15 Mindful Activities for Parents and Teachers to Practice with Kids

15 Mindful Activities for Parents and Teachers to Practice with Kids

Looking for some calming, grounding, mindfulness activities you can guide you kids or students through at home or in the classroom? Given the opportunity and some simple instructions, kids can surprise you with their ability to slow down, be thoughtful, intentional and mindful in the moment. Try these 15 activities we’ve pulled together from our #mindfulmagicactivity series on our Instagram.

Read More

5 easy mindfulness exercises for children to use in the classroom

Mindful living is becoming something we strive towards more and more in modern life, but how can we teach children mindfulness? Mindfulness is certainly not something just reserved for adults, the art of connecting with the present moment, taking our time to do things slowly and appreciating the little things is something we should be teaching children from a young age, an invaluable life skill for so many reasons. And where better to learn such a great skill for life than at school? Here we present five easy ideas to help teachers incorporate mindfulness exercises and activities into the classroom.

 

Walk Barefoot on Grass bigger .jpg

 1. Quick Grounding Meditation

Introduce a daily ritual of taking two minutes at the start of the class’ day and again after lunch to help yourself and the kids in your class to ground, ready to learn! 

What do we mean by grounding? Grounding means connecting to our own bodies, the earth and our connection to it, getting out of your head and into the body in the present moment. Signs of being ungrounded include hyperactivity, racing thoughts, inability to sit still, inability to concentrate, sound familiar in the classroom with your students?

 

Meditation Text

Begin by sitting comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor hip distance apart (shoes on or off). Make sure your nice and comfortable and then become still, like a tree. Take a slow deep breath in and out, and another breath in, and out, and one more in and out. Close down your eyes. Bring your attention to your body. Focus on the weight on your body as you sit on the chair. Now bring your attention to your feet and think about your feet as being very very heavy. Can you feel the heaviness of your feet? Feel the weight pulling downwards towards the floor. Now focus on the soles of your feet. Feel the contact of your feet with the floor and the earth beneath it. Continue to focus on the soles of the feet silently feeling the connection to the earth for the remaining time. 

 

The aim of this exercise is to get the student to focus their attention, quiet down and settle their minds ready for a successful class full of learning.

 

mindful eating via Pinterest from gulleygreenhouse.blogspot.com.jpg

 2. Mindful Eating

Mindful eating involves paying attention to the food you are eating, how it feels in your body, being grateful for the nourishment you’re giving your body and noticing when you are full or still hungry. Any opportunity for kids to practice mindfulness is a good thing, to be able to practice paying attention to the present moment and take joy from simple activities can only be positive! But mindful eating has the added bonus of helping kids to develop a healthy relationship with food, to pay attention to their bodies and not just eat mindlessly, either too much or too little.

To encourage this in the classroom, you could practice this exercise with kids a couple of times in the classroom, or simply explain the exercise, then remind and encourage them to try it when they are out in the playground. Questions they can ask themselves:

  1. What colour is your food?

  2. What is the texture of your food? Is it soft or hard? Light or heavy? Sticky or dry?

  3. What flavours can you taste in your food?

  4. What are the ingredients in your food?

  5. How does it feel in your body as you eat it? Can you feel it moving from your mouth to your stomach or not?

Think of a way to make it into a game and you’ll have an even better chance of getting this exercise adopted at mealtimes at school or at home.

 

via pinterest from  a rtfulparent.com

via pinterest from artfulparent.com

 3. Mindful Art

You could argue that a lot of the kind of art children create is mindful anyway, most children are great at using art to express themselves authentically, putting on paper their emotions or the situations playing on their minds, without even knowing it! 

To incorporate mindful art-making into the classroom, we simply need to make time to create without an end goal in mind, creating for the sake of creating and focusing on the present moment and the paper in front of you, the act of putting pen, crayon, pencil or paint to paper, or even sculpting with clay.

Why not put on some relaxing music, give out some paper and ask the children in your class to draw how they are feeling right now. Or if you’d prefer to do something more structured, you could ask students to draw around a repetitive, calming, easy theme like bubbles, triangles, waves, leaves, squares, dots, any shape or likeness you think the kids in your class could recreate easily depending on their age. Making time and giving kids permission to engage in the calming, grounding act of art-making is a great way to practice mindfulness.

