Great Mindfulness Resources for Children and Teens
updated December 2018
One of my favourite things to do in mindfulness classes with kids is reading a book. There are many wonderful books on mindfulness for children that you can use at home to introduce them to mindfulness. These are a few of my favourites, including some books for teens–and my absolutely favourite mindfulness app for teens.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation; Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda; and, Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean.
My favourite book by Kerry is Moody Cow Meditates. It’s about a boy who has the absolute worst day ever and his sister is soon calling him Moody Cow. The boy talks to his grandfather about his day and practises mindfulness with him. Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda explains how every day things we all do can be peaceful and enjoyable–or not. Peaceful Piggy Meditation talks about how we all need a way to get away from noisy, irritating days by being Peaceful Piggies. At least for a while.
This link to Peaceful Piggy Meditation will lead you to Kerry’s other titles.
Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety: A Workbook for Overcoming Anxiety at Home, at School, and Everywhere Else by Christopher Willard PsyD.
I read one of Christopher’s amazing books when I was studying mindfulness for children and was so impressed with his understanding of mindfulness for young minds. I haven’t put my hands on this new workbook yet, but I still recommend checking it out for any teen with anxiety.
Visiting Feelings by Lauren Robenstein.
A beautifully illustrated book, Lauren talks about treating feelings like friends and noticing where they visit in your body. There are also notes at the back for parents about mindfulness and fostering emotional intelligence.
I also recommend stories by Jon J. Muth, including Zen Shorts, most of which feature the wise panda, Stillwater. Jon transforms mindfulness concepts into lovely stories.
Take the Time: Mindfulness for Kids, by Maud Roegiers. Another beautifully illustrated short book about how to take time to notice simple things when you’re upset.
Amy Salzman wrote a great book on mindfulness training for children and teens that I use for teaching. She's also written a workbook for teens that looks very good too (though I wish her writing was a bit more teen-friendly). Take a look at A Still Quiet Place for Teens: A Mindfulness Workbook to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions by Amy Saltzman.
Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) is a lovingly written book with mindfulness exercises that uses great metaphors: sitting still like a frog, weathering storms, watching a conveyor belt of thoughts…It includes a CD with several audio practices.
Watch for a brand new companion book coming out in 2019: Sitting Still Like a Frog Activity Book: 75 Mindfulness Games for Kids by Eline Snel.
App of the Year
I can’t say enough about the Stop, Breathe & Think project. I bought their app years ago and it’s still the best I’ve seen for older kids and teens. The content is very well thought out and is presented in a kid-friendly way. Everything about the app is friendly, approachable and engaging.
Stop, Breathe & Think has great, short bits of reading on what mindfulness and meditation are, a whole range of practices on breath, forgiveness, relieving sadness, feeling joy and others, plus tools to track your practice and connect with others, and lots more.