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Mindfulness At School: 16 Meditation Apps For Children In The Classroom

Meditation Apps For Children In The Classroom

by TeachThought Staff

The modern school day can be stressful, due in part to the pressure caused by standardized testing, social tension, and dwindling unstructured free time — all issues that affect teachers as well as students.

It’s hard to cultivate a culture of curiosity and patience in an environment that’s heavy on schedules and expectations, but the true objective of education is to enrich lives in a way that fosters lasting growth and an interest in knowledge, and that’s unlikely to happen if the daily experience is filled with anxiety.

Although it’s difficult to change the way the (school) system operates, it is possible to adjust how you operate within the system. Introducing meditation and mindfulness techniques in the classroom not only allows you to create a calmer environment, but the practice has also proven to have verifiable benefits on the human brain.

A Harvard study of MRI images showed a thickening in the cerebral cortex (an area responsible in part for attention and emotional integration) in meditation participants in as few as eight weeks. It’s more than a good habit and some quiet time in the classroom–you may be helping the brains of your students develop even more than you realize.

Where do you even begin teaching meditation when you may not be familiar with the practice yourself? Although it seems like an incongruous match, this is yet another area where technology steps in to make learning convenient, and a variety of apps offer options for every age, ability, and amount of available time.

Obviously, you don’t necessarily need an app if you have experience with meditation. Further, there are some decent YouTube videos available that you could also start with if you’re unsure how meditation might fit in your classroom. However, apps are far more structured and offer features that videos can’t.

With that in mind, here are a few to experiment with as you get started.

See also 10 Team-Building Games For A Friendlier Classroom

16 Meditation Apps For Children In The Classroom

1. Smiling Mind

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: Free with paid support and curriculum

Developer Description: “Our app is a completely free, state-of-the-art technology platform that supports every member of the school community with hundreds of guided meditations and mindfulness activities that can be used in the classroom and at home.”

2. Headspace

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: Free with In-App Purchases

This is a great place to learn the basics of mindfulness for beginners and is suitable for a wide range of ages. The included Headspace For Kids program focuses on breathing exercises, visualizations, and focus-based meditation in themes like calm, focus, kindness, sleep, wake up, and tailored for age groups 9-12, 6-8, and 5 and under, with regular Headspace being appropriate for older kids (and teachers who need a midday meditation break!)

3. Moshi: Sleep And Mindfulness

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: Free with In-App Purchases

Developer Description: Featuring recurring characters, “teach your kids the basics of mindfulness with guided meditations designed to help kids relax, reduce anxiety and manage negative thoughts.”

4. Buddhify

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: $4.99 with In-App Purchases

While not made specifically for children, Buddhify’s simple and colorful interface and 80 plus custom meditations offer plenty of options, and the upfront price with no additional costs adds even more value.

5. Simple Habit

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: Free with In-App Purchases

Developer Description: “Our wellness and sleep therapy sessions offer guided mindfulness & meditation, daily motivation, guided sleep sessions and coaching by world-renowned experts, personalized for the way you live your life. We’ll help you feel less stressed, get better sleep and be your best self whether you have 5 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes during your commute or need to fall asleep quickly. Start your Simple Habit today and live better every day.”

6. DreamyKid

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: Free for schools

Made just for kids, Dreamy kid offers meditations such as Body Scan, an ADD and ADHD session, ambient background noise, and more. General and issue-based meditations, guided visualizations and affirmations are added each month.

7. Ninja Focus: Kids’ Mindfulness

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: Free with In-App Purchases

8. Insight Timer

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Insight Timer is a well-rated and revised meditation app with different styles, teachers, and methods. Users can log cumulative meditation time, join the online community of meditators, or set a timer for some quiet.

9. Stop, Breathe & Think

Platforms: iOS, Web Browser

Price: Free with In-App Purchases

The title indicates what this app focuses on and all three are important life skills that are often under-taught. Best-suited for the 10 and up crowd and ideal for individual use, this app makes it easy to track progress and gain daily momentum with reward stickers, check-ins, and a lesson on how to meditate as well as a list of meditations to follow.

10. Wellbeyond Meditation

Platforms: iOS

Price: Free with In-App Purchases

This simple app geared towards the elementary crowd offers five meditations with kid-friendly art and tone, ranging in time from three to 14 minutes and working on sitting comfortably, visualization, and a gradual reorientation.

11. Calm

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

As part of the Calm Classroom Initiative, teachers can apply to receive Calm’s paid subscription at no cost for access to the library of meditation and mindfulness exercises for age groups covering pre-k through high school.

12. Meditation For Kids

Platforms: iOS, Google Play

Price: .99 

While well-reviewed and focused on supporting meditation for children, this app no longer appears to be supported.

See also Supporting Wellness in Schools.

Whether you’re interested in developing the whole child, carving out some quiet time, growing gray matter, or all of the above, incorporating meditation and mindfulness into your class’s schedule can create a ripple effect into their daily lives, future, and the world beyond. The meditation apps listed below are not child, student, or school-centered but may prove useful in a classroom under the supervision of a teacher who has experience with meditation.

13. Ten Percent Happier Meditation

14. Balance

15. Oak: Meditation And Breathing

16. Mindfulness Coach

16 Meditation Apps For Children In The Classroom