 

yoga.jpg

 4. Easy Yoga

Getting kids into a gentle, calming, healthy practice like yoga from a young age can’t be a bad idea! And making time in the classroom, even just 20 minutes (or 10) whenever you can fit it into your class’ schedule, is enough. Yoga asanas, the physical postures of the broader yoga philosophy, allow us to connect with our bodies, calm our minds through regulated breathing and increase our flexibility and the health of our bodies overall. This is an exercise that appears in our children’s mindfulness book, Making Mindful Magic, available in our online store and on Amazon US and UK.

Some easy yoga poses that children can easily connect with and remember, owing to their gentleness and animal or familiar names and shapes include:

 - Cat Pose

 - Cow Pose

 - Bridge Pose

 - Cobra Pose

 - Corpse Pose

 - Downward Facing Dog

 - Cow Face Pose

 - Tree pose

 

More information on the poses, including pictures on the Yoga Journal! You don’t need yoga mats to do such simple poses, a patch of grass or carpet will do just fine for this easy level.

 

Nature Collage.png

 5. Nature Appreciation

This is a theme that also appears in our book, Making Mindful Magic, often; taking the time to appreciate nature. Stopping to notice all the beautiful creations in nature, from the trees to the waves, to the leaves, to the grass and the sky, to insects and birds, is an easy way to help children to connect with the grounding energy of nature, to appreciate the simple, free things in life. A way to incorporate this theme into the classroom could include a short nature walk somewhere on the school grounds to collect leaves, flowers, pebbles, blades of grass, and taking them back to the classroom, spending time appreciating the colours, shapes, names of each thing collected, perhaps turning them into a collage, gluing them on the page and writing or drawing around this theme.

 

-

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our suggestions for easy mindfulness exercises for children to use in the classroom, and of course, these are all exercises not just reserved for teachers and educators but are ideas you could adapt for home, your therapy practice or studio as well.

 

5 Unique Initiatives Teaching Mindfulness to Kids

Wymbin Yoga ,      www.wymbinyoga.com

Wymbin Yoga , www.wymbinyoga.com

As supporters and promoters of mindfulness for kids, at home and at school, and the role that passing on a mindful approach to life can have on children, we’re always on the lookout for others around the world that share our enthusiasm and beliefs. 

We’ve collected up our some of our favourite organisations and initiatives we’ve come across on Instagram and the internet to inspire you and share examples of people creating change in their communities by teaching kids a more mindful way of living. 

Here are five of our favourites:


1. Whole Beings                                                                                                                                                Holistic education centre for kids
Burleigh, Gold Coast, Australia

Whole beings 4 .jpg
Whole beings 2.jpg


Whole Beings was founded by two teachers who also happen to be sisters, who believe that the mind, body, and spirit of a child should be nurtured holistically to help them grow into all that they can be. Peace, compassion and gratitude, a connection to the natural world and the community are all part of their belief system they pass on to the children they teach.

A holistic non-standard approach to educating each individual learner for who they are is employed here with all their students. Whole Beings have offerings for young children to play, learn and create as well as after-school programs for school-aged children and teens to nurture each child's spiritual growth, guide them to use kindness, positive affirmations, and EFT as a mindfulness tool. Whole Beings’ revolutionary approach to education makes us excited for the future of education systems and all the possibilities we have available to us if we dare to think outside the box!

 

 

2. Wymbin Yoga                                                                                                                                                  Yoga, wellness and meditation classes for kids
 

Calgary, Canada

19533647_117908968817674_4861217442162016256_n.jpg
wymbin yoga2.jpg

 
We connect very strongly with Wymbin Yoga’s reason for being, based on ‘a deep belief that by starting with today's youth, we can start to change the world.’ We started Making Mindful Magic because of an awakening in our own lives of the powers of mindful living and everything that comes with it but realised that the place to start was with our children.

Wymbin is a children and youth yoga studio that focuses on providing families with wellness education, movement-based classes, and an inclusive community environment in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. They believe that through all these initiatives they can help kids flourish and grow!

Wymbin Yoga offers a variety of classes for kids including different variations & styles of yoga, dance, movement, meditation, and mindfulness including some very cool sounding parent and child classes families can do together.

