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Parents often struggle with a love/hate relationship with technology and their kid’s usage of it.
So much of it can seem mindless, not mindful. And sometimes, it can even increase a child’s energy level and anxiety.
One of the things I love about technology though is that there are so many resources and solutions that come from it that can better our lives and so many ways we can learn and educate ourselves.
This includes ways to help us better connect with our kids and help them connect with their own feelings and sense of self-awareness, such as the following apps that will help your child with anxiety.
Anxiety can kick in at anytime and anywhere and one of the great things about these apps is that they are portable and can go in your pocket or bag without any real packing prep.
So when a need arises for some mindfulness or breathing reminders, pull out your phone or tablet and you’re all set to go!
We’ve used the following apps through different stages of anxiety and at a variety of ages, which I’ve noted with each app. Most are also appropriate for use in the classroom environment.
A couple of notes:
-our family is an Apple technology family, so all of these apps are available for iOS. I’ve noted Android versions where I was able to locate them, and several of these are available through Google Play, although I noticed the price was sometimes different.
-most iPhone apps work well on iPads, but when there was a specified iPad version of an app I’ve linked to it.
For Mindfulness and Sleep:
Wellbeyond Meditation for Kids
Help children cultivate mindfulness through five free guided meditations. (Nine additional meditations are available via an in-app purchase.)
The five meditations included are:
Sleep — Relax the body and the mind so that you can drift into a good night’s sleep.
Kindness — Cultivate kindness to become a better friend to yourself and to others.
Feelings — Notice your feelings, bringing body and mind into harmony.
Focus — Develop the ability to focus all of your mental power on what’s in front of you.
Centering — Learn how to quickly return to inner peace and confidence.
Stop, Breathe, and Think Kids: Focus, Calm, and Sleep
Designed specifically for children ages 5 – 10, the app allows children to check in with their feelings and emotions through a variety of activities.
Meditation & mindfulness for kids:
– 15 free mindful activities for every situation
– Fun video animations
– Stickers to reward progress
Settle Your Glitter
A simple feelings check-in app that guides your child through mindful breathing exercises allowing your child to regain focus and calm. Children shake the device to shake the glitter and then focus on their breathing as the glitter slowly settles in the ball,
Available meditations cover a variety of topics including: trouble sleeping, anxiety through a divorce, school work focus, and ADD/ADHD.
The app allows you to listen to background sounds and music with or without a meditation.
Price: free lite version and $1.99 complete version (iOS) | iPhone
Recommended for ages 8+
Taking an assessment of feelings can help your child learn to relax and face certain situations with more confidence. Includes a variety of guided meditations for relaxation and focus.
Geared towards older children and teens.
When the mind is busy and worried or excited, sleep can be a struggle. Lack of sleep and tiredness can make bad moods bigger and the cycle continues.
The purpose of this app is to help your child stop focusing on thought and instead on breathing, or sounds etc, all the while, leading to relaxation and then sleep.
Includes meditations for body scans, letting go of big feelings, quieting the brain, and gratefulness.
Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds, White Noise, & Fan
Recommended for ages 4+ (the sounds would be soothing for birth up)
Our days can be filled with endless noise. Then when it’s time for sleep the silence can be deafening, causing us to focus on each and every sound and struggle to shut our brains off and catch some ZZZs.
With this app you can select from 52 different sounds and melodies on its own, or combine it with one of the specific meditations.
Mindfulness for Kids
Available as a free or premium version, both contain meditations to help children focus, relax, and calm, using breathing exercises and body scans.
The premium version includes guided bedtime visualizations to help aid with falling and staying asleep.
A simple app with a really nice, clean interface, it is designed for children ages 7 and up. Focuses on issues such as stress management, relationships, and performance improvement.
Includes meditations for the classroom that can also be used at home to help focus during homework or anytime.
Recommended for all ages 7+ (the sounds would be soothing for birth up)
This was the very first mindfulness and meditation app that I downloaded after my doctor recommended it to me. I had so much success with it, and it’s really what reignited my passion for mindfulness for children.
You can choose your meditation length and background sounds/music, or just listen to the sounds on their own.
Calm: Meditation to Relax, Focus, & Sleep Better
Price: free to try; offers monthly/yearly/lifetime subscription options to unlock all features and meditations; educator option available* (iOS) iPhone & Android
Recommended for ages 9+ (kids pack unlocks for 5 – 8)
Calm includes a large variety of mindfulness activities for the beginner through advanced and covers a myriad of topics: body scans, calming anxiety, self-esteem, focus, and sleep.
Choose from various meditation lengths (3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes) to fit into your schedule, practice breathing exercises, or just listen to music and sounds to relax or fall asleep to (sounds can be set to continue outside of the app)
This app is best for older kids and teens, but the subscription feature unlocks stories and meditations for kids.
(*Calm also has The Calm Classroom Initiative. “Free Mindfulness training tools to every teacher in the world”: Learn more)
The free packs teach the basics of mindfulness and meditation. Upgrade to access hundreds of meditations, including the kid’s pack for kids 5 and under on topics such as happiness, sleep, calming down, balance, and appreciation.
Other packs are available on a variety of topics, including relationship building, and sports, which helps athletes learn to focus and set goals.
Price: free + premium and school options available (iOS) iPhone
Recommended for ages 5 – 12
Mind Yeti is a mindfulness app that teaches children aged 5 to 12 how to relax, de-stress, and calm down using fun characters and stories, while also teaching them about concepts such as gratitude, kindness, and empathy.
The app features topics such getting ready for bed/going to sleep, reducing stress/anxiety, getting along with friends and siblings, calming down/relaxing, focusing before a test, and managing anger.
Meditations for Kids
Gorgeous illustrations with soothing colors and textures are part of this lovely app that helps children relax naturally, improve attention, and calm through meditation and guided imagery.
Customize with natural sounds and 10 helpful meditations including:
– Breathing Relaxation for Kids
– Worry and Anxiety
– Deal With Everyday Stress
– Decrease Fidgeting
– Afraid of the Dark
– Calm and Centered
CBT Tools for Youth
Price: $2.99 (iOS) iPhone
Recommended for ages 8 – 18
Based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) this app is designed to help children and teens – ages 8 -18 – become more in tune with, and manage their feelings and emotional self-awareness, by teaching them strategies for understanding their thoughts and emotions (and how they are connected.)
Includes the following features: Emotion Tracker, Emotion Graph and History Log, Relaxation Skills, Thinking Skills, Positive Actions, and Email My Therapist (send data from the app to your therapist or school counselor)
Designed to help parents help their children learn to calm down and chill out.
Using the app, children follow different characters to learn different ways of calming down:
– Buzzy Bee – teaches children how to calm down thru humming
– Panicky Penguin – teaches children how to overcome panic thru focused breathing
– Timid Turtle – teaches children to overcome anxiety thru shrugging
– Noisy Alien – teaches children how to be OK in unfamiliar situations thru body relaxation
– Sleepy Bear – gets children ready for bed thru breathing
Yoga for Kids – Fun Workout for Kids
Videos of actual children doing poses, juxtaposed with animated characters who explain the pose, and give tips and guidance, your child can learn 30 different yoga poses geared toward young kids.
C-Fit Yoga – Classroom Fitness
This app is based on a program by C-fit, a company that creates a variety of exercise and movement programs for children.
C-Fit Yoga teaches a variety of yoga moves and was created for children in the classroom or the living room with the goal of helping them learn how to relax no matter where they are or how noisy or quiet it the surroundings are.
Super Stretch Yoga
A fun adorably animated way for young kids to learn 12 different yoga poses, breathing, and movement through storytelling and video and a variety of options.