Our useful articles and resources
Shyness and Children
Louise wrote this article for a newspaper about Shyness in Children.
Creative Mindfulness Practice For Children
This article was written by Louise Shanagher for the magazine CHILDLINKS issued by Barnardos. ISSN: 1649-0975 © 2020 Barnardos
Teaching children mindful awareness practices
Articles written by Louise about how to introduce mindfulness to children with simple awareness practices.
Making Peace with Ourselves
Article written by Louise about how we can deepen our practice and find peace.
Mindfulness and the three relationships
Article written by Louise about the different types of relationship we have about ourselves.
Love Letter to Myself
This is a nice activity to help children nurture a loving and compassionate attitude towards themselves and to encourage self-esteem and self-confidence. You will need paper, pen and an envelope. Ask your child to write a letter to themselves about why they love to be them. You can explain that they can write about anything in their lives such as their personality, school, favorite things to do and friends. Explain that this letter is just for them and that they don't have to show anyone the letter unless they want to. You can then ask your child to put the letter in an envelope and to keep in safe. You can encourage your child to take out the letter and read it to themselves whenever they like and especially during times when they feel a little down.
Yoga and Mindfulness videos for children
Videos and Channels to help children with their practices
All about me diary
These little diaries are a wonderful way to help children express thoughts and feelings, freely and openly. You will need a small diary and some stickers and colours to decorate. If you are working with a group of children, you can buy packs of diaries cheaply in most discount stores. Explain that these diaries are special diaries and are for the child to write about their thoughts and feelings. You can explain that this diary is just for them and that they don't have to show it to anybody unless they want to. You can then encourage the child to decorate the diary in a way that shows their personality, likes/dislikes, favourite interests etc... If you like you can write the words "Today I feel" at the top of each page.
The Gratitude Tree
The Gratitude Tree is a lovely activity to help children cultivate thoughts and feelings of gratitude. You will need a branch, a pot, some stones, paper and ribbon. Put some stones in the pot, then put the branch in the pot. You can decorate the branch with wool, ribbon and twine if you like. Cut leaf shape pieces out of the paper and explain that each child can write or draw one thing they feel thankful for on a leaf. Ask the children to hang their leaf on the gratitude tree with brightly coloured ribbon, encourage them to say what they are thankful for as they hang the leaf on the tree.
Self-Compassion for adults
Discover wonderful works from well-known specialists about how to practice self-compassion as an adult.
The Worry Monster
The worry monster is a fun activity that will help children gain awareness of thoughts and feelings and offers an effective method for letting go of worries. You will need a cardboard box, scissors, and crafty bits for hair, eyes ect. Draw a big mouth on the box and use a scissors to cut it out. Decorate the box to look like a monster with funny hair, eyes, nose ect. Explain that this monster is a "worry monster" and he loves to eat up children's worries. Explain that if you have a worry you can write it or draw it on a piece of paper and feed it to the worry monster. You can also mention that it is always good to talk to an adult about any worries too.
Research and further reading
Deepen your knowledge by reading interesting researches backing up the benefits of Mindfulness.
Mind Jar activity
This is a wonderful activity to explain to children how mindful breathing helps calm a busy mind. You will need an empty jam jar, water and glitter. Explain that the jar is like our mind and the glitter is our thoughts and feelings. Put the glitter in the jar, fill the jar with water and tighten the lid. You can then shake the jar and explain that this is a busy mind with all of the thoughts and feelings going around and around. Then put the jar down and do some mindful breathing, 30 seconds will be enough but you could do more if you like. Pick up the jar again and explain that just like the mind jar settles, our mind also settles, calms and clears when we practice mindful breathing.