 

 

3. Holistic Life Foundation
Implementing daily meditation and movement practices in schools and providing high-quality yoga and mindfulness education to individuals and communities.                                                                

 Baltimore, USA 

download.jpg
holistic life foundation.jpg

 

The Holistic Life Foundation is a Baltimore-based non-profit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities. Through a holistic approach helping children to develop their inner lives through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care, they’ve served 14 different schools in the Baltimore area.

The Holistic Life Foundation come in and train the students over a short period of time to lead their own classmates in stretches, breathing exercises, centering exercises and meditation. Students continue to lead their classes through these exercises regularly once the foundation has done their job, meaning these practices are sustained over long periods of time leading to happy, healthy, stress-free, relaxed, and peaceful students. 

We found this incredible organisation through a great article on CNN talking about how The Holistic Life Foundation helped a school replace detention with a Mindful Moment Room to help kids re-centre and think about what they’d done instead of being punished.

 

 

4. The Hutto Project                                                                                                                                            Choir for children of displaced populations living in a refugee camp                                    

Berlin, Germany 

hutto project.jpg

 

In 2016, The Hutto Project came into an emergency refugee camp outside Berlin with the objective of creating a creative music and performance program for the asylum-seeking children living in the camp. For the duration of the project, which has now ended as the camp is no longer in operation, they provided space, time, and musical instruction — 90 minutes, three times a week — for children ages three to fourteen from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Moldova, and Vietnam. Together, they explored music theory and performance, created original choral music and movement pieces, and collaborated with artists of all disciplines and ages. 

The objective of the initiative which we wholeheartedly applaud and agree with, was about providing consistency to these children, displaced from their homes, countries and everything they knew, fostering self-expression, and building bridges between the many cultures living in the small community. 

They found that structure also had a big impact on the kids, whose days were otherwise free-form, chaotic, and random in the absence of a formal schooling program in the camp. We believe strongly in the power of music and creative expression as important parts of mindful living for kids, music can even act as meditation as we wrote about recently in our post on 5 Easy Ways to use Music as a Mindfulness and Meditation Tool for Kids.

 

 

5. Jamie’s Food Revolution                                                                                                                                 Mindful eating, healthy food and food education for kids                                                        

UK, USA and Australia 

feature-header12.jpg

Access to good, fresh, real food and the basic skills to cook it has the power to transform kids’ lives, and that’s what the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation is all about. Jamie’s Food Revolution aims to improve the health and happiness of future generations, through the food they eat. From their food education programmes to their national and international campaigns that influence policy on key issues, they aim to revolutionise the way people feed themselves and their families.

Two of Jamie’s projects we love are; the Kitchen Garden Project, empowering primary school teachers to integrate growing and cooking into the school day, and the Ministry of Foods practical and hands-on community-based cooking programme that teaches people of all ages how to cook. Food is the only fuel we give our bodies, and part of a mindful approach to life is being mindful of the food we eat and how we eat it, looking after our bodies, minds and spirits and giving us and our kids the best chance to thrive and grow.


 

Free Guided Kids Meditation: Watch Waves

We're excited to present to you this week a new guided meditation for kids, Watch Waves, perfect to be shared with the children in your lives at home or in the classroom. Like our other free guided meditation for kids, Go Walking in Nature, it was created as an extension of our book, Making Mindful Magic, with both meditation audios available by signing up to our newsletter at the end of this post!

Guided meditations are a wonderful tool for transporting you into a space that for one reason or another we are unable to access all the time whilst also allowing us the opportunity to benefit from the experience, to promote deep relaxation and a sense of calm that we can carry into our everyday lives.

If you are a teacher, this meditation would be a very useful post-lunchtime activity to bring the children back into focus and into a calm place to re-engage with the learning process.

If you’re a parent, try using this meditation before bed to promote restful sleep or anytime calm and peace is especially needed.

Below is the accompanying verse from the book upon which the meditation is based.

 

Watch-Waves-1.jpg

 

Watch Waves

Nature is in charge here

Backwards and forwards the waves live

Retreat and advance, the story is endless

changeless, timeless

The only stillness is in your mind

The only silence is you

 

 

Waves crash, water moves back and forth, but your own mind can be very still amongst it all. A sense of deep calm can be summoned in the midst of this wild activity. This is good training to connect to your inner self despite what may be happening around you. This then is the essence of the guided meditation – focusing on both watching and listening, using your senses to connect deeply with yourself and the world around you.

