardiovascular health

  • Much more!

Last month, Oakland Public Library partnered with JG Larochette from the  Mindful Life Project to present a great series of online Mindfulness For Families programs. Recordings of these sessions are available for you to view~

Mindful Life Project is committed to supporting the wellness of kids, families, and school communities through mindfulness programming; they have excellent online resources to share, including an awesome free app and a YouTube channel full of informative practice videos.

And of course, the Oakland Public Library has books about mindfulness for all ages! Here’s a list of recommended titles to get you started~

Book cover image of Tummy RideNiños Mindful series / Whitney Stewart -- This delightful bilingual English/Spanish board book series introduces mindfulness concepts to babies and toddlers.




Book cover image of Meditate with meMeditate with me : a step-by-step mindfulness journey / Mariam Gates ; illustrated by Margarita Surnaite -- Cheerful illustrations accompany mindfulness skills instruction with a repeated invitation to, "Breathe in, and fill your whole body. Breathe out, and relax your whole body." For preschool - 3rd grade.



Book cover image of Mindful Day

 Mindful day / Deborah Hopkinson -- A young girl and her family show readers how to practice mindfulness throughout a busy day. For preschool - 3rd grade.



Book cover image of Breathe like a Bear

Breathe like a bear: 30 mindful moments for kids to feel calm and focused anytime, anywhere / Kira Willey; illustrated by Anni Betts -- Imaginative mindfulness exercises for focus and relaxation. For preschool - 3rd grade. 




Book cover image of Anh's Anger

Anh's anger / Gail Silver; illustrated by Christiane Krömer -- Anh learns how to sit with and move past his anger, instead of saying hurtful things to people he loves. For preschool - 3rd grade. 





Book cover image of Charlotte and the Quiet Place

Charlotte and the quiet place / Deborah Sosin; illustrated by Sara Woolley -- When Charlotte is overwhelmed by noise and a hectic world, she finds silence and practices mindful breathing. For preschool - 3rd grade. 



Book cover image of Mindful Me

Mindful me: mindfulness and meditation for kids / Whitney Stewart -- Mindfulness meditations and exercises for older elementary age kids. 






Book cover image of Just Breathe

Just breathe : meditation, mindfulness, movement, and more / Mallika Chopra; illustrated by Brenna Vaughan -- Practical advice, breathing exercises, and guided meditations to help kids cope with everyday challenges. For grades 3 - 7.





 Book cover image of Sitting still like a frogSitting still like a frog: mindfulness exercises for kids (and their parents) / Eline Snel -- Instructions for meditation practices to use with children; includes a CD with guided practices.





Book cover image of Growing Up Mindful

Growing up mindful: essential practices to help children, teens, and families find balance, calm, and resilience / Christopher Willard, PsyD -- Principles and practices of mindfulness for parents, caregivers, and teachers.






Book cover image of A Still Quiet Place

A still quiet place: a mindfulness program for teaching children and adolescents to ease stress and difficult emotions / Amy Saltzman, MD -- Presents an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program for adults to use with kids and teens.





 Did we miss any of your favorite resources about mindfulness for kids? Let us know in the comments!

Maker March at the Library!

March is Maker Month, a time for all of us to explore our creativity, our curiosity, and take joy in our capacity for innovation. The Oakland Public Library has many events and workshops for kids this month to celebrate!

A highlight of Maker Month is our first Family STEAM Night! The Main Library Children's Room has been awarded a Friends of the Library (FOPL) grant to fund special, hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) workshops for kids 8-12 and their adult caregivers, with dinner included! RSVP is required, as space is limited. Call 510-238-3615 to sign up your kids for this community and team-building event!

What else is happening this month? Check out the list below and join the fun!

3/2/19, 2:00pm, Dimond Branch: Virtual Reality Demonstration -- Experience Virtual Reality (VR) during this special visit from NewPathVR, a local company that educates communities about the benefits of VR for emotional wellness. Ages 8+.

3/5/19, 3:30pm, MLK Branch: 3D Printing - learn how a 3D printer works! Call (510) 615-5728 for more information.

3/6/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Shrinky Dinks - Create your own designs and watch them shrink in a toaster oven.

3/9/19, 3:30pm, Dimond Branch: Scientific Adventures Create, discover, design, build, and have fun with your friends and family! Scientific Adventures presents a new STEAM project each month, inspired by favorite children's books and designed to test your creative, collaborative mind. 

3/12/19, 3:30pm, MLK Branch: 3D Printing - learn how a 3D printer works! Call (510) 615-5728 for more information.

3/14/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: LEGO Mania - Play and build with a mountain of LEGO bricks.

3/16/19, 10:30am, Dimond Branch: Slime Time

3/21/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Marble Run - We'll make a giant marble obstacle course together!

3/26/19, 3:30pm, MLK Branch: Make an LED Minecraft Torchlight. Call (510) 615-5728 for more information.

3/27/19, 6:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Family STEAM Night - Play-Well Teknologies will lead a special LEGO project for kids ages 8-12 and their adult caregivers. Dinner provided. RSVP is required.

3/29/19, 3:00pm, Children's Room, Main Library: Blue Blocks Imagination Playground - Build huge structures with giant blue blocks.


Kids Eat Free! YES FREE!

Starting April 2nd and ending May 22nd everyone who is 18 years old and younger can eat a FREE meal or a snack in the Eastmont library. The meals must be eaten onsite in the designated area.  Meals will be served between 3:30 and 4:30 pm (or while supplies last.) 

We are also looking for a few responsible teenagers or young adults to  volunteer and help us distribute the food.  In addition to showering you with undying gradidute,  we will also sign off on your school mandated community service hours. Contact Paul Schiesser at (510) 615-5726 for more details.

The Eastmont Library is located in the Eastmont Towncenter: 7200 Bancroft Ave. Suite 211 (second floor)

So you're hungry today? Or you can't make it to the Eastmont Library? Try these other two locations:


Teen Zone  at the Main Library

125  14th Street 2nd Floor [just follow the signs (and the music) to the teen zone.]

Snacks served Monday - Friday at 3:00 pm

Dinner served on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5:00 pm

Food is served until it is gone! *Teens (12 - 18 years old)  have first priority*   


Rockridge Library

5366 College Avenue

Snacks every Tuesday, Thursday, and  Friday at 3:30 pm

Snacks every Wednesday at 1:30 pm 

Come in get one while supplies last.


Do you have any questions for us? They can be about almost anything. Submit a question and it will be answered in an upcoming blog post!