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!

Embodying Peace with Young Children

"We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built” - Martin Luther King, Jr., "Dreams of Brighter Tomorrows," Ebony Magazine, March 1965 

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I am inspired to explore how his thoughts on peace can be embodied by young children and the people who love them. With the frantic pace of modern life, it is easy for all of us to feel stretched thin, distracted, and overwhelmed. When we are reacting to the ups and downs of our day without preserving moments to slow down and feel grounded in our bodies it can be more difficult to treat ourselves and others with the patience and kindness needed to make this world a more peaceful place.  

Luckily there are books that introduce even the youngest children to mindfulness practices that will have the whole family breathing and moving in ways that calm the body and mind and connect us with the earth.  

Image preview   

ABC mindful me : ABCs for a happy, healthy mind & body / Christiane Engel

Baby present / text, Rachel Neumann ; photographs, Ericka McConnell

Breathe like a bear : 30 mindful moments for kids to feel calm and focused anytime, anywhere / Kira Willey ; illustrated by Anni Betts

Here and now / by Julia Denos ; illustrated by E. B. Goodale

Meddy Teddy : mindful poses for little yogis


Meditation is an open sky : mindfulness for kids / Whitney Stewart ; illustrated by Sally Rippin

To try something right away, you can do this simple technique to practice mindful breathing together with a child you love: 


1.  Hold the left hand in a fist.  Ask the child to imagine it is a flower.

2.  Hold the right hand in a fist.  Ask the child to imagine it is a candle.

3.  Inhale, pretending to sniff the flower.

4.  Exhale, pretending to blow out the candle.

Encourage the child to breathe deeply, to really smell the flower.  Then tell them to exhale completely, to really really blow the candle out. 

 Source: Kids Relaxation