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Pastoral Care: Contemplative & Mental Health Practices for Children & Youth

hotlines, guidelines and crisis intervention contacts; and support for pastoral care for children, tweens, teens, families, differently abled persons, elders and folks with memory concerns; including mindfulness, personal care and volunteer support


Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to cultivate and nurture the spiritual and emotional well-being of young people. Here you'll find:

  • Books & Downloads to teach caregivers and engage people of all ages in mindfulness and contemplation
  • Other Book Lists from trusted sources
  • Blogs, Podcasts & Articles to spark conversation and support practices
  • Webinars & Curricula for further enrichment and expanding practices

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Books & Downloads

All About Anxiety

All About Anxiety teaches that the evolutionary reasons for fear and anxiety; that anxiety isn't always a bad thing; and new strategies to manage anxiety.

Big Life Journal

offers journals for kids to help develop Social Emotional skills (creativity, dealing with mistakes, self-confidence, etc.) - plus a free podcast.

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings is relatable especially for children experiencing anxiety and extreme emotions, or who have been diagnosed with autism or as a Highly Sensitive Person.
Download a free parent guide for helpful tips.

Catching Thoughts

In Catching Thoughts, children learn how to practice mindfulness and focus on thoughts that bring beauty, joy, and calm into their lives.​​​​​​

Faithful Families at Home

Offers prayers and activities to engage the whole family in developing spiritual practices.

What Is in Your Mind Today?

guided, illustrated meditation for kids to help children learn that they have the ability to feel at peace no matter what kinds of thoughts happen to be in their mind at any particular moment.

Yoga Baby

Yoga Baby, geared toward the littlest ones, but may be helpful for young children and parents, as well.

A Quiet Place

Encourages readers to seek out their own quiet place where they can "think their own thoughts" and "feel their own feelings".

My Magic Breath

Introduces readers to the magic of feeling better just by breathing!

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles

Introduces a concrete activity parents or faith formation leaders can teach to children to utilize anywhere, anytime.

Zen Shorts

Three ancient Zen tales - told by a giant panda - about material goods, the boundaries of good and bad, and holding onto frustration.

Breathe and Be

A Book of Mindfulness Poems

It’s a Beautiful, Mindful World—A Peaceful Poetry Book for Kids of All Ages

Crafting Calm: Art and Activities for Mindful Kids

Kids engage in and practice mindfulness through fun and easy exercises, quizzes, crafts, and activities, learning a deeper sense of peace, joy, and connection to the world, while improving emotional intelligence and self-esteem, and reducing anxiety.

When I Fly with Papa

When I Fly with Papa shares one girl's relationship with God, who she calls "Papa", in which she is free to express herself freely and know herself to to be fully loved.

Name and Tame Your Anxieties

Anxiety in kids is on the rise: 4.4 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 have diagnosed anxiety disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And even more kids experience some level of anxiety in their daily lives. In kid-friendly language, Name and Tame Your Anxiety explains what anxiety is, how it works, and how to manage it.

We Listen to Our Bodies

Body awareness is a key foundation of consent. We Listen to Our Bodies gives children a vocabulary to understand and communicate their feelings, develop personal boundaries, and build their social and emotional skills.

Blogs, Podcasts & Articles

offers journals for kids to help develop Social Emotional skills (creativity, dealing with mistakes, self-confidence, etc.) - plus a free podcast.

Free Spirit Publishing’s post Mindful Movement with Children includes an introduction to what mindful movement is, how it “works”, and the importance of teaching it to children and includes a mindfulness moment and a list of children’s books about mindfulness.

shared a free downloadable poster of 5 Steps to Managing Big Emotions.

Poetry Unbound: incorporate poetry into a personal or group contemplative practice, worship/liturgical element, or fodder for small group discussions among tweens, teens and/or adults.

Listen to the trailer and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsOvercast, or wherever you listen.

The Labyrinth Society has a page of resources specifically for children.

Webinars & Curricula

iBme's website is informative. Retreats and courses may be life-changing.

8-week study on health and well-being via meditation and spiritual practices; online-friendly.

Includes Student GuideLeader Guide, and free guide for leading virtually.

offering free online Mindfulness Classes for Kids.

Praying with Mandalas: teaches what mandalas are; includes a free downloadable mandala; and comes as an ecourse; youth-adults.

EmpowerU is built to help teens deal with stress and anxiety, including weekly free toolkits and a semester-long curriculum.

MYCepaz is a teen guide to mental well-being and includes calming yoga videos and several links to Mindfulness and Meditation sites, along with resources and supports for emergency interventions; includes a downloadable app to take mindfulness practices for use anywhere and anytime.

Social Emotional Stories: Lessons and Learning from Plants and Animals


Other Book Lists

Picture books about feelings.jpg     

shared 23 CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT EMOTIONS FOR KIDS WITH BIG FEELINGS which is broken down by age group - toddler through young adult - along with books for parents

 offers several books for helping YOUTH deal with a range of emotions.

Books for Tweens & Teens

     Fighting Invisible Tigers 2019     Chapter Books to Encourage Mindfulness & Gratitude          Struggle to Be Strong 2019     Help teens make informed decisions with judgment-free information about addictive behaviors.     


     Dream Up Now: The Teen Journal for Creative Self-Discovery