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5 Mindful Books for Children

May 10th marks the beginning of mental health awareness week. Here are some books that we have enjoyed with our children that helps them to focus on the power of their own minds.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

Poor Gerald wants to dance more than anything but finds himself being ridiculed by other animals when he tries; he can’t quite find his rhythm. Feeling low and rejected, he wanders off into the jungle where he finds some words of comfort from a wise little cricket who helps Gerald find his inner dancer. The illustrations in this book are vibrant and teach children about empathy, being kind to others, and celebrating what makes us unique. Children of all ages will understand they are capable of anything if they build their self-confidence and are mindful of their surroundings.

Happy by Nicola Edwards and Katie Hickey

This beautifully illustrated book enables children from a young age to begin to learn the importance of mindfulness. Each page is dedicated to its own feature which is designed to help children hone in on their senses and the world around them. Page by page, children become more aware of their own bodies and how to focus on certain areas, such as ‘feeling’, ‘tasting’, ‘smelling’, ‘breathing’ and ‘loving’. The book beautifully explains some difficult concepts in a very reassuring way so that children know that, although they may experience negative feelings, it is ok to feel them and they will eventually pass.

Empowerment Cards For Kids

These cards are a fantastic way to introduce young children to empowerment and mindfulness. Containing 45 cards, this deck gives simple instructions to get children thinking, moving and vocalising, while maintaining the themes of Self Esteem, Self-Compassion, Relaxation, Body Awareness, Feelings and Dreams. Whether they are used within an educational setting, or within the comfort of your own home, they are easily enjoyed by children and adults alike. Perfect for not only helping children build awareness of their feelings and what they might mean, but also being able to communicate effectively in regard to their emotions.

Crab and Whale by Mark Pallis, Christiane Kerr, James Cottell

There is no hanging around with the adventure of Crab and Whale as, from the very first page, it engages children’s imaginations. Crab’s legs scurry across the sand as Whale comes thudding on to the pages, beaching himself in the process.

Whale is of course terribly upset and sweet little Crab knows he can’t physically help Whale, so he instead provides emotional support, staying with Whale until the tide comes in. This immersive book is a good read any time of day. As Crab encourages Whale to take note of his body and surroundings, children can also join in with practising their mindfulness techniques, from deep breathing to cloud watching, to star gazing, many fantastic tips and methods are taught through out the book.

The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas

The Colour Monster is visually unique story about a colour monster who has got his feelings all in a muddle and needs the help of his friend to get them back in order. With the turn of each page a new emotion is identified and explained in an age-appropriate way to help young children learn about complex emotions and how to describe what they might be feeling. While happiness and sadness both play their part, so too does anger, fear and being calm. A wonderful book to introduce the basics of mindfulness to young children while letting them know it is ok to feel sad and that feelings of frustration do not last.