Like all meditation, guided or otherwise, we begin by deep breathing to focus on the exercise and to encourage a relaxed, stress-free state. We then transport ourselves to a place in nature, very near the beach and use our senses to really notice our surroundings all the while practising our skills of mindfulness. We journey to the beach and focus on the movements and sounds of the waves to maintain our journey into mindfulness and a subsequent calm and peaceful state.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE KIDS GUIDED MEDITATION, Watch Waves, below by signing up for our monthly mindfulness tips for you, your family or your class. 

You'll also receive the FREE download of the audio file for our Walking in Nature Meditation and two FREE printable eBooks, Seven Day Challenge to Calm Nights and Mindful Seven Day Challenge for kids, perfect for parents and teachers to use as a resource for home or class!

Name *
Name

5 Tools to Help Cultivate Self-Reflection and Self-Awareness in Children

Via Pinterest

Via Pinterest

Developing a routine of self-reflection is beneficial for adults and children alike. Making time for self-reflection and self-awareness activities for children at home and in the classroom helps kids to gain a better understanding of both the world around them and especially themselves.

I love this quote from Jennifer Porter, ‘Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning.’ A lot goes unnoticed without time for reflection, many opportunities are lost to assimilate what happens into our thought process without it.  

If we quieten our minds enough to allow self-reflection we can also grow in our understanding of ourselves and this helps us move towards self- acceptance and self-love which are so very important to our emotional health and well-being. Children’s need for this is as great as adults and what a gift to them and the society they will be functioning in as adults, to be making space for self-reflection from an early age. If children are encouraged to believe self-reflection is not only acceptable but necessary, then we are all winning.

 

Our five top ways to encourage children to self-reflect are these:

1. Be a good example as an adult. Do you project the image of the adult in their lives who is always busy, always having to do, rather than be? Are you the person who sits and reflects without any agenda? If you are then bravo! If you aren’t, then think about making time in your own life for self-reflection and tell your children that are you are having quiet reflection time.

2. Help them find the time in their own lives. Don’t schedule every second of their lives or be perturbed that they may be bored if they have free time – it is every child’s right to be bored and to fill it with time just to reflect and to be!

3 Make a Family Time for self-reflection – it can be part of a sit and do nothing time or it can come with a simple question – maybe thinking about how you feel now or how you felt during your day?  Start small, like 2 minutes and build it up from there.

4 Make journal writing a part of their routine. Very young children can use non-written ways to write a journal,  drawing about their feelings or dictating to a parent can be used if they are too young to write themselves. You don’t have to solve the problem, you can be merely the one who gives comfort and validation to a feeling. It can of course be about positive feelings, not just difficult ones.  It may be a time when they can accept a situation or decide they can do something about it. What is important is they know its ok to self-reflect and ponder life. They will love the independent and powerful feeling it gives them!

5 Encourage gratitude  Ask the question often, ‘What are you grateful for?” You can start by sharing what you are grateful for so they get the ideas. This notion of gratitude can often put in perspective those difficult situations as being perhaps not as huge as they may have thought when weighed against the positive things in their lives.

Self-reflection helps us realise some things are out of our control and need to be accepted as a part of our life’s journey. It gives us the space to recognise who we are and to, therefore, accept and love ourselves. It can steer us into thinking what it is about our life that makes us happiest, who are the people and experiences that give us the most joy and peace in our lives.  If we are comfortable exploring who we really are then we can better use and trust our own guidance and intuition. 

Free time for thinking allows us to access that part of ourselves that we can so often deny, that part that keeps our hidden feelings, our hurt feelings, the ones we are always trying to keep down there deep inside so we don’t have to face them. Letting ourselves have time so they can come up and surface and to feel comfortable enough to sit with them and deal with them is a healthy habit to develop especially in a child as it can be carried into adulthood where the hurts from our childhood can fester! 

 Self-reflection is for everyone! It’s a time for getting to know yourself better and to accept yourself. It’s not a time to explore the idea of being perfect, that leads nowhere positive but learning to accept and trust yourself is a gift best learned as early as possible!  

Seven-day Challenge for Better Sleeping  E-book

Helping children get to sleep each night is no easy task! We've all been there – it's past bedtime, your child is refusing to go to bd, bouncing off the walls and showing no signs of slowing down. But with some simple mindfulness exercises that can become part of your daily bedtime ritual, you can help your children sleep better when bedtime comes around, featured in our free eBook available for download below.

