Being in nature and getting creative is such a mindful thing for children (and adults) to do. Mindfulness is all about bringing awareness to what is happening in the present moment, without judgement and being aware of what is going on internally and externally.
Mindfulness is something that can be practised and can be taught from a very young age to ensure that children have developed skills needed to help them to regulate their emotions, build resilience and cope with negativity later on in childhood and adult life.
Within our classes we offer mindfulness skills that you might not even be aware of! Here are a few things that we do in class that you might find helpful to try at home:
1) Task Based Mindfulness.
This involves having a short and simple task to do such as go find it tasks where you find insects or a stick for an activity. The focus for the child is exclusively on finding that object, it helps them concentrate on just one thought and be in the present moment.
2) I am noticing.
Ask children to describe what they are noticing now using their senses. You might draw attention to specific sensations for them such as the wind on their skin or highlight colours, smells or textures out in nature. They don't have to find them and then do anything with them, just noticing them and describing them is mindful in itself.
3) Let them play!
Child Led Play is a very mindful activity because it fully engages the child in things that they consider fun. For this you just need to give them time and space. Don't tell them how to play. You can help them by encouraging them to look for play opportunities or create ones such as bringing toys from inside out. Offer them an opportunity for play in a natural environment and watch the magic happen.
4) Get creative.
When children use their creative brain it involves them thinking in the present moment. Whether they are painting inside or outside or creative land art like in one of our classes below, they are so busy thinking about spacial awareness, colours, practising their motor skills and more that they cannot possibly think about anything other than the present moment.
5) Teach gratitude.
Giving children a respect for nature also helps them learn respect for themselves. It teaches them many life lessons and showing thankfulness to things such as the trees for giving us oxygen to breath, bees for pollinating the flowers that turn into fruit and for the water for nourishing our bodies helps to build a positive mindset and resilience for life's challenges.
These are just 5 ideas that we use in our Nature Makers class to help bring more mindfulness to children and families.
We hope they help you and your little ones to bring more mindfulness into your lives too!
If you would like to come along to one of our classes and see more mindfulness for children in practice then please find your nearest Activity Provider through the Classes page.