Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
5 activities to help kids concentrate
Are you finding your child's attention wondering off every 5 seconds? You are not alone! It is a strange time when parents are taking the place as the school teacher (for work they don't ever understand for some things) and the home environment where they are used to just playing and relaxing is now one where they have to focus for much longer than usual. When children go to school there are rules in place, expectations and a certain way of doing things. They know when they go they sit at their desk and it is time to work. The teacher is there to give their full attention to this learning experience, they are not trying to do another full time job, run around after a toddler or clean the house. It is completely different. So it is no wonder children are struggling to give school work the same focus.
1. The click and wink
This is a fun exercise for focus and gets both sides of the brain working. It is a great one to do before homework or when you need to concentrate on something.
Start by winking your left eye while you click your fingers on your right hand. Now wink your right eye while clicking your fingers on your left hand. Continue to switch back and forth at least ten times.
2. Colour your thoughts
Art is such a great way to express ourselves and also to calm us. Ask your child to sit for a moment and just bring an awareness to how they are feeling. With paper ready in front of them and pens or crayons of different colours ask them to use different colours to show how they are feeling. Allow them to express their thoughts however they feel called to do so. Letting everything come flowing out from their minds on to the page. There are no expectations for it to look like anything or be a certain way. There is no wrong way to do this.
3. Spoon Balancing
Did you ever play this as a child?
This is such a goofy game but it can really help us to focus. All you need is a teaspoon! See if you can balance the teaspoon on your nose. You could put it length ways on the bridge of your nose or you could try placing it vertically on the tip of your nose. Just find what works for you and how long you can balance it for. This takes focus, perseverance, balance, and a lot of giggles.
Toe-ga is a great way to calm down while having to use focus and concentration. Our toes are crammed in shoes a lot of the day (or at least before lockdown, in fairness my toes are mainly in slippers now) and this is a great way to stretch them out and release any tension.
All you need is some pom poms and a pot (cake tin, mixing bowl etc). Pour the pom poms into the middle and then everyone uses their feet to pick up the individual pom poms and place them into the pot/ bowl. I like to use different sizes to change things up. This is a great way to work those toe muscles in a gentle and fun way. It is simple, fun, and easy to clean up!
5. Yoga flow
Yoga has an amazing range of benefits including helping children to focus. A great tool to use throughout the day in small 5-15 minutes breaks. Yoga is a great way to help children focus as we are marrying our breath with movement. This doesn't have to be done in the same way as an adults class would go although it can be lovely for your little ones to join in if you have your own practice, but it can be more fun and playful. You can start with more energy such as games and fast movement and then wind it down with some relaxation and breathing. For more ideas check out my Book - Christmas yoga for children and their adult! This book is full of ideas, not just for Christmas and is free on kindle with membership!
Here is a short sequence to get you started! Take five to seven deep breaths in each pose.
There you have it
Five great ways to get a little mini break from work and chores and help children to focus. Please share this with other parents who's children may benefit from these small practices. It can make a big difference!
Would you like to see more posts like this one? Let me know what you enjoyed about it and what you will be trying!