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Headspace for Kids — the calming effect

by Headspace

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Learning to meditate at an early age sets kids up for life.

It’s not just about kids learning to be calm and relaxed; it’s about learning the qualities of compassion, creativity, and kindness. It’s about understanding that thoughts and emotions don’t have to rule our minds. It’s about giving kids the opportunity to grow up being comfortable with who they are.

Headspace users around the world have shared just how much meditation helps kids at bedtime, how much it calms them down, and how it’s become something special to be shared with not only parents but teachers, babysitters, caregivers, and grandparents. It’s something both children and adults can enjoy in equal measure.

As of today, the Headspace for Kids section of the Headspace library has a shiny new look. We’ve reorganized a few things, renamed some old favorites, recategorized the age groups, and have even introduced some new exercises. With a series of short, single, child-friendly exercises, Headspace is here to make life easier — and make meditation fun for the little ones.

There are newly titled subcategories divided by age group: First steps (ages 3-5), Curious minds (ages 6-8), and Growing up (ages 9-12). As to the different exercises, here’s the breakdown, from what’s staying the same to what’s new to what’s renamed:

What’s Staying

  • Calm: a simple breathing exercise to nurture feelings of calm and relaxation. Sometimes, kids just need to unwind their minds, settle down, and breathe. It’s a timeout they will enjoy!
  • Kindness: Kindness is an innate quality – something children can learn from an early age. This fun visualization exercise to teach children about openness and generosity.
  • Appreciation: Encourage the little ones get in touch with a feeling of gratitude for the world and people around them. Use this visualization to help them cultivate this kind of everyday appreciation.
  • Paying Attention: Nothing beats a child’s imagination so harness that imagination to practice a relaxed, precise kind of focus that is designed to stop them being easily distracted.

What’s New

  • Cool Off: to help them rebalance when they lose their tempers. When a child’s frustration boils over into a tantrum, and you as the adult are at your wit’s end, this SOS meditation will become the go-to place to restore everyone’s equilibrium.
  • Sleep Tight: don’t let the bugs bite. There’s a lot going on in those busy little minds, so here’s a method to lull the mind into a sleepy state, using an exercise that starts counting down to the land of Nod and sweet dreams.
  • Stay Positive: help kids ages 6 and up move away from anxiety and worry. Some thoughts and feelings can be confusing, scary, or sad, so this exercise allows them to step out of the thinking mind and realize there is nothing to be afraid of.  

What’s Renamed

  • Goodnight (formerly Sleep): a switch-off technique to ease kids into bedtime. This is by far one of our most popular exercises, and it’s the perfect wind down from a busy day’s activity or the finishing touch after a bedtime story. Minds calm. Lights out.  
  • Good Morning (formerly Wake Up): stretch, breathe, wake the brain, and rise and shine! It’s an old favorite that’s a grown-up’s best friend for helping kids start the day on the right foot.
  • Rest & Relax (formerly Balance): when a child is having one of those whirlwind spells where their energy seems inexhaustible, these slow and intentional movements are designed to bring them down from the ceiling…and foster calm and balance.
  • Settling Down (formerly Happiness): when playtime is over, it can be a tough transition for littles one to go to the next activity, especially if it’s not one that seems “fun” to them. This is a useful exercise to encourage them to uncoil and reset.

Check out the new additions and find your old favorites in the Headspace library.

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The Headspace app has been downloaded more than 30 million times. It will teach you the life skill of meditation in just 10 minutes a day. Here on the Orange Dot, you'll find stories, advice, and features that will support you on your journey to a healthier, happier life.

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