7 Techniques to Integrate Mindfulness Into Preschoolers

7 Techniques to Integrate Mindfulness Into Preschoolers

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the moment. For preschoolers, mindfulness can help with emotional regulation, improve focus, and foster empathy. These benefits are crucial during the early years when children are developing foundational skills for their future.

We want the best for our children, especially when it comes to their emotional and mental well-being. Integrating mindfulness practices into a preschooler’s life can play a significant role in promoting calmness and enhancing focus for our young learners. 

By understanding the specific benefits of mindfulness, parents and educators can better appreciate how these practices help children thrive. Here are four key benefits of mindfulness for preschoolers:

  • • Promotes Emotional Regulation

Young children often struggle with overwhelming feelings, leading to tantrums and emotional outbursts. Mindfulness practices teach them to recognise and name their emotions, which is the first step in managing them. For example, simple breathing exercises can help children calm down when they’re feeling upset.

  • • Enhances Focus and Concentration

Mindfulness practices can significantly improve a child’s attention span and concentration during activities and learning tasks. Activities like mindful breathing or guided imagery help children to centre their attention on the present moment, reducing distractions.

  • • Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Even young children can experience stress and anxiety, whether from changes in routine, social challenges, or new environments. Mindfulness offers techniques that help children cope with these feelings in a healthy way. Techniques such as deep breathing or mindful movement can be particularly effective in creating a sense of calm.

  • • Fosters Self-awareness and Empathy

Mindfulness encourages self-reflection, helping children understand their own emotions and reactions. It also promotes empathy by teaching children to consider and understand others’ feelings. Activities that involve mindful listening or gratitude exercises can enhance their ability to empathise with peers.

Let’s explore seven mindfulness techniques to help your child calm down, improve their focus and concentration, and regulate their emotions. Parents can integrate these techniques into everyday activities to make them a seamless part of their child’s routine:

1. Mindful Breathing

Mindful breathing is a practice that helps children focus on their breath and the present moment. By engaging in simple and creative breathing exercises, preschoolers can develop better emotional regulation and calmness. Here are a few mindful breathing techniques to try:

  1. Belly Breathing: Have your child lie down and place a small toy on their belly. Instruct them to breathe in deeply through their nose and watch the toy rise, then exhale slowly through their mouth and watch the toy fall.
  2. Rainbow Breathing: Ask your child to breathe in as they trace an imaginary rainbow with their finger in the air, then exhale as they trace it back down.
  3. Flower Breathing: Encourage the child to imagine smelling a flower by taking a deep breath in through the nose, then slowly blowing out like they are blowing the petals away.

2. Deep Breathing

Encourage children to take slow, deep breaths, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. These activities can help preschoolers improve their focus and manage anxiety more effectively. 

Here are some deep breathing exercises suitable for young children:

Source: School Breathe

  1. Starfish Breathing: Have your child spread one hand out like a starfish. With the other hand, get your child to trace up each finger while breathing in and trace down each finger while breathing out.
  2. Square Breathing: Guide your child to draw a square in the air with their finger, breathing in for four counts while drawing the first side, holding for four counts on the second side, breathing out for four counts on the third side, and holding again for four counts on the last side.
  3. Balloon Breathing: Ask your child to imagine they are inflating a balloon in their belly. Get them to take a deep breath in to fill the balloon and then slowly let the air out, deflating the balloon as they exhale.

3. Mindful Listening

Mindful Listening is a practice that enhances auditory awareness and helps children focus on the present moment. By paying close attention to specific sounds, children can develop better concentration and a greater appreciation for their sensory experiences. Here’s how you can incorporate mindful listening into activities with preschoolers:

  1.  Listening Walk
  • – Take your child on a short walk around the school grounds or a nearby park.
  • – Before starting, ask them to remain quiet and listen carefully to the sounds around them.
  • – Encourage them to identify and describe the sounds they hear, such as birds singing, leaves rustling, cars passing by, or people talking.
  • – After the walk, get your child to discuss what they heard. Ask them to share their favourite sounds and how those sounds made them feel.

2. Sound Matching Game

  • – Prepare pairs of objects or recordings that make distinct sounds, such as keys jingling, a drum being tapped, or a shaker being rattled.
  • – Play one of the sounds or make the sound with the object.
  • – Ask your child to listen carefully and then identify or match the same sound from a set of objects or recordings.
  • – You can increase the complexity by using sounds that are similar but slightly different to challenge their listening skills.

3. Mindful Bell Listening

  • – Have children sit comfortably in a circle with their eyes closed or focused softly on a point in front of them.
  • – Explain that you will ring a bell and they should listen to the sound as long as they can hear it.
  • – Ring the bell and ask them to raise their hand or give a signal when they can no longer hear the sound.
  • – Repeat the activity a few times, encouraging them to focus intently on the sound each time.
  • – Afterward, discuss how they felt during the exercise and what they noticed about the sound and its duration.

