Meditation Exercises for Children

Today, we'll talk about some of the meditation exercises for children that will help them fall asleep better while you spend time together.
Meditation Exercises for Children
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Nowadays, children are bombarded with excessive activities, screens, lots of information… Their lives are busy and, believe it or not, little ones can experience stress, so meditation exercises for children can help alleviate symptoms.

One of the most typical ways parents notice signs of stress, depression, or anxiety is by observing if their child has difficulty falling asleep. Other signs of stress in children include headaches, stomachaches, and hyperactivity. Therefore, meditation may be the solution.

A very effective way to help little ones cope with and process stress is to meditate. Meditation can prevent stress in children and help heal those who are dealing with it.

It’s also a wonderful way to help little ones unwind and relax after a long day, which sets them up for peaceful nights of sleep.

You don’t need to have experience with meditation yourself to be able to help your child get started with it. So, here are some ways to get started.

Meditation exercises for children

A mother meditating on the couch with her young daughter and son.

Yoga classes for kids

If your child likes to move, yoga might be a good way to learn the basics of meditation. In the Western world, our perception is that yoga’s primarily a source of exercise.

However, its origin (thousands of years ago) was for meditation purposes. And, now, most children’s yoga classes also include time to relax and meditate.

Teaching mindfulness in school

Mindfulness practices offer young children tools to calm their bodies, relax their minds, and help them deal with their thoughts.

Mindfulness meditations often focus primarily on the breath: Children learn to turn their attention to the breath when their thoughts begin to wander. This not only helps kids relax but also helps them concentrate better in school.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a great technique to teach your child. Breathing’s natural to us and helps us regulate ourselves in many ways. When a child becomes nervous, anxious, or stressed, deep breathing can help them regain their balance.

By teaching him deep breathing at home, you can help kids remember to use this technique during difficult times of the day.

To begin, you need to focus on your breathing. Talk about the parts of your body where you can feel it – in your nose? throat? chest? belly? Ask your child to tell you about it while they breathe.

Inhale for three seconds, hold your breath for three more seconds, exhale for another three seconds, and pause for three more seconds, until you start again.

When you’ve practiced this technique for a while, you can make the sequences longer and longer and the breathing deeper and deeper. This technique is very good for both adults and children who have  a hard time falling asleep. Whenever the mind wanders (which it will) you can refocus on counting and breathing.

Mantras in meditation

You can practice saying mantras with your child. In this sense, repeating the same prayer that both you and your child find important can also help your child to meditate. Rehearse the phrase and adjust it so that it’s easy to say; have your child repeat it with their eyes closed.

A child sleeping next to a star projector.

Some examples of mantras that work are the following:

  • I love my life and life loves me.
  • I’m always loved and love comes easily to me.
  • My heart is full of love and I love myself more than anything.
  • I let go of what doesn’t suit me.
  • I’m grateful for…
  • The world’s a safe place and my home, even more so.
  • I have everything I need and I can take good care of myself.
  • My body’s healthy and my mind’s strong.

Bedtime Meditation Exercises for Children

Bedtime meditation exercises for children are very helpful in calming the nervous system and lowering the level of stress hormones in the child. In general, a child can meditate for the number of minutes equivalent to their age. However, if meditation makes your child relax, it can last longer and will ease the transition to sleep.

To achieve this, you’ll need to provide a calm and peaceful environment in your child’s bedroom, with soft lighting, soft music, and even aromatherapy. You can even use an app with guided meditations. Your child will learn to relax the mind and body, and will find it much easier to fall asleep and rest. 

As you can see, there are different ways to meditate and you can choose the one that best suits the needs and abilities of your children. What are you waiting for to put them into practice?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • López González, L. (2015) Meditación para niños. Editorial: Plataforma actual.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.