Stop, Breathe & Think Kids is a program to help children ages 5-10 strengthen their social-emotional learning and develop mindfulness skills. Created in collaboration with Susan Kaiser Greenland, an internationally recognized leader in teaching mindfulness and meditation to kids and families, this app engages children in missions that teach them how to better self-regulate emotions, be calm, sleep, de-stress, and resolve conflicts.

Pros:

Stop, Breathe & Think cleverly disguises mindfulness and SEL activities as missions children must complete. Each of the 40 plus missions targets specific skill development, from focus to breathing to empathy. All missions creatively engage children directly, whether by asking them to imitate the actions of animated characters in short stories or by guiding them through physical activities such as breathing, jumping, wiggling, or stating gratitude aloud.

I also appreciate the way in which Stop, Breathe & Think organizes and provides missions. Upon first opening the app, the user is prompted to choose up to three emojis that represent their current emotional state, which is particularly good for users who might be overwhelmed by several feelings at once. Missions are then provided based on the user’s response, but a full library of missions can be accessed as well, where they are categorized by need. This is especially helpful for parents, who might specifically want to search for missions based on what is helpful for a meltdown, going to sleep, or learning to be more caring.

Cons:

Though there are dozens of free activities available, if you want access to the full suite of missions, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 or $58.99 for a year. While I appreciate that the free version of Stop, Breathe & Think Kids still provides substantial opportunities for learning, cost could create a barrier of access to families who can’t afford the $10 a month.

While the activities felt effective, as an adult, I wanted some background on why these particular missions were chosen and how they are proven to be effective in teaching SEL and mindfulness skills. While the website emphasizes the legitimacy of the creators through qualifications and experience, I wanted to know how this manifested in the actual app. Perhaps adding a scientific explanation of the app’s features could be a good addition to the parent settings function.

Our Takeaway:

Stop, Breathe & Think Kids is a great, easy resource to help strengthen children’s mindfulness and social emotional learning. Anxious, hyper, angry, or otherwise, all children will learn something when using this app.

Image: Stop, Breathe & Think Kids Susan Kaiser Greenland