9 Great Apps and Websites for Movement and Mindfulness in the Classroom


9 Great Apps and Websites for Movement and Mindfulness in the Classroom

The 2020-21 school year is bound to be one of the most stressful that students and teachers have ever had to endure. Distancing, masks, and increased sanitation will serve as constant reminders of the invisible enemy threatening their routines, their safety, and their lives. Avoiding these stressors with remote learning is no longer an option in many cases. A second-best line of defense is mitigating the body’s and mind’s stress responses to them. Classroom mindfulness and movement routines will help everyone – teachers included – cope with the stress of change and uncertainty. Here are some of the best mindfulness and meditation apps and websites. Teachers and students can use these to restore composure and tranquility in an educational climate filled with uncertainty and unease.

1. Calm

Enjoy a robust library of meditations, stretches, relaxing sounds, and nature scenes in the Calm app. The Daily Calm is a ten-minute meditation that focuses on a new strategy each day. It is the perfect way to build a consistent classroom mindfulness practice. The Kids collection features age-appropriate series of meditations that are ideal for students. Calm’s Sleep Stories are just what teachers need to stop nighttime rumination about work and drift off into a peaceful sleep. Through the Calm Schools Initiative, teachers can access a free subscription to the app and resources for introducing mindfulness in schools.

2. Headspace

In addition to a wide variety of meditations, the Headspace app offers courses for specific mindfulness needs. This includes appreciation, focus, self-esteem, and many more. For troublesome nights, Headspace can help teachers relax into sleep. Its collection of nighttime audio includes Sleepcasts, Nighttime SOS, and Sleep radio. The Move collection features workouts of varying intensity. This will help teachers commit to their physical wellbeing as well as their mental wellness. At Headspace for Educators, teachers can take advantage of free access to the app. This includes self-care resources, mindfulness tips, and age-appropriate mindfulness videos for students.

3. Ten Percent Happier

Based on Dan Harris’s book of the same title, this app assembles some of the world’s most renowned meditation teachers to make mindfulness accessible to even the most hesitant skeptics. Its courses introduce topics from the basics of mindfulness to the science of meditation and everything between. The app offers single mediations of varying lengths. It focuses to meet the individual’s meditation goals. Relaxing sleep meditations to ease stressed teachers into sleep are available. A “Talks” feature supplements one’s meditation practice with an exploration of deeper issues. Though the app is geared toward an adult audience, meditations such as “One Minute of Mindfulness” and “Proof That You Don’t Suck at Meditation” could appeal to more mature high school and higher education students. In response to the pandemic, Ten Percent Happier is now offering free six-month access to the app to teachers and other essential workers.

4. The Tapping Solution

Tapping is the practice of reducing stress in the body by tapping on specific meridian points to send calming messages to the brain. The Tapping Solution’s website contains free guided tapping meditations geared toward releasing specific stressors. The Tapping Solution app features free access to the Tapping Solution Foundation’s Teacher Self-Care Collection. It includes a selection of other tapping meditations. A paid subscription unlocks all tapping content, including a School Support Collection for kids. They are also offering a free six-month subscription to teachers, healthcare workers, and first responders.

5. Happify

This app is based on the science of psychology and cognitive behavior therapy. The Happify app features a happiness-building regimen of activities and games tailored to the individual’s needs and goals. Most features require a paid subscription to access. However, there is plenty of free content in the “Instant Play” section to make this app worth the download. The Serenity Scene, for example, offers a quick burst of nature therapy coupled with a guided meditation that is ideal for sharing with students. Happify has also stepped up to meet the challenges of the coronavirus crisis and released free content for managing pandemic-related stress.

6. Mindfulness for Children

Written and guided by Annaka Harris, a prominent author on mindfulness, this imaginative collection of meditations on her website is intended for children ages six to ten but can work with audiences of all ages. 

7. Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids

This page offers an assortment of breathing exercises that utilize imagery to help students practice effective breathing techniques.

8. Chair Yoga

With social distancing and virtual interactions on the rise, kinesthetic learning is going to be more difficult than ever to implement in pandemic-era education. Classroom mindfulness and movement are a great pairing. This site provides 40 kid-friendly (and mostly social-distancing-friendly) chair yoga poses that teachers can use with their students to bring movement back into their lessons.

9. Go Noodle

No list would be complete without Go Noodle. Go Noodle is already wildly popular among preschool and elementary teachers. It abounds with high-energy activities that build community, support social-emotional learning, and inspire mindfulness. The free app promises to transform kids’ screen time into meaningful, movement-based entertainment.

Students and teachers alike have already suffered immeasurable trauma at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic. This will carry over into and be exacerbated by the uncertainties of the upcoming school year. While no one can guarantee a safe or “normal” return to school, teachers can help ensure a more peaceful transition back to learning by using invaluable resources to foster a shared sense of ease and security in the classroom.

Do you have a favorite website or app that you use to take a quick classroom mindfulness or movement break? Let us know in the comments!

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9 Great Apps and Websites for Movement and Mindfulness in the Classroom

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Melisa Ferguson
Melisa is a mom, world language teacher, and self-care enthusiast.
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