Non-Religious Spiritual Activities for Children
There are many websites that tout spiritual activities for children, but most of them are religion specific. So, I decided to make my own compilation of activities that work well for children as young as four years old. How did I determine that these exercises work on children so young? I did real-life/real-time experiments with my daughter and her cousins.
6 Spiritual Activities for Children
I will lay out the following exercises in a teacher-guide format with step-by-step instructions:
Tighten and Relax (Eyes Closed)
- Have the children sit on a chair with their backs comfortably erect.
- Ask them to breathe in fully and then exhale.
- Ask them to breathe in “one more time” and exhale.
- Ask them to breathe in “one last time” and then to “relax fully as you release your breath.”
- Next, have them tighten different muscle groups in the following order for five full seconds:
- Tighten feet and toes … relax.
- Tighten calves (lower legs) … relax.
- Tighten thighs (upper legs) … relax.
- Tighten tummy and lower back … relax.
- Tighten chest and upper back … relax.
- Tighten shoulders and arms … relax.
- Tighten neck … relax.
- Tighten face and back of the head (make a face) … relax.
5/5/5 Breaths (Eyes Closed)
- Have the children breathe in slowly so that the inhalation takes five full seconds.
- Have the children hold their breath for five full seconds.
- Have the children breathe out slowly so that the exhalation takes five full seconds.
- Repeat until you have completed five cycles.
Singing Bowl Meditation (Eyes Closed)
- Play a singing bowl or ring a bell with a long decay.
- Have the children raise their hand when they no longer hear any sound (vibration).
- When the sound begins again, their hands should be placed in their laps.
- There should be no sound other than the signing bowl/bell.
Gratitude Rock (Eyes Open)
- Find/buy smooth 1” rocks for each child. If you have a stream or lake around you, the children may find their own rocks as part of the spiritual excerise.
- Let each child choose a rock that calls to them.
- Have them hold the rock in one palm and close their hand around it.
- Form a circle and have the children take turns stating what they are grateful for.
- Instruct them to carry around the gratitude rock every day in their pocket or bag.
- In the evening, the rock should be placed beside the bed.
- In the morning, they are to hold the rock and start the day with gratitude once again.
Ice Meditation (Eyes Open)
- Give each child a full piece of ice to hold.
- Have them close one hand around the ice.
- As they squirm and show signs of discomfort, instruct them to focus on each sensation such as the freezing cold, the messy drips, and the numbing sensation.
- Let them know that it’s ok to feel cold… it’s ok to be uncomfortable. This means their body is working. It’s telling their minds that they should be aware of what is happening.
- Instruct them to continue to hold the ice and to “just be ok with how cold it is.”
- Let them know that the coldness will not hurt them and that they can use their minds to overcome the unpleasant sensations.
- By the time the ice has melted, their hands will no longer feel uncomfortably cold … although they may be numb.
Nature Walk/Hike (Eyes Open!)
- Take the children on a nature walk on an easy, but beautiful trail.
- See the natural joy that children are able to effortlessly express and follow their lead.
- Let them get dirty. Let them explore.
- Keep them safe from harm, but otherwise stay out of their way.
- Watch their actions and learn from them how to find joy in the smallest detail.
As pointed to in exercise number 6, as you become more joyful, your joy will empower the children to become fully realized individuals. Let the children be YOUR guide. For, whoever has the most peace and joy in their life is the true teacher.