Both mindfulness and nature help bring a sense of calm to children when they need it most. Today, more than ever, our children need to be developing skills that will help them build resilience and manage uncertainty by staying in the present moment.
Working as a certified children's yoga instructor, I was already sold on the magic of mindfulness and yoga movement for kids. As I complete my certification in Forest Bathing I am marveled by the research on the calming effects of nature.
Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve health and happiness. Nature, outdoor play, mindfulness and yoga movement all offer a natural bridge to health, happiness, connection and calm.
We would like to challenge you to spend more time outside with your kiddos. We could all use as much fresh air and sunshine as we can get.
We have a few suggested activities for you to try that offer opportunities for children to use their senses, creativity and imagination. We know these activities will build on their self-esteem and self-confidence as they make a mindful connection to the world around them, while still having a lot of fun.
Take some inspiration from nature and have fun with movement.
Be as still, flexible and silent as a Tree.
Can you stand tall, like a Mountain?
Spread their “wings” in the Butterfly pose.
Bring your toes to your nose in the Flower pose.
Slither like a Snake, in Snake Pose.
Kids are natural yogis, and they love this imaginative play. Have fun with movement, and enjoy your time together!
Go on a Sound Scavenger Hunt
A Sound Scavenger Hunt is exactly what it sounds like: you walk, hike or sit with your kiddos outside, stay (relatively) quiet and try to “hunt” or notice all the different sounds you hear.
This mindfulness activity encourages children to tap into their sense of hearing, becoming present and attuned to their environment through their sense of hearing.
Try our Sound Scavenger Hunt - How many different types of sounds can you hear outside?
Nature Color Bingo
Children are encouraged to go on a nature hunt, finding colors in nature as they explore. This activity is a great way to put mindfulness into action using the child’s sense of sight. This activity encourages children to be more observant and interested in the world around them, while having fun playing a game.
Five Senses Scavenger Hunt
Our Sensory Scavenger Hunt takes children out into nature using their five senses. Children respond well to this immersive mindful activity, which encourages them to tap into their senses, becoming present and attuned to their environment while reconnecting to nature.
Mindful play in nature offers our kids a sense of connection, joy, wonder, creativity and calm.
When teaching yoga and mindfulness to kids, it helps to turn the lesson into a fun activity through play, movement, visualization, and games. Go outside and explore, you will be glad you did.