4. Guided Imagery

Guided Imagery is a powerful mindfulness tool that helps children use their imagination to create vivid mental images, leading to relaxation and a sense of peace. By guiding preschoolers through a “mindful journey” to a serene place using descriptive language, we can help them develop their imagination while also providing a calming experience. Here are examples of guided imagery activities for preschoolers:

  1. Trip to the Beach: Transport children on a mental journey to a relaxing beach.
  • – Have your children sit comfortably or lie down, with their eyes closed.
  • – Begin with deep breathing to help them relax.
  • – Use vivid, descriptive language to guide them: “Imagine you are walking on a soft, sandy beach. The sun is warm on your skin, and you can hear the gentle waves crashing on the shore. Feel the sand between your toes and the cool breeze on your face. Notice the sound of seagulls in the distance and the salty smell of the ocean air.”
  • – Continue to describe the scene in detail, encouraging them to use all their senses: “You find a comfortable spot to sit and watch the waves. You see shells and pebbles scattered along the shore. As you sit quietly, you feel peaceful and happy.”
  • – After a few minutes, gently guide them back by saying, “When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and return to the room, bringing the calm and peace of the beach with you.”

2. Journey to a Magical Forest: Take children on an imaginative adventure to a serene and enchanting forest.

  • – Get your children to get comfortable and close their eyes.
  • – Begin with a few deep breaths to help them settle.
  • – Guide them with descriptive language: “Imagine you are walking through a magical forest. The trees are tall and their leaves create a canopy overhead, casting cool, dappled shadows on the path. You can hear birds singing and a gentle stream flowing nearby. The air smells fresh and earthy.”
  • – Enhance the sensory experience: “As you walk, you feel the soft moss under your feet and the gentle breeze rustling the leaves. You come across a clearing with a beautiful, sparkling pond. The water is clear, and you can see fish swimming and dragonflies dancing above the surface.”
  • – Let them explore the scene in their minds: “You sit by the pond and dip your fingers in the cool water. The peacefulness of the forest surrounds you, making you feel calm and happy.”
  • – Slowly bring them back: “When you’re ready, take a deep breath and slowly open your eyes, bringing the tranquillity of the forest with you.”

5. Mindful Movement

Mindful Movement involves engaging children in activities that promote awareness of their bodies and surroundings, to develop better coordination, balance, and focus. Here are two examples of mindful movement activities for young children:

1. Yoga Pose for Preschoolers: Tree Pose

Source: Children Inspired by Yoga

  • – Guide children to stand tall with their feet hip-width apart and arms by their sides.
  • – Encourage them to lift one foot and place the sole against the inner thigh or calf of the opposite leg, avoiding the knee.
  • – Assist them in finding their balance and bringing their palms together in front of their chest or reaching them overhead like branches.
  • – Encourage them to breathe slowly and steadily as they hold the pose for a few breaths before switching sides.
  1. Gentle Movement Game: Slow Motion Tag
  • – Invite children to play a game of tag, but with a twist – they must move in slow motion.
  • – Explain that the goal is to move carefully and deliberately, paying close attention to their movements and those of their friends.
  • – Encourage them to focus on their breathing and the sensations in their bodies as they move slowly around the playing area, trying to tag or avoid being tagged by their peers.

6. Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating involves paying deliberate attention to the experience of eating, from the taste and texture of food to the sensations in the body. By encouraging children to engage in mindful eating practices, we can help them develop a healthier relationship with food and a greater appreciation for the nourishment it provides. Here are examples of mindful eating activities for children:

  1. Five Senses Exploration: Encourages children to use all five senses to fully experience their food, for instance, during fruit tasting.
  • – Offer a variety of fruits for the children to taste, such as apples, oranges, grapes, and strawberries.
  • – Encourage them to use their sense of sight to examine the colours and shapes of the fruits, their sense of touch to feel the textures, and their sense of smell to inhale the fragrances.
  • – Next, guide them to take a small bite of each fruit and pay close attention to the taste and texture in their mouths.
  • – Encourage them to describe what they notice, such as sweetness, tartness, juiciness, or crunchiness.
  • – Finally, invite them to reflect on how the experience of eating each fruit made them feel physically and emotionally.

2. Mindful Mealtime: Transforming mealtimes into a mindful experience can help children develop healthier eating habits.

  • – As they eat, encourage them to take slow, deliberate bites and chew their food thoroughly, paying attention to the taste and texture.
  • – Encourage conversation about the food they are eating, asking questions like, “What does this taste like to you?” or “How does it feel in your mouth?”
  • – Remind them to listen to their bodies and stop eating when they feel full, respecting their internal cues of hunger and satiety.

7. Gratitude Practice

Gratitude Practice cultivates a mindset of thankfulness and appreciation for the positive aspects of life. By incorporating simple gratitude exercises into daily routines, we can help children develop a sense of perspective, resilience, and happiness.

A gratitude circle activity provides an opportunity for children to express what they are thankful for in a supportive group setting. For instance: The Morning Circle.

  • – Start by explaining the concept of gratitude and why it’s important to take time to appreciate the happy events or things in their life.
  • – Invite each child to share something they are grateful for, whether it’s a person, a thing, or an experience.
  • – Encourage them to be specific and descriptive in their gratitude expressions, focusing on how the person or thing makes them feel.

Mindfulness techniques are used to manage big emotions effectively. Parents can also provide a “calm corner” equipped with tools like stress balls, colouring sheets, and breathing guides to help children find their calm.


Mindfulness practices play a vital role in early childhood education by helping children develop essential skills for emotional regulation and concentration. Integrating mindfulness practices into a preschooler’s life can play a significant role in promoting calmness and enhancing focus for our young learners. 

At Mulberry Learning, we recognise the importance of nurturing not only academic skills but also emotional well-being in our students. By incorporating mindfulness into our curriculum, we aim to provide a holistic learning experience that supports the development of the child. 

Together, let’s build a foundation of calm and focus that will benefit your children throughout their lives.

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