Mindfulness for Summer Bliss: Techniques to Cultivate Present Moment Awareness

Mindfulness, rooted in ancient traditions, is a powerful practice that allows us to fully experience each moment and find peace amidst the busyness of life. In this article, we will explore the concept of mindfulness and guide you through simple exercises suitable for children, parents, and teaching staff.


Tamara Judge

8/3/20237 min read


As summer approaches, it presents an opportune time to embrace mindfulness and cultivate a sense of present moment awareness. Mindfulness, rooted in ancient traditions, is a powerful practice that allows us to fully experience each moment and find peace amidst the busyness of life. In this article, we will explore the concept of mindfulness and guide you through simple exercises suitable for children, parents, and teaching staff. By incorporating mindfulness into your summer routine, you can promote relaxation, enhance focus, and nurture overall wellbeing.

The Power of Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally directing our attention to the present moment with non-judgmental awareness. Research has shown that mindfulness offers a range of benefits, including reduced stress, improved focus, enhanced emotional wellbeing, and increased resilience (1). By embracing mindfulness, we can better navigate the ups and downs of life, fostering a greater sense of calm and contentment.

Mindfulness for Children:

Children can greatly benefit from practising mindfulness, as it helps them develop self-awareness, emotional regulation, and resilience (2, 3). Simple exercises like "Mindful Breathing" and "Body Scan" can be introduced to children, encouraging them to pay attention to their breath or explore sensations in their body. These exercises can be incorporated into daily routines or outdoor activities, allowing children to connect with the present moment and cultivate a sense of inner peace.

Mindful Breathing With A Belly Stone Instructions

1. Find a quiet and comfortable space: Encourage the child to find a quiet and calm place where they can lie down comfortably without distractions.

2. Introduce the belly stone: Explain to the child that they will be using a special object called a belly stone. It can be a smooth pebble or a small stone that fits in their hand.

3. Get into a relaxed posture: Ask the child to lie on their back on the floor. Guide the child to place the belly stone on their belly, just below the navel. They can rest their hands by their sides or on their belly. Explain that they will use the stone as a focus point for their breath.

4. Focus on the breath: Instruct the child to close their eyes. Encourage them to take slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Ask them to pay attention to the sensation of the breath entering and leaving their body.

6. Follow the movement: Encourage the child to notice how their belly rises and falls with each breath. As they inhale, the belly stone will move up, and as they exhale, it will move down. Tell them to observe the gentle movement of the stone as they breathe.

7. Stay present: Remind the child to keep their attention on the sensation of their breath and the movement of the belly stone. If their mind wanders, gently bring their focus back to the breath and the stone without judgement.

8. Practice for a few minutes: Encourage the child to continue this mindful breathing with the belly stone for a few minutes, allowing them to experience a sense of calm and relaxation.

9. Reflect on the experience: After the practice, ask the child how they feel. Discuss any sensations or thoughts they noticed during the exercise. Emphasise that they can use this practice whenever they need a moment of calm or to connect with their breath.

Remember to adapt the instructions to suit the age and developmental level of your child, and make the practice enjoyable and accessible to them.

Mindfulness for Parents:

Parents often find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities and may overlook their own wellbeing. Mindfulness provides an opportunity for parents to manage their emotions, find balance and recharge (4). "Mindful Walking" and "Gratitude Practice" are two simple exercises that parents can try during summer walks or quiet moments. By focusing on each step and expressing gratitude for the surrounding nature or their own accomplishments, parents can foster a sense of gratitude and rejuvenation (5).

Mindful Walking

1. Find a peaceful outdoor space: Find a quiet and peaceful outdoor environment for your mindful walking practice. It could be a park, garden, or any place that allows you to connect with nature.

2. Stand with intention: Stand tall and take a moment to ground yourself. Feel your feet firmly planted on the ground, creating a stable foundation.

3. Set the intention: Set an intention for your mindful walk. It could be to cultivate a sense of calm, be fully present in the moment, or simply to connect with nature. Hold this intention in your mind throughout the practice.

4. Begin with a slow pace: Start walking at a slow and deliberate pace, paying attention to each step. Take your time and try not to rush through the practice.

5. Engage the senses: Bring your awareness to the present moment by engaging your senses. Notice the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the movement of your legs, the sounds around you, and any sights or smells in the environment.

6. Maintain a relaxed body and breath: Keep your body relaxed as you walk. Take slow, deep breaths, matching your breath to your steps if it feels natural.

7. Stay present and focused: It is important to stay fully present during the mindful walk. Let go of distractions and gently bring your attention back to the physical sensations of walking whenever your mind wanders.

8. Notice the surroundings: Observe the beauty of your surroundings as you walk. Notice the colours, textures, and shapes of the natural elements around you.

9. Reflect on the experience: After your mindful walk, take a moment to reflect on your experience. Notice how you feel, both physically and mentally, especially any shifts in your mood, stress levels, or overall sense of wellbeing.

