Outdoor meditation and mindfulness for children

July 10, 2020

Meditation & Mindfulness practises are a lovely holistic addition to any classroom, but taking them outdoors adds to the restorative effect as nature is proven to restore brain functioning helping us to refocus our attention and better manage our emotions - both skills our children need a little help with from time to time!

Over in our Outdoor Planning Hub we have a range of outdoor PSHE lessons to cover emotions and friendships. These are designed for class teachers to take consecutive lessons outdoors, so if that sounds interesting to you, finish reading this blog post, grab your free mindfulness guide and then head over there to find out more.

Our Outdoor Meditation & Mindfulness guide here in the blog post is free for you to download and is designed to be stand alone sessions to slot in between your everyday lessons. They are particularly useful when children are going through SATS assessments as they can offer a much needed moment to breath and relax without letting them go completely wild!

So what does meditation and mindfulness look like for children? Well this isn’t sitting on the grass, humming OM with crossed legs! These activities interact with the outdoor environment in a way that restores the mind, bringing children back to the present moment and encourage the children to notice a difference in how they feel in themselves. All of the activities within this guide can be adapted for KS1 right through to UKS2.

How to introduce meditation & mindfulness to your class

There’s a reason mindfulness and meditation is referred to as a ‘practise’, because whether you’re an adult or a child, it takes just that. When you first introduce one of the activities to your class, don’t expect too much! A successful 30 seconds is a great start for KS1, rather than insisting they be still for 20 minutes straight away! As you repeat the activities, slowly extend the length of time you carry out the activities for and you’ll be surprised how quickly even the wriggliest child settles into mindfulness and meditation.

Also don’t worry if some children insist on moving around during the activities, some children’s brains crave constant movement so staying perfectly still is uncomfortable for them. Ensure everyone has a space and the children know to respect each other’s space & mindfulness time. They can move but they cannot distract or interrupt anyone else.

With practise your class will learn to become calm & still. After completing some of these activities with a previous class, I remember a child whose emotional wellbeing was a concern to staff, saying to me ‘my mind feels so fresh, it feels like I’ve forgotten everything.’ With time & practise you can bring this experience to your class too.

Download our free Outdoor Meditation & Mindfulness guide now to support your class with their emotional well-being.

For more resources to support children’s emotional wellbeing check out our Outdoor Planning Hub for our Outdoor PSHE lesson plans for KS1, LKS2 & UKS2!