Smiling Mind

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Smiling Mind App Poster Image
Content-rich meditations offer something for everyone.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to focus on their breathing, body signals, and senses. They're also encouraged to think about friendships, building relationships, kindness, and other positive attributes. 

Ease of Play

The interface is clean and straightforward.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Some of the meditations are sponsored by brands, and there's a link to donate to the non-profit behind the app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Smiling Mind is a free meditation app geared toward kids and adults. The meditations for younger kids seem to be parent-child focused, as many of them speak directly to the parent and include activities (i.e. close hugging) that are most appropriate for a parent-child relationship. There are also lesson plans for teachers that can be paired with the student mediations provided. Parents can create sub-accounts so each member of the family can track their programs, favorites, and progress over time. Some of the content between age groups is repetitive. The narrator is Australian which may be either distracting or appealing depending on the child. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared. 

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What's it about?

SMILING MIND is a collection of hundreds of meditations for a wide variety of ages and situations. There are grounding body scans, breathing meditations, and sensory exercises such as listening to music or tasting foods. There are complete programs for kids in different age groups, a workplace program, and a sport program. Users can enjoy short meditations or longer versions with less guidance. Smiling Mind also has a six-year "Mindfulness Curriculum" for educators to use with their students with complementary student versions. Users can mark their favorite meditations and track their meditation practice on a dashboard. You can also download meditations for offline use. Before and after each meditation, Smiling Mind asks users to rate their state of mind in three areas: Happy, Content, and Alert, but you can skip it.

Is it any good?

As meditation becomes a more popular tool in dealing with stress and anxiety in school and at home, this is a great free collection for families who want some help getting started. Smiling Mind offers quality programs that lead kids and adults through a series of mediations. The content for younger kids is age-appropriate and uses terms and images kids will connect with. Tweens and teens will be engaged by things like music and food, as well as real-life situations most kids that age can relate to. Users can experience a meditation each day or just as needed. There are some sponsored programs, but they never feel heavy-handed. In addition to great content, Smiling Mind also has useful tools including a favorites option and a dashboard to track progress. With fantastic content and a nice variety of meditations, Smiling Mind rises above many others in this space. And you can't beat the price!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about meditation and using apps like Smiling Mind. What is it for? When would you use it? 

  • Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

App details

For kids who love meditation and health apps

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