Now that the joys of summer are here and I am celebrating with my family all things outdoors, different schedules, maybe even a little more sleep, it's a great time to tune in to the world around us and create a regular mindful practice with our summer schedule! As much as I encourage everyone to put down their phones and PLAY more in the summer, there are actually some Apps can be really helpful with increasing our mindfulness, or our focusing on the present moment! I did a little home work and here is what I found!
The Calm app is one that my family has been using for over a year! They have meditations for adults with different themes (focus, anxiety, sleep, etc) and open meditations where you can set you desired time! But I know that, for my family, the best feature has been the kids section! They have guided meditations for them, according to age (7-12 and 11-18), guided body scans to help with relaxation, breathing exercises, focus work, and our personal favorites, sleep stories to help them wind down and fall asleep at night! This is especially helpful in the summer when the sun is up much later and they are so full of energy that they have trouble winding down. They have a free option as well as a monthly to yearly subscription.
Check it out here!
Headspace has guided themed meditations in 10 session packs. What I thought was great was the short exercises that you can do anytime of the day such as breathing, unwinding, and restoring. As a parent, I found these really useful in the car on the way to and from camp drop offs and pick ups! Kids also have their own section in the headspace app with themes such as appreciation, balance, and happiness, to name a few! Not only are these exercises short and effective, but they have accompanying animation to go with them, which my younger kids love! There is a free download available as well as a more in depth paid option available in monthly, yearly, or a lifetime membership.Check it out here!
Mindfulness offers guided mediations and mindfulness practices from 3-30 minutes as well as daily reminders to be present and appreciate all that is around you. What I love about this one is that is connects to your Health App to measure your heart rate when you meditate. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in the science of mindfulness to see the actual benefits! They have guided meditations with themes such as stress relief, spring cleaning, saying"yes", and relationships, to name a few. One of my favorites, for obvious reasons, is the Mindfulness in School section that is specifically for children and teens. In addition to so many more options, this section teaches body scans, exercises to do before a test, empathy, and mindful eating and it is all labeled by age group from 6- 13+. The Mindful app starts with a free 1 week trial and then is a paid monthly subscription. Check it out here!
Well this app says it all! Who doesn't want be happier? Marketed as meditation for fidgety skeptics, this app has guided meditations from various respected teachers and scientists that worked together to create a wide variety of options. What I love is the variety of teachers as well as the videos that help to illustrate the lessons! It also has short video courses which are really educational and informative about the science of meditation and mindfulness and meditation in really life - and how and where to apply it.
Stop, Breath and Think Kids
(Don't worry! There is one for adults too!)
This app is specifically designed for meditation and mindfulness and made easy and fun for kids! Described as helping them discover and develop their superpowers of sleep, being calm, learning to breathe or to resolve conflicts, it also includes visuals and animation to help illustrate the lesson or meditation. I think it is a great way to transition kids from all the screen time mindlessly scrolling, to something more beneficial on their devices!