If you’re a school counselor or social worker, then your days are probably filled with small groups. You might have small groups to help students with specific psychological or behavioral concerns, like a group about grief or a group about anxiety. You could also have small groups to teach SEL skills like self-awareness or effective communication.


Many school counselors create entire small groups based around mindfulness, and Calm Classroom staff can absolutely help you set that up if that’s something your district is interested in.


You can also weave mindfulness practices into other small groups that you’ve already established. Mindfulness doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult to teach. 


Here are 3 mindfulness activities that school counselors can start implementing in their small groups today – no prep required.


Mindful Listening – the Sounds Around Us

One excellent way to practice mindfulness in a small group is by using the sounds that are around you. You don’t need to prepare any special sound in particular – the sounds that are already present on your campus will do.


You can do this activity in your office or outside. Wherever you are, tell your small group that you will all “tune your ears” together. Younger students may like the idea that they are developing “super-hearing” powers.


Remind them that they need to be very quiet in order to hear the sounds around them. Take some moments to sit quietly together. Invite your students to notice every sound they hear. Let them know that it’s especially important to hear sounds that they may not have noticed before. This is what “super-hearing” allows us to do.


For example, maybe they hear other children playing at recess. But when they listen even more closely, they might hear birds singing. Or an airplane or cars passing by in the distance. Or the breathing of their fellow students in the small group.


This can be a mindful and trauma-informed way to practice grounding before returning students to their classrooms, especially if emotionally sensitive or heavy topics have been discussed during group.


Mindful Coloring

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If you’re a school counselor or social worker, then you likely already have lots of art supplies in your office. As you already well know, art is a great way to help kids express themselves about emotions and other things that they don’t yet have the vocabulary to describe in words.


You can use any art supplies to introduce mindfulness to your small group. Coloring, when it’s done in the right way, can be a great tool to practice mindfulness. Allow some time during your small group for scribbling or coloring. Invite them to choose one color that makes them feel peaceful. 


Then, have them draw a shape on a blank piece of paper. It can be any shape – a heart, a circle, and so on. Then, put on some calming music (or simply stay in silence) as you invite your students to fill in their shape with the color they chose. Periodically invite them to stop and notice how they feel.


You can take this activity even further by inviting students to pair their breathing with their coloring. For example, they could take one breath in while moving their pencil back and forth 6 times, and one breath out while moving their pencil back and forth 8 times. In this way, coloring becomes a movement meditation.


Rainbow Mindfulness

This is an easy and engaging mindfulness activity for kids of all ages. You can use it during the group session to refocus your students, or at the end of the group session to ground them before they return to their classrooms.


The instructions are simple: Invite your students to spot one thing of every color in the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet). Students can take turns – for example, the first student can name something that’s red (a pen on the counselor’s desk), the next student can find something orange (a tangerine in someone’s lunch), and so on.


You can even make it into a game – how many rounds can you complete together?


This simple mindfulness activity helps students get in touch with their 5 senses and be more grounded and present in the world around them.


You can also check out Calm Classroom’s mindfulness manuals. They are designed to meet the needs of every age group (Pre-K and K, elementary, and middle/high school) and are packed with easy mindfulness activities you can use whenever you need them. 


If you’re ready to bring mindfulness to your entire school or district, then you can get in touch with us about our training options that support you in making this vision a reality.


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