Autumn is an amazing season. The crisp, cool air, the fluttering of leaves falling to the ground and the smell of nature changing as it prepares for winter. Appreciating the world around us allows for a deepening of our mindfulness practice and no one does it better than children. Why not celebrate this change with some of these Autumn filled Mindfulness ideas?
Leaf Meditation Find a place where your class can have a few minutes of quiet space; maybe it is in your school’s nature area, in a local park, a walk through some woodlands or, if all else fails, the classroom with access to lots of newly fallen leaves. Have the children: – Pick up the leaf and lay it in your hands. – Notice the colours, the different in shades of colours and fading of one colour to another colour. – Notice the veins in the leaf, the main stem, the edges of the leaf. – Feel the leaf. Run their fingers over the top and bottom; along the edges. Notice the differences. Rub it against their face or over the top of their hand. Use nerve endings that normally are not used to feel objects. Notice the difference. – Smell the leaf. Note the scent. Inhale deeply and notice the memories it may bring up. Have them close their eyes and take a minute to breathe deeply and allow themselves to be in awe and wonder of the moment they have had with the leaf.
Autumn Nature Walk Take the children on a nature walk. While on the walk, periodically have the children stop and notice one object (flower, stone, stick, leaf, etc) or sound (bird chirping, water trickling, car passing, etc) and spend a few moments appreciating that one moment. Repeat several times. When they get back to class, have them recreate their walk through drawings or doodles while listening to soothing Autumn themed meditation Music. ( https://youtu.be/w0szAwgybZs )
Walking Labyrinths Create Walking Labyrinths using leaves, stick, pine cones, etc for children to walk. How to do a Walking Labyrinth Meditation? 1. Take deep breaths to begin to relax and focus on the entrance to the labyrinth. 2. Children are to slowly walk the path of the labyrinth, focusing on one step at a time taking a deep breath on each step. Once at the centre of the labyrinth, they turn around and return to the entrance. 3. When they are finished, have them sit back, breathe deeply and relax. Observe how you are feeling again.
PlayDough Mindfulness Have children make their own Play Dough adding Autumn themed spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice or pumpkin spice to enhance the smell. Use the Play Dough to create a nature mandala. Find the instructions for making the playdough and creating the mandalas here.
Autumn Meditation Music Set the scene in the Classroom by using Autumn Meditation music like this one: https://youtu.be/w0szAwgybZs . It mixes nice calm music with the sounds of nature. It is useful to use during transition periods, writing or handwriting periods. Happy Autumn everyone!
Find more mindfulness strategies for children and adults here: www.educationsvoice.wordpress.com or for more ideas for teachers, 100 Ideas for Primary Teachers: Mindfulness In The Classroom published by Bloomsbury or 50 Fantastic Ideas for Mindfulness published by Featherstone which is part of the Early Years Series.