With all the beautiful colours nature is treating us to right now I simply love turning autumn nature into mindful activities. Before I share these I just quickly wanted to showcase the benefits of getting out in nature for us and our children:
Helps us stay present - when we are in nature we spend less time worrying about the future and analyzing the past which means we are in the present being 100% mindful.
It releases stress and anxiety - getting out in nature releases those love hormones (oxytocin) and helps us feel so much better inside and out.
It makes us feel grounded - being at one with nature (think shoes and socks off and getting mud on your hands and feet) grounds us, making us feel strong and stable for any hurdles we might have facing us.
It connects us - getting children to play in and with nature helps them to understand their responsibility when it comes to the beauty of the world around us!
It keeps us focused - if you head out in nature before you need to do a big task or homework you come back feeling refreshed and ready to focus you also take in so much more (the science has been done on this!). I also notice that when my little girl and I do activities out in nature we both stay more focused for longer!
How powerful and amazing is nature and it costs us nothing!!!!
Here are our favourite autumn nature activities:
Find one big beautiful leaf and trace around the leaf breathing in as you go up and out as you go down the outline of the leaf.
2. Autumn Mobile
Find lots of Autumn nature gifts including leaves, cones, feathers, shells, drift wood. Using the drift wood tie three piece of string and then attach then thread all your other gifts onto the strongs. Place in a spot for everyone to see outside.
3. Beach Teepees
Gather all the driftwood from your local beach and depending on how big the pieces you find you can either build a fairy teepee or a teepee for yourself! We did this one recently and it was the best afternoon! It is still standing and we have enjoyed so many hours of play in it!
4. Leaf threading
With so many big and colourful leaves around go out and collect as many as you can. You now need string or wool and a whole punch. Punch holes into the leaves and thread your string through them making patterns in the leaves. OR punch one whole at the centre of every leaf and thread them all through onto one piece of string to create a long leaf mobile. With the bits of leaves from the whole punch you can use them as confetti and stick them to art work!
5. Leaf Throwing
I love the sound of crunching and throwing leaves and so do the kids, as you can see in my video. That's why this activity is an all time favourite. You can make it more mindful by getting the children to stand still under the leaves as they fall allowing them to notice the sound they make, the colours they see and how it makes them feel.