Books & Beyond

Sharing Mindfulness with Children

By Lisa T.
January 9, 2021

Take a breath! Raising a small child can be a bit of a blur.  There are so many wondrous moments, but there is also plenty of frustration, tedium, worry, and exhaustion. One of the books I turned to in my daughter’s first few years of life was The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting.  As my daughter grew out of infancy, I looked for books to introduce her to to mindfulness, there wasn’t much.  Recently, it has been a joy to see so many new titles published in this area.  These books encourage children (and their grownups) to slow down and bring their awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness for kids might mean taking time to explore a flower or to taste a single strawberry.  Just like grownups, being mindful can support children in navigating strong emotions or worry.  These mindful titles encourage us all to take a breath with awareness, to be in the moment, and to practice kindness to ourselves and others.

Introducing Mindfulness to Children

And then there were many!  Recently, there has been a proliferation of mindfulness books for children.  Here is a selection of recent mindfulness titles that take a variety of approaches. Hopefully, you will find one or two that resonate with you and your child.

Here and Now by Julia Denos

Taking Time by Jo Loring-Fisher

Hurry Up! by Kate Dopirak

ABC Mindful Me by Christiane Engel

Mindful Day by Deborah Hopkinson

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems by Kate Coombs

Alphabreaths by Christopher Willard

Kindness and Empathy

One of the more tangible (and delightful)  mindfulness practices to share with children is loving kindness.  Here are some titles that remind us all to be kind and compassionate toward ourselves and others.

Little Cheetah’s Shadow by Marianne Dubuc

When We are Kind by Monique Gray Smith

You Matter by Christian Robinson

A Few More Favorites

Some picture books have a magical quality. Here are a few such books; while not overtly didactic, these special titles invite us to notice and appreciate the natural world, our loved ones, and the magic of the moment.

Outside In by Deborah Underwood

Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper

Quiet by Tomie de Paola

A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

Things that Go Away by Beatrice Alemagna

All Around Me by Xelena Gonzalez

Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri

Now by Antoinette Portis

Guides for Parents

A few titles from the parenting section and beyond about mindful parenting and mindfulness practices for children.

Crafting Calm:  Art and Activities for Mindful Kids by Megan Borgert-Spaniol & Lauren Kukla

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles  by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids by Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE 

Everyday Blessings: The Inner work of Mindful Parenting by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn

Mindful Parenting by Kristen Race, PhD