Take a deep breath in, and slowly let it out. When we are feeling stressed, taking steps to calm our bodies and minds can help. Children are no exception. There are lots of simple things you can do with children to help them relax, such as this mindfulness art activity for kids – perfect for the holidays.
Teaching children to be aware of their emotions and feelings at a young age can help with self regulation. It can also help by giving them strategies to stay calm and relaxed as they grow older.
With the holidays only a few weeks away, children are feeling the excitement of the season. It is the perfect time to create a quick and easy mindfulness art activity that they can use throughout the holiday.
Although this craft was originally created as a tree ornament for Christmas, it can be created and used any time of year.
One thing that I love about this mindfulness art activity is that once children have completed their mindful stick, it can be hung on a tree or on a hook for children to take and use when they feel they need to.
As you begin to teach children about mindfulness, try some simple ways to teach mindfulness to kids.
Mindfulness Art Activity Materials
One of the reasons that I love this craft is that I had all of the materials on hand already. You only need a few simple supplies:
- Pony Beads
- Pipe Cleaners
- Paper + Hole Punch (Optional)
Steps to Creating Your Mindful Craft
Kids of all ages will be able to quickly and easily create their own mindful stick. It only takes a few minutes, but then there are lots of different activities to do with it once it’s done.
To start, create a small loop on the end of the pipe cleaner and twist to secure. This loop will allow you to hang the stick on a tree or hook for safe keeping.
Next, hand out the colorful beads to children and encourage them to count out 10 beads. Children can choose any assortment of beads to use for their stick. To incorporate math into this activity, there are some ideas later in this post.
Next, slip the beads onto the pipe cleaner.
Once all of the beads are on the pipe cleaner, secure the end so that the beads will not slip off.
If you are doing this craft in a classroom, or simply want your child’s name on their mindfulness art, attach a small piece of paper and secure it to the end opposite the loop. Children, or an adult, can then print the child’s name on the paper tag.
Once all of the beads are on and the ends are secure, you are done creating your mindful stick and ready for the activities.
Mindful Craft for Kids Activities
Once your stick is done, there are lots of hands-on activities that you can do. I like to leave the sticks out and available for children to have access to at any time.
The main activity to do with the mindful stick is a simple breathing activity.
Start by pushing all of the beads to one side. Hold onto the loop and slowing drag one bead from one side to the other. As you slowly drag each bead take a deep breath in. When you let go of the bead on the other side, slowly exhale out as you go back for the second bead.
Continue slowly moving each bead from one side to the other while slowly breathing in.
Teaching children to be mindful of their breathing is one of the easiest ways for children, and even adults, to calm and relax their bodies.
It is a good idea to sometimes use the mindful sticks at times that children are already clam. Encourage children to be aware of how their bodies and minds feel when they are calm and there is no harm in taking a mindful moment even when you are already relaxed.
The mindful stick is an easy, and hands-on way to have children control their breathing for ten long breaths. Hopefully once they are done moving each of their beads across, they are calmer and can self regulate.
Encourage children to close their eyes as they breath and move their beads. Remind them to be mindful and move the beads slowly. Ask them to be aware of their chest rising and falling as they breathe.
Mindfulness Art Activity Math Connection
As a teacher, I am always looking for ways to bring more learning into activities. This mindfulness art activity is an easy craft to add some math to. Whether you are creating these sticks at home, or school there is lots of math to integrate.
As children pick their beads to put onto the pipe cleaner encourage them to make a pattern with their beads. Instead of ten random beads, children choose beads that make a pattern, such as red, green, red, green etc.
The other piece of math that is integrated into this craft, and activity, is counting. As children take a deep breath in, they can count and say “one”. With each bead they move, they count one number until all beads are moved and they are at 10.
Although the sticks are intended to be used for mindfulness, you can also simply play and learn with the beads. Children can use the sticks to practice counting and even addition and subtraction.
With mindful sticks in each child’s hands, ask them to show you a number from 1 to 10 using the beads. Children move the number of beads across to the other end of the stick.
You can also have children use the beads to add small amounts, such as 3+4. Start by moving 3 beads across and then move 4 more and count to get the total. This is a great way to do simple addition and subtraction questions using hands-on materials.
In my opinion, it is wonderful that there has become more of a focus in the classroom, and in many homes, to teach children about being mindful and different strategies to relax and calm their bodies and mind. A free choice board, shown below, can be printed to give even more mindful activity ideas!
Mindfulness Choice Board
There are lots of ways to promote mindfulness in your classroom or home. Use this mindful choice board to give kids options for mindful activities they can try. Being mindful can simply mean being aware and careful of your breathing, or doing specific activities to calm your body and mind.
This printable choice board is available for FREE to all subscribers of Hands-On Teaching Ideas. Click the image below to subscribe and gain access to my Resource Library where you can print any, or all, pages that look interesting to you.
More Mindfulness Activities
Mindful activities are an easy way to encourage calm and peace for children. Check out a few mindfulness activities below.
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more hands-on teaching ideas, below is a collection of my most popular and favorite learning activities. From escape room puzzles to STEM challenges and mindful art activities and printable mindful centers, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning.