Keep Calm! 5 Ideas for Mindfulness for the Entire Family

Like most families out there, our lives became increasingly hectic and stressful as our family expanded and our children grew. We’ve dealt with many changes over the last few years. When even our children started to show some signs of feeling the pressure, we decided it was important to take some steps towards greater mindfulness. As a family, we’ve worked toward finding a better sense of calm together, regardless of age. Read on for a few of the tactics we’ve employed to work towards finding our own zen.

1. Keep Calm and Color

 ADULT COLORING BOOK
Disclosures: I received a free month trial of Kids Who Meditate to facilitate my review. All opinions here are my own.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission from purchases you make through the links in this post (at no additional cost to you), which allows me to continue providing free content on the blog.

Not just for kids anymore, coloring books have recently become one of the most popular (and enjoyable!) forms of stress relief on the market. You can find adult coloring books in nearly any theme, making it possible for everyone to find something to capture their interest. Love Star Wars? Art of Coloring Star Wars is out there for you. Dreaming of spring flowers? You’re covered with Flowers Coloring Book: Beautiful Pictures from the Garden of Nature. Feel like you live in a zoo somedays? (I can relate!) Check this option out!

ADULT COLORING BOOK

Adult coloring books are ideal for de-stressing alongside your children, providing a quiet activity with little set up or pressure. Younger kids can color next to you in their own books. Older children will love coloring right along with mom or dad. Most importantly, it’s fun! Grab your colored pencils, a cute book, and you’re on your way to mindfulness. Don’t believe me? Check out what CNN had to say about this artistic new trend!


2. Keep Calm and Stretch It Out

BOOK GOOD NIGHT YOGA

When #thebigone was a bit younger, we began to notice a severe stutter develop in his speech. His speech therapist specialized in fluency issues, and suggested we pull him out of the very academic full time daycare he was attending and seek a lower pressure option. After some research and reading, our family finally settled on a yoga preschool for his year before kindergarten. Not just for the new age population anymore, yoga is booming in popularity, even among the youngest generation. My son flourished in an environment that allowed him to move his body rather than sitting still all day. (Of course, his kind, attentive teacher also played a role).

BOOK GOOD NIGHT YOGA

BOOK GOOD NIGHT YOGA

Even if you might never consider that sort of preschool for your children, there are plenty of options to involve your kids in yoga at home. We have both picture books and DVDs that help to lead children through poses in an age appropriate manner. Particular favorites are Good Morning Yoga and Good Night Yoga, with absolutely adorable illustrations. They’ll have your kids feeling relaxed and mindful in no time! (And you too! There’s no reason mom and dad can’t jump in for some yoga fun!) Need more convincing? Check out some of the other benefits of yoga for kids!


3. Keep Calm and Om On

KIDS WHO MEDITATE KIDS WHO MEDITATE

For years, meditation has been a frequently suggested option for individuals seeking mindfulness. It’s simple to engage in, requires little to no materials, and is easy enough for children. As someone with a long history of anxiety, I’ve often turned to meditation in moments of panic. I know I would benefit immensely from making the practice a regular part of my day. I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to check out the service from Kids Who Meditate with my son. The site aims to help children (and their frazzled parents) find a sense of calm through guided meditations than can be accessed online at any time. Meditation is said to decrease stress, increase focus, raise productivity, and improve both mood & mindfulness for those who practice. What kid couldn’t benefit from that?!

KIDS WHO MEDITATE KIDS WHO MEDITATE

Meditation programs from Kids Who Meditate all include “affirmations, visualization, mindfulness techniques and hypnotherapy”. They’re perfect for helping children find a sense of balance and calm. While the program may be especially beneficial to an over-scheduled child, or the highly sensitive child with internalized emotions, anyone can achieve benefits from meditation. I was particularly interested in it for my oldest. He is a child who splits time between his father’s home and my own, in a shared custody arrangement. Although he is used to the arrangement, and a well adjusted kid, I have no doubt switching homes every few days adds some stress to his life. Ultimately, anything that helps minimize that stress is worthwhile, in my opinion.

KINDLE FOR KIDS WHO MEDITATE

Kids Who Meditate is an affordable option for parents looking to implement mediation in their children’s schedules. My son enjoyed listening to the guided meditations on his Kindle. At some points, he used his headphones to block out some of the household ambient noise- also known as crazy toddler noise! Other times, we unplugged the headphones and listened together, making it a great family activity for a quiet evening.

There’s proven benefits to meditation for both children and adults! Check it out!


4. Keep Calm and Be Kind

If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure. [Dietrich Bonhoeffer] 

The idea is so simple and basic, it almost feels silly to list it here. But it’s absolutely true. When we do good, we feel good. When we see how we can help others solve their problems, suddenly our problems don’t feel quite as insurmountable. Helping others can in turn help you, by distracting you from your worries, and providing a new perspective for you to view your struggles from. Acts of kindness can be big or small- you’ll feel the benefit from both. Remembering someone special through a generous act can see you through a difficult day while you miss them. Encouraging your children to partake in acts of kindness, both with you and independently, sets the stage for raising a generation that is kinder and more giving than our own.

Read on to see more about how kindness can help your spirit.

No joy can equal the joy of serving others. [Sai Baba] 


5. Keep Calm and read All About It

BOOK 10 MINDFUL MINUTES

Finally, we reach the end of the list, and of course, I saved the best for last. Come on. You knew I wasn’t going to get all the way through this post without at least a few book suggestions, right?! These ideas are perfect for families looking for practical and easy to implement strategies for finding more mindfulness. For adults, I’m a fan of Goldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes. (Yes, that Goldie Hawn!) She’s written a great book on identifying and acknowledging the role of our sense and emotions in mindfulness. By relaying anecdotes, the book provides simple ideas for creating a calmer home life for the entire family.

BOOK EACH BREATH A SMILE

Each Breath a Smile is based on the teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen master, and was written by Sister Susan. It’s a quick picture book read aloud ideal for helping children to practice mindfulness. The book directs young listeners through simple breathing exercises with age appropriate text. It includes vibrant, charming illustrations from Nguyen Thi Hop & Nguyen Dong to increase the appeal to children.


If your family has been feeling anything mine lately, I hope you’ll consider using some of these tips and tricks to try to keep calm! Be sure to check out Kids Who Meditate if you’re interested in helping your child try guided meditation.

What is your favorite trick for improving mindfulness? How do you help your kids with it? Let me know in the comments below!

Family feeling a bit frazzled lately? I've got 5 great ways the entire family can work towards increased mindfulness.

Disclosures: I received a free month trial of Kids Who Meditate to facilitate my review. All opinions here are my own.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission from purchases you make through the links in this post (at no additional cost to you), which allows me to continue providing free content on the blog.

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57 Comments

  • workingmommyabroad

    Great tips! This is definitely something we should work on

    • Kate

      Thanks very much!

  • Marcie

    We love to color! I have an adult coloring book filled with cities from around the world. I just found gel pens at Target for $1 so I’m excited to see how they compare to my colored pencils.

    • Kate

      What a great find, Marcie! You’ll have to let me know how they work- maybe I’ll add some gel pens to my coloring supplies!

    • Kate

      Thanks so much!

    • Kate

      Thanks Joanna! I agree, coloring is incredibly relaxing, and the adult books are so intricate and fun to work on.

  • Beth

    Great book options! I had no idea about the yoga books. Super cute.

    • Kate

      They are some of the cutest out there! Yoga books for kids are super popular right now, lots of them on the market!

  • wearyourdissent

    Coloring is so calming. Great post!

    • Kate

      Thanks so much! Huge coloring fans over here!

  • Brit Strawbridge

    Great list! My two year old and I always practice deep breathing together – mostly when he is very excited or I am very stressed haha colouring also works wonders too!

    • Kate

      Deep breathing is a great one… We used to have my oldest pretend he was blowing out candles to calm himself. Thanks, Brit!

  • Ami Parikh Gandhi

    I love this post! I appreciate the idea of the entire family practicing mindfulness together. Just the other day my older son and I colored together; I’m going to try to include my toddler in the experience as well!

    • Kate

      Thanks so much Ami! I hope your toddler enjoys it!

  • Brittany Ferrell

    I love these tips! I do love to color with my daughter and find it so soothing. I really want to try some family yoga. I did mommy and me yoga when my daughter was a baby, but gosh, I think it would be so helpful now!

    • Kate

      It absolutely has significant benefits! Hope you guys have fun!

  • Sally

    Meditating and yoga help tremendously with mindfulness! Coloring? That goes without saying….my kids and I still color together and one of them is grown!

    • Kate

      Thanks Sally! I don’t think I will ever outgrow coloring!

