by Annaka Harris
by Annaka Harris
Welcome to my guided meditations for children. All my recordings are designed for children ages six to ten, but the instructions are the same I would give to older children, teens, and beginner-level adults, so these recordings can be used by them as well.
Before you share the guided meditations on this app with children, please review the information below or listen to my recorded introduction.
I hope you and your children enjoy them!
It’s important for children (especially children under the age of nine) to listen to a new guided meditation with an adult, at least the first few times. I also recommend following each meditation session with some simple questions: How did you feel when we were doing that meditation? What part did you like best? Is there anything you didn’t like about it? Continue to ask questions like these each time to get a sense of how your child is responding to the practice.
If the meditations resonate with your child or your students, they can use them on their own after they’ve become comfortable doing them with you. After some time, children may also choose to practice meditation without the recordings. If they continue to practice on their own—with or without the guided meditations—I recommend that you still continue to check in with them, asking questions about how it’s going and what their experience is like.
In my classes, I sometimes use bells, drums, shakers, etc. to create sounds during a mindful hearing meditation. I didn’t include additional sounds in this recording because the element of surprise would be lost after only one use. But the fun of guessing the source of a wide range of sounds can also help children concentrate. You can ask them to count how many different sounds they hear, to try to guess the source of the sounds, or to pay attention to how their breathing changes (if it does) in response to different sounds. And it’s always fun for kids to take a turn making sounds for you!
The titles of my guided meditations are straightforward, but some have two versions—titled short and long. Mindful Breathing, for example, has a short and a long version; the long one is simply intended for children who have had more experience and are ready for slightly longer periods of silence.
Annaka Harris is the New York Times bestselling author of CONSCIOUS: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind (HarperCollins, June 2019). She is an editor and consultant for science writers, specializing in neuroscience and physics, and her work has appeared in The New York Times. Annaka is the author of the children’s book I Wonder, a collaborator on the Mindful Games Activity Cards, by Susan Kaiser Greenland, and a volunteer mindfulness teacher for the Inner Kids organization.
“As one of the very first to bring secular mindfulness into public schools, Annaka Harris is uniquely qualified to teach meditation to children in a simple, direct, and authentic way. I highly recommend Annaka’s guided meditations and lessons for children.”
—Susan Kaiser Greenland
author of Mindful Games and The Mindful Child
“These are my favorite guided meditations for kids!”
musician and lead singer / songwriter of the band Weezer
“Annaka Harris brings decades of expertise to guide children in beautiful, playful, and engaging meditations to access kindness and awareness. She is one of the pioneers in the field of children’s mindfulness, and her accessible meditations are sure to delight children and parents alike.”
Director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and author of The Little Book of Being