London, UK—BBC releasing mindfulness content for kids with Your Mindful Garden and more.
On May 7, the BBC released Your Mindful Garden, its first kids meditation app, which was produced after the production company realized the heavy need for mindfulness content both at home and in schools [READ: Mindfulness In Schools]
Your Mindful Garden is part of the BBC’s Go Explore app, an educational app for kids. Your Mindful Garden is designed for preschoolers and includes all sorts of animated videos, games, and various exercises designed to help kids to relax and to undo the damage caused by stress.
Since the pandemic, the BBC has massively increased production of its mindful content to help families combat stress [READ: Meditation Techniques For Stress].
Stress amongst kids in chronically high at the moment, with calls to Canada national hotline Kids Help Phone hitting 350% in March. And sadly, many parents are unaware of their kids’ stress and the effect it is having on their health.
Writing for the New York Times, Danielle Braff said, “Instead of being able to explain how they’re feeling, however, kids are experiencing their own physical effects of stress, leading to an increase in frantic phone calls to paediatricians during the pandemic”.
Not only do they suffer from their own stress, but kids are also greatly affected by their parent’s stress, even when parents try to hide it. In a study published in the Journal of Human Psychology, researchers stated that kids are affected by their parents’ stress even if their parents think they are keeping is hidden.
In order to combat all this stress, families are turning to meditation and mindfulness for a solution and apps like Calm and Headspace are more popular than ever (even though research suggests that apps don’t work).
The meditation market is expected to reach $2billion by 2022 according to Statista—a rise that is the direct result of increased levels of stress in both kids and adults. Numerous companies are cashing-in on this, producing content and products designed to help kids and teens with mindfulness [like these kids meditation apps, and applications like Calm and Headspace].
I’ve previously stated that, as a meditation teacher, I strongly disagree with most of this content. It is not the best way to learn meditation. Apps are simply a commercial cash-in. The best way to learn mindfulness and meditation is to study the proper, traditional exercises [READ: How To Meditate Properly At Home].
However, with the world the way it is, God knows that companies are going to continue to put out products and consumers are still going to lap them up, whether those products work or not.
Thankfully, some companies do actually release high-quality content that genuinely helps, and one such company is the BBC.
Recently, the BBC and David Attenborough released their Mindful Mix, which is full of great content for adults. And now, they are producing mindful content for kids, including their latest offering, Your Mindful Garden.
How BBC’s Your Mindful Garden & Other Content Helps Kids With Stress
BBC’s Your Mindful Garden was released as part of the BBC’s effort to help families in the UK handle stress. Childrens Commissioner, a team that protects the rights of children in the UK, conducted a survey in March 2020 that showed that the majority of kids are stressed, mostly about homework, bullying, and what other people think of them.
The right mindful content can help.
Speaking to KidScreen, Capacitor CEO Paul Hanson said, “Mindfulness, meditation and yoga are all interconnected and have all taken off during the pandemic. But the content will also remain relevant and in-demand long after the crisis passes because it promotes a healthy way of getting kids moving and developing their minds.”
How Your Mindful Garden Works
Your Mindful Garden lets kids learn three fun activities per day that are designed to aid relaxation, reduce stress, and increase focus and creativity.
Activities in Your Mindful Garden are all about mindfulness [READ: Best Mindfulness Activities For Kids]. They include hide and seek, playing with fish, and colouring. Especially important are the emotional activities, which ask kids to remember happy moments in order to grow a “feelings flower”. These emotional games are vital because kids often struggle to identify and express their emotions in healthy ways.
Stephen Fry worked on the content. He says, “It was such a pleasure to be involved with a simple, but beautifully designed idea like this. I hope and believe that many children will find the game fun, engaging and helpful in their journeys through life.”
As well as Your Mindful Garden, the BBC is working on similar meditative content for kids and families. “We could expand into more topics and techniques, including teaching more about gratitude and mindfulness,” said BBC executive editor Rachel Bardill. “We’ve just started the journey.”
How do you feel about these mindful apps, and do you think they are better than traditional meditation? Leave a comment and remember to subscribe.