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms

    This is fantastic advice! I love coloring with my daughter. It is so relaxing!

    • Kate

      Thanks Vicki!

  • Elizabeth Brico

    This article is really interesting to me. Mindfulness based therapy basically saved my life; it’s the only thing I’ve done that has helped my PTSD in any way (I am also eager to try somatic therapy, but can’t afford it atm)…Anyway my kids and I pretty much stick to moving meditations like yoga and mindful walking, etc. Because of the dissociative aspects of PTSD, and my kids’ attention spans, sitting meditation is pretty impossible. So I’m really curious about your experiences with it! How does your eldest like it? How long can he sit? How about the younger? If you have any tips for remaining engaged during a sitting meditation, I’d love to hear them!

    • Kate

      I have PTSD as well, from the birth of my second son, and I will admit that I do better with something meditative but not just meditating… The adult coloring is a great example of what works well for me, personally. My youngest just turned 18 months, so we’re no where near getting him to sit for anything, let alone meditating. My oldest is 6 1/2, and has a pretty good attention span for his age, so depending on his mood that day, he can sit for a while. Guided meditations, like on http://www.kidswhomeditate.com, works better for him than just doing it on his own. His dad has some other mindfulness stuff they do together at his house. Thanks for checking out the post, Elizabeth!

  • Sane Mama

    Thanks for the review. I will be checking out some of these products. I think meditation would be incredibly helpful for my 4 year old.

    • Kate

      I hope you guys enjoy it!

  • Stephanie Lowry

    I absolutely love this! So important to teach this while their young.

    • Kate

      I agree, it’s really helpful to give kids coping and calming strategies early on. Thanks so much Stephanie!

  • Terrin | momblah.com

    I loved all these suggestions! Going to try them out with the 4 year old!

    • Kate

      Thanks so much, Terrin, and good luck with your little one!

  • onepeainthepod

    This is great! Very good skills to learn when young! Its much harder to do as an adult!

    • Kate

      I agree, Kate. Thanks!

  • Meredith from Mommy in Leggings

    These are some amazing ideas! I think meditation and quiet time is super important, but also teaching kids what to do with that quiet time (not just sitting there being quiet). Great post!

    • Kate

      Definitely Meredith- I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I told my kiddo to just be quiet without something to focus on like meditation, chances of him sitting quietly successfully drop significantly. Thanks for check out the post.

  • Krysten

    I didn’t even know there were yoga preschools! I live in a very progressive city, I’m going to have to see if there are any for my little man to attend. He would love to be more active than sitting down all day. This app seems amazing, I’m going to have to check it out!

    • Kate

      We were so happy to find the preschool for my son, and it was the perfect fit for him. We can’t wait until my youngest is old enough to attend! Hope you find one in your area as well!

    • Kate

      Thank you Jasmine.

  • Mamaguru

    Such great resources! AI teach mindfulness and I really love all the wonderful tools you’ve shared. Namaste.

    • Kate

      Thanks so much, Rebecca! I appreciate the confirmation that I’m on track so far.

  • Justine Y @ Little Dove

    These are great suggestions! I love the adult coloring books, they’re so fun and you really can just zone out while you’re working on them. I recently started meditating with my son and I really like it!

    • Kate

      So glad you guys are enjoying it together- it’s a great, low stress way to bond.

  • Dawn

    These are great tips. It’s so easy for the volume to be raised in the house and everyone to get anxious and the kiddos to get a little crazy.

    • Kate

      Thanks Dawn… I always get a little twitchy when the noise level rises too high. Definitely good to seek some calm at times.

  • val

    I need to get back into yoga with my little lady

    • Kate

      Hope you two have fun!

  • itsahero

    I really love this list! It’s so hard trying to keep our kids grounded, but such a good idea to introduce meditation from a young age!

    • Kate

      Thanks so much, Rachel! I totally agree.

  • fivemarigolds

    I love the idea of this app. I’m going to have to check it out.

    • Kate

      Hope you enjoy it!

  • Jennifer L. Corter (@jenngem)

    My little guy loves yoga! I love coloring! Sometimes we do both together. We’ll both do yoga, or we’ll both color. 🙂

    • Kate

      They really are such fun ways to relax while spending time together!

  • Amy Crooks

    So many great ideas! I like it! 🙂

    • Kate

      Thanks, Amy!

  • Rolene

    Thank you for this great tips! Can’t wait to try them out.

    • Kate

      I hope they help, Rolene!

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