We can all get overwhelmed and it’s no different for your little one. They may have different triggers and as a parent you are probably aware of what those triggers are. Sometimes as parents we can even see the escalation of tension before it bursts. Next time you see the tension escalating take a break and go for a walk. A mindfulness walk can be done at any time and should be done even when there is no tension.
Mindfulness walks are a form of meditation. It can help children and adults be in the moments and focus on what is happening around them. It is a simple but supportive practice your child can do any time. It is a great way for them to connect to how they are feeling within their environment.
- Start by standing tall
- Have your child close their eyes and take a deep breath in and out.
Is the air cold? Is it warm?
- When you are ready, begin by walking slowly with your child. Have them notice if there is wind. Do they hear anything? Birds? The wind going through the trees? Do they see animals running around? Have them use their senses. Eyes, Ears, Nose, Touch. Is the ground firm, squishy or wet?
- It is important to note that a mindfulness walk is not about getting from A to B but instead it is about being in the moment.
- After noticing the external things around you can have them start to focus internally. Have them notice their own breath. Are they breathing fast or slow?
- You can even have them stop walking and take a minute to notice their heart beat (is it going fast or slow?) and how their body is feeling (do they feel relaxed? Cold? energized?)
- Continue to notice the things around and let your child take the lead.
How your child benefits:
- They move their body
- Use all your senses
- Connect with nature
- It slows them down
- Strengthens concentration
- Helps connect them to the present moment
Mindfulness Walking Exercise:
- Notice 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can feel
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
This can be done at any age but with an older child you can use this mindfulness walk worksheet (Free Printable) to have them draw what they are seeing, feeling, hearing. You can do this outside or when you get back from your walk. This is not a necessary step and can be used just as a way to extend the activity and engage the child.
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