s we head into the school holidays and all our plans being cancelled we are left with children at home probably whining, moaning, fighting with siblings... the list goes on right! I want to help keep you all calm, connected and having heaps of fun together so cue some awesome mindful activities I know you will all love!
One way and perhaps the only way to get through lockdown is to get out in nature! Nature really does help us in so many ways and here are a few 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 (which we are all doing right now huh!) 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!
Also for me I love getting out in nature, burning off energy and then coming back home and snuggling up on the sofa to have downtime!
How powerful and amazing is nature and it costs us nothing!!!!
Here are some favourite lockdown nature activities to keep you all busy:
1. Nature 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 all your other gifts onto the string. Place in a spot for everyone to see outside.
2. Leaf breathing
If we are feeling anxious or overwhelmed then leaf breathing is the perfect way to ground us. 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.
3. Beach Teepees
We created this teppee in the last lockdown and it was the best day ever! 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! Our teepee is still standing today 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. Nature Mandalas
We recently went on a bush walk which has a nature sculpture trail and it has totally inspired me! I cannot wait to create this nature mandala - maybe on a smaller scale - with my kids! You can keep it simple and stick the mandala on a piece of cardboard.
6. Labyrinth Nature Meditation Walk
This was another activity which was part of the nature trail and I thought it would be perfect to recreate in our garden or if you are a school teacher or educator in your playgrounds. Gather heaps of twigs and branches and create a labyrinth with them just like the one in the picture. You can make it smaller for smaller spaces. Play some music and let the children have fun walking around and around the labyrinth. Check out these photos to give you an idea of how it could work...
7. Nature Sculptures
Now the one picture is pretty extravagant and impressive but I am pretty sure you and the kids (or even just the kids by themselves - think how long this will entertain them for) could recreate something similar!! What do you think?
8. Kindness Rocks
On your next trip to the beach (or bunnings) collect some big rocks and write and draw lovely things on the rocks. Head out to your local community and pop them around for everyone to stumble across. I know seeing a rock saying 'Have a great day on it' would make me smile.
9. Leaf Throwing
I love the sound of crunching and throwing leaves and it is a great way to burn energy. Leaf throwing is the perfect excuse to find your inner child and get involved with the children...