Whether you are a teacher or parent you can follow our 5 part series of Lesson Plans on Mindfulness for kids to instill the powerful habit of mindfulness meditation in kids at a young age. In this series, each lesson plan focuses on a specific aspect of mindfulness and includes activities and worksheets to practice the concept of the lesson. This is a progressive series on how to teach mindfulness to kids and we recommend you to follow the series in order as each lesson lays the foundation for the next lesson.
In this fourth lesson of the series, students will learn about Affirmations & Mandals.
Lesson 4: Affirmations & Mandalas
Students have begun to understand how to use mindfulness and awareness in their everyday lives. In this lesson, they will learn to own their mindfulness practices by using personal affirmations as an anchor for mindfulness. Then, they will use a mandala coloring activity to practice using affirmations on their own.
By now, students are already familiar with mindfulness and several different mindfulness anchors. You may choose to start this lesson by having students reflect on what they’ve learned and practiced so far.
Prior to beginning this lesson, you should prepare some coloring materials (crayons, colored pencils, etc.) along with some printed copies of the Mandala coloring sheets.
- Begin the lesson by reminding students of the purpose of mindfulness, and how we use “anchors” to help focus our attention and awareness. So far, students have used their five senses and their breathing as an anchor. Today, they will practice mindfulness using affirmations.
- Explain to students that affirmations are positive statements that we can repeat to ourselves during mindfulness practice and throughout the day. They can act as an anchor for our awareness, and they can also help to lift our mood and remind us of our goals and dreams.
- Give students some examples of positive affirmations, such as “I am kind,” “I am aware,” “I can solve problems,” “I am creative,” etc. You may choose to invite students to share their own examples of positive affirmations.
- Have students choose an affirmation that they like for a short mindfulness exercise. Ask them to close their eyes for a few moments and take several deep breaths. Guide them to think about their affirmation and repeat it several times in their mind; then, switch their awareness back to their breathing and open their eyes again.
- Ask students to briefly share how it felt to repeat their affirmation. You may also ask them to reflect on what it was like to switch awareness from one anchor to another (breathing to affirmations).
- Explain that affirmations can help us anchor our thoughts at any time—and they are especially useful when we feel our thoughts getting out of control. For example, if you start to feel angry or anxious, you can use the affirmation “I am calm” or “I am okay” to help anchor your emotions.
- Tell students that sometimes, when our thoughts or feelings get out of control, it can also help to use a creative activity (like coloring) as an anchor. Mandalas are circular shapes that represent balance—just as we are trying to balance our thoughts and feelings when we practice mindfulness. We can color mandalas and repeat our affirmations in order to practice mindfulness and reach balance and awareness.
- Have students choose a mandala and its accompanying affirmation. Give them some time to color the mandala on their own, and encourage them to focus all of their awareness on the act of coloring every detail. When they feel their mind starting to wander, they can use the affirmation as an anchor to bring them back.
- When students finish coloring, have them reflect on the activity. What was it like to use coloring and affirmations as an anchor for mindfulness? Encourage students to take some extra mandala coloring sheets and keep them somewhere safe. Whenever they start to feel anxious or upset, they can use their positive affirmations and the coloring activity to practice mindfulness and find balance again.
Questions for Further Discussion:
- Which positive affirmations do you like most? Why do you think you chose them?
- Why do we use the mandala shape when we practice mindful coloring?
- Can you think of any times in your life when your thoughts and feelings felt like they were spinning out of control? If you could go back in time and practice an affirmation for that situation, what would you choose?
Click Here to download the Mandala Coloring sheets.
Complete 5 series Lesson Plans on ” How to Teach mindfulness to kids ”