12 Best Sleep and Mental Health Apps to Help Kids Cope During COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, children have had to adjust to new rules, fewer social interactions, and varying schedules. Now, more than ever, children need to find extra security and comfort so they can sleep soundly. With the help of some useful sleep apps for kids, you can take a proactive stance and transform bedtime into a more fun, relaxing, and soothing experience.

Meditation and Mindfulness Apps

These are some of the best apps to use for meditation and mindfulness at bedtime. 

1) Smiling Mind (free)

Smiling Mind is a mindfulness app with over 5 million users. It is the work of an Australian not-for-profit created by psychologists and educators, offering specialized programs for home, work and school. It’s completely free with programs for both adults and children to improve stress, sleep, attention and concentration. It features specific areas of focus, such as wellbeing, relationships, performance, sports and even diet for a well-rounded, comprehensive app designed to improve your lifestyle, no matter your age. 

2) Mindful Powers

This is an app created specifically for kids – ideally ages 7-10. It uses a holistic approach to social-economical learning in order to improve early and middle childhood development. Developers have created an interactive, play-based version of a child’s diary that places a special focus on emotions and feelings from day to day. Your child will expand skills and knowledge through play while decreasing stress and anxiety – both important benefits in today’s world. Start with a free trial, and then if you like it, it’s $4.99 a month to continue with a 101-story pack.

3) Headspace for Kids

This app specializes in meditation that is specifically designed for kids. In addition to its regular featured content, there is a new meditation that is launched each day, so you never tire of old content. The meditation guide also includes support and advice from a real-life former Monk who can work with you to take your skills to the next level. There are both student and family plans available, and you can try out the free trial. There is a two week trial for the annual plan, which costs $69.99, or you can opt for the monthly plan with a one-week trial before changing to $12.99 per month.

4) Calm

You may have already seen Calm from the commercials on TV, and it’s popular for good reason. This is an app designed to improve your sleep, meditation, and relaxation with soothing music and videos to guide stretching and movement. There are masterclass audio classes taught by expert instructors with additional nature scenes and soundtracks that you can use at work or when studying. There is also a huge library of Sleep Stories with celebrity narrators (think Matthew McConaughey) and new content added each week. You can enjoy a free one-week trial, and then you can decide whether to purchase a lifetime subscription for $399.99 or choose the regular annual membership for $69.99 that renews each year.

Related: How to Manage Family Stress and Improve Sleep During the Pandemic

5) Mindfulness for Children

Created by parents for parents, Guided meditation for the entire family, including your children as young as four years old. There are breathing exercises designed to help children handle stress by lowering their anxiety and improving their focus through meditation. It also helps kids maintain a healthy emotional balance while learning to get rid of emotional stress, with special soundtracks to help your little ones sleep. We also love how hands-on the creators are, taking the time to personally respond to inquiries and issues expressed in customer reviews. It’s a simple $2.99 for the app for an affordable solution to bedtime anxiety.

6) Sleep Meditations for Kids

This app offers a different take on children’s meditation with gorgeous illustrations and 13-minute bedtime meditations with seven more available for purchase. Sleep Meditations for Kids is created by a London-based Montessori teacher named Christiane Kerr, who also founded Calm for Kids in 1999. She guides you through all of the meditations, speaking in a calm voice that many children find very soothing. The app itself is free, and you have the option to purchase extra meditation sessions at $2.99 each via in-app purchases. 

7) Children’s Sleep Meditations

This is another app again dedicated to sleep meditation for children, but this one comes courtesy of Diviniti Publishing Ltd. This one includes five bedtime meditations with many more available to buy directly from the app. It focuses on meditation and mindfulness with professionally-produced recordings that you can use as background music to relax or with guided meditation using scripted stories. There is also a special Children’s Breathe feature that allows your kids to create and practice positive breathing habits. The app is free to download with in-app purchases available at $2.99 each.

These sleep apps will help to improve your family’s sleep:

8) Portal app (free)

Portal doesn’t just improve your sleep and relaxation; it helps your focus, too, with 19 total portals (5 come unlocked, the rest you have to purchase one by one). This app creates an immersive experience that pairs 3D soundscapes and HD visuals with Philips Hue smart lighting. Soundscapes are the work of an Emmy-winning recordist and run the gamut from the soothing waves of the Pacific to the tundras of Africa.  There is also a built-in timer and an awesome focused task feature that will come especially handy when you are concentrating. Recommended for ages four and up, it’s free to download and then $5.99 to access the locked portals.

9) Moshi (free)

Moshi definitely gets the award for the most accessible sleep app, because there is no internet needed to download it. More than 45 hours of original content that includes stories narrated by Patrick Steward and Goldie Hawn. Enjoy stories, music, soundtracks and meditations all designed to eliminate anxiety and stress while helping children relax and sleep better. It is rated for everyone and is free with in-app purchases. 

10) Nighty Night bedtime book

This app is designed to be a nightly sleep ritual for young children ages one to four years old in order to help induce sleepiness. Each night, children get to put all of the 13 interactive animals to sleep and turn out the lights for everyone to go to bed. To make it more realistic, you can even switch between winter and summer. Created by Oscar-nominee Heidi Wittlinger, this app offers a fun story with interactive sounds. It’s $3.99 to purchase the app with additional in-app purchases.

11) Novel Effect (free)

Approved by the AASL, this is voice-based, story-driven content that brings your favourite stories to life. It uses character voices, music and sound effects for a fully immersive experience unlike any other. Designed with the entire family in mind, you can choose your own story and control how it ends. Kids will love that they can take the reins and decide what happens next. Recommended for children ages four and up, this is a free app with additional in-app purchases that range from under a dollar to about $25, depending on which option you choose. 

12) Daniel Tiger Day and Night

This imaginative sleep app is brought to you by Daniel Tiger from PBS Kids. In the morning, your kids can use the app to help Daniel prepare for the day, and when the sun goes down, the app welcomes bedtime with sing-alongs and eight different games. There’s also a helpful timer that’s set to music and will help establish regular routines. It’s $2.99 to purchase and recommended for children ages four and up.

For more stories on family health and wellness, be sure to check out our December issue! Read the full issue online here.

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