4 Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into The Classroom…

4 Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into The Classroom

Every single piece of scientific literature out there— almost without exception— praises the benefits of mindfulness.

It has the ability to completely transform the brain and rebuild neurological pathways, and more importantly, change a down-trodden disposition into a happier one. So imagine if, along with giving our children knowledge to become productive adults, we could also give them the gift of mindfulness: using their breath and mind to lead a happy and healthy life. In turn, teachers will reap the benefits of mindfulness, as well— and we all know that a happy teacher has a happy classroom.

Here are 4 ways to do just that.

SEE ALSO: 4 Daily Mantras For Avoiding Negativity


1) Start Simple: the Breath

Unfortunately, most people take shallow chest breaths. But really we should all be breathing deeply into the belly because this access the diaphragm and brings oxygen to the lowest point of the lungs. This calms both the body and the mind.

To practice mindful breathing, place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest, feeling the gentle rise and fall of your breath. Count to three as you inhale, then count to three again as you exhale. Close your eyes, too, if that feels comfortable. Practice this a little bit by yourself before you bring it into the classroom. Students can pretend to inflate a balloon in their bellies. You can return to this simple breathing technique throughout the school day to help with transitions, before test preparation, or during difficult situations. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes!




2) Use the Senses

Thes are probably the most fun mindfulness exercises!

Sensory experiences also help children focus and relax. Relaxing music or other calming sounds in the classroom can do wonders to set a peaceful atmosphere. You might also take the children outside to create mind jars. This activity involves putting items with familiar smells (like cinnamon, flowers, or other items) in jars and having the children guess the items by closing their eyes and using their sense of smell. For touch, ask your children to close their eyes, give each one a cotton ball or sponge, and have them guess what they’re holding. Sensory tables covered with containers of water, sand, ice, or crazy props are lost of fun. You can also encourage imaginative play with Play-doh, clay, shaving cream, or Slime.


3) Guided Visualizations

Guided imagery is a powerful way to develop children’s imaginations. It also helps them learn subjects. When you start a new topic in your classroom (particularly a complicated one), have your students close their eyes and slowly talk them through a pretend journey. For example, if you’re studying the ocean, have them imagine getting into a submarine and cruising through the ocean waters, identifying what they see. End the guided relaxation with a few deep breaths. Then they can draw what they imagined and discuss their drawings as a class. You could take them on pretend journeys to so many places! Outer space, the beach, forest, or a deserted island…whatever your curriculum topics are. This kind of story time will help them stay calm and interested.


4) Mindfulness in Movement

Movement is an integral part of being human. Movement is a natural part of human life that has (oddly enough) become a luxury in modern times. Introducing movement into your classroom can help your students remain calm and focused. Yoga is perfect for that! They can practice yoga in chairs, the gym, or outside. Just 15 minutes can make a huge impact on a child’s mindset and attention span.


Try picking one mindfulness practice to start for yourself, then introduce it to your students. You can adapt anything to your needs. Even if it’s for only two to five minutes a day during transitions, it can go a long way. Plant the seed of mindfulness now and it will stay with your students for their whole lives!

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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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