Last week we offered our challenge for better sleep and calmer nights, Seven-day Challenge for Calm Nights via Instagram if you’ve followed us on our social media. We hope you found something that resonates with your family to add to your regular bedtime routine. That’s the thing with routines – they need to be personal and you need to own them! Whatever you choose to maintain a quiet calmness before bed, an important thing is to remember why you are trying to grow a pattern of winding down before bed-time? Why bother keeping a routine and pattern at all?

I love this quote from the Dalai Lama who in his usual succinct yet simple way, invites us to focus on obtaining wholesome sleep by beginning that pattern before we go to sleep and we think a regular calming routine is the best way to achieve it.

 “If you can cultivate wholesome mental states prior to sleep and allow them to continue right into sleep without getting distracted, then sleep itself becomes wholesome.”

Children (and adults for that matter) who maintain a regular pattern of quality sleep generally are better able to cope with life’s challenges and tend to remain calmer in the face of their regular lives. They are generally easier to live with and experience less irritable and explosive outbursts.  In addition, concentration levels are improved with a better ability to maintain present moment focus. If fostering mindful children is a part of your parenting plan, then quality sleep for your children will be an important consideration for you. So it is definitely worth putting in the effort to establishing a good routine for bedtime. 

With that in mind, we’ve created a downloadable eBook so you can refer to it and use it anytime you choose. Sign up to our newsletter below to get your free copy. I wish you calm, blissful nights and contented, mindful children!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE EBOOK - Seven-day Challenge for Calm Nights - BELOW by signing up for our monthly mindfulness tips for you, your family or your class. 

When you sign up, you also get free access to our FREE 'Go Walking in Nature' Meditation script and audio file as part of our Seven-day Challenge! 

Name *
Name

Seven Days to Calmer Nights

It’s school holidays in my part of the world and if you’ve been reading my recent blog posts you’ll know I recognise that a change in routine can be unsettling as well excitement inducing – not a great combination for calm bedtimes for young ones!  With that in mind, we’ve created the 'Seven-day Challenge for Calm Nights'  centred around activities that can help bring your kids back to a more balanced place, one that is calmer and less exciting and readier for a good night’s sleep. They are designed to focus minds in the present moment – a mindful progression to calmness and a better night’s sleep!

Of course, it’s also perfect to use these experiences regularly – not just when we are out of routine. They can become part of establishing a routine for bedtime if that hasn’t been a big part of your household. Children need routine in their lives to help them feel secure and untroubled and the bed-time routine is one of the most important for a calm transition from the day’s busyness to a state of relaxation. As adults we can recognise this in our own lives – trying to sleep while we are still investing in our thoughts and worries does not a great night’s sleep make! Children, who these days lead busy lives themselves are also vulnerable to poor sleep and need to be encouraged to let go of the day’s activities to prepare for sleeping! Good sleep is one of life’s greatest gifts! 

Here are a couple of tried and true things to start your routine – a bed time story (nothing too exciting)- we would, of course, recommend our book Making Mindful Magic (available here), a simple lullaby and hugs and kisses (of course) were favourites in my household!  I created this lullaby to use with my own children when they were young.

Lullaby and goodnight

You are Mummy’s little darling

Close your eyes and goodnight

And I’ll see you 

In the morning 

 

I’ve recently become acquainted with a couple of inspiring young women (www.thegoodnightco.com) who are making it their mission to improve quality of sleep. They have just launched into improving children’s sleeping and now have available a beautiful box called, Mind Time Kids in which they are using chakra clearing as a tool for helping kids get a better night’s sleep! 

We’ll be posting daily for the next seven days on our Instagram and Facebook pages an experience a day to promote calmer nights. Join us and Give these experiences a try and keep the ones that resonate with your family and build them into your night-time routine! 

You can modify this challenge any way you choose of course and use it over and over by finding different versions of the experience – eg changing the music used for listening or the mandala for colouring - it’s easy! You can incorporate any into a regular night-time routine – for holidays and any days! Enjoy, relax and sleep well!

