The importance of mindfulness in our lives has never been more of a necessity. It is as important for our little ones as it is for us adults. Life is busy and this year more than ever has proven the necessity for us all to take a step back and unwind.
Practicing mindfulness can help us feel calm, focused and in control. Practicing mindfulness does not have to be confined to a certain space, time or event, in fact, it should be incorporated into our daily lives as much as possible.
There are numerous opportunities to practice mindfulness with kids outdoors. Here are our top ten:
Spend time in your backyard, on a hike or at a park, watching the wildlife that is all around you. Observe the movements of the animal. If you have binoculars, fantastic, but if not, this is a lovely activity.
Watch the clouds
Lie down, relax and breathe in and out as you watch the clouds go by. Grab a pencil and paper and write or draw what you see in the clouds.
Walk in nature
Put the phones and electronics away and go for a proper walk in nature. Focus on the beauty that's all around us. Notice what you feel, hear, smell and see.
Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt
Create a list of things to look for outdoors beforehand. Take the time to find as many of these as you can.
Painting can be
incredibly calming. Grab some smooth rocks and use paint to design them with
positive messages or interesting designs. Give them time to dry. Then, head out
to a park or walking path and hide them somewhere for someone to find.
Gardening has fantastic benefits for children; it allows them to build a better relationship with food, teaches them to care for the earth and it's an exciting sensory experience that's very therapeutic.
Practice yoga outdoors
Learn some yoga poses and practice them in the fresh
air outdoors. Some of the best poses for children include the cat pose,
downward dog and warrior pose.
Grab some colour cards and head out into nature. Allow the little ones to match up
the colours they see in nature, to those on the cards. Not only does this cultivate mindfulness, but it's a
great way for younger children to practice learning their colours.
Journaling is a fantastic way of releasing thoughts from your head. It is a lovely act of self-care which can be introduced to children from a young age. Encourage children to free write, write about our feelings, write a story or respond to a prompt.
Have a picnic with mindful eating
Mindful eating is the practice of thinking about the sensory experience as you eat something. Think about how it feels, smells, sounds, looks, and tastes while you are eating. Becoming aware of and practicing mindful eating is a brilliant skill to learn, as eating is something we do often during the day, practicing mindfulness alongside eating is a great way to incorporate it into your daily life.