I’m always trying to get my anxious son to do mindfulness exercises with me, but it can be a tough sell. Especially when we’re competing with a barrage of toys and streaming services. But when we tried out the new Zenimal device, which plays a variety of guided meditations for kids 5-12, he was instantly excited to try it.

Here’s how Zenimals works.

Related: Our favorite self-care apps to help you develop a self-care plan.

How the screen-free Zenimals  device is helping our kids with mindfulness and managing anxiety

Zenimals come in a friendly turtle shape, with a plastic cover that helps protect it from heavy use. Each of the nine buttons is easy for kids to navigate themselves, and allows kids to try a number of guided meditations.

The moon button, for example, leads them right to a bedtime meditation. Other buttons take them to breathing exercises, relaxation meditations, or those just for fostering creativity. You can add more as well by purchasing additional memory cards with various meditative or sleep music themes.

Related: These 4 excellent mindfulness podcasts for kids help soothe the scaries of the world

Zenimals has 9 different guided meditations that kids can navigate with buttons.

I wasn’t sure if the meditations would hold his interest, but my son instantly sat cross-legged on the floor and closed his eyes, asking me to do the same. By the end of it? We were both in a better mood.

Later, when he was anxious about me dropping him off for a playdate at a new friend’s house, he asked me if we could bring his turtle since it “helped him feel brave.”

*Sniff*

Related: Holiday Tech Guide: 10 cool tech gifts under $50

Zenimals review: a screen-free mindfulness device that our kids are loving

I think that a Zenimal makes a great gift for a kid who’s a little nervous about getting back into the world post-vaccine,  or just any kid who struggles with anxiety and needs help unwinding before bed.

Bonus: give this as a gift to a friend’s kid; the parent will thank you too.

Purchase (or adopt?) a Zenimal at the Zenimals website. And check out their offerings for adults, too! Thanks to the company for providing an item to our team for review consideration.

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