How Nature Can Help With Mindfulness In Your Early Years Setting

Mindfulness is not just a trend, it’s a useful practice that’s as good for children as it is for adults. A growing amount of scientific research has found that attention can increase with the right mindfulness. In addition, good routines can help reduce stress and regulate emotions in children.

Research has also shown that mindfulness can help with social skills, emotions can be better controlled, and children who practice regular mindfulness show more compassion and empathy.

Children who have problems with anxiety, aggression and ADHD can also benefit from mindful sessions.

Nature Can Help With Mindfulness Sessions

Nature is one of the best stimulants and support for mindful sessions. The environment outside is full of things which are typically calming. For example, trees, wind, clouds and plants can all be used in mindfulness exercises.

For instance, pine cones can be used in counting games outside. Alternatively, you can ask children to sit and listen carefully to outside noises. They might be able to hear the sound of birds, rustling leaves in the trees, or other natural sounds. These can be used in discussions.

Another activity might be to look at clouds in the sky and ask the children to describe images they can see.

At the same time, it’s important to explore the feelings of the children. How do these activities make them feel, how do they affect them? Get the children to realise that taking time to assess their emotions, and how they can interact with their surroundings can help them.

Even Rainy Days Can Be Mindful Days

It isn’t just on sunny days that the outside can be mindful. Under a canopy cover, outside mindfulness can be really useful. The children can listen to the rain, see how plants move in the wet weather or just watch their surroundings.

Again, the feelings and the emotions should be discussed at this time.

Rain is also a great way to explore nature. How do birds, insects and other animals act in the rain? What might these animals be feeling because of the rain? This can sometimes connect the children with nature in more than one way.

Taking lessons outside under a canopy, is a great way to put the above ideas into practice. Click here to view our canopies for schools.

Do you encourage mindfulness in your setting? How do you incorporate it into sessions?

Let us know in the comments below.

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round
Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
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