 

 

Resources for the Seven-day Challenge for Calm Nights

 

DAY TWO: Listen to our 'Go Walking in Nature'  Guided Mediation

DAY FOUR: Listen to Rolling Waves 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvxwaacXTUA  

DAY FIVE: Colour a Mandela

http://www.sparklingbuds.com/free-mandala-coloring-pages/

We love this description by Cat Hawkins about the benefits of colouring a mandala. http://shaktimandala.co.uk/mandalabenefits/  

DAY SIX: Immerse in calming music 

Classical music that is slow and rhythmical www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAqLStH6E6s

Acoustic guitar music  www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGP6aJ4PBbo

Marconi Union's 8 minute trance-inducing tune, “Weightless” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfcAVejslrU

Any lullaby  www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYvyCkMZ_FY 

 

DAY SEVEN: Alanna’s bedtime routine

Alanna recommends these poses be done in this sequence with gentle slow breathing, for a few minutes each for children and up to 10-15 minutes for adults (great bedtime routine for everyone)!

 

Child’s Pose

Begin by kneeling then drop the bottom back to your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down to the floor and forward, arms outstretched with head on the floor.

Cat Cow Pose

Begin on all fours. Inhale as the belly is dropped and look up, raising your tail bone upwards(Cow). Exhale as the chin is tucked to the chest and the mid-back raised to the sky with your tailbone under (Cat). Continue these positions with a neutral spine between the movements.

Standing Forward Pose

Start by standing with the feet together. Bend forward from the hips, not the lower back, bending the knees enough to allow the palms to press flat on the floor with the head touching the knees, if possible. To end, bend the knees keeping the back straight, the arms out to the sides and move up back into standing.

Legs up the Wall

Start by sitting with your left side against the wall. Turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Move your bottom close to the wall. Your arms rest by your sides, palms facing up. 

Happy Baby Pose

Lie on your back with both knees into your chest and put arms through the inside of the knees. Hold onto the outside edge of each foot.  Tuck the chin into the chest and head on the floor. Press the tailbone down into the floor and push the heels up and pull back with the arms. Press the shoulders and the back of the neck down into the floor, trying to get the back and whole spine flat to the floor.

Corpse Pose

Lie on your back, arms and legs open. Close the eyes, and take slow deep breaths through the nose. Allow your whole body to become soft and relaxed. To finish slowly move up to a seated position.

 

Seven Days of Small Ways to Ground and be Mindful

Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Rock on Red, 1971, oil on canvas, 30 x 26 inches

Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Rock on Red, 1971, oil on canvas, 30 x 26 inches

Are you feeling grounded and connected to yourself or like most of us do you need ways to bring yourself back to yourself? After my blog post last week offering five ways to re-ground after a time out of routine, I felt the need to pay particular attention to a simple thing every day for a week that was especially focused on helping me to feel centred, to feel connected with my real self and to feel especially in tune with nature. This week I’m going to share with you how that week looked for me and to offer you the challenge to devise something similar for yourself– just one thing a day that will help keep you present and grounded. In my part of the world it’s school holidays, a perfect time to engage with your children and encourage them to participate too. It can be a daily focus while you have a little more time than usual. I’m hoping you’ll discover that it actually takes very little time to incorporate this practice into your regular life – it just takes a commitment to do it and the self-knowledge that mindful activities make you feel calmer, less stressed and more connected to the real you! 

I posted on Instagram the grounding tool I used each day for a week:

 

Day 1 | Cook Whole food

I made a simple pumpkin soup– pumpkin, leek, cashews, ginger. I took the time to take it slow and focused fully and carefully on the task at hand, cutting, smelling the aromas, enjoying the stirring, allowing it to simmer for a long time.  I felt nurtured and centred as I followed on with the slow theme and leisurely relished its warmth as I ate.

 

 

Day 2 | Connect with a Sunset

Sunsets are one of my favourite things. They inspire me so much and remind me how amazing nature really is. When I feel connected with nature, I feel connected with me!

 

 

Day 3 | Accept Nature’s Invitation

There was nature calling me again to engage with it – to come down the path, to sit in the winter sunshine and feel a part of the real world of nature. All it takes is a commitment to notice what is in your immediate surrounds and then to take a few minutes to open to it. 

 
Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 5.20.24 pm.png

 

Day 4 | Listen to the Wind in the Trees

Using all our senses is part of being in the present moment and to be mindful. To really listen to the rustling trees made me feel very calm and peaceful and energised in a way that felt inspiring.

