Mindful in Nature
Mindfulness starts with us as parents, and I found the best and simplest way to introduce mindfulness into my family’s life was to weave it into our everyday activities. For example, if we are going for a walk we make it a mindful walk, dinner twice a week is a mindful dinner, bedtime three times a week include a mini calming yoga routine followed by a 2 minute meditation together. As soon as you get into the flow of including mindfulness into our family routine it just becomes a way of life.
BY KATHRYN – BEARFOOT YOGA
I am excited to share with you my top three family mindfulness activities which connect us to nature. Now is a great time to get out in nature, put the welly boots on, get dirty, get our hands in the autumn leaves and appreciate all the beautiful colours we are currently surrounded by!
Not only are these activities free (or super cheap) but they get everyone out of the house and feeling great!
- Nature Colour Hunt – my daughter loves this activity and it can be done over and over again and all ages love it! It keeps them entertained on long or short walks and gets them connecting with the nature, taking time to really appreciate the colours and textures of the nature around them.
- 1 piece of card per child
- 6 little pegs per child (you can purchase these in a dollar shop for very little)
- Colouring Pens
How to create your Nature Hunt Card:
- On a piece of cardboard create colour square blocks of the following colours:
- Stick a peg above each colour block with either blue tac or glue gun works best.
Once you have created your Nature Hunt Card ask your children on their walk to find natures gifts which match the blocks of colours. Once they find something, they just need to peg it to the matching colour!
- Nature Mandalas – I have done this activity a ton of times with preschool children, school kids and for my yoga & craft school holiday workshops. The children’s concentration, focus and creativity during this activity never ceases to amaze me. This is another one for the whole family and all aged kids love it.
How to create your Nature Mandala:
- Head out on a nature walk either along the beach, in the forest but somewhere where you know you can gather lots of amazing and different nature bits and pieces. Take a big bag and have the kids collect what they like along the way.
- When you get home head out into the garden and empty your goodies.
- Explain to the kids what a mandala is (you can use the photo attached to help them visualise) and using all the things you have collected together make a big or little mandala.
- Time to let their creative juices flow. It’s a pleasure sitting and watching them work and seeing how proud they are of their creations at the end.
- If you want to keep their mandalas grab a big piece of cardboard and glue gun and together carefully move each piece and glue it on to our cardboard. This would look great hung outside the front door! Why not show off to everyone what a creative family you are!! ?
3. Nature sun catchers – these look beautiful hung in windows or on your balcony or deck.
- Paper plate
- Colour ribbon
- Contact paper
- Leaves and flowers collected from your garden
How to create your Suncatchers:
- With the children collect some autumn leaves and flowers from your garden.
- Then comes the crafty bits; cut the middle section of their paper plate out and they can then decorate the outside with stickers and drawings.
- Make two holes at the top of the plate and thread their ribbon which will be used to hand their suncatcher with.
- Cut out a circle of contact paper, a little bit bigger than the inside of your cut out paper plate and stick it on one side of your paper plate.
- Your child can now use the gorgeous leaves and flower they found and place them in a beautiful pattern onto the contact paper.
- Finish but sticking another piece of contact paper ontop.
- Admire and hang in the autumn sunshine!
I am hugely passionate about bringing mindfulness to families and more importantly to our little humans. Kids theses days are faced with more stress and we need to teach them how to cope with this from a young age. Mindfulness has so many benefits; helping deal with stress and anxiety, learning to understand and work through those big emotions, it can build confidence, resilience and self-esteem. These are all traits we know our children need to build strong healthy minds for their future life.
I have recently launched the Bearfoot Movement & Mindfulness Program for preschools working with preschools and their educators empowering them in becoming Movement & Mindfulness Leaders. At the end of my program educators have the confidence, skills and knowledge to run daily movement and mindfulness sessions for the children at their centre. Teaching them through fun, impactful session all the benefits movement and mindfulness brings. If you have a child at preschool and would love for their centre to roll out this program please I would love to connect!