The following bedtime meditation for kids combines relaxation and visualisation techniques to encourage kids to calm themselves before sleep. Before you try it, carry out your usual bedtime routine, tuck them in and turn out the light.
Meditation can literally make your brain bigger. A study by Harvard neuroscientists found that just eight weeks of regular meditation causes an increase in grey matter. These scientists are confirming what ancient Eastern traditions have known for millennia, and the info is also useful for our kids. Kids who practise mindfulness or meditation experience increased attention, better mental health, and improved self-regulation and self-awareness. It can enhance empathy, make them feel more connected and less stressed, boost creativity and, interestingly, help them fall asleep faster.
As you take them through the guided meditation, keep your voice low and soothing. Use repetition and rhythm, elongate pauses and gradually slow your words down to lull your kids into a state of relaxation. Let them know that they just need to listen and imagine the things you’re talking about—that’s all. It may take a few times before they get on board, but persist, make it part of the nightly routine, and soon bedtime will be a much calmer experience for everyone.
Bedtime Meditation for kids:
Lie on your back with your hands on your belly. Make sure you’re comfortable. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. As you breathe in, notice how your hands lift as your belly rises, and then sink down again when you breathe out. If you like, you can imagine you are sniffing a beautiful flower, breathing in its lovely smell. Feel how your whole body relaxes each time you breathe out …
That’s it. Now take your hands off your tummy and let your arms lie by your sides and we’re going to imagine that instead of your bed, you are lying on a cloud. A beautiful, fluffy cloud that is so soft and comfortable to lie on. The cloud is a golden pink colour, like the clouds you see in the sky at sunset, and it floats gently up into the sky, up to the stars, carrying you safely, up and up.
As you lie on this golden, glowing cloud, your whole body feels very warm and heavy. Notice how your feet feel warm and heavy, and your legs feel warm and heavy. This lovely, relaxing feeling travels up your body into your hips and tummy. Your arms and your hands and your fingers feel warm and heavy. Your chest and your neck and your head are now warm and heavy. Let your whole body go loose and limp and sink into the softness of the cloud. Its colour glows all around you. You feel so comfortable, safe and calm floating on your cloud, so comfortable that you don’t want to move.
It feels wonderful to rest your body. Now that your body is relaxed, you can relax your mind, too. It feels wonderful to rest your mind. Imagine that the thoughts or worries you have in your mind turn into clouds too. Watch them drift up and away, and notice how peaceful it feels floating on your own special cloud. Take a deep breath and imagine that you are breathing in the golden pink light of your cloud. Let it fill you up with that peaceful feeling. Let it fill your whole body and let it fill your mind, too.
This feeling is the way you feel when you’re going to sleep, and that’s what we’re going to do now. Keep your eyes closed, and keep on breathing in that peaceful feeling and drift off to sleep on your soft, safe cloud, knowing that you are safe and you are loved. Goodnight.
For more great parenting chat, hop over to our article on How Not to Raise a Jerk by the fabulously funny Zoe Foster Blake, or read How to Talk to Kids About Climate Change. For some further great reads buy a copy or subscribe to our mag in the shop.