10. Integrate mindfulness into daily life: Mindful walking can be practised anywhere, even during short walks or daily routines. Bring mindfulness into your daily life by taking moments to be fully present and engaged with your surroundings.

Practising mindful walking regularly can bring a sense of calm and grounding to your life. It is a simple yet powerful practice that can be easily incorporated into your routine for overall wellbeing.

Mindfulness for Teaching Staff:

Teaching can be demanding, and practising mindfulness can be a valuable tool for teaching staff to manage stress and enhance wellbeing (6). "Mindful Breathing" and "Loving-Kindness Meditation" are two practices that can be incorporated into daily routines or moments of reflection. By focusing on the breath and cultivating feelings of kindness towards oneself and others, teaching staff can cultivate a sense of calm, compassion, and renewed energy (7).

Loving-Kindness Meditation

1. Find a comfortable and quiet space: Choose a comfortable and quiet space where you can sit or lie down without distractions. It could be a meditation corner, a cosy spot in your home, or any place where you can feel relaxed.

2. Get into a comfortable posture: Sit in a comfortable position either on a cushion, a chair, or cross-legged on the floor. Keep your spine upright but relaxed, allowing for natural breathing..

3. Settle into the present moment: Take a few deep breaths to settle your body and mind into the present moment. Let go of any tension or worries that you might be holding.

4. Cultivate a sense of loving-kindness towards oneself: Direct your attention towards yourself and silently repeat phrases of loving-kindness towards yourself, such as "May I be happy. May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I live with ease." Really feel the intention behind the words.

5. Extend loving-kindness towards others: Gradually extend your loving-kindness to others. Start with someone you care about, silently repeating the phrases towards them, "May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you live with ease." Then extend it to neutral people, difficult individuals, and eventually to all beings.

6. Visualise the wellbeing of others: Visualise the wellbeing of the people you're sending loving-kindness to. Imagine them surrounded by happiness, love, and peace. Hold this visualisation in your mind as you continue to silently repeat the phrases.

7. Maintain a gentle and compassionate focus: Stay focused with gentleness and compassion. If your mind wanders or negative thoughts arise, gently bring your attention back to the phrases of loving-kindness and the visualisation.

8. End with gratitude: Express gratitude for the practice and for the wellbeing of yourself and others. Carry the feelings of loving-kindness with you throughout the day.

Remember to practise Loving-Kindness Meditation regularly, even for a few minutes each day. This practice can cultivate compassion, empathy, and connection towards yourself and others. It can be a powerful tool for enhancing wellbeing, reducing stress, and fostering positive relationships in your life.


As the summer season unfolds, let us embrace the transformative power of mindfulness. By practising simple exercises suitable for children, parents, and teaching staff, we can cultivate present moment awareness, promote relaxation, enhance focus, and nurture overall wellbeing. Whether it's the mindful observation of nature, the conscious awareness of our breath, or the cultivation of gratitude and compassion, each mindfulness practice offers a pathway to summer bliss. Let us embark on this journey of self-discovery and embrace the beauty of the present moment.

Remember, mindfulness is not about achieving perfection or eliminating all distractions. It is about gently redirecting our attention back to the present moment, accepting what is, and finding peace within ourselves. As you embark on your summer mindfulness journey, may you discover a renewed sense of clarity, joy, and wellbeing.

  1. Grossman P, Niemann L, Schmidt S, Walach H. (2004) Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits. A meta-analysis. J Psychosom Res. 57(1):35-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3999(03)00573-7.

  2. Daniel A. Devcich, Grant Rix, Ross Bernay & Esther Graham (2017) Effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Program on School Children's Self-Reported wellbeing: A Pilot Study Comparing Effects With An Emotional Literacy Program, Journal of Applied School Psychology, 33:4, 309-330, https://doi.org/10.1080/15377903.2017.1316333

  3. Burke, C.A. Mindfulness-Based Approaches with Children and Adolescents: A Preliminary Review of Current Research in an Emergent Field. J Child Fam Stud 19, 133–144 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-009-9282-x

  4. Cachia, R.L., Anderson, A. & Moore, D.W. Mindfulness, Stress and well-being in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review. J Child Fam Stud 25, 1–14 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0193-8

  5. Bögels, S., Hoogstad, B., Van Dun, L., De Schutter, S., & Restifo, K. (2008). Mindfulness Training for Adolescents with Externalizing Disorders and their Parents. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 36(2), 193-209. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1352465808004190

  6. Hwang, YS., Noh, JE., Medvedev, O.N. et al. (2019). Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Program for Teachers on Teacher Wellbeing and Person-Centered Teaching Practices. Mindfulness 10, 2385–2402. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-019-01236-1

  7. Falecki, D., Mann, E. (2021). Practical Applications for Building Teacher WellBeing in Education. In: Mansfield, C.F. (eds) Cultivating Teacher Resilience. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5963-1_11