Here are a few apps I found that are intended to teach calming mindfulness to children. I tried each one out and gave my evaluation of each. Try them out for yourself.
My criteria for apps include:
- they have to be free. That gives you a chance to try them out before you decide to ‘buy’ into them.
- they can’t be too chatty. If they go on and on it’s just plain annoying. I find myself glazing over and can just imagine what it’ll do to our children.
- they use regular language. A number of the apps use concepts and images that are just too complicated – they cloud important issues.
Description: guided meditation for beginners, as well as intermediate and advanced users. Sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes.
Age range: 4 years and up
Format: iOS and Android
Cost: free (some features)
Evaluation: instructions are a little chatty and not well suited to young children and/or children who have language processing difficulties. With proper adult guidance, it could be useful.
Description: offers meditation, guided visualization and affirmations for children and teens.
Age range: 2 years to 18
Cost: free (some features)
Evaluation: nice feature allows you to add and then control the volume of background sounds; peaceful (not gimmicky) meditations that would be suitable for children from 8 years and up
Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness
Description: offers guided meditation,
Age range: 4 years of age and up
Evaluation: a little chatty about all sorts of things other than breathing which may complicate things for kids with autism
**Stop, Breathe, and Think Kids
Description: offers children a fun and easy way to identify and process their emotions. From counting breaths to friendly wishes or frog jumps, each activity brings fun rewards to keep them engaged. Here’s an overview: https://youtu.be/VatRcX381i8
Age range: 5 to 10 years of age
Evaluation: each lesson is based on what you indicate to be your mood at that moment; nice simple language and concrete way to lead breathing (tracing fingers up and down to breathe in and out), guided meditation is quite sweet where you express gratitude to everyone involved in bringing raisins to you plus mindful eating of the raisin
**From my sampling, I’d give this one a good thumbs-up
Description: teaches mindfulness meditation
Age range: 7 years of age up
Evaluation: doesn’t really seem suited to children, uses concepts that wouldn’t be appreciated by most children
Super Stretch Yoga
Description: teach basic yoga moves and breathing to children
Age range: 4 years of age up
Evaluation: effectively uses animated animals and videos of children doing the different moves. I just wish it wasn’t so fast-paced.
Description: Mix and listen to over 52 different relaxing sounds with background sound support — this app can be used while using other apps. Have a look at a brief overview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKC3IpI0Fo8
Age range: 2 years of age up
Format: iOS and Adroid
Evaluation: able to build interesting combinations of calming sounds that can relax and centre your child’s mind.
** I’ve played with this quite a bit and find it relaxing