 

 

Day 5 | Sit under a Giant Tree

There is something very profound about sitting on the earth under a tree – I felt the pull from above and below as I sat peacefully and felt connected to the earth. I carefully took the time to follow the shadows cast by the magnificent canopy – a calming and mindful moment.

 

 

Day 6 | Read a Spiritual Book

One of my very favourite books is Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. When I feel scattered I randomly open it and it always offers me a chapter that fits perfectly with me and brings me back to my inner self and connection. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7 | Engage in something creative

It’s hard to think of anything else when you are making art, or music, or dance or writing from your heart or whatever it is that means being creative for you. Just opening my pastel box almost forces me into the present moment like no other! 

Seven days of purposefully setting aside a little time to engage in a mindful activity gave me the feeling of being grounded and connected that I was seeking. Perhaps you feel motivated to do the same and to encourage the children in your lives to participate too. We’d love to see and hear about any ways you engaged. Post here………? 

Free eBook - Mindful School Holiday Challenge

Last week on our Instagram and Facebook, we celebrated sharing the gift of mindfulness by sharing with you our 7 Day Mindful School Holiday Challenge. In it we offered a daily experience to engage the children in your lives with mindfulness. We've now put it all together into a free printable eBook that can be used as a reference and shared, a Mindful Seven Day Challenge for kids.

I like to think of a mindful activity as anything that calms our minds and engages us in wholeheartedly paying attention to what we are doing. The thing is these two ideas feed off each other. Research shows when we calm our minds, we calm our bodies which then allows us to pay much better attention to anything we are doing. Our brains actually work better when we are calm and not stressed.

In my part of the world, Brisbane, Australia, last week marked the end of the school holidays so it was timely to re-gather our thoughts and to put our minds into a calm, restful place, allowing us to concentrate better – a great back to school outcome!

It struck me too that this is a challenge that can be used by anyone, anytime they are wanting to begin engaging their children or themselves in mindful activities. A deep philosophical discussion about mindfulness is not a prerequisite here as what is important is actually practicing being mindful and often these experiences are very simple and ones we know about but perhaps have not thought of as being mindful.

Perhaps you are a parent, perhaps a teacher, perhaps a grandparent or caregiver or a health professional working in your field with children. Whatever your role I invite you to be the mindful adult who shares the gift of mindfulness by simply providing the opportunity for them to practice mindful experiences. The thing is, the more often we purposefully practice being mindful, the more naturally we will be mindful without even consciously trying – a gift worth giving!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE EBOOK - Mindful Seven Day Challenge - BELOW by signing up for our monthly mindfulness tips for you, your family or your class. When you sign up, you'll also receive the FREE download of our Walking in Nature Meditation script and audio file!

Name *
Name

Mindful School Holidays Challenge

Where I live in Australia, the summer school holidays are drawing to a close and if you have school aged children in your life, perhaps a case of holiday boredom is creeping in.

It’s a first world problem I know but instead of choosing the myriad of ‘stuff’ out there to do, entertainment places to go or the TV and computer to use, we invite you to use the time to engage in some mindful experiences and join our week of the Mindful School Holidays Challenge which we’ll be publishing daily on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

With school just over a week away, this is a perfect time to gather our thoughts, to tread more slowly, carefully and calmly. Of course these are experiences anyone can join in with no matter what your age and location.

Over the next week on our Instagram and Facebook we’ll be highlighting a mindful experience every day of the week to keep us all more grounded and connected with ourselves, each other and especially in the beautiful world of nature.

If you’ve already bought our book, Making Mindful Magic (available in our store) you’ll be familiar with one of the experiences already!  They are experiences you’re sure to know about but perhaps haven’t looked at as being mindful. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget about the simple things, pre-occupied as we can be with the complicated. It’s also an opportunity to remember that mindfulness isn’t hard – it’s about paying attention to the present moment and developing our calm, quiet, considered side. Over the week we’d love you to share your photos on Instagram of you and your your family engaging in our Mindful School Holidays Challenge!

We don’t believe children need to fully understand the concept of mindfulness but what they do need is mindful adults in their lives to provide opportunities to practice it. We hope we inspire you to be one of those mindful adults! See you on Instagram and Facebook this week!