As we hunker down, many families are turning to kids’ apps for entertainment and education. There are also great meditation and mindfulness apps that can help our kids learn ways to cope and manage emotions. Those are skills they can use now during these unprecedented times — and in the future, too. Here are a few we like:
Breathe, Think and Do with Sesame
Best for toddlers and preschoolers, this app features familiar Sesame Street characters teaching kids how to deal with frustration and stress. Kids get to help a cuddly blue monster make the best possible choices; the app also includes some deep breathing exercises to help kids — and their new monster best friend — calm down from big emotions. Plus, it’s available in English and Spanish. iOS and Android. Free.
Meditations for Kids
Great for elementary-school-aged kids and up, this is a guided meditation app including exercises that invite kids to move, stretch and make noise, along with help for coping with situations from being scared of the dark to not wanting to sit still in school. iOS and Android. 99 cents.
GoNoodle is a popular program often used in schools to get kids moving. In its Flow channel, it offers mindfulness videos with physical and mental exercises. Kids can follow along with videos like “Melting,” “From Mindlessness to Mindful,” and “Victorious.” iOS and Android and online at family.gonoodle.com. Free.
Three Good Things: A Happiness Journal
This simple app gives space to add three good things from each day. It can work for kids as young as preschoolers with adult help, or older kids can use it on their own. By typing or using dictation, kids add their three good things for the day. The app tracks how many days in a row you’ve completed the journal, and you can “level up” by tracking consistently. It’s a fun way to gamify and reward the positive practice of looking for the good things every day. iOS (best for iPhone). Free.
A good alternative gratitude journal app for Android is Happyfeed. It’s an attractive and simple app where you track three things you feel thankful for each day.